How To Create a Brand People Can't Live Without


At the end of the day, we're all just human beings sitting around the metaphorical campfire of our computers and devices, telling stories.

The companies that understand this intuitively are the ones that build brands that become empires. They create products and tools that we can't imagine living without, like Google or Apple.

If you ask someone about their Mac computer and why they bought it, they'd probably give you some pat answer--it's a great machine or it's really fast--and all these reasons are true. But they're not the basis of why people return to them over and over again.

Apple's classic advertising campaign, think different, is the calling card of a brand that sought to establish itself as the alternative to the status quo.

In the early days of the computer industry, big business and big technology set the standards, and conformity was the order of the day. Apple challenged these expectations and focused on individuality.

Apple products, with their firm embrace of the uniqueness of their users, speak to many of us--we were kids standing with our trays during lunch in the school cafeteria, wondering where we were going to sit.

Apple's brand has managed to connect to all of us weirdos, dreamers, visionaries, and daredevils.

By telling us it's okay to think different--essentially giving us permission--they're also telling us, it's okay if you don't know who you're going to sit with at lunch. We get it.

1. Take time to hammer out your story.

At the core of great brands are great stories.

In order to get people to fall in love with your product or service, you need a powerful story that is the foundation upon which everything is built.

This is important work. It's essential to take the time to flesh out the interior story of your company.

Do people use Google because it's just a fast search engine and gives you a ton of free digital services? Sure. But when Google first emerged as a search engine, there was something about that pristine white background, the simple colors, and the silly name that was able to connect with the inner Magellan, the inner explorer, of many of us.

Google zeroed in on the part of all of us that wanted to search and discover, even about the things we felt like we should already know, but don't.

2. Connect your story to the needs of your consumers--even the ones they never knew they had.

The biggest brands have aligned what they do to address certain fundamental aspects of the human condition.

They help people face their fears (Nike), celebrate their uniqueness (Apple) or embrace their desire to explore with abandon (Google).

These titans do more than just offer great services or products at competitive prices. They help us live fuller and more connected lives, giving us more time to spend on the things we really care about.

Just as in HBO's Westworld, when Anthony Hopkins' character explains why people return to the theme park, he is clear to assert that it's not for the obvious garish elements of the park,  such as the ability to rape and murder.

It's something more nebulous.

The character explains:

"They come back because of the subtleties. The details. They come back because they discover something they imagine no one had ever noticed before. Something they fall in love with. They're not looking for a story that tells them who they are. They already know who they are. They're here because they want a glimpse of who they could be."

This suggests that there's something about perhaps an antique latch on a window or the ability to wash one's face in a porcelain basin of water drawn from a well that touches people in ways that are deeply meaningful, connecting them with the profundity inherent in simplicity (something Google of course seized upon with their homepage).

3. Adapt your story into a brief slogan that reflects its core values.

It can be challenging to compress the motivating story of why your brand exists and why it's awesome into a few words. Under five words is always best. But you can do it.

There's something about your slogan that needs to gently touch upon the something missing but deeply desired within your consumer.

Nike's godfather of all slogans, just do it, isn't just a rallying cry to action and to face one's fears. It reminds the consumer--I know you're scared. It's normal. Do it anyway.

That's the foundation that people gravitate to, even though few of them realize it.

The best companies are the best storytellers.

They are able to relate to the pasts of their consumers and meet them on their level.

Such companies understand the struggles, disappointments, goals and yearnings of their customers.

They understand who their consumers wish they could be and who they almost are. And behind every product or service is a narrative that forges a human connection, no matter how subtle.

This article was originally published on Inc.

Oprah & Elon Musk Leave Big Tips, Here's Why You Should Too


Some years ago, the comedian Billy Crystal told me a story that forever changed the way I thought about my work in both the business and entertainment fields.

Billy described an incredible opportunity he had while getting his start in New York. He performed a show where a major producer was in attendance. This was someone who had already produced several Woody Allen films and had the leverage to take Billy's career to the next level.

According to Billy: The show went great and the crowd loved it. In my dressing room after the show, I got a knock on the door. It was that major producer. We started to talk and I asked him what he thought. He said, "The crowd loved you. But it wasn't for me."

The producer went on to tell Billy that he didn't get a sense of who he was as a person when he was onstage. He didn't "leave a tip."

This forever impacted the way Billy Crystal performed from that point on.

Think of those people who dominate their industries and notice how they manage to imprint their personalities on everything they can.

Ask yourself if you really feel like you know who they are as a person, or if their public persona is a mask they slip on and off.

Think about Robert Kiyosaki, Tiffany Haddish, Tony Robbins, and Oprah Winfrey. Are these people concealing aspects of their personality when they engage with others in their field?

A big resounding of course not.

They all leave a "tip." A "tip" is the something about you--your personality--that's memorable. It's that little bit extra you give of yourself.

With some clients, it can be easy to discover what someone's tip is--sometimes it's a raucous voice, other times it's a dry wit, other times it is a sweet grandfatherly manner (I once coached an executive who looked like William H. Macy's grandpa).

Realizing and accepting your tip allows you to elevate your work from good to great.

This is because you are allowing your inherent uniqueness to excel and that will always give you an advantage.

Often with people I coach, they say things like, "I need to make my voice sound less brash" or "I need to not throw in sarcastic one-liners during this meeting" or "I need to seem more powerful and less like someone's cute gramps."

The problem is that all these instincts are wrong. In fact, I wouldn't even refer to these ideas as "instincts" but more like panicked thoughts that tell you that being more generic, more like everyone else is the answer--and it's NEVER the answer.

When you figure out what your tip is and embrace it, resisting all urges to suffocate it, people are going to trust you more. This is pivotal. The reason they will inherently trust you more is that they think they know you or have an accurate sense of you.

They think they've gotten an idea of your internal landscape of who you are, and they have an idea of what to expect. This fosters the foundation of trust.

Keep in mind that embracing your tip is sometimes no easy task. Some clients I've worked with hate their tips, the way some people hate their profile or their height.

One of my clients, the one with the brash voice, hated the sound of her voice. She was always trying to sound more feminine and more "likable." I said her demeanor was likable enough. Her voice was a bit throaty and deep, but it was so unique. It was engaging. When she spoke, you always felt wide awake.

Hence, if you view your tip critically, it's likely that the rest of the world does not.

Of course, this doesn't mean you're going to land every account, woo every client successfully, or inspire every employee towards greatness.

It also does not mean everyone is going to like you, just as not everyone liked Joan Rivers, or not everyone likes Seth Meyers or Mark Zuckerberg, or Elon Musk.

The goal is not to be liked. It's to embrace the uniqueness of yourself, knowing it's not everyone's cup of tea.

Doing the work of discovering your tip and accepting it is always better than the alternative. The results you'll have in your career will be concrete proof.

This article was originally published on Inc.

Apple Asks This Insanely Awesome Interview Question That You Should Know How To Answer


A friend who has been a long-time market manager for Apple, and who oversees all new hires for Apple Stores in the Southwest market, recently told me the amazingly simple but powerful question that she asks all prospective Apple employees.

I thought it was brilliant and I have used it when interviewing all applicants for positions within my company.

"What's the best mistake you've ever made and what did it teach you?"

