Dan Waldschmidt is an international business strategist, speaker, author, and extreme athlete. His consulting firm solves complex marketing and business strategy problems for top companies around the world. Dow Jones calls his Edgy Conversations blog one of the top sales sites on the internet. He is author of Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Outrageous Success.
No matter what strategy you deploy or how hard you work, the success of your plan to be wealthy is directly determined by your thoughts.
Wealth for you might just mean being comfortable. It might mean you not having to worry about your bills or whether you can go on vacation.
It might not mean a multimillion-dollar net worth or multiple homes. It might just mean that you send your kids to the college that they’ve always dreamed about. That you can enjoy an afternoon of golf without worry.
Wealth is measured by what’s in your head.
Your thoughts determine your destiny.
You are right now the result of what you have been thinking about. You will be what you allow yourself to think about going forward.
In that sense, you get to control your outcomes.
Not having money or fulfillment or fun isn’t magic or a mystery. It’s a state of mind. Being wealthy is a direct result of the positive and proactive thinking that you pipe between your ears.
As well, poverty is a state of mind.
It’s a direct result of the thoughts you allow yourself to have.
You might not be where you want to be right now. You might feel stuck. Like your situation will never change. What determines your success isn’t luck or a promotion or anything having to do with anyone else.
It’s you. Your thoughts.
Remember that as you go about your daily life.
“YOU’RE ONLY DOWN IF YOU THINK YOU’RE DOWN. YOU’RE ONLY STUCK IF YOU STOP MOVING.”
If you feel like you’ll never get to where you want to be, you won’t ever get there.
Take a hard look at the sounds you let into your ears.
Take a hard look at what you watch with your eyes, the friends you hang around with, what you find yourself reading, who you listen to for advice, and how you motivate yourself.
Focus and inspiration aren’t an accident. They are habits. Carefully crafted ways you manage the thoughts you allow inside your head.
You can’t rise higher than the thoughts that soar inside your conscience.
If you’re not as successful as you want to be, it’s probably not your plan or your process — although those both matter mightily — it’s your thoughts.
Being poor is a state of mind. Being broke is a state of mind.
Maybe you are already successful, already rich, already wealthy, you just don’t have the outward results yet.
If you’re not willing to be uncomfortable you won’t be successful.
No matter what goal you want to achieve it requires you getting out of your way and doing something new.
Trying something that you’ve never tried before. Failing when that doesn’t work and then looking for new answers and ideas.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or make more money, get promoted, learn a new skill, or figuring out how to reduce the level of stress and chaos in your life — discomfort is a required part of the answer.
And unfortunately, that’s not something that comes automatically for you.
In fact, the idea of being uncomfortable pushes back against everything you’ve ever thought of as success.
You want more money so that you don’t have to be uncomfortable stressing out about paying the bills.
You want to lose weight so that you don’t have to be uncomfortable when other people look at you weird.
You want to get promoted so that you don’t have to be uncomfortable listening to somebody else tell you what to do.
But to get what you want, you have to be uncomfortable. Along the way, it’s a requirement. A stipulation. A necessary ingredient.
One way to measure your progress is to measure your tolerance for being uncomfortable. If that’s the measuring stick, how much progress are you really making?
Wealth is an attitude long before it’s an amount in your bank account.
If wealth is important to you then you’ll achieve it. If having money is a priority then you will have it.
There’s a certain irony to wealth that isn’t often discussed.
You think you want to be wealthy, but you probably don’t. You probably want to be comfortable. You probably want to have less stress in your life.
You probably want to know that you can go on vacation and enjoy life without running out of money unexpectedly.
And that’s a good goal. But it’s not the same as being wealthy.
Wealthy is about your quality of life. It’s about more than just money. It’s about happiness and fulfillment.
The sense that you’re doing something magical for others that they can’t do for themselves. That needs to be factored into you money plan.
“IF YOUR HEAD SCREWED UP, YOUR BANK ACCOUNT WILL FOLLOW.”
Money can buy you a lot of things, but it can’t fix your head trash. Which is important to remember as you map out your future.
The things that stop you from accumulating money and having riches in monetary form all start inside your head. They are fears and unrealistic expectations. They are lies you’ve been told about what should happen or where you should be doing.
It’s fascinating to observe the attitude of service that flows from self-made rich people. It’s not universal.
It doesn’t apply to everyone. But it is there most of the time.
They have accumulated wealth because of more than their ability to make money. They had a purpose behind it. A reason behind it. It was a calling. Part of their destiny.
“YOUR PATH TO WEALTH LIES NOT IN YOUR ABILITY TO ACCUMULATE MONEY BUT IN YOUR DETERMINATION TO FREE YOURSELF FROM THE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS THAT LIMIT YOUR ABILITY TO SEE THE OPPORTUNITY ALL AROUND YOU.”
Don’t forget that. None of it will matter if you don’t work that way.
A great mentor can be life-changing — for your business success and your personal life. Accelerating you around the problems in your way and connecting you with people and opportunities that can drive massive success.
They are already at the top of the game you want to play. And maybe you don’t want to be them, but you definitely want to learn that extra bit of awesomeness that has made them a superstar.
To do that you want to get their attention. You want to befriend them. You want their help.
You want them to be your mentor.
And it’s a great idea. You need people in your life who have done what you want to do and been massively successful.
