#PROGRESS

Crushing These Three Mental Barriers … Once And For All!

A closer look at mental barriers will reveal their true colors. Often they are more like bad excuses. Sometimes they’re not true. Other times, they can still prevent you from moving forward, and meeting your potential. Let’s confront and crush some of these mental barriers … once and for all!

Three common ones that I see people use is in the context of starting a business or becoming an entrepreneur are:

“I don’t have enough time”, “I don’t have enough experience”, and “There’s already many people doing what I want to do”.

Let’s start with the first one, shall we?

1. “I don’t have enough time”

First of all, do you know what you are spending your time on every day?

We often go about our day a little bit on autopilot, and some of the things we do are just plain habit. When was the last time you took a detailed account of your day and efforts to see exactly where your time is going? Make every minute accountable.

Can you reorganize and change up your daily routine? Can you cut down on actions that aren’t helping you reach your ultimate goals? How about actions and efforts that aren’t giving you any pleasure, any results or anything of real value? Maybe you can eliminate some of these to make room for what you want?

For example – How much time do you spend on leisure? Binge watching favorite TV shows, or downtime at a café can be put to valuable results.

Your health too, plays a big role. To find more energy, maybe you can start eating healthier, start working out, or perfect your sleeping pattern. Having more energy will make you more productive?

How much time do you really need for the business or venture you want to start? Maybe 30 minutes a day is sufficient. At least it’s better than doing nothing. Every journey starts with one step.

If you don’t manage your time, you will waste it. Take control of your time, and change your mind about time and decide you have plenty of it.

We all have 24 hours, so time is not a viable excuse. Start assessing your time and scheduling your day ahead of time. Plan for success!

2. “I don’t have enough experience”

You will never have enough experience … yet! And you will never get experience in the first place if you don’t start experiencing. So take action and don’t procrastinate.

You don’t need to have all the experience in the world, or be the best in your field when you are starting. What you do need is the right attitude and to be able to look for answers when you need them. If you don’t know something, figure it out.

There are many entrepreneurs who achieved success by operating under the principle: “Fake it ‘till you make it!”, and it works. Perfection is fleeting, so stop chasing it.

Even if you’re not the best right now, you can still operate in your market and be able to stand out. Just find your unique angle, and dominate by being special.

Strive to become the best and work harder than your competition. Be interested in learning new skills so you can add them to your arsenal. Always be open.

3. “There’s already many people doing what I want to do”

This is a good thing and not a bad thing!

If many people are doing the same thing already, and operating in a field that you’re thinking about jumping into, then it’s usually a good indication that the niche is profitable. There’s money to be made!

So instead of using this as an excuse, look at it as a sign. There’s already a market, there’s already people willing to buy, now you just need to differentiate yourself so you can stand out with your concept.

Maybe you can deliver the same thing, but package it in a more interesting way. Or you can change the angle of the concept a little bit. Or just deliver something better.

Take inspiration from what your competitors are doing, see what they are good or bad at, and put your own spin on it. Find problems or areas of the market that need new solutions and jump on those.

Do you know other mental barriers similar to these, or common excuses that you hear people say? Go ahead and share them in the comments.

P.S. If you have a friend who’s thinking about starting a business or a new venture, share this post. Maybe it can help them get started.

Let’s move forward…

– Casper Stang

How To Find The Confidence To Go For Your Dreams

Do you shake a little in your boots when thinking about your dreams? Do you wonder where you’ll find the confidence to take that first leap and go for what you want?

Confidence, or lack of it, seems to be a common strength that people are looking for. I get it, I really do, but let me give you my personal take on it.

If you want something, go get it, period! Confidence has nothing to do with it.

In some ways, confidence and self-esteem are overrated. You don’t need it when you first start. But what you do need is to take action anyway and not procrastinate.

The mind is strong and it can play these tricks with you, but don’t let it paralyze you. Don’t let it stop you from going after your dreams and what you really want.

