Ishrat Pasha

Creating The Possibility of The Life You Love and Living it Powerfully

Category Archive : Marketing Articles

5 Changes in Your Habits That Will Help You Thrive

We’ve all found ourselves at the bottom at least once in our lives. We thought that everything’s ruined and there’s no going back. The truth is – there’s always going back. Moreover, it takes one to fall many times and feel like everything’s ruined to succeed in life.

If you feel like you have so much more potential in life, you need to do something about it. Understand that things won’t align as you want them on their own. You must put in a lot of effort and make things work.

The effort consists of lots of changes. If you’re not at the place you want to be right now, it means that you have a lot of things to change – starting with your mindset and ending with the material items around you that might be holding you back. 

Here are the five crucial steps to take if you want to thrive and reach your full potential in life.

1. Create a healthy routine

Pediatricians claim that babies and children are the happiest when their parents set a routine for them. If they have a precise time when they are supposed to eat, sleep, and play, they’ll grow happily. It’s similar with adults.

If you don’t already have a plan, this might be the right time to do it. Set up an exact time when you’ll wake up and have breakfast, set a time when you’ll go jogging and have a fixed time to go to bed. Ensure this isn’t after midnight, as your body needs 6-8 hours of sleep to function properly.

Avoid unhealthy foods, alcohol, and drugs. Having a healthy body means your brain will also work perfectly, and this is crucial for success. Set a routine that will be best for you, as this is the foundation for becoming successful.

2. Customize your home to fit your persona

Did you know that the place we live in symbolizes our mentality? Just look around right now, and if you see things you don’t like, you’re not walking towards success.

Do you have an old ottoman that you hate, but you’re not throwing it away because you feel like there’s no need? Little details like this make your life. You’re bound to them, and they create who you are. That little ottoman is you – you don’t want to throw it away and get a new one because that means you’re throwing away the old you. You’re scared of the change.

Instead, it’s best to invest in your environment, as this will create not just a new home but a new you. Invest in a new life!

3. Surround yourself with people you love

In the office, we can’t choose who we’re going to work with. What we can choose is who we’re going to spend time with after working hours. Every single one of us has toxic people around. You need to remove these people and surround yourself only with those you love.

Living in a toxic relationship with a person that’s dragging you down can be disastrous for you and the success you’re dreaming of. Sometimes it seems irrational, but you must lay some sacrifices to grow. That’s how life is, and you need to accept this as a fact.

Focus on your friends and family that you love. Spend more time with them after professional duties. Have lunch with your favorite colleague, or go to a park with your children. The laughter and enjoyment will fill you with positive energy, which is crucial for being productive.

“Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.” – W. Clement

4. Reprogram your thoughts

Did you know that we can literally program our minds? Nerves inside our brain love following patterns. They can be programmed to make your brain focus only on the things you like. Neurobiologists claim that this is easy to do if you put a little effort into it.

What you need to do is spend at least two weeks of constant thinking about success, a healthy lifestyle, being strong, and all the things you want to achieve. Your mind will start believing in this, and once you fully reprogram it, you’ll no longer focus on negative stuff.

Issues and obstacles that hit you on a daily basis will no longer affect you as before. If you reprogram your mind to be convinced that you’re destined to succeed, and only good things await you in the future, be sure that this is precisely what’s going to happen.

5. Accept challenges and be afraid of nothing

Do you know why most young athletes don’t make it to the big leagues? You often wonder how street basketball players are so amazing, and the NBA has players that seem much less skilled than these guys. The answer is – persistence.

Lots of people give up on the first road bump they encounter. One failure destroys their spirit, and they quit on their dreams. But, challenges are there to make the selection. Not everyone can be up for the job to become the best. Only those who know how to face challenges and overcome the obstacles will make it.

That means you need to accept challenges as part of life. Obstacles are only there to prove your worth – they mustn’t take you off the path.

Success is personal. It is different for everyone out there. You need to think about what it means for you and start building it for yourself. However, some things are universal, and you must implement them in your life.

A routine and healthy life is a must. Living in a perfect home and being surrounded by the people you love too. Reprograming your thoughts to think positively will help you tremendously, and understanding that life’s hard and lots of obstacles are going to come along the way is also helpful. Follow these steps, and success is inevitable.

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4 Reinvention Strategies Leaders Can Learn From Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde recently celebrated a milestone on July 13. The twenty-year-old movie franchise revolves around Elle Woods who wanted nothing more than to be married to Warner Huntington III, but the rejection she faced from him spurred her to reinvent and for us to fall in love with the buoyant blonde.

In many ways, each supporting character showcases reinvention traits in a peculiar way. Loose leadership lessons from reinventing can be found throughout this movie if you know where to find them.

1. Break Up With Negative Labels

Elle took charge of things after she was rejected by Warner whom she was so sure would propose to her. However, due to his political ambitions, Warner was looking to marry a Jackie, not a Marilyn. Hence her determination to disprove the negative label and that she could be a Jackie, triggered her desire to want to get into law school. Her aspirations spurred by a plan to get Warner back proved that if you set your mind on a goal or an activity, you can push past difficulties and accomplish it.

Elle took charge of things and in retrospect had the full potential for what it would take on the inside of her to get into law school but this would have all been lost had she not gone through her breakup. The popular saying, adversity is the mother of reinvention, plays throughout the movie and the steps she took to transform and shed the dumb blonde persona embodies that.

It’s important leaders get rid of any preconceived notions they have about themselves or those they lead as it prevents them from going to the next level opening the door to prejudice and self-sabotage

2. Don’t Quit

In her pursuit of gaining admission to Harvard law school, Elle went through a transformation going from self-doubt to self-confidence. Her confidence only came after going through this journey and gaining clarity on what she really wanted out of life, from others and herself. She discovers that there is more to life than just being pretty possibly a higher purpose. Her encounters with Paulette; fellow sorority sister Brooke Taylor Windham and Professor Stromwell further assured her of the need to carry on and the importance of vindicating herself when Professor Callahan propositions her. 

