Three key elements to become successful

We all want to be successful. It’s totally normal because we all want to be better, regardless of our current circumstances. We all wish to be in a better situation.

Here are three key elements that we must focus on to become successful. They are education, relationships and coaching.

Education helps us to change our mindset, because when we learn we become smarter. When we read a book, when taking a course online or attending a class, we will generate more ideas. If we have a trade or ability that we have practiced for years, we can learn to turn that ability into a business that can give us a tremendous advantage over those who decide to do other non-productive things.

Now, let’s not forget that there will always be someone smarter than us, but there will also be someone who learn from you and will benefit from your experience. We don’t need to be the greatest expert in each topic or trade to create value towards other people. The important thing is to find those who have the same goal and interests that you have.

For example, if you know how to cultivate corn, I bet you can find a lot of people interested in that as well. On the other hand, there will be a lot of people who don’t care about that. Now, those who are interested in this topic will want to learn from you and to hear your experiences about corn crops. And just as they are learning from you, you need to keep learning from others. You need to stay in that continuous improvement cycle because we never stop learning, regardless if we are 5 years old, or 20 or 50 or 90 years old. We must always be learning.

I remember a situation where a very old man who loves to play the guitar was asked why he kept practicing 4 to 5 hours every day, when he was very proficient at playing that instrument. Now, he wasn’t born with that ability. He just put the time to practice and followed his passion. His answer to the question on why he kept practicing so much was: “I think I’m making progress”.

So, it doesn’t matter in what part of our lives we are, we always need to be getting better and better. And education is a powerful tool to become better every day.

The second component is relationships. The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. We become the average of the five people we hang out with. Our relationships can make us better or worse, because if we hang out with people with a negative mindset we will get infected by that. On the contrary, if we follow people or groups with a hard-working and positive mentality, we will raise to their level and will get better. If we try to make it alone, we might have some level of success, but the long lasting and sustainable entrepreneurship requires that we flock together with those of our same feathers. The goals will be similar, and the synergies and mutual support will deliver tremendous results.

Finally, the third key element in our journey towards success is to have a mentor or coach or guide, call it whatever you want. A coach is someone that helps us to figure out how to put together the pieces that will result in a business by using his experience. This accelerates the process and can give you the confidence that you have been lacking to make hard decisions. By following in the footsteps of a proven entrepreneur, your odds to be successful increase significantly. A lot of people who have achieved success always refer to someone else who helped them get clarity and support them in ways that were critical in their lives.

There you have them, the three key elements to achieve great success. First, education and continuous learning. Second, relationships, seeking to hang out with people with a learning and improvement mindset to help each other and to continue learning. And finally, never underestimate the power of having a mentor or coach who can help you accomplish your goals faster and with better results.

That’s all I have today my friend. I hope this was helpful and I wish you the best of success in all your projects.
Hasta la vista!

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10 reasons to read daily

The amount of reading we do is directly proportional to the knowledge and the kind of mind we have and live by. There are scientific studies that suggest that our brain will not deteriorate in our late years if we keep learning new things frequently.

Here are 10 reasons to keep reading:

  1. The more you read, the more intelligent you become. In every book we can find new words or expressions that enhance our vocabulary. Applying those new words in the daily conversations helps our brain to create new connections between the neurons, reinforcing our brain health.
  2. You learn to focus and concentrate. It’s a challenge to read a book from cover to cover. Sometimes reading a chapter gives us a lot of value in our learning journey. The special time devoted to read can be very important, so focus… focus… focus…
  3. You can travel. Yes, reading makes your imagination fly and it transports you to remote places. This is the reason why many people state that reading a book was better than watching the respective movie. That’s because the visual image they created is the result of their own creativity and mindset towards the story in the book.
  4. You can improve your verbal abilities. By increasing your vocabulary, you can speak about the topics you read with fluency and with references to the source of the topic you talk about. If the topic is related to your job or other person situation, you will be able to drive the talk…
  5. It can be relaxing. Reading before going to bed can help you to transition smoothly into a good sleep. Also, if you read early in the morning before doing other kinds of information intake, it can be beneficial in your learning.
  6. It can make you interesting. When you’re know as an avid reader, people will want to talk with you. This turns into a positive cycle to keep gathering more knowledge by keep reading. It is a good problem to have!
  7. It boosts your memory. As opposed to watching videos or listening to audio books, engaging the eyes in this active interpretation of the text forces your brain to ingrain the knowledge in a more effective way. The attention needed for reading is higher and will produce better results.
  8. It’s entertaining. Reading about the themes you love will keep you busy while reaping all the benefits enlisted here. That increases you skills and make you a source of information for other people.
  9. It enhances your creativity. You can always improve what you learn. That applies to what you read. Like when reading this article, you have the power to make it better.
  10.  It makes you appreciative of the arts. You will likely pursue additional knowledge related to what you read in other venues, like museums, the internet or any event related to your passion.