This question is so brilliant and offers razor-sharp insight into the inner workings of a person's mind because it immediately determines three fundamental things:

1. Can the applicant admit they've made mistakes?

This information is priceless. Making mistakes happens in the professional world multiple times a day, from all rungs of the ladder.

The mailroom intern makes them, as does the CEO in the corner office.

Despite how common mistakes are, a fair amount of people are averse to admitting they make them or realizing the lessons they have to learn.

Believe it or not, some applicants will actually flinch when they hear that question, as they are so uncomfortable with the idea of admitting they've made mistakes or thinking about past ones--they're obsessed with the notion that they must be perfect. Sometimes it's cultural.

2. Does the applicant understand that mistakes have value?

Some applicants will demonstrate they have no trouble admitting to past mistakes, but the notion that mistakes have something to teach them is clearly news to them.

They'll be able to recall past mistakes, but it's obvious they haven't done much introspection on what these mistakes forced them to learn, how they were ultimately useful, and how they changed and impacted their behavior or viewpoint.

3. Has the applicant spent time reflecting on their past mistakes and mining for the lessons they have to teach?

An ideal applicant won't need much time to think when answering this question. This person has already taken the time to recover from the embarrassment of their mistakes and to contemplate the lessons they learned.

Strong interviewees will show they've done both the practical and introspective work.

From a practical standpoint, interviewees know what methods/strategies to avoid/embrace in the future.

From a personal growth perspective, they've also learned something about themselves.

If you're ever in this situation during a job interview, you should discuss how you eventually addressed this mistake: was it on your own, with the help of a team, or through creative thinking? You should also explain how it may have been useful in solving other problems.

You might find that as you start to explain what you did wrong or what you miscalculated or overestimated, you feel embarrassed.

Sometimes, talking out loud to a stranger about a past mistake, you can suddenly find yourself turning red or your voice cracking and those same thoughts coming up--how on earth did I ever think that was a good idea?

The key is to show that you can take responsibility for your mistakes, as your mistakes are part of your journey.

In every mistake you've made there's a positive, and fun, aspect of your personality buried.

I help my clients use the power of their unique personalities to guarantee an interview win every single time they walk into the room: They won the job, they made it to the next round(s), they loved you and will bring you back in for another, perhaps better, position.

The No. 1 rule of every interview

Stop trying to please or guess what "they're" looking for. Assume "you" are who they're looking for, and bring yourself (personality) to the conversation.

The ability to amplify and share your personality is 90 percent of your success potential in any life endeavor.

Show your interviewer that you have the confidence and wisdom to talk openly about past mistakes, as you've evolved beyond them.

Don't be afraid to look like an asshole. Bravely embracing these past mistakes, connecting with them and the lessons they had to teach, helps you show people who you are in a job interview.

While you're not guaranteed to land the job, you are guaranteed to come off looking confident, stand out, and be a strong contender.

This article was originally published on Inc.

4 Easy Steps To Develop Game Changing Bravery


The consensus from every client who has achieved mega success--both celebrity actor and global entrepreneur--is that it doesn't get easier, you just get braver.

Bravery is the result of confidence developed from both repeated success and repeated failure.

Often the bravest people aren't the ones who have had all doors sail open and who have had their ideas welcomed with open arms all the time--they've actually had a mix of both.

Success can give professionals a sense of crucial validation. However, it is the failure that builds bravery.

Failure means you have to walk through the fire, and sometimes stay in it. It's either set one foot on the scorching coals or give up. After you walk, or sit, through the fire and come out the other end, you can't help but grow a spine of steel.

1. Start Small

One way to get braver is to push yourself out of your comfort zone in your daily life--in situations when it doesn't matter.

Ask that cashier how she's doing and what she had for lunch. Go up to a complete stranger and ask for sightseeing tips (even if you're a city native). Knock on a random neighbor's door and introduce yourself.

Small moves like these help you expand your sense of power, push through your fears of rejection, and allow you to abolish the perceived barriers that keep us all in the jail cells of our comfort zones.

Once you've taken small risks and built up your stamina, how about arranging a coffee date with a crush? Or walking up to that attractive person at the party/bar/networking event and introducing yourself?

The braver you start to behave, the more you will be open to taking bigger risks, even going after your own happiness no matter what.

2. Find a way to make it fun

If something isn't fun then you can be 100% sure that it's not working to its full potential.

If you take a second to give yourself permission to try some of your more out of the box ideas, it will often illuminate your situation in ways that nothing else can't.

For example, you might say, "today, I'm going to get my design inspiration from the local art museum/ice cream shop/petting zoo." Or you could say "today I'm going to show my product or idea to a child and get a young person's opinion.

Alternatively, if you're feeling very adventurous (and a little masochistic), pitch your idea or explain one of your goals to a teenager. On the other hand, determine which song or album best encapsulates your business, or idea, or latest goal? Is it Abbey Road? Dark Side of the Moon? The Black Album? 1989?

Try to connect your present endeavor to a song or album. Read about the band/artist and how they came up with it. What were they doing at the time? What inspired them to write it?

You'll be surprised to find that the artist(s) probably endured challenges similar to the ones you're facing or have faced.

Ultimately, you will be reawakening the original fun for your work that you may have lost.

3. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone

The ability to use the phone properly separates the doers from the dreamers in any field.

This is because so often when we pick up the phone, it is because we need to ask others for help.

Weak people try to do everything themselves. Strong people know that it takes a village to get something worthwhile done, and that shared success is even better than sole success.

Strong people also know that when they ask others for assistance they might be dismissed, diminished, or made to feel as though their work isn't important. However, they do not ruminate on such things and continue to progress forward by continuing to pick up the phone.

4. Your personality is your secret weapon

Cultivate and develop your personality every chance you get.

Sure, we all see funny people like Kevin Hart, Seth Meyers, and Ellen DeGeneres on the small screen and it's common to feel a pang of wistfulness about their ease of communicating.

When you feel like that, it's best to turn inwards.

Your personality also has something to offer. Maybe it's your warmth or your listening skills. Maybe it's the fact that you radiate a sense of practicality. Maybe you possess great empathy for others.

Resist the urge to crack one-liners (unless that's totally you) or to try to be something you think others want.

Your unique personality is valuable because when you embrace it, you are being authentic and people appreciate authenticity. They crave it. And you're more interesting than you realize.

At the end of the day, forcing yourself to be brave means you're acknowledging your own limitations and forcing yourself to expand beyond them.

Your future success and development depend on this.

This article originally published on INC.

How to Transform Your Personality Into a Superpower to Get Anything You Want


Your personality is your secret weapon. In fact, it's nine-tenths of your success potential.

We often find as many ways as we can to escape the perceived danger of ourselves. We run to the 'safety' of trying to be what we think others want us to be.

  • How many times have you sat in the waiting room at a job interview and seen that candidate--the one that strolls in all confidence, jokes with the receptionist, and smiles at the other applicants--and wished you could be like him/her?

  • How many times have you seen that person at the cocktail party who is able to nonchalantly mingle, migrating from group to group of strangers and chatting them all up with ease--and wished you had that superpower?

  • How many times have you seen that guy in the weirdo-neon-Hawaiian shirt with the sneakers that light up, the one who is aware of the snickers he gets--and wished you could also not care about your appearance?

The people around us indeed possess strengths that we do not.