The confidence shift Elle went through meant she had to face her fears and have candid conversations with herself to keep her going even when it seemed tough and not worth it when quitting would have been the easier option. After all law school wasn’t a career path that she chose. She could have easily fallen back on her rich dad if all else failed. She persevered and taught us to never let anyone tell us, we’re not good enough or stand in our way as Warner tried so many times to tell her.

Quitting in the midst of adversity as a leader is not an option. You are responsible for carrying the team through to the other side in the good and bad times.

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” – Vince Lombardi

3. Friendships Matter

Elle’s inner circle made up of Margot, Serena, and Paulette was key to her success. Everyone needs a hype team. A team of people that will bring out the best in you by fueling your confidence especially when you’re at the brink of throwing in the towel. From her prep for the L.S.A.T. to the overwhelming support she got from her sorority sisters and subsequent times when she felt out of place, Elle found support from her inner circle and they made sure she didn’t give up supporting her through her highs and lows.  

Leaders need to have that inner circle that they can trust and who feel empowered to speak up when the leader is going astray. In addition, you need that confidante, that one person you can confide in. Elle ultimately had that in Emmett, she could trust him and he got her attention and further empowered her with his words of encouragement and affirmation.

4. Think Outside the Box

Elle Woods’ newfound confidence gave her the extra boost she needed to submit her law school application and thinking she didn’t have much going for her, knew she had to stand out. Her admissions video essay was a brilliant strategy that worked to her advantage as it made her stand out for the heavily coveted spot of admission to the prestigious Harvard law school.  

She highlighted and gave compelling reasons why she should be considered and it’s the same strategy leaders should follow when leading a team. You don’t always have to lead the same way it’s been done before, sometimes leadership decisions require taking an action that’s unconventional and you have to be comfortable with that and its outcome. 

Elle Woods says it best at her law school graduation when she states “…it is with passion, the courage of conviction and a strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world remembering those first impressions are not always correct, you must always have faith in people and most importantly you must always have faith in yourself.” 

It takes courage to go through a process of reinvention as Elle did, and life as we know it is about learning and adapting to new situations in both our personal and professional lives and the ability to evolve is a key leadership trait for success.

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Set Yourself Up for Success in 40 Minutes or Less

Confession: I am not a morning person—I never have been. As someone who consumes self-improvement content like a child eating popcorn by the fistful, I have read over and over that successful people don’t hit the snooze button. Still, shamefully, I always hit the snooze button, and usually more than once.

I am not one of those people who is energized and inspired from the moment my feet hit the floor; therefore, I refuse to believe that only those people can be successful. Over years of trial and error, I’ve come up with a simple routine that helps me get motivated, focused, and proves that you don’t have to be a “morning person” to make the most of your morning

Brain Warm-Up (10 min.)

The best way to shake the brain fog and ease yourself into the day is to get the gears grinding upstairs as soon as you’re ready to open your eyes. The best part is, you can do this while you’re still in bed! When your alarm goes off (whether it’s the first alarm or one of the three backup alarms you set), reach over and grab your source of brain fuel off the nightstand. 

Brain fuel can be anything from a sports article, to a sudoku puzzle, or a word search app on your phone. Journaling is a great way to wake up your mind—or watch a few clips from your favorite motivational speaker on YouTube; anything that will jump-start your thought train, works. Once you’ve finished your puzzle or completed an entry in your journal, you’ll have a little more clarity and awareness as you move into the day. 

Affirmations (5 min.)

Now that your mind is engaged, begin to remind yourself of your goals. Come up with and recite affirmations that will lead you toward what you want to achieve for the day, week, month, or year. Whether it’s a long-term career goal, or an aspiration to do better in your relationships, reminding yourself of those intentions establishes a foundation for focus and motivation.  

Body Warm-Up (10 min.)

Ok, time to get moving. The body warm-up is not exercise per se, it’s just something to get your blood flowing. It can be as structured or as loose as you would like, as long as it’s effective in energizing you. Do some high kicks and hip twists—jumping jacks are great, or take a stroll around your backyard. 

If you’re lacking inspiration, look at your favorite workout routines and replicate some of the low-impact moves in your bedroom or living room. If you want more structure, spend five minutes stretching and then go for a five-minute walk. Again, you’re just trying to move your body enough to level up your energy. 

“If you win the morning, you win the day.” – Tim Ferriss

To-Do List (10 min.)

Writing down your tasks for the day is essential. Making a to-do list encourages you to maintain focus. If all of your important tasks are written down in front of you, it becomes easier to allocate your time and successfully manage your day. I’ll tell you my secret to making to-do lists: keep it simple. 

Don’t set yourself up for failure by jotting down a number of things you know you can’t complete in one day. To-do lists should be manageable and bring a feeling of relief, not a feeling of dread. Don’t forget to double-check that all your to-do’s line up with your intentions for that day and are on track with your goals. 

Two-Minute Tasks (5 min.)

If you have a chore or a task that takes two minutes or less to do, do it now. Things like: emptying the dishwasher, scheduling a dentist appointment, or placing an online order for more of those special treats your dog likes, usually fall into this category. Most people procrastinate in performing these types of menial tasks because they see no serious consequence if they get put off until later. 

But when small tasks start to pile up, they can cause a big problem, cluttering up both your mental space and your physical space. Get the easy stuff out of the way first so you can focus on the bigger stuff. When I don’t have any two-minute tasks, I usually spend this time straightening up a messy room in the house, or I log into my email and do a quick clean-up of my inbox. If you’re able to get a couple of things off your plate before your day even gets started, you’ll feel more empowered to take on whatever lies ahead.