Having a little fear and insecurity is just a good thing. It’s our mind’s way of signaling you, telling you that this is something you care about, something that’s important to you. In some ways it is a warning and that you’re about to step out of your comfort zone. It triggers your adrenaline and helps get you pumped up! And that’s a good thing.

Just deal with those feelings as a great indicator, a guide, or GPS if you will, showing you where to go. Superstars, top athletes and billionaires all had to push through fear to get where they are. My guess is that most of them were not so confident when they first started.

It is the same thing with you when you first learned to swim, ride a bicycle, or maybe when you had your first day at school or at your first job.

Confidence is something you build and grow over time, and it builds with experience and training. We don’t have it when we do something for the first time. But it is there, underneath, waiting to emerge. And it will!

When you get more used to a situation, or when you get better at it, your confidence level grows and it often evolves to the point where you can challenge yourself even more.

Look at insecurity and self-doubt as your ally, and get used to it. It’ll show up again and again if you constantly push yourself to grow. It is the difference between top performers and the rest. This ability to merely push through the insecurity and self-doubt and take action regardless.

So how do you find the confidence to go for your what you really want? Start with persistence, and a little drive. You’ll find it on the path to where you want to go, but first you’ll need to take action.

Face situations in spite of fear. And by attacking and defeating fear you’ll be victorious.

What you’re looking for is not confidence. It’s courage.

Let’s move forward…

– Casper Stang

How To Get The Midas Touch With One Simple Mind Shift

Ah … what if you could turn everything you touch into gold. If you could make life work in your favor and have people talk about you in the best of ways. Is it possible? Yes! it is, and you can turn things around with just one simple mind shift.

Consider for a moment … Have you ever ordered food to your house and the person delivering the food just can’t find your house? Even with all of today’s technology; GPS and Google Maps, the delivery person just can’t figure it out?

Or better yet, maybe you have experienced the delivery guy/gal who comes straight to your house and gives you an extra treat as a thank you for ordering with them? What impression do each of these scenarios leave you with?

Underperformance or overperformance? The difference is critical.

The truth is, most people just live up to our expectations and that’s it. But then there are some people who are just phenomenal and totally awesome. They are the type of person who makes others say: “Damn, he or she was really good and better than I thought!”

These “overperformers” have figured out the Midas touch and how to optimize it! If you learn this simple trick, you too can be the Alchemist in your own life. You’ll want to be part of this rare breed, the type of person who always overdelivers.

Make people impressed and they’ll do word-of-mouth marketing for you. For example, if you promise work done in three days, deliver it in two! If you commit to producing a ten minute video, make the ten minute video, but then add a little bonus video as a second option. It works! It impresses and makes people remember you, recommend you, and WANT you.

Use this tool, not only in business, but also in your social life and with your relationships.

People will want to do business with you, hang out with you and all types of good things will start to happen. Only because of a simple mind shift, by being aware of this rule and going that extra mile.

Most people are just average, and that’s what they expect. So when they meet somebody who’s better than what’s typical, you leave a lasting impression.

You should try to be extra passionate, extra interesting, extra interested and extra skilled.

If you have a store, leave a handwritten thank you note in the bag for the customer. Or send out a Christmas card to your clients. It doesn’t have to cost you much. Just give a little chocolate to your client or something that’s unique.

If you’re used to the status quo, you probably know that it will keep you in business, but you will never really prosper or make the serious gains you desire. If you underperform you should really be careful, but if you overdeliver, then you’ll start to attract some amazing opportunities.

It’s hard to do this right all the time, but it should be the general vibe that you give off. Make people’s experience with you a pleasurable one. It works like magic!

I hope this inspires you to be awesome, and if you have something you want to share, or any questions, leave them right here in the comments.

Let’s move forward…

– Casper Stang

Valuable Business Lessons From The Greatest Music Producers

The great producers of music can teach you some valuable lessons that are highly applicable to business and entrepreneurship. From Quincy Jones, Timbaland to Dr. Dre, the truly great producers are masters at having a vision, aiming for nothing but greatness, and bringing something extraordinary and unique to the world.