But don't be so anxious to trade places, just yet.

  • We don't see how the confident applicant had to psyche himself up for hours before the interview.

  • We don't see how the cocktail-party-all-star can't connect intimately in a relationship.

  • We don't see how the guy in the weirdo outfit felt diminished as a child and now leans on attention-seeking behavior.

How many times have you felt the need to act like someone else? It's a natural part of the human experience, but it incorrectly suggests there is nothing special about who you. And you are special.

Dating as a Microcosm of Human Experience

Can you imagine what a waste of time it would be to sit across from someone on a first date and try to guess what they're looking for in a potential mate, rather than just being yourself?

What if a sarcastic, charmingly pessimistic woman tried to act sweet and super-feminine, because that's what men presumably want? Would that actually work?

What if some nerdy, shy, kind man tried to act more like a mysterious "bad boy" because he thought that's what women want? Would that fool anyone?

Stop trying to guess what others are looking for. Assume YOU are who they're looking for, and bring yourself to the situation.

Of course this doesn't mean that you're going to book every job, get every second date, or avoid awkward conversations at cocktail parties.

You'll get some wins and they will be more meaningful because the connections you make will be a better fit for your authentic self.

Progress Forward by Being You

Find as many opportunities as you can to show people who you are.

Being genuinely you can feel liberating, easy and loose. It may also be terrifying--at first.

The greatest goal in life, business, or art should be to reflect other people's humanity back at them.

This is such an inspiring notion, but how do you actually do that? By embracing yourself, flaws and all, especially when you're around others. 

Not everyone will become a fan, friend or associate--and that shouldn't be your goal anyway. But what you will find is that your new bond with your own authenticity, will more easily elicit an organic response from others.

When you stop trying to get something from others, you will find you naturally have more success and wins in life and find that people will more easily gravitate to you.

Stop trying to win, be liked, impress, land the client or account, etc.

This emits a vibe of zero desperation because you're not busy figuring out how to get something from people, but rather enjoying your time with them.

This article was originally published on Inc.

Why You Must Break The Rules To Achieve Mega Success


People who are good at what they do almost never achieve mega success. Mega success is reserved for the great only.

There is no one-size-fits-all path for mega success.

Aside from courage and capability, only one other trait is necessary for groundbreaking triumphs: a willingness to break the rules.

Breaking the rules separates the dreamers from the doers. Sometimes these doers justify their actions by their egos, their overconfidence, their immense talent (or a mix of all three). Sometimes it doesn't even occur to doers that they are trodding on convention--they just see the rules as the narrow confines of a box they must break free from.

There's actually a right and a wrong way to light the match that burns the rule book. I know that might sound ironic--break the rules but do so with etiquette. But I promise that all the major rule breakers of history knew instinctively to do this.

Consider the following two rules that stifle so many.

Rule #1: Don't bother busy professionals, particularly those more successful than you, and only call people if they ask you to or if they have already called you.

Broken: Reach out by phone pleasantly and with confidence. If that doesn't work, reach out with strategy and ingenuity.

This is perhaps the most damaging rule and the most often followed.

Many view professionals who have extreme success as these delicate super-humans who shan't be disturbed by their lowly inquiries.

Did it ever occur to you that people at the top might be deeply interested in an idea created by someone who is not cushioned by extreme triumph and wealth?

Making a call is almost always the best way to reach out to other busy professionals as it signifies conviction and it assures you won't get lost in the email-cesspool. Furthermore, if this professional has a very uppity assistant, he/she might just delete your email as it may look like an unsolicited query.

What if you've called and been pleasant, but still can't make contact? Well... what if you had extra courtside Lakers tickets? What if your college buddy who runs the admissions department at the elite private school could admit this person's underperforming teenage son? What if your old roommate who is now a successful vet could fix their dog's cataracts?

You get my point. There actually are a million ways to get to the other side of a brick wall.  

Rule #2: Receiving a series of NOs is like market research: you need to adjust whatever you're selling.

Broken: I believe in what I'm selling and respond to each rejection with class.

If you have complete confidence and faith in your product or service and you pitch it to ten people and receive ten No's, that means you should....?

Adjust your product or service...

...says the herd mentality.

Look at Sarah Kauss, the founder of S'well, the company that makes fashionable water bottles that keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours. She readily admits that at the start of launching the product she got a lot of no's and a lot of "why is it so expensive?" and "who is going to buy this?"

A person who follows the rules would say, "yeah, maybe I need a more budget friendly version." A person who breaks the rules says, "I'm putting something brand new into the world that has value, even if others cannot see it at this moment."

If you have a brilliant idea, don't expect a lot of people to recognize it. Sometimes the No's you hear are the rules of convention you need to continue to trample politely.

If you feel you have greatness within, don't expect to unleash it by following the rigidity of the world around you.

Give yourself permission to go out on a ledge to get to the next level or step forward.   

This article was originally published on Inc.

How To Develop Charismatic Confidence In Seconds


If you ask the average audience member what the difference was between a good speaker and a great speaker, they'll give you a variety of answers. The great speaker had more energy, seemed buoyant, was funnier, more engaging.

Essentially, all these answers originate with self-assurance. The difference between "good" and "great" is slight and it always boils down to unshakeable, ironclad confidence.

If you're looking for awesome results, then you must start every speaking engagement, presentation, pitch, job interview, fundraising opportunity, etc. emotionally full and lit up with inner-certainty/sureness/faith in yourself.

Confidence is like putting gasoline in your car. You need it if you're trying to get somewhere.

Fueling the Fire

In private coaching, I help my executive clients find the "hook" of their presentation, start of their job interview, pitch meeting, etc. A hook is a deeply emotional attitude/opinion you adopt and cultivate within your body and then own verbally, propelling you to the successful completion of whatever you're about to do.

The hook is designed to spark a rocket blast of confidence within seconds. There is never a one-size-fits-all approach to finding it--it's born out of your singular passion and raw emotion for the task at hand and your desire for maximum impact on your audience.

The magic of the hook lies in the fact that your words shape your reality, seeping into your belief system so you can't help but embody and own what you say.

The best hooks are under five words, and will feel like you've started a small fire when you say them out loud. This way, when you're in that interview office, pitch meeting, conference room, or auditorium stage, you feel like there's a tiny inferno snapping and popping behind each word.

A hook helps to launch your own sense of organic confidence. Rather than cultivating a forced energy, a forced look-at-me, a forced sense of please-find-me-interesting, a hook lights the flames of internal power, in a way that is fun for you.

Zero Effort Confidence

Once the pilot light of self-assurance has been lit, it tends to stay on by itself without any effort or energy on your part. The reason for this is that confidence, like other powerful emotional attitudes, is self-sustaining--much like once you start the car, you don't need to do more than keep your foot on the gas to keep it moving forward.

If you find yourself in the waiting room of a job interview or driving to a pitch meeting, or in the wings backstage, expecting to make your presentation, invoke your hook and empower the flames of inner-certainty to start flickering.

If any negative or anxious thoughts attempt to creep in, simply ignore them and let your hook burn through the fog of those nerves.

It's crucial to begin emotionally lit with confidence, as how you start something is usually a good indicator as to how it will end.

Sure, you'll hear people say, I started kinda nervous but then I felt better as I kept going. Those are the types of people who are content with mediocre results.