Personalize It

Play around with the above routine to see what works for you. Maybe you prefer to get your body moving first because everything gets easier from there. If starting the day with affirmations sets you in the right mindset, do that. Don’t overcomplicate the routine by pushing yourself too hard. If you’re not a reader, watch a TedTalk for brain fuel. If you’re not able to come up with your own affirmations, find some examples online. Use this series of actions as a base to build your motivation in the mornings and then customize as needed. Set yourself up for success regardless of when your day gets started.

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5 Step Blueprint You Need to Embody for Next Level Success

As leaders, we know success is a habit. We create success from a set of behaviors that we repeat over and over again until it becomes our second nature. But how do we navigate to the next level when we feel stuck?

In my career as a Success Coach, I’ve worked with incredible clients at various levels of their professional career and entrepreneurship ventures. The most consistent commonality between all those who felt stuck for some time is that they had a hard time seeing themselves as a success. 

Not seeing yourself as a successful leader, or not feeling successful, drastically slows down your progress of getting to that next level of success. You undermine your abilities. You end up quitting things too soon. You settle for less. This makes a direct impact on your professional advancement, influence, and of course, financial success. 

Seeing yourself as a successful leader, and feeling successful, is the key to building more success. It is the lasting foundation for your growth and incredible outcomes. It’s what makes your impossible goals possible. 

Follow this 5-step blueprint on how you can feel successful so that you can elevate to your next level of success quicker. 

1. Put your personal life first

Start at the foundation level. How is your personal life? Is your personal life taking the back seat because of your career? Most leaders believe that to achieve the next level of success in their careers, their personal life should be sacrificed. But the fact is, personal life is the foundation of your professional success. 

When you’re surrounded by people who don’t value you, or when you don’t have the right support system, you start to see yourself as the way you’re being treated. You stop feeling like you can achieve anything you want. You start seeing yourself as someone that you are not. You start feeling drained from keeping up with those invalidating relationships that take up a lot of energy and effort. 

A great personal life and healthy, supportive relationships, spring you forward to get the best results. So start evaluating your personal life. Do people around you believe in you? Are people around you happy for your success? Do things in your life give you energy and motivation to continue moving forward? Your happiness in your personal life will influence how you approach your career. So make the most of it! 

2. Celebrate the smallest wins, and tell people about them

Our thoughts influence our decisions. These decisions lead to success. It is a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Unfortunately, so many leaders have trouble celebrating their wins. Many freezes up thinking that it is a fluke. Some even feel aggravated even after a huge win. This makes a direct impact on their performance, team management, and even financial results. 

This is why celebrating your accomplishments is so important. No matter where you are, landing your first customer in your business or getting your dream job, you have to celebrate every step of the way. There are no flukes. Everything happens for a reason. Success is always repeatable. Make sure to notice them all, talk about them with the right people, reinforce the feeling that you’re on the right track, and you’re someone who always has luck on their side.

The smallest wins are the best wins. This goes from finally finding your favorite hairdresser, having positive interactions in a networking event, finding your niche, landing your first clients, to having an incredible adventure with your loved ones… Celebrations are the key to feeling successful. So keep celebrating.

“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” – Tony Robbins

3. Keep a journal log of your activities and your accomplishments

Feeling successful is about positive reinforcements. Keeping a journal log of your activities and your accomplishments is a great way to create these positive reinforcements. A journal provides you with an opportunity to reflect on the day’s events, accomplishments, and lessons learned. Journaling can be a valuable tool in many aspects of your life- not just personal development.

Creating a journal log doesn’t have to be complex. You can start by asking simple questions. Were there any activities you did that made you feel accomplished and proud of yourself? What were some of the highlights for the day? What steps did you make towards your goal today? 

Have a special notebook of all the ways you did something right, how you celebrated, and writing them down in this special journal will help you get a major pick-me-up on those bad days you may face, helping you get into a positive momentum again, faster. Keep writing down anything that you know people around you will want to celebrate with you. Keep reinforcing!

4. Treat failures as a series of experiments

Our brains haven’t changed much. Yet, we have to learn to navigate this modern world with this archaic brain.  It makes sense from the cavemen days when not noticing a danger or a problem would have cost our species! Our brains are archaic, and it’s designed to notice problems more than the positive. So it makes sense why our brains cannot handle failures very well. 

But the truth is that failures are great! You’ve tried something and you got feedback, and now you can take action based on that data. Take it from Bob Ross: “We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.” Each try gets you closer to that successful outcome! So fail fast, fail forward, and laugh about it with your loved ones!

So consider every failure as an experiment. The more you try something, the better you get at it. The more you practice, the more you learn, the better you become. There are no real failures. There are no mistakes. Every failure simply means an opportunity to get closer to where you want to be much faster. 

5. Give yourself compliments and receive them

Leaders tend to be their own harshest critics. It’s not easy to compliment yourself. But compliments are the best way to boost our self-confidence and to continue the positive reinforcement. It is also a great way to keep yourself motivated.

So how do we give compliments to ourselves without sounding arrogant? Be your own best cheerleader! When you’re receiving compliments, it will be written or verbal. But it is from you to yourself, just write it out! Bombard yourself with compliments. Every time you “fail,” every time you recover, every time you win, no matter how small. You are awesome, and that’s why you are on the path to, and ridiculously deserving of, everything your heart desires.

Follow these 5 steps, feel successful, and see for yourself how fast your world changes!

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The Daily Habits of 40 Highly Successful Business Leaders

Success doesn’t just happen. Instead, it’s something you plan for. And that requires finding the right balance between those big long-term goals and the short-term objectives that will keep you on the right path.

Supergenius Elon Musk wakes up with one goal in mind: putting humans on Mars. But what does he do every day to turn that dream into a reality? OnDeck decided to investigate. The small business loan provider examined the daily work routines of 40 highly successful business owners.

Like Musk, most of today’s most successful business leaders exploit the body’s natural rhythms to optimize their daily output. In other words, the early bird really does catch that worm. Musk, Richard Branson, and Slack co-founder Cal Henderson are all in the office before 7.00 am. They direct their early morning energy and brain power toward catching up on emails, meetings, and strategic planning sessions.