My background in the music industry, and working with creative teams, has taught me some valuable lessons. I have learned the most especially from my biggest idols in music. Their work ethic is impeccable and they are phenomenal at assembling the best team for the job to execute their ideas.

Master producers are visionaries, leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs. Their unique philosophy and mindset have created some of the best music ever made, and a legacy that will last for decades.

Dr. Dre in particular, is known for his knack for business and is sitting pretty with approximately $710 million in net worth according to Forbes. His mindset has served him well.

What can we learn from individuals such as him that we can apply to our own businesses, when creating new products, trying to shake up the industry, or working with teams?

1. Be an orchestrator and organizer.

The greatest music producers are known for bringing in an explosive room full of talent and the best collaborators for the job. Then, they create an environment that encourages these creative minds to do their thing. They let these individuals and their individuality shine and bless the project.

They’re like orchestrators and they don’t try to do everything themselves. Think of the conductor of a symphony. They don’t play each instrument. They focus on what’s best for the project, and they leave ego at the door. They are open to many ideas and they latch on to the really great ones. The final product is a unique mix, well blended together into a final product before they put their stamp and name on it.

If something is missing, if the project is lacking that extra spice, they look at how or who can add that in.

Music studio

2. See the greatness in others.

Great music producers excel at seeing the strengths in different people, having high standards, and strive for perfection. They are effective at bringing out the best of the personality of each person on the team. For that to happen they have to create the right atmosphere for success. They also don’t try to force anyone to be something that they’re not.

For example, Dr. Dre never tried to change Eminem to fit more in with what was popular at the time. Instead, he brought the uniqueness out, and that’s what made him and his art so great. Together, they created something new.

3. Set out to create a hit.

Why would you start any project if you were not aiming for the crème de la crème?

The great music producers start a project with extremely high standards for what the project can truly be. The objective is always to make sure every endeavor becomes a true success. They’re interested in raising the bar, creating something that can cause reactions, that can provoke, entertain or make a huge impact on people. They learn from what’s not working, and they make sure that the final outcome sits perfectly.

When it feels right they release it to the world.

4. Dare to be different.

For something to be truly great, a classic, it has to be unique. This is what all successful and influential music producers know. Certainly, you can follow the patterns of a hit, but when you add your special uniqueness to the mix, it changes, evolves and becomes something new and special. Put your own spin on it and dare to be different.

You can start with what everyone else is using, but strive for a different and exciting way. Trust your vision, intuition and personal taste, and don’t be influenced by politics or current trends that are hot for a short fleeting time.

This is also true in business in general. You need to stand out and get attention to be able to dominate a marketplace. You have to dare to be different. Just look at Pharrell Williams and “Happy”.

Pharrell Williams

5. Have a finger on the pulse of what’s going on.

True masters are pioneers. A pioneer delves in uncharted territory. Pioneers question what’s currently going on. In order to do that, they stay up-to-date with where the trends are going. They are very competitive. Consider the famous words of Gordon Gekko: “The most valuable commodity I know of is information”.

Smart producers know what’s hot at the time, what’s working and what’s not working. They know what the norm is, and then they put their unique spin on it.

6. Be consistent.

The great masters that have been able to stay relevant over time have always been consistent. They stay true to who they are, what they like and for what they have a passion. They don’t just jump on the latest fad, or suddenly change their style, and so their brand remains intact. This is part of their branding, and their reputation. A Timbaland production is recognizable the same way a Disney movie is distinctive.

Great producers keep working diligently, even when they have success. They stay consistent with their work ethic. If they decide to launch something new, something outside of for what they’re known, they are sure to make it feel natural and organic … to their brand. Dr. Dre is a clear example with his successful headset line. This is very close to what we know him for: exceptional sound quality, and so the transition felt natural. There is a degree of trust with his product.