For people who demand excellence and who know that success often follows successful results, priming the pump with your hook and starting with unwavering confidence is the only way.

This article was originally published on Inc.

Why Your Best Work May Feel Too Easy To Be Good


"Do you know how to tell if you're doing the job?

If you're up at 3am every night talking into a tape recorder and writing notes on scraps of paper, have a knot in your stomach and a rash on your skin, are losing sleep and losing touch with your wife and kids, have no appetite or sense of humor and feel that everything might turn out wrong, then you're probably doing the job."

This is an actual quote from a slide used by Keith Rabois, entrepreneur/investor mastermind, during his talk at Stanford.

This quote sums up so much of the culture in Silicon Valley and throughout so much of corporate America: if you want to do excellent, transcendent work, you have to suffer for this endeavor, and suffer immeasurably and consistently.

I'm all for hard work, but the problem with this absolutist mentality is that it puts limitations on human ability and human inspiration.

Some of the world's greatest masterpieces of art, business, and ideas were imagined in a matter of days, hours, or minutes. Not years.

Sure, many of these professionals were masters of their craft and had dedicated themselves to their fields, but the notion that a tremendous idea or product has to be the result of suffering and struggle is very misleading.

Here are five change effecting things born from peace, passion, and a desire to have great impact.

1. Larry Page dreamed of being able to download and deposit parts of the Internet on separate computers. Upon waking, Page saw that while this wasn't possible, one could gather and collate links to webpages around the world and search through them. Sound familiar? This idea eventually developed into Google.

2. JK Rowling came up with the idea for the Harry Potter series while sitting on a delayed train from Manchester to London King Cross.

3. Bob Dylan famously claimed that he wrote his timeless protest song, "Blowin' in the Wind," in ten minutes, as he sat in a café across from the Gaslight in New York.

4. Sarah Kauss, the founder of S'well, came up with the idea of an upscale, eco-friendly, fashionable water bottle while on a hike with her mother.

5. Christopher Nolan was inspired to write Inception based on a series of lucid dreams he had where he was manipulating his dreamscape and differentiating it from reality.

Accepting the notion that great work, real innovation, world-changing ideas have to occur as the result of pain, suffering and sleepless nights, just isn't true.

Often the most inspiring ideas occur when we are calm and open to receiving inspiration.

The fact that two of the items on the list came to the innovator when they were unconscious and dreaming, should be significant enough to derail the notion of sleepless nights as a recipe for brilliance.

For brilliant people working in today's climate, there can be toxic expectations that great undertakings have to be difficult.

Just because a foray doesn't make you feel like Sisyphus rolling a boulder up the mountain, doesn't mean that it's not a world-class idea or project.

This article was originally published on Inc.

Why The Happiest People In The World Love Saying ‘No’


There's a pressure on professionals who are at the top of their game to take advantage of every opportunity presented.

However, just as you wouldn't go out on a date with every single person that asked you, you should exhibit a certain level of particularity when it comes to where you commit your time.

A good rule of thumb is whether the opportunity causes more damage than potential good: if it could hurt your brand or your soul, don't accept it.

Most readers will be able to spot such instances a mile away. However, the trickier moments in life are when to say no when it seems like you should maybe say yes.

Below are some occasions when you owe it to yourself to say no:

The "Perfect" Opportunity.

According to Dan Schulman, after Obama lost the race for Congress in 2000, he interviewed for a job running the prestigious and progressive Joyce Foundation in Chicago. It would have paid mid-six figures and included other perks such as a country club membership.

Many people would have viewed this opportunity as a buoy in a turbulent ocean after Obama's public failure. But Obama knew in his gut that he was not done with politics and that's why Obama admitted to "doing a bad job on the interview."

If an opportunity is dropped in your lap but it doesn't mesh with your core instincts, you owe it to yourself to say no.

Your Time is Always Finite.

Your commitment to excellence requires that you say no as there are a finite number of hours in the day and always will be.

Time does not allow you to say yes to everyone: sure, you want to serve on the board of that worthy non-profit, or mentor that very deserving underprivileged kid, but if you want to continue all the numerous other tasks you are committed to with the excellence that you have connected to your brand and your name, you must say no.

It doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you a master strategist.

Silence is Golden.

Do you remember the period before you were successful? Maybe this was when you were a student or a struggling entrepreneur, or working a job you hated.

This was a time in your life when you weren't inundated with invitations to dinners, talks, cocktail parties, screenings, or panels.

While all such events are (sometimes) incredibly worthy and can often enrich your career and your network, you can't and shouldn't attend all of them.

Back when you were at the start of your career and had a much smaller social network and fewer events to go to, you also had more silence. You had more time alone with yourself to think about your ideas and to tinker with your own creativity, innovation, and imagination.

This is my theory as to why the second album a band puts out often is subpar. The first album was made after much reflection and effort. When the first album and the band takes off in a whirlwind, it often doesn't give the band the time and space it needs to recreate that magic in the second album.

You have to say no occasionally in order to honor times when you can just be alone and silent with yourself and your ideas.

Saying no comes from a place of strength and wisdom. It indicates that you know yourself, that your goals are crystal clear, and that you have the courage to assert boundaries.

Sometimes saying no to a brilliant opportunity, a fun social event, or a worthy mentee means you're shouting an even bigger yes to yourself, your goals, and your future.

This article was originally published on Inc.

The Scientifically Proven Way To Become A Visionary (It's So Easy You Will Laugh)


Unfortunately, most people abide by the archaic concept that there is one singular path to achieving success and recognition in life, or that mega success is a result of pure luck.

This idea should be torched immediately, as it only serves to box you in and stifle the expression of your originality.

In addition to my work helping entrepreneurs and world leaders develop impactful charismatic confidence, I help Hollywood's top celebrities and performing artists (actors, musicians, comedians) to launch their careers and reach Oscar potential in film and TV. I also coach presenters for all the major award ceremonies, including the Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys.

I help these clients use their personalities to leave an unforgettable mark on everything they do, by discovering and distilling the exclusive, and beautifully singular, combination of behaviors and attitudes that make them an original.

Your one-of-a-kind personality is your secret weapon for huge, lasting success.

Shel Silverstein's poem from "Every Thing On It" is the best example of this:

"Underneath my outside face
There's a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me."

Everytime I read this poem I take a long and deep breath, as I'm reminded that I'm interesting and powerful enough in the world as myself, without having to add or alter anything. It also gives me permission to not give a shit what other people think.

My longtime client, actor and musician Zooey Deschanel, has immortalized the role of "Jess Day" on the hit TV show "New Girl" as the nerdy, charmingly clueless, unusual roommate with big blue eyes and sexy hair.

Zooey is an oddball in real life--and she chooses to hide none of it in her acting.

She doesn't choose between being wacky or seductive. Instead she unabashedly blends them both into Jess, appealing to a broad audience, leaving an indelible mark, and achieving impossible staying power in an otherwise unpredictable and brutally competitive business.

Other individualist, outrageous, and daringly different performing artists like Lady Gaga, Jared Leto, Laura Dern, John Malkovich, and Javier Bardem all figured that out: They took everything different and odd about themselves, and turned it into an irreplicable, "WOW that's different!" selling point. A total game changer.