I love reading. Here are some of the latest books I’ve read. I think you can find these interesting.

Happy reading!

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Side Hustle

A lot of us hesitate when it comes to start a business on the side. The fear to fail, to not make money or to lose money always get in the way. Our inner 6-year old child is always telling us that we’re not enough, that we don’t have what it takes to be successful, or that other were born talented… WRONG!

In today’s world we cannot apply the mindset of those who lived in before us. With all due respect to our parents and grandparents, the times we live in are way too different from theirs, and if they did not adapt to the new reality then we should think twice about following their advice to the letter. And that includes our teachers, mentors, friends, colleagues or acquaintances.

Technology has reshaped the way business is done. And learning by doing is the best formula to decide is we want to start a new business venture.

Here are the reasons why you should start a side hustle online:

#1 – It’s easy. It’s incredible how simple and fast is to start creating content online. Writing blogs, posting videos, creating digital courses… there’s a million things you can choose from to decide the nice you want to focus on. It’s literally a few clicks away.

#2 – It’s free. You don’t “need money to make money” online. You just need to understand that it will not happen overnight, but after some time while constantly creating value, you will reap the benefits of this, and then you’ll realize that your initial investment (if any), it was nothing compared to the new kind of life you have now.

#3 – You can learn. Doing by learning is great. I have learned things like trading forex and stock options, affiliate marketing, product arbitrage, and all that by giving myself the chance to try it. And even though sometimes I have list as a result of my investment, the learning experience and the connection I’ve made along the way have been invaluable. Those lessons I have learned cannot be taken away from me by anybody.

#4 – Learn about yourself. Sometimes we learn things about ourselves that have been there the entire time. This can happen when we connect with other people who are pursuing goals that are like ours. Their input is a great way to validate our potential and let it transform into actions that can help us get going. Remember, to avoid falling from the bicycle we must keep moving forward.

#5 – Find your target market. If you’re at this stage, that means you’re sold on the idea of doing business online. Here you use all the learnings and the feedback from those who are consuming your content to find your ultimate customer… those who will be interested in products that you recommend or your own product.

So, there’s pretty much no investment when it comes to learning online business models.

It’s up to you to take action.

Let me know if you need any help. I’d appreciate connecting with you to increase my network and learn how I can create more value to you.

Have a marvilloso día!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

A restless mind

Our brain doesn’t need to rest. When we sleep and cross into the dream world, the brain is reconstructing itself and becoming smarter. What we call rest, for the brain that translates into rewiring and producing complex and stronger structures that will allow us to continue the physical and intellectual journey the next day.

Learning new things keeps the brain active, and such activity continues (if we allow it) in the golden years, when the physical part becomes more challenging. Is in this moment when we need to find ways to stay in learning mode. It’s never too late to become a musician, a poet, a writer or a singer. As long as we fuel the passion for acquiring new skills, new trades, new moves…

The brain has a unique capability called neuroplasticity, which is the ability to change continuously throughout an individual’s life. For example, brain activity associated with a given function can be transferred to a different location, the proportion of grey matter can change, and synapses may strengthen or weaken over time.

We can learn something every day. But we have to seek for new knowledge. We need to move from “I’ll try” to “I will”, in order to keep our minds busy in productive thoughts. Such drive will take us to a better state in our older days… away from the risk of senility.

Let’s keep learning, keep the grey matter working!

I can help you learn Spanish, and you can help me learn something!

Adios! 😁

BOOK REVIEW – The 5AM Club: Own your morning, elevate your life.

BOOK REVIEW – The 5AM Club: Own your morning, elevate your life. By Robin Sharma, Adam Verner, et al.

This is a great book! It presents a good story on how to own your morning in order to conquer your day. It presents a similar approach to what’s known as the compound effect, where small increments lead to huge benefits in the long term.

The 5AM Club is a story where the lives of a billionaire, an artist and an entrepreneur get intertwined to produce a plethora of learning experiences and events that redefine and reshape the mindset of the last two, guided by the unorthodox yet appealing billionaire.

In audio format, this is an 11-hour book. It took me four days to listen to it entirely, but a couple of hours into I was psyched and hungry to keep learning more.

Event though this is depicted as a fiction story, the life lessons are real. I bought into this approach and I’m applying it myself.

In a nutshell, the book presents an approach to devote 1 hour a day to yourself. From 5AM to 6AM this is a time to practice the 20-20-20 method, which consist of 20 minutes of intensive exercise to the point of breaking a sweat, followed by 20 minutes of meditation and rest, and finally 20 minutes of deep learning about anything that improves your life.