Sure, your friends can sometimes be great motivators. They can even be great encouragers. But they can also be hindrances if they don’t understand your vision. If they don’t “get” what you’re trying to accomplish. You need a mentor to do that.
So how do you find a great mentor? And how do you get them interested in helping you?
Here are a few ideas to do just that:
1. Look for Someone Better Than You
That seems like a harsh sentence, but that’s the reality of a mentor. You want to find someone who has exceeded your success by leaps and bounds. Otherwise, you’d be the mentor, right?
So you need to look for people in your field who are not your direct supervisors. Look for people you have worked with or for — but who you are not currently working for. It’s best to keep those lines clear.
Who is the biggest, baddest, most successful person in your business? Ask yourself, who do you respect in your industry? Who is that person who you would love to trade places with? That’s your mentor.
2. Be Creative Looking For Your Mentor
If you’ve looked around your office and found someone, that’s great. But if you haven’t an awesome mentor, there are a few places you can look.
If you are a small business owner, you will want to join a small business owner association. They have monthly meetings where you will be introduced to others who will be willing to chat with you.
If you are an artist or a creative, you will want to go to local gatherings where other successful artists are like gallery events or open mic songwriting events. That is where you are going to find others excelling in your field.
If you are in the corporate world, check out your next marketing event or fundraising dinner. You’ll find amazing, talented, super-successful people who are the best of the best.
Wherever people in your field are gathering for any kind of event, you want to make sure you show up at it. And don’t be a wallflower when you get there. Mingle. Introduce yourself. Get people’s contact info so you can keep in touch.
3. Get to Know Them
Most people are not going to be rushing to take you under their wing. Successful people are busy people. And busy people are hard to pin down for five minutes — let alone an hour or more. You have to forge a relationship with your mentor first. You have to offer some kind of value. And you have to be smart about using the time you have with them.
If your mentor does work in your building, walk them to their car after work. It may only be three minutes, but it’s three more than you would have had to begin with. If you met your ideal mentor at an event, go ahead and shoot them an email and see if you can set up a meeting or a lunch with them. The worst thing that could happen is they could say no or tell you they don’t have time.
4. Follow Along On Social Media
If your mentor is not local and you only know them on social media, make sure to follow them. There is a little icon next to the “friend” icon on Facebook that allows you to tailor your notifications from any given person. Most social media platforms offer this service. Make sure you set your notifications to “ON” for your those special people. You will see everything they post — when they post it — and you can reply and get in on the conversation.
The more active you are with them, the more involved they will be with you. They will know your name. They will expect your input. You will start to form a relationship. Social media relationships can still be strong relationships. Plus, if you are keeping up online with your potential mentor, you may already be getting some valuable tips just from their posts.
So when you ask them one day if they have five minutes to video chat with you so you can bounce an idea off them, it won’t seem out of place or creepy because you are an active part of their community. They will want to say “YES”.
5. Make Sure You Like Them
You’ve gotten to know your prospective mentor over the last little bit whether it was running into them at the coffee shop, walking them to the car, or friendly Facebook banter. One of the key elements in finding a mentor is not only to find someone who will be able to point you in the right direction, but you also need to like them as a person. Someone whose values and ethics align with yours.
The last thing you want is to get entangled with someone who, even though they are successful, are filled with drama and are negative or inconsiderate. You don’t have to agree on everything. A little bit of variety in opinions is good. Even healthy. But if there are core fundamental differences that you cannot get past, your time would be better spent looking for someone you can tolerate for longer than sixty second intervals.
6. Don’t Beg the Mentor
You do not want to come right out and ask your mentor if they would help you. You especially don’t want to do that if that person is a stranger to you. It would be no different than cold calling a millionaire and asking him for a $300k donation to your yet-to-be-launched non-profit.
If you want to see how your future mentor rolls, you can go about it in a couple different ways. The first would be to mention in conversation that you are looking for some mentoring and you love their business ideas and would love to pick their brain sometime. You don’t want to beg and you don’t want to look desperate. Just ask.
7. Exude Happiness in All You Do
A positive attitude goes a long way in being successful. Have you ever worked with someone who was always happy? It didn’t matter if it was snowing or raining or if the power was out from a tornado warning, your coworker was always on the side of “it could always be worse.” They spill coffee on their white blouse and they just smile and say, “Good thing it’s laundry day.” Then they shrug their shoulders and happily get back to work, coffee stain and all.
If you know that person then you also know that everybody loves to be around that person. They make people feel better without even trying. Do you know why? Because positive people give energy. And negative people suck energy.
If you don’t know that negative person in your circle of friends, you may be that person. Change your attitude. Be happy. A mentor would love to take on someone who always looks on the bright side.
8. Don’t Force It
The mentor connection you need will not be a forced one. Like friendships, you will likely have so much in common with them, they will want to help you. You will probably remind them of themselves when they were first starting out. And you are always happy with a smile on your face, so heck, you may not even have to ask. They may just start inviting you along with them on outings or inviting you to their events all on their own.
Mentoring partnerships that work the best arne’t forced. It basically boils down to being the type of mentee a mentor would be looking for. A lot of people are seeking their next protege. Why shouldn’t it be you? So don’t put any undue strain on the mentoring relationship. If it doesn’t feel natural, it’s probably not the right fit for you (or for them).