You can be certain that many of these celebrities would have never achieved success if they had spent their time trying to shove their uniqueness into a box of some preconceived "type" we've all seen hundreds of times before.

Success for an artist isn't going to happen if they try to imitate others. And the same is true for all endeavours in business.

Achieving meaningful lasting success in any career is directly related to your ability to manifest and fearlessly radiate your irreplicable personality, without giving a crap what anyone thinks of you.

Reject the herd mentality of cramming your individual style and personality into the narrow confines of what you think other people want. Instead, assume YOU are who they want, and bring yourself to everything that you do.

When you give yourself permission to let your disarming, weird, or ugly qualities shine through every chance you get, you imprint your work and presence with something that no one has ever seen before.

Become the visionary you aspire to be by fearlessly living every moment as yourself.

This article was originally published on Inc.

What Happens Behind The Scenes At the Oscars Will Blow Your Mind


In addition to helping entrepreneurs develop charismatic confidence to grow their businesses faster, I also help Hollywood celebrities and other entertainment industry leaders launch their careers, reach Oscar winning performances, and present at all the major award shows.

Most intelligent people assume backstage at the Oscars is rather hectic. Little do they know, behind the scenes of this elegant show feels like a SWAT team has infiltrated the Olympic Games with the cast of Dance Moms wandering around.

This militant chaos creates an even heightened sense of pressure for those presenting to a packed house of 3,400, as the show streams to an audience of around 65 million.

Pressure is a natural component in the lives of highly successful people, but even for my most successful celebrity clients, presenting at the Oscars is a level of pressure that is just unnatural.

With a live show, and only one chance to get their performance right, presenters know that any mistake could mean lasting public humiliation, hotly discussed in the blogosphere and transformed into memes or gifs, all living eternally on the Internet.

There are times when the pressure and stakes are so high; any slip may cause career repercussions for years to come.

Unnatural pressure offers you a rare opportunity to thrive in a way you've never experienced. It's more than just big risk, big reward--this type of tension is like injecting yourself with an intergalactic shot of platinum B-12: your body is either going to absorb it and transform, or you're going to feel sick.

Whether you're meeting with a panel of angel investors, speaking before an angry board or thousands of disappointed investors, here are some guidelines to load the dice in your favor.

Cover Your Basics

Know what you're going to say: be memorized but don't sound memorized. Rigid memorization makes you appear amateur and lacking in confidence. Each sentence should naturally follow the next one as if naturally occurring to you in the moment.

If you need a life-preserver, bring note cards or use the teleprompter (only if you've had teleprompter training and can do it with ease). Some of my clients just write a bullet-point list of words on their hand to remind them of their talking points.

Bring Your Personality to Your Words

The key to not sounding overly-rehearsed is the ability to bring your unique self to your words. It should feel like you.

Pinpoint your hook and let it launch you into the moment, allowing your personality to shine through. A hook is what I help my clients distill to crush any presentation with remarkable ease and fun. It's a feeling, word, or body attitude that is specific to you, and instantly lights you up emotionally --it prevents you from looking over-rehearsed and lets your authentic self shine through.

It's a Privilege to Be This Uncomfortable

The fact that you're under this much pressure means that you've accomplished a lot that many haven't. Sure you've worked hard, but you've also received breaks from lady luck and opportunities others have not.

Resist the urge to show any resentment of the pressure, through eyebrow movements or eye rolls or sarcastic remarks. It can make you look weak, petty or condescending.

Practice Fielding Your Worst Question

Many of my clients have to give presentations that broadcast globally and then field intensive Q&A sessions where a live audience grills them. Figure out your nightmare question(s) that you pray no one asks and fine-tune a solid answer to it.

Having a plan for a worst-case scenario will give a tremendous amount of confidence.

Be Ready for Anything

When people in the audience see you this vulnerable, someone might try and take a swing at you. Most professionals are content to ignore these interruptions, but that's actually a 50-50 strategy. Sometimes it makes you look professional; sometimes it makes you look like you're just dodging conflict.

Have a few responses ready for these situations and then decide what to do in the moment, by reading the room.

Your preparation has a tremendous impact on how much you will flourish under this unnatural pressure.

The better prepared you are, the more you will be able to confront these high stakes with confidence, hitting even the most curved pitches with an effortless and smooth swing.

This article was originally posted on Inc.

The #1 Scientifically Proven Method To Getting Everything You Want


For years I’ve helped both my entertainment and executive clients develop the ability to walk into any scenario, instantly light up with unshakable charismatic confidence, and guarantee one of these three winning results:

1. Getting your intended result. They loved you and you won the job, got the promotion, got funded, etc.

2. Winning the room. They loved you, and your performance or presentation blew their minds, but you’re just not the right fit for reasons beyond your control. Be assured that they will be bringing you back in for another—perhaps greater—opportunity in the future.

3. Getting Called Back. This is a subset of winning the room. Your prospects will bring you back for a second round interview, another chance to pitch incorporating any previous notes, a meeting with the CEO, or to compete for another position within the company.

If you’re not getting one of the above results every time you walk into a room where an opportunity exists, you may unintentionally be projecting some form of desperation.

Desperation is perhaps the single biggest turn off in business. It’s the antithesis to confidence; it raises suspicions about your motives; no one wants to work with it.

Here are three simple time-tested ways to instantly burn through the fog of desperation whenever you’re selling something.

Get over yourself
Getting over yourself is the ability to take the “I” out of the picture. It starts by owning the attitude, “It ain’t about me; it’s about the opportunity I’m describing.”

Releasing yourself from personal responsibility can be amazingly liberating. It makes you free to focus on the great product or service that you’re offering, and pitching to the wants and needs of your prospects...all of this free from the fear of personal rejection.

Don’t get attached to the outcome
Not being consumed by the desired outcome of any scenario eliminates self-consciousness. You will rarely be disappointed if you stop getting attached to an idea of “how it should go.”

When you let go of your expectations about how a specific scenario is going to play out, you instantly free yourself from its outcome. This liberating freedom lays the groundwork for you to radiate infectious charismatic confidence that will consistently trigger an enthusiastic “WOW!” from your prospects.

Getting “wrapped up” in the potential success or failure of any endeavor is when desperation will often shut you down within seconds.

Get lit up!
I help my clients figure out what is truly fun and exciting to THEM about what they’re selling or presenting—what lights them up. I help to get these energized emotions moving within their bodies, and within seconds they begin to spark an infectious passion and confidence so compelling that prospects have a very hard time saying “no.”

Best of all, this awesome ability can be activated and deployed within seconds, whenever you need it.

This article was originally published on Inc.

How To Be Unforgettable The Second You Say Hello


There are some people who can walk into any room, say one word, and instantly be unforgettable. 

I can probably count those people on one hand as they’re the few wonderful men and women who had a profound impact on my life over the years.

Some have a natural knack for leaving a mark, while others hone, develop, and magnify this awesome human ability. 

We can all recall those who have entered the room, and in that first moment, carved an indelible mark on us. I believe “love at first sight” is this phenomenon in action.

The benefits of being able to stand out the moment you walk into any room are insanely cool: commanding the respect of your peers, being seen as CEO material, landing the job, getting that promotion or raise, successfully pitching your startup idea, getting funded, being heard in a meeting, meeting the love of your life, etc.