A very important part of this is to jump right out of bed with no distractions, no technology, no news. It just you and you only. Resisting these temptations is a key component for this to work.

I’m just three days into this and I’m seeing good results already.

But, hey…this is not something new! It’s being said that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, but it takes around 66 days to get such habit ingrained in our subconscious minds, so it becomes automatic.

I’ll share with you my results half-way thru to such period, to let you know what kind of progress I make. However, I want to share with you now a few quotes that I gathered from this book.

  • Change is hard at first… messy in the middle… but gorgeous at the end.
  • The moment you most feel like giving up is the instant when you must find it in you to press ahead.
  • One who sweats more in training bleeds less in war.
  • High victory is made in those early morning hours when no one is watching and while everyone else is sleeping.
  • To find your best self you need to lose your weak self and that only happens thru relentless improvement, continuous reflection and ongoing self-excavation.
  • The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.

You can borrow it from your public library. Let me know if you need help with that.

Or you can get it on Amazon.

You’re welcome to join the club!

Have a nice day!

 

Alejandro

Failure is relative, learning is constant

This is a story about chickens… Should they live or should they die? It all depends on the context.

When I was about 6 or 8 months old (according to those in my family who told me the story) I lived in a small house in Mexico located out in the country which had a big backyard at the time. A lot has changed, as today my parents’ house is in a crowded area with not a lot of wooden spots as before.

One day my mom sat me on a blanket while she was taking care of the house chores, and during one of those activities, a group of baby chickens came close to me, wandering from their mom, probably looking at me as the weirdo giant brown bird playing alone in the back of the house. Neither the chicks’ momma or the human baby’s momma were paying attention to their respective sprouts, which created a situation of “opportunities” for us trying to discover the world around us.

When a baby chicken was within reach, I took it with my hand and started holding it from the neck as if it was a squeaky toy, maybe with the idea that such thing was fun and exciting. And yes, the chick started squeaking, but only for a few seconds, and then died, allegedly from asphyxia (up to this day, such allegation has not been proven).

Disappointed, I dropped the inert little bird and proceeded to take the next one in the proximity, to continue having fun but getting the same result as before, until there were no more chicks (alive) to play with. It was then when apparently the fun experience turned into fear in lieu of the sight in front of me… a chick graveyard. It was then when I started crying, either because of guilt (unlikely at such age) or because I was no longer having fun as I had ran out of chicks.

That’s when my mom came to my “rescue”, just to witness the scene I created, and while she quickly comforted me, she kept asking why had I done such thing, although we both new (!?) it was only a rhetorical question.

In these circumstances is easy to determine that I FAILED to keep the chickens alive, as they would have served a better purpose other than just the temporary entertainment of my innocent life at the time.

Killing the chickens: WRONG.

Now, fast forwarding approximately 14 years, I visited my grandma’s farm, where there was still a lot of surrounding nature and simple life to enjoy, away from the city craziness. It was a summer break, and my brother and I were working with our uncles doing hard country physical work, like preparing the soil, seeding the crops, helping at the brick factory, carrying buckets of water from the well to the house, and some other challenging activities.

One day I was assigned an interesting yet creepy task. For dinner we were going to have chicken. And the chicken had to die. And my aunts were mean, so they were having fun because I had never done this before (allegedly). But in this case the circumstances were different. This is a grown up chicken with enough meat to feed a group of 6-8 people. So, here we go… I was supposed to hold the chicken’s head with one hand and the legs with the other, and pull them apart with enough strength to break the neck and minimize the poor animal’s suffering. But for some reason, even though strength wasn’t an issue, I could not do it. It could be that the chicken kept moving, making me nervous, or that the subconscious brought back the images from my early childhood.

One of my aunts came to the rescue, not without giving me all kinds of “compliments” for my failure. And then it just took her a few seconds to make sure the chicken crossed the finish line, and headed towards the cooking pot.

Not killing the chicken: WRONG

Failure is not absolute, is relative. When we face failure, we must identify the circumstances, and separate those that cannot be controlled by us, from those that can be changed to try again.

And of course I learned something: chicken is delicious!

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Vacation time: learning while relaxing

Vacation time can be exhausting… in a good way! So many flight options, routes, schedules, baggage fees, plane meals 🙁

Once landing at the destination, so much good food! Damn my diet!

In my case, so many beaches to visit, with a lot of activities like snorkeling, parachuting, tanning, beach massage, walking, swimming, paddle boarding =0)

Vacation time offers a lot of physical yet relaxing time that cleanses the mind from our life’s routine and turns the body into a fun machine, ready to go from one activity to the other, with enough energy to enjoy and rejoice without limits. Sleeping becomes a wonderful time to quickly recharge and restart the cycle the next day, looking forward to a new sunrise, new food, new activities, new relaxation, new exhausting… challenging… exhilarating… fun.