9. Be Great at What You Do
It will be a lot easier to approach somebody for mentoring if you are already on the fast track to success. When you are a go-getter, people talk. Chances are, the people you’d like to have as a mentor already know your name. You participate in events. You show up and show out (in a good way). You are full of innovative ideas. You know what you want and you formulate a plan to get exactly that. You don’t let setbacks knock you down.
When something doesn’t work out, you don’t give up. You formulate a new plan and you try that. And you keep trying until you succeed. That’s what makes you noticeable. That’s what makes you great. That’s what will make people take notice of you. And when you show up in their space and you mention you’d like their input, they are going to be more than willing to give you what you ask for.
10. Share the Successes of Others
The world is so competition driven, it seems like everyone is just looking out for number one. People who want to promote themselves — and that’s it. People who don’t want to celebrate the successes of their peers. It’s as if by celebrating someone else’s success, they are admitting to their own failures. Being that type of person is a huge turn off to finding a mentor.
You want to be a cheerleader for those around you. You want to be excited about other’s successes. In turn, people will remember you when it comes time for your successes and you will have cheerleaders you weren’t even expecting. Not that it’s all about having your successes celebrated, but it’s nice to have a pat on the back for work well done. And that’s something that is lacking in today’s world.
So congratulate your coworker who got the promotion you wanted. Shake their hand. Take them out for a celebratory drink. They may be your new mentor. They may also be the one in charge of getting you that next promotion.
11. Create Your Own Destiny
If you find a mentor you are dying to get in front of, but it seems nearly impossible, you can go the EDGY route. Create your own networking event and invite said future mentor to be the guest speaker. This will benefit you in two ways. The first way is that you will be the point of contact. So you will either be directly in touch with your future mentor or in touch with someone close to them.
And when the big day comes, you will get to spend the majority of the time they are there with them. Of course, they will come speak at your event, because you are awesome and there’s no reason they would say “NO” — especially since you are willing to work around their schedule.
The second way this will benefit you is that you will be in the presence of many other possible mentors the day of your event. If your prospective mentor means that much to you, chances are, they mean that much to a lot of other people. So even if you don’t snag the mentor of your dreams that day, you’ve probably met 3 or 4 other people who would be more than happy to give you some insight. After all, you put together this awesome event. You are something special.
We all need great people to make us better.
To help us see the hope and opportunity ready to explode within us.
“A MENTOR IS SOMEONE WHO ALLOWS YOU TO SEE THE HOPE INSIDE YOURSELF. – OPRAH WINFREY”
But to get that value, you need to be smart and strategic about how you live your life. Finding a great mentor can accelerate all the good things you want for you in your life.
Start putting your plan in place right now to grow these skills.
Alex Zanardi woke up. He couldn’t move. Machines were hooked up to every part of his body. His whole body was in pain. Raw agony.
A week earlier, Alex could see his competition ahead of him from the seat of his Formula 1 car, but not for long. Soon he was ahead of everybody. His car had been the fastest in practice at the American Memorial 500 CART race in Germany. Even with 13 laps to go, he was telling himself, “I’ve won!”
He was on top of the world. He just had to make a stop in the pits before making the final turns to victory. It was quick, like any other pit stop in this race. He was in. He was out.
Alex was barely on the track when he heard the sound of carbon fiber being ripped apart from lightweight metal alloy. It was his supercar. Being torn into bits.
He had just been hit by another Formula 1 driver. At 190 miles per hour.
Alex heard an explosion. And then he heard nothing.
Waking up a week later in the hospital all he felt was pain. It washed over him like a wave of cold. Biting deeply into his nervous system. He didn’t even know his legs were missing until his wife told him.
Alex always thought he’d rather die than live with any type of disability. Especially having both of his legs amputated. But a funny thing happened.
After he was told his legs were gone, he felt something different. Surprisingly so. He felt thankful. Thrilled, even. He was alive. Because he shouldn’t have been.
Alex had been in numerous wrecks before. He had broken more bones than he cared to count. But he had never been soaked in agony like he was that day.
And for the next year as he recovered.
But every day, Alex woke up with the intention of getting his life back and with the intention of being positive. He was bombarded by questions of what he would do next and whether he would race again. All Alex really wanted, though, was to use the bathroom on his own — without having to rely on anybody else. So he worked.
“You can take every day as a new opportunity to add something to your life,” Alex said.
He worked every single day. He went to rehabilitation. It was brutal — demanding massive focus, sweat, and pain to learn how to move the parts of his legs he still had. Left. Right. Left. Right.
He figured out that he had to strengthen the rest of his body; because now, he would have to use those muscles to compensate for his missing pieces.
But Alex didn’t mind. Instead of allowing himself to feel like he had lost something, he forced himself to see it as a new opportunity.
A new challenge.
He set out to prove “that there are no obstacles for the disabled.”
Within a year, Alex was fit for two prosthetic legs that he helped design. He had always loved the design side of things, so it only made sense he would have some input on his new appendages. They were lightweight and as comfortable as a prosthetic could be.
Alex continued with therapy — always with a light heart and a good attitude. He didn’t go through the bout of depression everyone expected him to go through. Instead, he adopted a new mindset.
He was determined to be grateful for the life he still had. And he would live it to the fullest. And that’s exactly what he did.
And then the day came. Alex Zanardi, took the first steps on his new legs. All by himself.
He was shaky. It was difficult. There was pain. And fear.
But still he smiled. And worked.