Being unforgettable the second you say “Hello” is the result of the magnification of four untapped human superpowers. When properly harnessed and deployed, these capabilities give you the ability to walk into any room, have immediate impact, and be instantly memorable.

Here they are:

1. Supreme body confidence

The ability to adopt a mind and body attitude of sheer grit and determination within seconds, whenever you need. 

This is a truly powerful ability because it can burn through the fog of any nerves and anxiety you may feel when faced with a daunting public speaking task, or other life or career changing opportunity where you must be at your best, or risk failure.

This is one of my favorite things to do with my executive clients—helping them activate charismatic confidence, in a flash, for maximum impact on their audiences.

2. Being fully yourself

The ability to do YOU all the time—to show people your heart, without being afraid to look like an asshole or a freak is a badass skill. 

Dare yourself to publicly be the person you are in private: the way you talk, behave, laugh, etc. 

It may feel that by being less smiley you’re going to come across as boring and uninteresting but you won’t. Try it for one day—it’s fun! See the way people positively respond, and are attracted to your authentic (and true) self. 

3. Ignite with fun

The ability to lite yourself up with an empowered, cathartic, and alive sense of fun. 

This is some serious and perhaps dangerous fun. It’s not to be confused with mundane everyday unengaged play. It’s the kind of fun you feel when you climb Everest for the first time, or the feeling of that marvelous gut punch you get when meeting the love of your life, and every other time you see them thereafter. It’s the kind of fun that takes your breath away.

4. Not being desperate

The ability to not reek of desperation.

There are risks to being fully yourself and not caring what people think: rejection, failure, public condemnation, among many others.

With regards to doing this work, the fear of failure is the only limiting factor that separates the doers from the dreamers. If you can find a way discard your fear, and walk out onto the thin ice of possible rejection, you can live the life that you’re meant for—one of unimaginable happiness and mega success beyond your wildest dreams.

Show Them Your Heart

Fearlessly show people your heart. How? By being yourself—the person you are in private, when you know that no one is looking. By sharing this inside face—the one that may feel less safe—you will instantly reflect more humanity when you speak. 

Think of the people who really shake the room when they enter. What do they do? They effect change and have immediate and sudden impact.

Think of fear as perhaps your most powerful resource and be willing and ready to convert it into your greatest asset: confidence.

What is confidence other than your belief in your own capability?

When it comes to your confidence in a particular field, this isn't something you can master overnight. I help my clients develop genuine impactful attractive confidence within seconds to effect maximum change in their audiences.

If you've ever had the pleasure of speaking with a truly remarkable CEO or world leader--one who has made an almost mythological reputation for themselves of visionary thinking and calculated risk taking--you'll see they radiate this unshakable belief in themselves.

Confidence starts in your body and soon triggers mental and emotional confidence (EXPAND WITH INFO ABOUT YOUR PROCESS…..)

When the goal is to consistently stand out from your competition, this is of utmost importance.

The truth is that many of us aren't born with the indelible charisma and conviction of Branson, Jobs, or Wintour.

Think of the people who really shake the room when they enter. What do they do? They effect change.

The good news is that you have everything it takes to be interesting and change effecting.

Many people feel they aren't interesting enough to be leaders, so they hide behind what they think they should be.

With the right laser-guided preparation deployed consistently and fearlessly, you can leave a lasting impression when it matters.

This article was originally published on Inc



Want To Lead Like Elon Musk? Why Celebrity Level Acting Training Is Your Secret Weapon


"To me, business isn't about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It's about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials." —Richard Branson

Some of the world’s most successful and influential entrepreneurs have infectious personalities that perfectly reflect their brands and their life’s work. 

It can seems as though the Elon Musks and the Richard Bransons of the world have a bottomless supply of eerily profound remarks, which only further assert their ability to achieve, impact, and innovate.

Many people dismiss these great entrepreneurs as being rarer and more unique than the average person—almost superhuman—and therefore, they can’t help but effortlessly light up a room. 

That’s only partially true. 

Yes, these people are different. They’ve been able to locate, develop, and release their inner greatness. 

Releasing this inner greatness has empowered them to both envision real innovation and to have confidence in their ideas. 

You too have inner greatness that you can locate, develop, and release. It will enable you to fine-tune the voice of your brand, amplify your confidence and lead like your own version of Tony Robbins or Sheryl Sandberg. 

Sure, you can read all the inspirational biographies and self help books you like, but one of the most surefire and unexpected ways to hone in on, and radiate, this inner greatness is via top tier acting training. 

This level of performance training forces you to get out of your own way and dig deep. This is because superior acting training coaxes you so far out of your comfort zone.

You have to declare love to someone, beg someone not to leave you, insult someone, threaten people, seduce people, demean people and nurture them—all using the most authentic parts of yourself. It’s essentially everyday life with all the boring parts removed.

In my work with both Hollywood celebrities and top executives, I use powerful tools to help my clients develop charismatic confidence within seconds, to instantly light up with their inner greatness.

One of the game-changing tools I use is a core set of checkpoints, specifically designed to help my clients know when they’re delivering the best possible performance, and impacting their audience. Here they are:

1. Don't guess what “they” are looking for.
Assume YOU are who “they” are looking for, and bring yourself to your work.

2. Are you having fun?

If it’s not fun—cathartic, empowered, invigorated fun—you can be one hundred percent sure you’re not operating at your highest success potential. This kind of fun can be intense; like you just climbed Everest and feel you might die, but every pore in your body is screaming “I’m alive!” You can be sure today’s most impactful visionaries are having this level of fun.

3. Are you having impact?
Are you constantly finding ways to surprise people and effect change (both personally and professionally)? Show your prospects what they didn't know they wanted yet.

4. Are you doing your version of it?

Injecting and stamping your work with your unique and singular personality is the best way to carve an irreplaceable niche.

5. Does it feel easy and loose?

In order to produce your best possible work, you should create a strong sense of flow in all areas of your work—from communication with your team to interacting with clients.

Using these laser sharp tools, and many others, I help my executive clients grow their businesses faster, and develop impactful confidence to take the necessary risks in their careers to set them apart from their competition. They learn to harness the power of their unique personalities to attract more clients by being the brightest light in every room. To be unforgettable. Ultimately, and perhaps most importantly, these people live happier and more fulfilling lives.

This article was originally published on Inc. 

The Top 3 Personality Traits of Wildly Successful People


Throughout my work helping A-list actors, musicians, entrepreneurs, politicians, world leaders to launch their careers and effect maximum change in their audiences, I’ve witnessed many clients crash and burn as a result of self-destructive and self-sabotaging behavior. 

When people think of self-destructive behavior they quickly conjure up images of drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, poor financial decisions, etc. 

There are a few personality traits that can abruptly tank any success you’ve accumulated.

While there are dozens of success-breeding behaviors, below are the top three personality traits of wildly successful people. 


Having an expanded self-awareness means being mindful of the existence of others. Those clients who achieve soaring levels of success treat everyone with respect, and realize that there is a world that exists outside of their immediate problems, personal goals, and agendas.

Those who exhibit a lack of self-awareness typically have no regard for other collaborators and team members in the room -- they hold attitudes akin to: Subordinates are not talented professionals in their own right, but rather people who exist to elevate the executive.