Learning while being on vacation is not optional. We learn new places, new tricks to our gadgets in order to capture those moments. We learn the limits of our bodies, when tasting new local foods and drinks (this, while fun, can come with a toll).

This is what I learned while on vacation:

  • How to operate a GoPro camera.
  • How to use the panning function on my cell phone
  • I tasted new versions of the seafood I grew up on
  • How to listen to controversial family conversations without interjecting (this is a tough one)

Going back home is always an opportunity to relearn, because time produces change… change in our minds, in our bodies, in our families, in our old friends, in our neighbors.

Learn while you’re on vacation. It’s always fun… it’s always exciting… it’s always beneficial.

Keep learning, while having fun!

The Summer of Learning

There’s no perfect time for learning. No perfect place, website, school, group of people, weather or learning style. There’s only desire. Desire to become a better version of ourselves every day, without constraints, predisposition or outdated traditions. When we let go old ideas like “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, or “if ain’t broken, don’t fix it”, we liberate ourselves from limits imposed by people no smarter than us. We then jump into a world of possibilities that allow us to exercise the only muscle of the body that doesn’t get tired, but instead becomes stronger every time we feed new information to it.

And it’s right there, inside our brains, where the seed of desire originates. It’s a small idea, a simple thought, a short statement that makes all the difference: I can do it.

Mark Twain said: If you believe you can do it, you’re right. If you believe you can’t, you’re also right.

Simple, yet challenging. Clear, but scary.

So, It’s not a matter of luck, at least not in the form of unexpected good fortune, but a quest, a resilient desire to continue the journey of learning while finding time, resources and the perseverance to confront the obstacles ahead and be ready to experiment, create, try, fail and repeat until the goal is accomplished.

Another toxic idea is this: “everything has already been invented”. This suggests that creativity and invention are not needed anymore, and that we must simply consume everything around us, with no hope to improve. But this mindset produces lack of progress and stagnation, and keeps us from investing in ourselves, which is necessary to keep finding new goals, new ideas, new dreams.

Let us have a Summer of learning, and keep extending such learning journey forever. It will make us better, and it will make the world better!

Nothing to worry about

I have an inside joke with my wife, when she wonders why I have no gray hair… yet. I’m approaching 48 years young :), and still can show a black mane with no hints of snowed threads. She sometimes wonders if I get up in the middle of the night to dye it. Now, that would really be stressful for me!

My answer to her frequent inquiry is usually the same: “I try not to worry too much”.

That is a little of bit of an understatement. I have a lot of things in my mind, and certainly enough to keep me busy and sometimes overwhelmed. However, when I say that I don’t worry too much, it’s a form of saying that I don’t let the problems get the best of me.

But wait… let’s go back to the beginning… is there a correlation between stress and gray hair? Or is it more accurate to say that there is a correlation between age and gray hair? Or even further, a correlation between the combination of age and stress that produces gray hair?

I’m clueless!

And while the challenges keep coming, I’m confident that I have enough character to conquer them, or enough humbleness to decide when not to pursue them, without lamenting anything later.

Let’s remember: 10% of any situation is how it presents itself, and the other 90% is how we react to it.

I have enjoyed writing this blog, even though I’ve been absent for a while, but I hope to keep connecting with people, to make more friends.

And gray hair or not, I’m learning to age gracefully, because every phase in life is worth enjoying!

See you soon!

myblackhair

Hey, no dandruff either!  🙂

To be an expert, act like a student

During our scholar life, earning a title or degree is something that becomes a life goal. To be able to say that one is an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, or some new ones like entrepreneur, or knowledge worker, is the carrot in front of us that drives us to learn as much as we can in order to achieve the status of an expert in any field.

While there’s nothing wrong with becoming an expert, the problem is when we assimilate such title as the end of the learning process, like we don’t need to learn more, like it’s time for those behind to catch up to us and for us to just laid down and enjoy being called such titles. The worst of the worst… being incapable to say “I don’t know” when blubbering about a topic and ending up like a fraud in everybody else’s mind.

learn

 

 

 

When we’re students we’re hungry for knowledge, asking all sorts of questions, trying to master the discipline that will get us the coveted degree of something, with minor in something else. And this is a life event to be proud of, no question there and nothing wrong with that.

However, the real merit of becoming an expert is not the fact of being an expert itself, but the journey that the person had to go through to get there. Such momentum must not stop after graduation, it has to continue to purse the next phase, status, step on the ladder, or any other tag or label that we pursue. Some of the most approachable people do not hold fancy degrees of credentials, but they are learners that enjoy being students at any stage in their life.

Let’s keep on learning, we will always be life students!