These traits are key to extraordinary success in any field. You can see the same qualities in movie directors, clothing designers, fashion icons and the list goes on and on. Perhaps you have to check your ego when taking this approach, but learn these skills and you’ll be able to take your game further. It’s the successful route for any entrepreneur, CEO, business owner, leader, visionary or creator.

If you want longevity, instead of chasing a quick buck, this is the way to go. Work like a great music producer!

Now let’s move forward…

– Casper Stang

Compare Yourself With The Best

To reach new heights, we have to reach for new heights. We so often compare ourselves to colleagues, friends, neighbours, or other local people in our field. This can be a stretch? Or, possibly a comfort zone? Let’s be honest! Comparing yourself with a buddy can be a problem when it comes to reaching these heights.

This hack is about raising the standards! It’s about knowing that you have unlimited potential in this world. It’s about reaching for excellence and not settling for average. Ask yourself … is this the best you can do?

You have to compare yourself to the BEST to BE THE BEST!

Instead of comparing yourself, your skills and your work to your buddy, start comparing yourself to the best in the world, the best who ever did what you are trying to do. (Unless your buddy is wearing that crown though, lol!)

“Anytime you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.”

– Anthony Robbins

I’m talking about a healthy reality check and a healthy competitive drive. Not comparing yourself to others and being discouraged because you’re not like them, but looking at the potential in a positive way: to find inspiration and motivation in truly amazing people. And of course, I believe in individuality; being yourself, but don’t play yourself either. You can do more, and you can do better!

It’s healthy to have something to strive for, someone to look up to, so you can push yourself and constantly improve. The greatest athletes, musicians, artists, writers, philosophers and entrepreneurs, have usually honed their skills by studying the greats, and being inspired by the highest achievers. By holding themselves responsible to a higher standard than anybody expected of them.

I think I first learned this principle in my teens when I used to play basketball. I was so passionate (I still hold basketball very close to my heart), and great coaches and team players that were all thinking the same way surrounded me. We used to hang out and just watch a lot of basketball games on VHS. When someone did a crazy move, like a crossover or an alley-oop, we would rewind the tape over and over again to analyze the whole play. And afterwards we would go out and practice it on the court.

It’s amazing how your life and results can change with this fairly simple shift in mindset. By just comparing yourself to the greats, expecting more of yourself and from your actions, you will reach for more and achieve more. It should be a continuous process where you stop and reassess where you are compared to the best. Always aim for the crème de la crème!

Just think about it. We have one shot at this life game, as far as we know. One shot at leaving a footprint and creating a legacy. Why settle for average? Say you work at something for ten years, some craft or profession. If you constantly measure yourself to the best, just think about the difference that will make on your progress over those ten years, compared to measuring yourself to your buddy for the same period. It will be huge, right?

Most people have low standards and low expectations of themselves. They don’t strive for greatness and are okay as long as they are close, or on the same level as their circle.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

– Jim Rohn

Our whole lives are a direct reflection of who we compare ourselves to and the standards that we hold. This applies to profession and career path, but also appearances, relationships, finances and so much more. These are all governed by the standards we hold them to. If we have low standards and low expectations of ourselves, we won’t achieve anything of significance, and it will lead to merely average results.

Surprisingly, there is a science behind this madness. We often compare ourselves to our peer, to other people in our circle, to feel better about ourselves and to boost our self-esteem. It’s absolutely normal human nature! But it’s not doing us any good, and it’s actually preventing us from living up to our true potential. Stop playing inside of this comfort zone, raise your standards, and expect more. It only takes just a little bit of awareness and thinking bigger about yourself.

My take-away closing tip? Find a few idols within the different areas of your life, especially where you have the most passion. It can be your special craft, career, finances, sports, health and fitness or interior design. Someone who is truly great and that you can look up to. Study what they do, how they do it, how they did it, and practice the lessons you learn. Be inspired by them and reach for their level of quality. Go for greatness!

Now let’s move forward…

– Casper Stang