These are people who do not truly love their work. One of the clearest and best example of this is the waiter who comes to the table with a forced smile to ask, “How is everything?!” when your mouth is full of food. It is a painfully obvious self-serving act in attempt to get a bigger tip and force a compliment. If the server had the most basic sense of self awareness, he/she could have handily seen that you were clearly enjoying your food and experience, or if there was an urgent need for assistance and intervention. Servers who posses this easily cultivable level of awareness and grace earn thousands of dollars more per year.

Additionally, the pathology of self-entitled and ignorant people can be quite toxic.

True Grit

In life, nothing that is for you will go by you. But that doesn't mean it will just fall into your lap. You have a right and responsibility to reach out and grab it using every tool at your disposal.

Anyone hoping to achieve any level of success must possess grit. You have to be pleasantly persistent in order to build and maintain game-changing relationships with industry movers-and-shakers. This means not being afraid to pick up the phone to pitch yourself and your ideas. Don’t walk around with your tail tucked between your legs. I help my clients walk into any nerve-racking situation by adopting an appropriate body attitude of unshakable confidence. People with grit stand out from the “American Idol” masses of their competition. Having tenacity and grit means knowing that major success is simply a direct result of creating your own opportunities. Those without courage wait around for breadcrumbs and handouts, and expect success to magically fall into their laps, or fall off of a truck. To develop true grit, increase your proactive efforts, hone your phone skills, and grow a thick skin.

The Giver

My top tip for acquiring sustainable success in any industry is to “give more than you take.” Realize that you are not entitled to anyone's time or help. It’s imperative to reciprocate favors and mirror support. 

At the end of the day, lasting and meaningful success in any industry is a direct result of your ability to develop a charismatic and giving personality while building and maintaining game-changing relationships. 

This article was originally published on Inc. 


This Habit Separates The Doers From The Dreamers


Many books have been written and TED Talks given about the power of "asking."

What hasn't been made clear is how, and in what way, we're supposed to ask.

Some of the greatest business and entertainment achievers in the world--people like Steve Jobs, record producer Jimmy Iovine, etc.--have proven that the ability to use the phone effectively and persistently, is directly related to achieving massive growth and success in any field.

Steve Jobs famously describes getting his first big break in tech when he was twelve years old by simply picking up the phone and calling Bill Hewlett. He asked him if he had any spare parts for a frequency counter he was working on. Bill Hewlett not only gave Jobs the spare parts, but also gave him his first tech job working on a frequency counter assembly line.

In the entertainment industry, top producers, writers, directors, and reps who don't use the telephone to pitch their projects and clients rarely have an impact, or get big results for themselves or their clients.

No matter the industry, your success potential is directly related to how visible you make yourself, and your ability to build and maintain game changing relationships with industry movers and shakers.

Attempting to build important relationships via email is the equivalent of chewing gum and blowing a bubble in the hopes that when it pops, all of your greatest career dreams may come true.

The reality is that your email will most likely fall into a sea of thousands of other emails. You become the needle in the haystack.

Most modern technological innovations offer us tools to protect us from the perceived 'danger' of live verbal communication, and interacting with other people. Instead, much of our communication is now done behind a screen, from the 'safety' of our private space.

For many people, communicating via email is easy and can seem like the safer choice as opposed to person-to-person communication, because you don't have to worry about the threat of hearing an immediate "No." Ultimately, sending texts and emails are the safest and best options for those who are afraid of failure.

Unfortunately, this safety net rarely has the impact needed to take you to the next level.

Emails that are sent without an initial phone, or in-person connection, are dead in the water.

Proper use of the phone before sending an email allows you the exclusive right to use the badass subject line: "As per our conversation."

The bottom line is that emails are easy to ignore. The phone is one of the last remaining tools that can't be ignored. In fact, it's harder for someone to say "no" when speaking on the phone (or in-person).

Several of my clients describe that it actually "hurts their chest" to think about picking up the telephone to make pitches.

There certainly is a right way and a wrong way to directly pitch yourself via a telephone.

Phone pitches can be one of the scariest options, as many people feel like they don't have the right to use the phone.

I coach my clients to adopt a unique body attitude of ironclad confidence, within seconds, to empower them to pick up the telephone to build game-changing relationships with future partners, investors, and business leads.

One's confidence and ability to be "pleasantly persistent" in speaking up for yourself is directly related to your success in any industry.

Waiting around for anything to magically fall into your lap is a losing proposition.

Sometimes, in being proactive and essentially sticking your neck out for yourself, you might burn your hand. But if your career is worth it to you, you have to be willing to do this.

This article was originally posted on Inc

3 Easy Ways to Be Happy Today

Operating as an active business professional in the age of social media is a tremendous challenge. As much as the Internet has aided in the streamlining of information and business processes, it has also exponentially increased the amount and intensity of competition. This is undoubtedly a high stakes arena where the ability to properly prioritize can become skewed. As a result, I notice a greater number of professionals delaying their immediate happiness or fiscal responsibility with remarks like:

If I break six figures this year, I’ll start paying off my debts/saving for the future.
I’ll be happy once we reach 1 million customers.
When I’ve made the Fortune 500 list, I’ll know I’ve made it.

It’s important to have goals, but the problem with the above statements is that they defer happiness and good habits away from the now and off into the future. This is an example of how goals can obstruct one’s daily sense of satisfaction and ability to be present and grateful.

Keep ambition as your friend and not your enemy by putting it in check. There are so many outside forces beyond your control that you cannot hedge your happiness or self-esteem upon. Despite how fantastic your product is, or how flawless your value proposition, or your communication and pitching skills, you might still be outshined by someone who has more experience, better connections, or who plays golf with the boss.

Here is what you can actively do to keep your ambition in check:

Celebrate the imperfect success of today.
Don’t fall into the trap of bemoaning how unfair business is or pushing your happiness to some pie-in-the-sky day. Find pride in the life you are living right now, even if your business is still in the red. As an adult, happiness is finding gratitude in spite of how imperfect everything is.

Center yourself.
Ambition is crucial for success, but too much of it means that you become obsessed with the end result. Tenacity and grit allows you to focus moment by moment, so you maintain perspective. After all, once you get to the top of that mountain, the view unfolds before you with a vast valley of new mountains, which all need to be conquered. Refusing to be happy now in some ways means you’re refusing to be happy ever, as there will always be a new set of challenges, obstacles, and stresses to wrestle with in the future.

Take a break and enjoy the sunset (with or without a cocktail). Play with a pet or go on a walk in nature or an urban hike around your city center. Or do whatever truly makes you happy. Distancing yourself from your work for an hour in solitude can offer a wealth of perspective.

Exert control over what you actually have control over.
You have control over doing the best work that you are capable of.

I help my clients find the fun in every moment, and effect maximum change in their audiences to catapult their careers to a level of success beyond their wildest dreams. You also have control over whether or not you make fun, impactful choices in the course of your day, particularly ones that have a certain amount of calculated risk and potential danger.

Wherever you and your ambition aim to end up, be grateful for where you are at and what you have right now. The future doesn’t belong to any of us. All you have is this moment. 

This article was originally posted on Inc.