Less than two years after his wreck, Alex found himself in the driver’s seat of a custom-made BMW with gas and brake controls mounted on the steering wheel. He looked on at the same race track that almost took his life. He wasn’t there to make a ceremonial round of the track. He wasn’t there for the applause or the pity. He wasn’t there as a publicity stunt. Alex Zanardi was back to race.
Even when people questioned his mental state and his physical state, he insisted he was not at a disadvantage. After all, his head had stayed the same. The only thing missing was a few feet.
Alex was back in the race. He didn’t win that day. It took two more years of trying. But in 2005, Alex Zanardi won his first race after returning from his crash.
But curiosity got the best of him. What else could he do now?
He decided cycling might be fun.
Alex started para-cycling — or hand cycling. He would use his arms to pedal and steer his bicycle. It was a great way for him to relieve his stress and to workout. It also happened that he was pretty damn good at it.
Alex had been racing almost his whole life — he started racing go-karts at 13. He had also been designing and building things his whole life. Just as he helped with the design of his previous race cars and helped design his own legs, he helped design and build his own para-cycle.
He understood aerodynamics. And that gave him a competitive edge.
The first race he ever competed in, was the New York Marathon in 2007. He didn’t win. He did come in 4th. Not too shabby for a guy who just started training four months prior to his first race.
He was quickly asked to compete in the Beijing Paralympics in 2008, but he had to decline.
He had already committed to the World Touring Car Championship for that year.
Alex found himself toggling between racing cars and racing para-cycles. So he decided to retire from racing cars.
As he stepped down from one seat, he found himself comfortably seated in another one. The hand-cycle. His new passion.
Alex loved training on the cycle. Aside from being a great workout, it made him feel alive, which was all he really strived for every day — to be happy and thankful and alive.
That singular purpose paid off.
By 2011, Alex had won the New York marathon — the same one he had come in fourth place in just a few years earlier. He also came in second at the World Championships. There was only one place left for him to go. The 2012 London Paralympics.
Alex trained tirelessly for the Paralympics.
When asked how he prepared himself, he said, “I put more effort in avoiding all distractions in my life.”
And it worked. Alex came away with 2 individual gold medals for Italy and was appointed as BMW’s global brand ambassador.
It would have been easy for Alex to hang up his cycling helmet and sit back and enjoy his accomplishments. But that’s not his style. Again, his curiosity got the best of him and he started wondering if he could be an IRONMAN.
An IRONMAN race consists of 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles on a bike, and 26.2 miles running. Alex would have to use only his arms for all three events.
For the bike portion, he used his hand-cycle. For the running portion, he had to use his wheelchair. The swimming portion he was on level playing waters, except for the missing lower half of his body.
His arms felt like overcooked pasta.
But they were the only things he had to rely on for 140 miles.
But Alex finished the IRONMAN World Championship. He came in 272nd. At 47 years old, he was nineteenth in his age bracket.
Neither age nor disability was enough to slow Alex Zanardi down. He just kept pushing. Literally.
He pushed his para-cycling talents all the way to the 2016 Paralympics.
Alex Zanardi won another gold medal in Rio De Janeiro — on the 15 year anniversary of the day he lost his legs.
Alex is still racing. He competed in the IRONMAN 70.3 in Pula, Croatia less than two months ago. He came in first in his division and finished in less than four hours.
His life is an inspiration for anyone who has experienced the agony of losing.
Here are a few of those lessons:
No matter how bad things look right now, you can turn them around.
Massive change in your circumstances demands pain, sweat, and focus.
Being positive is a choice that you get to make for yourself.
Tough goals demand that you do hard things
The harder you fall, the more reason you have to get up and keep working
Anything is possible if you are willing to do whatever it takes.
Winners don’t get a shortcut around tragedy. They just go into it with the expectation that they have the power to change their personal circumstances. No matter how bad things can get.
They work and try and fight and scrap. Never throwing in the towel or expecting a break.
No matter where you are right now in life. No matter what you are going through right now. No matter how much your world feels out of control right now.
All that matters is that you are willing to get back up and try again.
Your mind is more powerful than you might ever imagine. What you think about becomes your reality.
You might call this the “red car syndrome.” Have you ever noticed that when you’ve been shopping for something particular, like a specific brand and model of car — in bright, red paint — that you begin to notice all the other cars on the road that are the exact same?
How did that happen? Was it magic?
Nothing special happened that you aren’t already aware of. No one at the Department of Motor Vehicles told all the drivers with cars like the ones you were thinking about to congregate in an area where you might be.
There was no secret society who went to work, manipulating the universe to create some illusion for you. What you witnessed is the power of your intention.
When you’re focused on something, you draw it to you.
It’s already out there. You’re not creating it or changing it or multiplying it. You are just noticing it more through your thoughts and intentions. Just like those red cars on the road.
You didn’t do anything to put them there. It was your desire and intention, turned into thoughts about what you want, that opened your eyes to notice all the other red cars on the road. The same is true about every other aspect of life.
If your intention is to get out of debt, you’ll begin to notice all the ways that other smart people are streamlining their lives, reducing unnecessary spending, and doing more with less.
If your intention is to make a massive growth in revenue this year, you’ll begin to notice weaknesses in your operations that limit your ability to do that and find new ideas for scaling sales you hadn’t considered before.
Those ideas were already out there.