Tiny Capital founder Andrew Wilkinson does things a little differently. A self-confessed night-owl, Wilkinson rarely wakes up before midday. He heads into the office at about 1 pm, where he works for around 5-6 hours. Wilkinson might put in a few more hours during the late evening, but only if he’s in the mood. And Wilkinson never, and we mean really ever, clocks on during the weekend.

Billionaire tech investor Mark Cuban is another highly successful business owner who believes the quality of your work always trumps quantity. He works less than 6 hours a day and is always out of the office by early afternoon. “Judge yourself by the targets and goals you hit,” says Cuban. “Not the number of hours you work.”

Unfortunately, Cuban and Wilkinson are the exceptions. On average, these 40 successful business leaders work 10 hours a day. And those long days can take their toll, especially during highly stressful periods. That’s why scheduling in some downtime is just as important as making room for late-night phone calls and strategy meetings.  

Your daily routine isn’t just a schedule; it’s a roadmap to success. So check out how the rest of these inspiring business leaders plan their days.

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How I Turned an Unpaid Internship Into a Business

Not every internship works out, let alone an unpaid internship. Internship experience can range from coffee runs to hands-on project management. Regardless of the actual responsibilities you have in your role, an internship is what you make of it. My most successful internship was the one I took straight out of graduate school that inspired the idea behind a big-name Hollywood entertainment business.

I sold the business that would turn into Gofobo.Com to Terry Hines and Associates before even turning thirty. It’s one of my greatest achievements, and the story of how I got to the finish line might come as a surprise. My journey of success did not start with a trust fund, but with an unpaid internship and a “no.” 

The origin lies in pushing myself during every stage of my life— from working the paper route as a child, being a janitor in my high school, to signing up for countless other volunteer positions as a young adult. This tenacity reared its head as I began to encounter roadblocks that now serve as a cornerstone in one of my earliest success stories.

No Job is Too Small

I took an unpaid internship at Allied Entertainment after I got my MBA, promoting movie screenings and mailing paper tickets to those who secured them. Sorting through movies like Harry Potter and The Notebook in the backroom, noting who actually showed up and who did not. A seemingly menial task, right? 

The thing is: being down in the nitty-gritty of this kind of work is the best way to see what’s going right or wrong. I was the one to notice that at screenings we would either have too many or too few people show up. In the growing digital age, I realized this was a prime moment to transition to electronic tickets. In short: my “aha” moment may have happened on unpaid time, but boy did it pay off.

Good ideas are good ideas, and they come from everyone in the workplace. After all, it is the lack of confidence that will shrink you down, not your job title. If you treat your work like it is insignificant, you will feel insignificant yourself. However, if you treat every action like it can be groundbreaking, it will be. The sooner you take that lesson, the sooner you will see results.

Go Against the Flow, It’s Worth It

I brought the idea of electronic tickets to the CEO of the company, absolutely itching with eagerness. After all, who wouldn’t want that easy data at their fingertips? Well, apparently not him— or at least not yet. He brushed it off, saying to keep going about business as usual. It’s easier to do things as they have always been done. 

This didn’t sit right with me though. My business motto has always been to give my 100% effort, even if that means undertaking a more daunting task. Only then can you expect and see results. It’s the way I live my life most authentically: giving it my 100% over and over again. After all, hard work pays off; there’s a reason why that cliche exists in the first place. The idea of just continuing along one path because it’s the most familiar felt like a long-winded oversight. 

Faith unshaken, my vision of these electronic tickets just couldn’t go away. I knew it would make a splash in the market and was in an area no one else had explored yet. So, I went down the discouraged path and carried on with my idea anyway. I reached out to a friend from college who was similarly excited about the future of this project and we got to work. 

“There’s no shortage in remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin

Be Relentless

I trusted my gut feeling that the CEO’s “no” wasn’t a dead end. I recognized I had done the research and that my concept wasn’t foolhardy, but relentless. And being relentless ends in results. 

I know firsthand that putting in the time and effort will help see a project through. I’ll be up at the crack of dawn to get my projects finished as soon as possible, trying to check as many things off a list as I can. That’s right, I was that kid in college who finished his homework for the whole semester over the first two weekends so I can spend the rest of my time focusing on other extracurriculars.

So, over the course of two years, we worked hard. We got up early and stayed up late. Ran our pencils dull as our eyes glossed over computer screens. And thank goodness we did.

Stay Good-Natured and Listen

This story ends when I’m in my late 20s, standing in a boardroom at the end of my two years of persistent work— no longer the unpaid intern. I was an accomplished businessman face to face again with the original man that told me to drop the idea behind This time, however, I had sold the idea of and it merged with Alliance Entertainment, becoming what it’s known for today. That’s when he told me he’d “never turn me down again.”

Make a name for yourself this way. Don’t be afraid to be bold— one day those who doubted you will no longer be your superior, but your equal. Forge partnerships with everyone. Every individual in your company is valuable with their own unique, original, and potentially groundbreaking ideas who deserve to be heard and taken seriously. 

Yes, even the unpaid intern.

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5 Mindset Shifts Leaders Can Use To Avoid Hitting The Wall

It is so hard for business owners and leaders to switch off in today’s modern world. Technology and customer impatience is constantly vying for our attention at all hours of the day. Yes, we know customers are our turnover king, but there needs to be a cut-off point to our working day to avoid the dreaded burnout. Mindset shifts play a big part in our decision making.

I faced the same mindset shift challenges several years ago. I was heading a business that was all supply and demand. We supplied, and the customers demanded our immediate attention and service. It was a waste recycling business with many moving parts, at times many broken-down ones too. Because of this, we were playing catch up which caused daily problems and disruption to everyday pressures.

As leaders, our conditioned mindset has always taught us to make hay while the sun shines. Nothing about any detrimental consequences is thought of or mentioned. Leaders consider themselves to be tough cookies and resilient as core values.