How to Use Your Personality To Achieve Unlimited Success

Your personality is nine-tenths of your success potential. For young entrepreneurs and professionals, however, it can sometimes feel as though one needs to imitate the characteristics of the already established masters in order to get anywhere. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking, I need to be as visionary as Jeff Bezos or I need to be as debonair as Richard Branson or I need to be as sphinxlike as Anna Wintour.

The reality is that these people were successful because they were brave enough to bring their personalities to their work. By harnessing their unique and singular selves and committing to their passions, they were able to create a force that was truly powerful. They didn’t create that force by trying to imitate others: rather, they embraced their own humanity and personal experiences to stand out. Many forget how the world embraces such authenticity, often finding it such a refreshing alternative to people desperately trying to be what they think others want.

Stop trying to guess what others are looking for. Assume you are who they’re looking for, and bring yourself to your work.

In order to fully bring yourself to your work, you need to harness a higher level of self-awareness.

Discover those exciting subtleties of your personality, the ones that when shared, someone could easily fall in love with. By doing so, you reflect your audience’s humanity back at them, and make a deeper and more permanent connection.

This is the difference between good and great, it’s that little bit extra. Something simple that someone can put in their pocket and take home with them, so they feel like they really know you. I call it leaving a “tip.” This “tip”—the little bit extra—is you.

I recently had the pleasure of coaching Dr. Joanne Liu throughout her campaign to ultimately win the International Presidency of Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

One of the strategies we deployed to effect maximum change in her debates, was to purposefully make the choice to show her audience who she was, all the time. This was accomplished through the tactical sharing of her personal stories with her patients while in the field.

She has been on the front lines of epidemics like the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Joanne was the first person in Doctors Without Borders history to be re-elected to a second term.

The good news is that you have everything it takes to be interesting and change effecting.

Many people feel they aren’t interesting enough to be leaders, so they hide behind what they think they should be.

Embrace the fun—and fear—of bringing all of yourself, with all of your perceived flaws and quirks, to every aspect of your work.

This is a skill that can be developed. I help my clients use the power of their personalities to develop charismatic confidence and effect maximum change in their audiences, oftentimes within minutes.

History is full of imperfect people who embraced the singularity of who they are, didn’t go to war with it, and used it to change the world and achieve mega-success.

This article was originally posted on Inc. 

The Game Changing Marketing Tool You’ve Never Heard Of

In five years, I took my business (an award-winning coaching studio) to the top of its industry. My studio helps Hollywood celebrities, world leaders, CEOs, politicians, executives, lawyers, and other industry leaders develop charismatic confidence to effect maximum change in their audiences, and achieve mega success. While I’m proud to say that it’s one of the most respected coaching studios in the industry, I have to admit that success didn't come easily. We worked for it. When my studio was young, I was working without a template and had to move forward no matter what, showing up every week to teach workshops and classes even when there was only one person.

Looking back, it definitely was a struggle, but I can easily pinpoint the three major pillars that helped to accelerate my success.

Frustration into Inspiration

I’ve always been inspired by the words of acclaimed Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, “show others what they didn’t know they wanted yet.” When it came to developing my studio, my intention from the very beginning was to create a singular product in a niche market—something no one had ever seen before, and that no one else could reproduce. This was in part due to frustration. I was aware of how many useless coaching studios there were in Los Angeles that squandered the talent of so many promising actors, helping only to aid them in fostering bad habits, while extinguishing the love of the craft out of them. I knew that if I created an original product, I would never have to look over my shoulder at other competing businesses. For me, and for many successful entrepreneurs, the secret is creating something truly original, without modeling it off something that already exists. A great product is never static. It is constantly honed, updated, and developed to meet the demands of an ever changing world and market. Prizing this singularity as a cornerstone of your business, will see you through any change and help you weather any storm, as it will always give you that little extra competitive edge—it is often the difference between “good” and “great.”

Celebrity Endorsements

I had the instinct to get testimonials from clients before they became famous. These testimonials put a spotlight on my studio, even when it was brand new, because I had authentic words from famous actors endorsing my work. These endorsements were priceless. I can confidently assert that no branding, marketing, or value proposition can compete with a celebrity endorsement. I really believe that everyone is six degrees of separation (or less) from a celebrity connection. It would be beyond insane to not take the time to reach out to your network to reach that famous name, especially as there is zero risk involved. It may take repeated attempts to reach or hear back from them, but I truly believe it can launch your business to mega success.

Objective Marketing

I’ve found that in order to see off the charts business growth, you need to let go of what you think is awesome about your business, and take notice of what your clients may think is awesome about you do, and make it the DNA of your marketing. When I laser-focused my marketing towards what was really important to my customers, it triggered record growth almost instantly. I tweaked my value proposition, asserting it in terms that mattered most to my students: Every client leaves every session having experienced an undeniable breakthrough and transformation.

These three elements continue to grow my business, and often offer the highest guidance and clarity, even as my studio approaches its thirteen-year anniversary.

This article was originally posted on Inc.

The One Thing You Can Teach Your Kids Today To Set Them Up For Financial Success (and Happiness)

Confidence is the great equalizer: whether you come from an affluent background or staggering poverty, confidence can help you transcend any obstacle, mental or physical, and help you to actualize your wildest dreams.

I’m often surprised how many parents don’t nurture this powerful ability in their children on a consistent basis. I’ve coached children who are geniuses and prodigies but still haven’t been taught how to properly put confidence in their bodies, thus stifling their capacity to make the most of their considerable talents.

Teaching your child confidence helps them to adopt a mentality of “yes I can” versus “maybe I can”—and believe me, there’s a difference. With the adults I coach, it’s very obvious to me the ones who were nurtured with confidence from an early age.

The evidence is in their career choices, financial standing, and relationship decisions. Laying this foundation for your children regularly will benefit them in their adult lives, as it will acquaint them with taking risks, healthy relationships, exploring possibilities and ultimately realizing their full potential.

Not only is confidence the booster rocket to effecting major financial success, it can also set your kids up for a lifetime of genuine happiness, and spare them from unnecessary pain via misguided efforts and wasted energy. We help our clients develop impactful attractive confidence within seconds to effect maximum change in their audiences. And, to set them up for a life of financial success.

You can help your child build their levels of confidence daily.

Unconditional love

If confidence is the booster rocket to major financial success and happiness, then unconditional love is most certainly what fuels it. Giving your children the gift of confidence to last a lifetime is easy. Providing a sanctuary of love and support with which to grow it, takes constant focus, awareness and intention.

When you demonstrate to your child that they are loved unconditionally, it plants the notion in their mind that “everything is going to be okay” and cushions them with a net that indicates it’s okay to dream big, take risks and not be perfect.

The children that are surrounded in unconditional love grow up to be adults who start companies, invent award-winning products, and compete on the world stage.

A great and wonderful friend once said, “What is for you in life will not go by you.” This is possibly one of the truest things I’ve come to know. This does not mean that these incredible opportunities will just fall out of a clear blue sky and onto your lap. You must be in the right place to reach out and grab it!

An unshakeable body attitude of confidence empowers you to attain all that is for you in this world.

When you’re tuned to your Olympic level confidence—the highest level you can possibly achieve today—you cannot help but attract the finest of what is meant for you.

In this case, children aren’t suffocated by a sphere of timidity and uncertainty. They learn to attack the opportunities in life and forge the path they deserve while they are young.

This article was originally posted on Inc.