You didn’t create them. You weren’t the first to discover them. It was the power of your focus that allowed you to find them. Like magnets.
So what is your focus? What are you thinking about? What is your current obsession?
“YOUR THOUGHTS BECOME THINGS.”
What you think about the world around you is what you will find.
So, if you find yourself surrounded by negative people and covered up by negative news, if you’re in a job you hate and stuck in a relationship you can’t tolerate, remember that it’s your thoughts and focus that create your outcomes.
No matter how bad things are, imagine the possibilities. Design the world you want to be your reality. Dream big. Focus intently on the specifics of the change you want most.
And then, begin to look around.
Raise your head up And start to keep track of the “red cars” all around you. Your solution is out there. Change is out there. Possibility is out there.
Use your thoughts to create the change you want most desperately in your life right now.
Whether you are a one-person show and do all of your business work alone, or you have a whole team to help you complete your daily tasks, there is always technological help that you can use to make your day more productive.
And since you probably spend most of your day using a web browser — handling email, reviewing projects, or working on deals — one of the best ways to be more efficient in your work is by using Google Chrome extensions.
We, here at The EDGY Empire, like to stay — not only ahead of the game — but on top of the game. We also believe in the old adage, “Work Harder Smarter.”
Here are the top 11 Google Chrome extensions that I use regularly to make my days more productive — as I use my time more efficiently.
For the record, these are not paid endorsements, these are just some of the things that we are happy we don’t have to live without.
Don’t just give instructions. Show them exactly what you need. Video screencasts are a great way to offer value to your customers or prospective clients or employees. Pulling your hair out because the tools you are using require a rocket scientist, is not a very attractive feature to exhibit (especially on video).
Loom takes the guesswork (and the hair pulling) out of any and all screencast tasks. It’s user-friendly and compatible across all mediums. And when you download the extension, it is right at your fingertips. So you can stop stressing and get back to making awesome progress.
LastPass is the definite go-to for password management. Once you download the extension onto your browser and get it set up, that little magic button remembers and fills in your passwords, credit cards, and hard-to-remember personal information.
You will never again have a headache trying to remember if it was a capital A… or lowercase…. with an exclamation point…. or a question mark. Another great feature is that it works across all your different platforms (if you aren’t using Chrome) and syncs directly to your mobile device. You can try out the free version, which has some awesome benefits, or the paid version that is worth every penny.
What if I told you that 10 hours of your work week was spent on the internet being every bit of zero productive? You’d probably think I was crazy, or you’d admit it and be ashamed deep down.
RescueTime lets you accurately assess how much time you (and your employees) are spending on each and every site and browser throughout the day. It tracks the “active” windows and stops tracking when you leave the window or stop being active. Then it sends you a report letting you know where and how much of your time is being spent.
You never know when you are going to need a screenshot of an entire webpage to share with your team (or a coworker who just doesn’t get technology). This extension allows you to do just that. It’s the only screen capturer that fully works on Chrome on Mac OSX. It was specifically designed for that purpose.
After you screen capture, you can just right click and save, or drag and drop to your desktop. No permissions. No headache. Just capture, save (and edit if necessary), and share.
This Grammarly extension is a complete lifesaver, especially if you are blogging for your business or writing daily email communications. As you work, your spelling and grammar errors are underlined and you can click and make corrections immediately.
Google Docs is not currently supported by Grammarly, but you can save and upload your document into the actual Grammarly online platform — regardless of what browser or file you are trying to create. It is worth every second and penny spent. You will not only look like a wise business professional, you will look like an English professor.
Goodbye jumbled information on Wikipedia. This Wikiwand tool is sure to be a hit to anyone who spends any substantial amount of time doing research using Wikipedia. The outline tab is well organized and user-friendly. The pictures are sharp. The webpage itself is simple, sleek and easy on the eyes.
Wikiwand is basically like taking your dog to the groomer after he played in the mud with a skunk— and picking him up two hours later when he’s looking good and smelling fresh— Hello, Gorgeous. Goodbye frustration on Wikipedia. Wikiwand is a definite win for Team EDGY.
If you value your time like I do, you probably don’t like to spend half your day walking around the local bargain mart looking for gifts or prizes to give away at your next networking function. So what’s your go-to? Online shopping is my guess.
Wikibuy stockpiles all the latest coupons and deals at places like Amazon and Neiman Marcus and automatically applies them at the checkout — like internet magic. You do have to set it up when you first install it, but I promise you won’t even miss those 12 seconds.
If you are in HR or looking to get connected with a prospective client, Lusha is definitely an extension worth having. This extension works in LinkedIn, where pretty much everybody on Earth is now. Forget about first connections, your prospect doesn’t even have to even be a connection.
If there is reliable information to be found, Lusha will find it and provide you with a working email address or mobile phone number. The extension is very user-friendly and has a 98% user satisfaction rate. Lusha is amazing for helping to create effective and personalized marketing campaigns, which, as you know, leads to success and more revenue for your business.
If productivity and task tracking is your goal, Asana might be just the program you are looking for. Once you get your team set up and get a feel for the Asana program, add the Asana extension to your Google Chrome. You will be completely satisfied with how quickly you can add tasks, assign them to a team member, and share links directly from your browser.
This is a major time saver when getting projects out of your head and into writing. You can also track all of your work and easily communicate with team members. And if you’re into upgrading awesome, check out Instagantt — which turns Asana into a full Gantt chart of awesomeness.