Leaders Must Wear Multiple Hats

As a private company, I assumed many roles as one of the prominent leaders. I was heading sales, operations, marketing and financial budgets. In larger companies, there would have been individuals responsible for each role. Not in some private sectors, unfortunately. We needed to be agile, be able to think on our feet in an instant but constantly. 

There is only so much of this constant barrage of work responsibility you can take on before it becomes overwhelming as a human being, never mind a leader. The thought of ever being tired gets airbrushed over quickly without consideration for one’s mental wellbeing. Before you know it, a jolt in proceedings comes quicker than expected. I can vouch for that.

My Face Dropped On One Side: What Was Happening?

In my case, that came in some downtime for me, my co-leader colleague and our two boys. We both attended a sporting event on what we termed as a lad’s and dads’ night. I had an excruciating headache come on rapidly. At half time we got some food and drink; as I bit into my hotdog, my son said, dad, your mouth looks very funny. It felt funny, too; as I took a drink, it dribbled down the side of my face, I became anxious and worried instantly.

After the game, I decided to go to the hospital and get checked over. The doctor confirmed I had “Bell’s Palsy.” A term I had not heard of before, as your face drops on one side, it appears as a stroke on your face. It was a wake-up call for me after six years into growing a business. As I asked the doctor what causes this type of condition, his reply startled me. To put it in simple terms, he echoed, “you have hit the wall”. Another term is “Burnout”; if you do not take stock and slow down somewhat, it may lead to other adverse severe things in the future.

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

It Was Time To Change My Mindset As A Leader.

I had a significant decision to make; I could not let exponential growth and success come between me and my health. I could not allow this to happen at any price, and nor should you. I needed to apply a mindset shift to lighten my load. 

The meaning of “Mindset” from the Definitions from Oxford Languages is “the established set of attitudes held by someone”. My business attitude was you do what you need to do no matter what. It was not the right formula anymore. I needed to apply a more realistic approach that would not cause any more distress on myself than required.

I was in a situation I had never experienced before. At times like this, you need to delve into your innermost feelings, thoughts & even your subconscious spirituality for the answers. Questioning your inner self-belief of still being able to grow and progress forwards is always at the back of your mind. I formed a mindset shift plan, and it was time to put it into action to become a better me and showcase my leadership qualities.

Here Are The Five Mindset Shift Changes I Made. 

I needed to empower more people to take on some responsibility. There was plenty of staff around me; I tested the waters with some and gave them more responsibility. As they took them on successfully, I entrusted them to do the job as they saw fit. I encouraged them to confide in me any problems they were unsure of tackling. Most prominent leaders find this the hardest of all to relinquish. 

I Turned Off or Diverted My Phone at Night. Being a medium-sized private business with 400 employees at various sites across the portfolio. Everyone had my number; as a business operating 24 hours a day, I would get calls at all hours of the night. Switching off or diverting my company phone was the only answer. I could no longer take the weight of the business on my shoulders at all hours of the day and night; it was time to rest my mind.

I Went To Bed Earlier & Rested More. I decided to adopt good sleeping hours after doing some research. I read that an hour or two of sleep before midnight could be worth double the amount of deep sleep. It also meant I could get the recommended 6-9 hours (I didn’t get prior) of rest needed for optimum benefits whilst helping my circadian rhythm.

I Made More Time For My Family and Me. There is no use having a wonderful life, house, car or holidays whilst working without giving the essential things like family & me time some consideration. In moments like hitting the wall, more essential priorities need consideration to enjoy life longevity free of burnout. 
I Learned Meditation. I was finding it hard to switch off at night. As a result, I suffered many nights without good sleep. After researching the calming influence meditation can have on your mind and body, I decided it was worth a try. I felt silly at first. Spirituality or spiritual healing was not something I considered before; I only wish I did it sooner. I continue to use meditation today; it has become a valuable part of my personal growth development. It can certainly help yours too.

Let my experience be one you don’t need to face for a wake-up call. Use my mistakes and my mindset shift changes to help make your abundant and pressurized work-life schedule easier as a leader.

One question you should always be prepared to ask yourself. Suppose you were to become seriously ill today. Would your business or work role continue in your absence? If the answer is no, can you allow others to assume more responsibility sooner? If your answer is, yes? Why are you still putting yourself through the strenuous burnout process longer than is needed?

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How to Create Meaningful Momentum Fast for Real Change

Change can be difficult for anyone, but when you’re looking to shift your life quickly and make it last, there are specific actions you can take that will enhance your chances of success. The thing that will give you the most momentum the quickest is celebrating the small wins with each step you take toward lasting change. Here’s how you do it.

Make the decision

This may sound simple, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. How many times in the past have you wanted to change something about your life but you claimed you weren’t ready yet? Or maybe you just put off making the changes until some date in the future that came and went faster than you anticipated, so you didn’t follow through?

Making the decision is a non-negotiable, irrevocable choice that you commit to. There’s no room for readiness to seep in and sabotage your efforts because you’re willing to make the leap whether you’re ready or not. It’s this level of commitment that makes the difference between temporary and permanent change because you don’t just make the decision once. You have to make the decision over and over again every time you want to give up or turn around. 

This is one of the most important and powerful skills that you’ll learn how to implement in your life. And once you harness it, you can use it to create change at a faster rate than ever before.

Change environmental factors

It’s really hard to allow yourself to be different within the same space you’ve been occupying. That doesn’t mean you have to move or completely upend your environment to create change. But it does mean that you need to look at your environment and ask yourself these two questions:

What in my environment is supporting the change I want in my life?

What in my environment is hindering the change I want in my life?