You can’t forget to be cautious when so much of your time is spent online. The Avast Online Security extension takes a peek at all the sites you are visiting and lets you know if they can be trusted or not. It’s kind of like your own online private investigator, by blocking websites from storing cookies and collecting information.
Avast will let you know when you’ve stumbled upon a site that is known for phishing so you can steer clear and keep your business and personal information safe. It’s not 100% of what you need to be doing to stay safe, but it sure is a great start.
Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t be very EDGY if I didn’t add The EDGY Tab to the list of must-have extensions. I created this tab to give you a little boost of awesomeness every day because you won’t always have someone standing behind your desk patting you on the back and giving you a little boost of encouragement.
The EDGY Tab is that metaphorical cheerleader. Every time you open up a new tab in your browser, you will be greeted with a positive motivational saying. And on a bad day, you can just keep opening up tabs, because every tab is a new tidbit of awesome!
All you can do is your best. You can’t do someone else’s best. You can’t do better than your best. And there is no such thing as giving 110%.
Success requires that you give all that you have. That you hold nothing back.
When you’re tired, you still do work. When you’re offended, you still get up and grind. When other people tell you that what you’re doing doesn’t matter or won’t count, you ignore them and execute your plan.
You’re not superhuman. You feel pain. You get beaten down and discouraged by the daily struggle.
You just decide you’re not willing to give up.
You’re not willing to walk away from your dream until you’ve achieved it. That’s what doing your best–and being your best–is all about.
You’re willing to dig deeper into your own thoughts and motivations and inspire yourself to do what is uncomfortable. To do the things that other people excuse away as being “too much.”
When you think about it though, you have to question when was the last time you truly gave your best. Do you remember? Has there been a time recently where you knew you did everything you could do?
Without any hedging. Without any excuses. No finger pointing or passive aggression. Just you battling with every ounce of your effort towards where you want to be.
That’s the standard. Your best. You doing your best.
It is what allows Olympic champions to win a medal. It is what guides a business leader to multi-billion dollar success. It is what allows people to truly change the world around them.
“DOING YOUR BEST IS YOUR FORMULA FOR SUCCESS. ”
Your guide rails for achieving breakthrough.
This is a personal discussion though. It’s on you. No one can make you do your best or know when you’re not doing your best. Which is why you have to be your own champion. Your own coach.
Amazing things happen when you’re all in. But that’s a decision you have to make. No one can force you.
You have to decide that what you want it’s way too important to do anything less than your best.
We all have those well meaning friends who, like it or not, always try to make light of our desperate situations. “It’ll get better.” “You have to keep trying.” “You always land on your feet.” “The grass isn’t always greener.” “It could be worse.” “Tomorrow is a new day.”
And you love your friend, but you just want to say, “Hey, do me a favor and take your positivity and shove it somewhere. I’m sulking over here.”
It’s no secret that times are tough. The pursuit of success is no easy conquest. And that journey can be even tougher when you don’t know how you are going to keep the lights on or how you are going to afford to keep the doors of your business open.
Times do get tough. But not just for you. It is that same way for every successful person. That annoyingly positive friend of yours is right. The only option for you is to keep going. Tomorrow is a new day.
And just in case words of wisdom aren’t inspirational enough, here are 11 people who had it tough, just like you, in pursuit of their dream.
1. Tyler Perry
Everybody loves Madea, but before she came bursting into our hearts with her witty one liners and pistol-toting shenanigans, her creator, Tyler Perry was sleeping in his car and living in pay-by-the-week motels in Atlanta.
He spent the $12,000 he had saved up from working to pay for the production of a play that he knew was going to be a hit. But it wasn’t. He lost all his money and his house. For the next 6 years, he lived like a nomad while he kept making plays. Putting on a play each year and just getting by until something finally took off and created the well known “Madea” series and other hits like “Why Did I Get Married,” and “Meet the Browns.
Since then, he has generated $774 million in movie sales.
2. Suze Orman
She wasn’t born a financial guru. Suze Orman worked her way from the ground up, just like the majority of us have to. After college, when she decided to move from Chicago to Berkley, California, the cost of living was more than she could pay–considering she moved to Berkley with her van, but no plan.
Caught in traffic one day, she got out to inquire about the mess and ended up getting back into her van with a job. She would live in the van for a few months while she and a friend saved money to get a place. Within ten years of moving to California, Suze Orman was the Vice President of Investments at Prudential Bache Securities.
And just a few years after that, she started her own investment company. Her financial companies are currently worth over $35 million now.
3. John Paul DeJoria
Founder and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Products and Patron Tequila was not always a billionaire. He went through rough times like a regular person. Having divorced his wife, he found himself living in his car and frequenting restaurants that specialized in $.99 meals — just to be able to eat for the day.
When he decided to partner with the late Paul Mitchell, they were quickly hertbroken when their million dollar investor backed out at the last minute. Believing in their product so much, the two invested the last $700 they had to buy product for their company. The investment paid off. In billions of dollars.
Today, John Paul DeJoria never has to worry about not being able to pay his bills and he’s got plenty left over for the 150 charities he donates to annually.
4. J.K. Rowling
Single parenting and living in a tiny apartment with no “real” job, JK Rowling found herself living on public assistance and contemplating suicide from the depression that hovered over her daily. Despite her financial discomfort and feeling like a complete failure in life, Rowling kept working on the book idea that came to her a couple years earlier while she was riding the train to a temp job.
After finishing the book, having to scrounge for pennies and meals while she wrote it, JK Rowling sold “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” She has written 6 more subsequent Harry Potter books and made an estimated $1 billion on the series.
5. Chris Gardner
You may have seen the movie based on a small chapter of his life, The Pursuit of Happyness. Before Chris became the self-made millionaire he is today, he spent many nights on the streets and in the local homeless shelter with his three-year-old son, not knowing how he would feed his son dinner. Thankfully, his son had eaten at the daycare he was barely able to afford.
One day, he saw a man driving an expensive Ferrari and asked him a few questions that ultimately landed him an entry-level position at a financial company. He worked his way up and out to open his own company within ten years. You can read more of that story here.
Making her musical debut 1995, Jewel was one of the first artists to be vocal about having lived on the streets. She lived in her car for the year prior to her big break. She was also very vocal about why. She got fired from her job for refusing to sleep with the boss.
After getting fired, Jewel decided that she would rely on what she loved — and started singing at a local coffee shop. After gaining quite a local following, Jewel made and released an album which quickly gained her 3 spots on the top 100 billboard charts and made her a millionaire.
7. James Cameron
While directing a very low budget horror film in Italy, James Cameron came down with an illness and came up with an idea for a screenplay — thanks to a few feverish nightmares while ill. After the film flopped, Cameron found himself back home in the United States with no home to call his own.
He couches surfed with friends and slept in his car while he was fleshing out the sci-fi feature that would he would eventually sell for a meager $1 just so he could direct it. The film, Terminator, ended up grossing $78 million.
He would go on to create a $6 billion movie portfolio.
8. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey spent her whole life in poverty. She was born to a teenage mother who couldn’t provide for her financially — so she lived with her grandmother who was also poor and could not afford to dress Oprah at times. She would have to wear potato sack dresses.
When she was 6, she moved back to her mother. Her mother worked all the time and left Oprah with uncles and other friends and relatives. By the age of 9 Oprah had been molested by more than one caretaker while still barely being provided for.
When she became a teenager, she made the choice to move with her father, where she finished high school, started college and then eventually dropped out to pursue a career in television.
She landed a job at a morning show that didn’t pay very well, but it was a job that made Oprah Winfrey happy. That show eventually got renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show and started Oprah’s uphill climb to the $3 billion empire she has built.
9. Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren grew up dirt poor in the city of New York. His parents were both immigrants and his original last name was Lifshitz. He spent his high school days getting made fun of for that last name. So much that he eventually quit school and joined the army.
When he finished his army career he ended back in New York City. He was barely able to pay his bills on the meager salary of the retail job he worked. He had a keen eye for menswear and didn’t understand the drab boring ties that were regularly sold.
He redesigned the men’s tie, sold his idea to Bloomingdale’s and went from minimum wage to making $500,000 in one short year.
10. Hilary Swank
Actress Hilary Swank, best known for her roles in the box office hits Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby started her life off meagerly, to say the least. She had dreams of being an actress from the time she was 8 years old. She grew up in a dysfunctional, poor, and unhappy home until her parents divorced when she was 14.
In full support of Hilary’s dreams, her mother loaded up their car and drove her daughter from Washington to California where they lived in the car going from audition to audition and taking odd jobs until they saved enough for an apartment. Hilary landed small acting roles until her big break in Boys Don’t Cry. Hilary Swank is now worth an estimated $40 million.
11. Steve Harvey
Steve Harvey knew in his early thirties that comedy was his calling. Then life came in and swept the funny right out from under him. After divorcing his wife, a couple cancelled gigs caused him to become homeless. Harvey lived in his 1976 Ford Tempo.
He said living in his car for a week was terribly hard. He had to do it for three years. He lived on $75 a week after having to send the rest of his money to his ex wife to take care of his sons.
He would shower wherever he could find running water and sometimes he got lucky and would be put up in a hotel when he had a comedy gig. He finally got his big break when he performed at the Apollo and has been on the big screen ever since and now lives in a 5 story mansion in Atlanta.
Steve Harvey is worth more than $140 million.
“WHATEVER IT TAKES IS ALWAYS WHAT IT TAKES TO BE SUCCESSFUL. ”
Hopefully you won’t have to be homeless to achieve the success you so desperately want for yourself.
But if you do — if that is what it takes — may these people be an inspiration to you.
Rags to riches is an age old story. And if stories are what you need instead of words of wisdom, you only have to look as close as your favorite famous person to find someone who has been where you are or worse.
It was January in 1913 in a remote section of Antarctica. Douglas Mawson was 14 feet away from the top of the crevice — hanging by a rope attached to his waist.
The sledge wedged into the snow above him was the only thing keeping him alive.
As he swung helplessly– his feet unable to reach either side of the crevice to push off and climb — his only thought was that he had not finished eating the rest of the food on his sledge.
Douglas Mawson was the leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, a team of 31 scientists and adventurers pursuing the most ambitious exploration yet of the southern continent.
Mawson was determined to return from his expedition with the most scientific analysis of the area, including geographic analysis, meteorology, magnetic measurements, local biology, atmospheric science, and movements of the glaciers.
But it wouldn’t be easy.
Every part of their journey would be a struggle of magnificent proportion.