By asking these questions and taking an honest inventory, you might be surprised by what needs to change in your environment to meet your new needs. Maybe you simply need a new houseplant or to make sure the dishes are cleaned every night before bed. Maybe you need a new organizational box to keep your toiletries orderly. Or maybe you have a couch you hate that needs to be replaced. Whatever the case may be, making the changes these insights offer you will help you get closer to making lasting changes.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

Shift your habits

Now that you’ve addressed your mindset and your environment, it’s time to look at how you’re behaving. All of these elements work in concert with one another to create change. They don’t stand up to the test of time on their own. So the next thing you need to address is how you be. 

When shifting your habits, you have to be conscious of what you’re doing. You have to take things off of autopilot and make intentional choices. You may need to shift one habit at a time, or you might need to make radical changes all at once. Either way you approach it, spending 60 – 90 days of intentional action will help you shift the old patterns out and build new autopilot behaviors. This requires dedication to the process and a commitment to the change. But every time you choose the behavior you want to express in your life, you build momentum to carry forward.

Give up excuses

This is one of the top sabotaging behaviors that can derail your progress if you’re not careful. Excuses don’t show up and tell you to throw everything you’ve worked for thus far away. Excuses tell you to break your commitment just this once. The problem is that once you’ve broken your commitment to yourself, it’s difficult to go back to keeping it. 

There will always be a reason to go backward. Traumas, fears, and tough times will show up, and you’ll want to revert to your comfort zone. Don’t. If you don’t learn how to hold your new standards of change when things are tough, then they won’t become part of you, and you’re reaching to do better because you’re ready for the next level you. So stick to the decision you made and commit to this new version of your life.

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3 Smart Ways Leaders Can Discourage Hustle Culture

Hustle culture is harmful and not good for the mind, body, soul, or for your family and friends. In the moment, hustling can seem like the only way to accomplish certain goals you’ve set for yourself in your personal, entrepreneurial, or professional pursuits. However, the long-term effect can be detrimental. The constant state of being on the go can only take one so far before the negative effects begin to set in.  Despite what we think, we are not powered by batteries like the energizer bunny. We’ll need to rest and recharge.

A viral hashtag that celebrates hustle culture #Teamnosleep is one of the many ills of this trend. Studies have indicated that sleep deprivation affects the brain and exhibits like one who is intoxicated. Studies out of the University of Central Florida have concluded that “sleep is essential for business leaders seeking next successful venture.” The study further states that “sleep plays an essentially important role in not only identifying a good business idea but in evaluating it and believing it is viable.”

According to CNBC, Goldman Sachs junior investment bankers are reporting working 100-hour weeks and fielding unrealistic demands from their bosses. This workload has affected Goldman Sachs’ team’s mental and physical health and is creating a culture of underperformance.

It’s not just Goldman Sachs. Elon Musk has shared his views on what a successful work week looks like, and it’s in the same range. This attitude of constantly pushing and an attempt to force more productivity is not authentic leadership and tends to diminish productivity. It’s the quickest way to lose key performers and build an unhealthy workplace culture. 

Here are 3 smart ways leaders can discourage hustle culture today.

1. Stop Engaging in Celebrating a Culture of Burnout

Leaders and influencers need to start taking responsibility for their role in the hustle as this will ultimately lead to burnout. Arianna Huffington best details this in her account of that fateful night that caused her to have a shift in perspective, “after my collapse from sleep deprivation and exhaustion in 2007 I became more and more passionate about the connection between well-being and performance. And as I went around the world speaking about my experience, I saw two things: First, that we’re facing a stress and burnout epidemic. And second, that people deeply want to change the way they work and live…”

Leaders in organizations need to start leading by example in the workplace. It starts with being intentional in simple things like when meetings are scheduled. For example, avoid setting up a work meeting at 5:00 pm that sends the wrong message. There will be exceptions but this should be a rare occurrence and not the norm. Leaders should also respect the lunch hour. Leaders should take a vacation and encourage this especially in the wake of the current pandemic. Even if it’s a staycation, a mental health break is beneficial for all.  When this trickles from the top down, employees are less likely to feel guilty for taking a vacation day. If at all possible, encourage time blocks where meetings cannot be scheduled, so employees can get work done and not feel the need to work after hours to catch up. 

“Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.” – Michael Gungor

2. Prioritize What’s Important

It’s not possible for anyone unless those that wear a cape to be productive or be at their optimal performance with an extended hustle mentality. It’s just not sustainable neither will it do anyone any good when the so-called hero burns out. Hustling affects our focus and actual productivity, so it’s better as leaders to prioritize what’s important for teams. 

When an organization’s yearly strategic initiatives are outlined and circulated, it is important teams adhere to these making it easier to prioritize any work and saying no to projects that don’t align; hence, removing the need for heroics by any one team or individual within a team. No leader or employee alike should feel like they should be turned on 24/7. Poor choices and decisions will be made as there is no room for prioritizing sleep, exercise, or healthy eating, which is needed to stay well and avoid the long-term effects of prolonged elevated state of cortisol experienced with the hustle culture.

3. Have An Open Door Policy

Employees should not feel that they are being measured by the hours they put into work; therefore, this should not come into play in their performance appraisal. If your direct reports see you grinding, it’s only natural that they’ll follow suit. It may not be your intention, but it’s unfortunately the outcome of the behavior seen modeled. Instead, make it easy for your direct reports to speak to you at any time, most importantly at times when they feel stress on the job. Granted this isn’t the norm and is a shift in most workplace culture, but could be very beneficial if these types of behaviors become the norm rather than the rare occurrence.  There should be no fear of a negative backlash for waving a white flag for help.  

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Gratitude Is the Key to Financial Success

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted our lives in ways most of us never imagined could be possible. COVID-19 didn’t just affect us physically. It also affects us emotionally and financially. Yet not all these effects were bad. It also prompted us to feel grateful. For some, gratitude was a coping mechanism. For others, gratitude meant focusing on what they had instead of what they lost.

We’ll be very happy to let go of many habits we developed during coronavirus lockdowns. But this habit is not just one to keep. It’s also one to apply to other areas of your life. Gratitude for what you have alters your financial perspective in several ways. After all, financial success often isn’t about getting more. Instead, financially successful people usually know how to hold onto what they have. An attitude change could unlock this secret in your life.

Direct Effects of Gratitude

Most advertisers attempt to trigger emotional responses which prompt people to buy certain products. For example, many car commercials say almost nothing about the vehicle advertised. Instead, the commercials focus on product use, like fun road trips, which trigger that emotional response.

Gratitude redirects these emotional responses. If you are grateful for the vehicle in your garage and the road trips you’ve been on, you are less likely to reach out to a dealer. 

Instant gratification impulses are a related issue. When you drive by a fast-food restaurant on your way home after a long day, you are most likely tempted to pick up dinner. This decision is also rather easy to rationalize. Latent advertising effects remind us of the convenience that fast food offers.

Gratitude eases these temptations. One recent study indicated that gratitude increases patience and makes delayed gratification more appealing. On a related note, gratitude decreases impulse buying. The carefully-displayed products at grocery stores look much less appealing if you are grateful for the food which is already in your refrigerator.

Hedonic Adaptation is a closely-related concept. Essentially, we all have a base happiness level. Life’s ups and downs do not permanently change this baseline. We simply feel better, or worse, for a brief period of time. Admittedly, that “brief period of time” could seem like an eternity in some cases.

So, gratitude helps you avoid the buying-happiness trap. Once we realize that acquisition is just a quick fix, we normally look inward for happiness.

There are other direct effects as well. For example, gratitude usually increases generosity. In this context, “generosity” doesn’t necessarily mean giving things away. Instead, generosity is more about respecting the people in your life who have had a positive impact. This respect usually prompts people to make a positive impact in other people’s lives.

Such generosity always comes back to you. Some people call it karma. Others call it reaping what you sow or paying it forward. This benefit could be financial. Generosity also makes you memorable to others, so they are more likely to think of you when they are hiring, need a contractor, and so on.

“Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think. So start each day by thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for.” – Dale Carnegie

Indirect Effects

As mentioned, gratitude is often related to respect. This respect includes self-respect. Several studies suggest that grateful people have better diets, exercise more, sleep better, and otherwise take care of themselves. So, they have fewer illness symptoms. Better physical health and lower materialistic impulses is a good combination for anyone.

What does this combination mean to your finances? Gratitude increases productivity. Instead of worrying about your health or your next purchase, you are focused on the task at hand.

Financially successful people usually make good decisions and have strong willpower. Gratitude supports these traits.

There have been a number of delayed gratification experiments over the years. For example, study participants might have a choice between a $50 payment today and a $75 payment in thirty days. These studies consistently show that people who are grateful for what they have and can resist immediate “get more now” impulses are happier and more productive.

On a related note, bosses know how much simple expressions of gratitude increase productivity. One former President of the United States noted that Congressmen and Senators were much more likely to back controversial new proposals if he thanked them for their support of a previous initiative. The evidence is not just anecdotal. One study suggested that such expressions increased a work team’s productivity by 50 percent.

How to Be More Grateful

Knowing the benefits of gratitude is one thing. Incorporating gratitude into your daily life is something else. How can you unlock these benefits and reap the financial benefits they bring?

Toward the end of every day, write, don’t type, five events or things that you are grateful for. The items themselves aren’t necessarily important. These lists help convince us that overall, life is pretty good. That understanding is usually the foundation of gratitude.

Allow your mood to affect your decisions. When you are feeling good, that’s a good time to make spending decisions. Make an extra IRA contribution or donate some money to charity. Later, if you feel depressed, you are less likely to spend money frivolously, since you have already “spent” it elsewhere.

Finally, focus on the positive aspects of your everyday life. Avoid negative people and negative social media posts. The positive energy these habits generate make it easier to be a grateful person.

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3 Habits That Will Turn You Into A High Performer

Cracking the code to truly unlock your potential in life or in business has been researched by many over the years. Everyone is looking for the “secret” to success. The truth is, the outcome of our pursuits in life comes down to the choices we make on a daily basis. Do we choose to play Xbox, watch reality tv and binge hours of Netflix or do we choose the things that are going to move the needle in our lives?

See, we are at choice from the moment we wake up to the moment we hit the sack. Therefore, choosing our time wisely is the most crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to success. Making the right choices will allow you to create the space to incorporate daily habits that will catapult you forward in life and in business.

Here are 3 habits that will turn you into a High Performer.

1. Creating Space for Inner Work

Taking the time to self-reflect and meditate is one of the most profound experiences one can bring into their life. Not only will you begin to discover aspects of our life that you weren’t aware of but you will begin to gain the ability to manifest all your dreams and desires.

Not to mention, meditating on a daily basis increases inner wellbeing and joy. Two things that are absolutely crucial to become successful. If all of your time is spent in emotional disarray, it will be very difficult to progress. Meditation can help one remove the emotional drama from their life.

Once you begin to approach your life with your emotions kept aside, when you need them kept aside, you will see your life change in many profound ways. Note, the goal isn’t to remove emotions from your life and become a robot but to gain mastery over them and not let them rule your life.

2. Exercise and Healthy Diet

Creating space in your life for rigorous physical activity can enhance your life in many ways. Not only will you begin to hit goals you may have sought in the appearance department, but you will begin to get more focused. When you’re exercising on the daily, your energy levels rise. It becomes easier and easier to get in motion every day. It simply comes down to the law of inertia: an object in motion, stays in motion. 

If that isn’t amazing enough on its own, throw in a healthy diet and now you have a recipe for unlocking some serious potential. No pun intended. In order to truly focus on your more productive tasks, you need to maintain mental clarity. It becomes an uphill battle to maintain that mental clarity if you are giving your brain and body the right fuel. It’s like putting the gasoline in a car that takes diesel.