Their base camp at Commonwealth Bay was built on an ice shelf that proved to be mostly unlivable. The average constant wind speed that year was 50 mph — with Douglas recording regular winds approaching 200 mph.
With blizzard conditions daily, this was quite literally the windiest place on the planet.
In those harsh conditions it took the team 10 months to build out their camp and put together plans for their expedition deeper into Antarctica.
The airplane they had brought with them was a bust as well. It had been damaged on the journey to Antarctica and was converted into a tractor on sleighs.
But the engine wasn’t build for such cold conditions and would only work for a few minutes at a time.
They would use the scrap metal to reinforce their huts.
By December 14, 1912, despite the impossible odds against them Douglas Mawson and his 2-man team and several dozen dogs were 35 days and almost 300 miles into their exploration. He had assigned himself the hardest of the 8 different explorations that fanned out from their windy base at Commonwealth Bay.
They had already crossed 2 glaciers and hundreds of deadly crevices — deep holes in the ice hidden by a powdering of snow.
That Saturday morning in December was no different.
Xavier Mertz, guiding a dog sled ahead of Mawson raised his pole signaling a dangerous crevice ahead. He carefully navigated his way diagonally across the thin ice instead of head-on. Mawson did the same.
Continuing on, Douglas heard the faint whimper of a dog behind him.
Ahead of him, Mertz turned around, hearing the same sound himself. It was the look on his face that shook Douglas to his core.
A gaping hole in the snowbridge showed a crevice 150 foot deep where a husky lay whimpering with a broken back. There was no other sign of their companion, Lieutenant Belgrave Ninnis, or the sledge.
He was gone — along with their best dogs, their tent, and nearly their entire food supply for the expedition.
They improvised a tent out of extra sledge runners and a tent cover they found. It was just enough for room for both of them to crawl into.
The next morning they begin their race home. And for the first few days they made excellent time.
But it wasn’t long until their dogs gave out.
When the Huskies could no longer pull the sledge, Mertz and Mawson carried them to their makeshift camp for the day and shot them, eating as much of the meat as they could stomach and throwing the scraps to the rest of the dogs.
It wasn’t long before only a single dog, Ginger, was able to pull the sledge. So the two men hitched themselves to the harness and pulled alongside her.
They would only make it a few miles before they collapsed, exhausted by the snow drifts that were 4 feet tall in places.
It wasn’t just the dogs that were dying. Mertz was sick, losing weight rapidly. His fingers were horrifically frostbitten and he was too weak to move.
He couldn’t go on.
Determined not to let his friend die, Mawson convinced him to ride in the sledge while he pulled it a few miles each day. Day after day, Mawson pulled as Mertz’s condition steadily deteriorated into a slow and painful death.
After burying his friend, Mawson was determined to make it back to base. Most of his food was gone and his body was in horrible condition.
He had open sores on his lips, nose, and scrotum. Hair was falling out of his head in large clumps and the skin on his legs was peeling off in large strips. The soles of his feet had detached completely from the skin and sinew holding together the rest of his foot. Using tape from his pack he desperately attached the dead soles to his feet and put on 6 pairs of wool socks.
With every step, blood and pus oozed from the bottom of his frozen feet. He was still 80 miles from camp and growing desperately weaker by the day.
But step by step he made his way home
And then he stepped through an ice bridge and found himself hanging by a rope in a deep crevice. Weakened by hypothermia and near starvation — he hung 14 feet below his sledge which was straddling both edges of the crevice.
He reached for the first knot in the rope and desperately pulled himself up. Holding on, he reached for the next knot. And then the next. Inch by inch he pulled himself up the harness rope. Praying that the ice would hold.
Reaching the top of the crevice he rolled his body onto the snow-covered lip of the crevice. His weight caused the overhang to break off — plunging him back down into the icy crevice.
His raw hands were slippery with blood. His fingers, frozen and numb. Utter despair overwhelmed him. He wanted to die. It was too much for him to bear.
As he hung in the tangles of the harness rope, a verse from his favorite poet, Robert Service, flashed through his mind: “Just have one more try—it’s dead easy to die. It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.”
Inch by inch. Minute by minute. Knot by knot.
Mawson made his way back up the rope. When he reached the top of the crevice he pushed his feet out first and then pulled his weakened frame free of the edge, rolled over and, passed out.
A few hours later he would wake up covered in snow. He got to his feet and kept walking.
Days later he would find a chest of supplies left by a rescue party of his fellow explorers out looking for him — food, supplies, and a map showing him the final 28 miles back to base. It would take him the next 10 days to make it back to the base.
When he arrived, the Aurora, a rescue ship sent to rescue them was on the horizon — having left just 5 hours earlier. It would be 10 months later before that same ship would come back for Mawson and the 6 men who stayed behind to find him.
He had survived against all odds.
When Mawson finally reached Australia in February a year later, he was welcomed as a national hero and knighted by King George V.
It is Douglas Mawson’s face you’ll see on the Australian one hundred dollar banknote.
His life was an improbable story of courage and triumph made possible by simply trying.
If you too find yourself hanging by a thread, with hands raw and bloody from past tries, think of Mawson and keep moving towards where you want to be.
You might have lost skin off your fingers and might find yourself taping your feet back together. Friends might die. And ideas fail.
You can give up and die. Or you can try. And live.
And be the hero of your life from this day forward.