When you put food in your body with little to no nutrition, your body has to go into overdrive just to process it. So not only are you not getting the nutrients you need but now a huge portion of your energy is being directed to your digestive system just to pass the food through. If all your energy is spent on digestion alone, your brain will be left high and dry.

“A high performer is someone who says, I want to be the best at what I’m doing.” – Brendon Burchard

3. The Not To-Do List

Everyone and their mother will tell you to focus on your list of tasks if you want to be highly productive. But when we make our lists of tasks, we are only adding things to do into our daily routine. If we are adding things that are going to move the needle in our lives, we need to make room and subtract the things that don’t.

This was picked up from Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins. The Not To-Do List is a list of things that you are not going to do anymore. The list of things that you are certifying, by writing them down, that you will no longer take part in.

It could be a plethora of things like not going on social media during the daytime, not watching tv during the week & not hanging out with friends so much when you have things to do (especially if they’re toxic, then they sadly take the boot). It’s incredibly important to start holding yourself accountable by bringing some awareness to where your time is going. If you want to be successful, understand that TIME is your most valuable asset.

The Bottom Line

The truth is there is no real secret to success. Everyone has their own way of approaching their ambitions in life. But in order for us to figure out how we are going to get there (which there really is no destination, it’s a lifelong journey) we need to begin to start from within.

We need to peek inside ourselves, begin the work and simultaneously start taking action towards creating the lives we truly desire. Devise the plan of attack, make the commitment and TAKE ACTION. Emphasis on the action because most people will do the first two and never follow through and it leads them down the road of misery and unfulfillment.

Whether you become successful or not doesn’t depend on who you are so much as the choices you decide to make day in and day out, every minute of every day. And just know, habits like these are like tinder just waiting for you to set you ablaze.

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Brain Dump: A Powerful Method for Increasing Productivity

As solopreneurs, we are susceptible to overthinking. With the number of things we have to juggle, we can easily get overwhelmed. You need ways to release the torrent of thoughts swirling around your head to be able to regain clarity for solving problems. That’s where the brain dump comes in. In today’s article, I’m going to talk about the purpose of a brain dump, some of the benefits, and tips for success with this powerful exercise.

What Is It and What’s the Purpose

You may have heard the term, but what effectively is a “brain dump”? Simply put, a brain dump is an exercise that helps you release the endless stream of thoughts you’ve accumulated over the course of the day onto some external medium. Think of a brain dump as metaphorically taking out the garbage. Once the trash gets full you have to take it out before it overflows or starts to stink, which then can affect the cleanliness of your home. 

In much the same way, a brain dump serves as a removal of the garbage in your head. Let’s face it, most of the thoughts we have are unproductive and cause unnecessary clutter, which can distract and fog up our mental lens. A brain dump can help you to regain focus and spark new creative ideas. The mental chatter will cease and you’ll feel physically lighter and energized. 

On a philosophical note, there’s no escaping the mind. Evolution has given us the gift of consciousness and for the ambitious thinkers of the world, sometimes our minds can overwhelm us. Naturally we have many thoughts about our experiences, some good and some bad. 

A lot of the time though, negative thoughts slip by unnoticed and they can cause perpetual frustration throughout the day. Rumination plays a large role in detracting from our emotional wellbeing. So many of us live outside of the present moment ruminating, for instance, on a less than ideal client interaction we’ve just had. As a means of letting those thoughts go, the brain dump exercise can be transformative.

How To Do a Brain Dump

Sit down, crack open your journal and start writing. It’s as simple as that. Now, you may find that in doing this, especially at first, it’s hard to start writing. Your mind may wander or you may procrastinate. What I’ve found to help get me going is to set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes. This creates a sense of urgency and gets you writing fast. There can sometimes be a barrier to entry with writing because you’re not sure how to start which causes procrastination. Having a timer is like an external accountability device to help you start.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time. And more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma


With this style of journaling, the goal is not necessarily to have creative breakthroughs or work through specific problems. Although as a byproduct of the exercise, you may get creative breakthroughs after the fact because you’ve emptied your mind allowing new ideas to flood in. However, the ultimate goal is to release all thoughts in a stream of consciousness style. You don’t have to worry about structure or grammar. It doesn’t have to follow any linear path, just write thoughts as they come to you and try to keep momentum without pausing.

You don’t need to worry about length either. If you feel clear after writing a half-page, one page or several, there is no right amount. The goal here is to cultivate a sense of emptiness and refreshment. The end result is increased clarity and focus. Once you start to feel lighter you can stop. This may sound like an indefinite way to go about it – feeling your way through, but you’ll know when you’ve reached that point. 

Tips for success

While doing a brain dump is relatively straight forward, I’ve provided a few tips to help you get more out of the exercise. 

Choose a specific time. I’ve found it helpful to do this exercise either at the end of the day or early in the morning. You may find that doing it at the end of the day is best because it clears your mind before bed and eases you into sleep. 
Choose your medium. I recommend writing in a journal, but if you find that typing works better for you then do that.
Get on a routine. Build a habit of sitting down and emptying your mind each day.

Benefits of the Brain Dump

There are many benefits derived from the brain dump. As mentioned above, its ability to refresh and help you regain clarity and focus is paramount especially for the number of problems we have to solve on a daily basis. Another benefit I’d like to mention is its ability to help you wind down from the day. I know a lot of solopreneurs including myself struggle with “turning off work mode”. How do you effectively wind down from the day to get restful sleep?

It’s challenging to turn off the problem-solving brain and get some shut-eye. This is where the brain dump may be more beneficial to you if done at the end of the day. Sit down with your journal away from any distractions and keep your writing space clutter-free. Put your phone and other devices to bed and block this time out for yourself. 

I hope you find this exercise helpful and a way to refresh your mind to increase clarity and focus while building your business. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again.” Add this exercise to your toolkit and do it every day to see the best results. Over time, it can be transformative for your productivity.

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Ishrat Pasha 2021