Watch Your Language

Watch Your Language

We live in a more casual society than our parents and grandparents did. However, I think that it still serves one well to be respectful and have a certain polished, professional manner in the business world. Here are some tips to communicate professionally: 1. Slow down - we are in such a hurry these days that even the pace of our speech has quickened. Take your time when you speak to let each word you say sink in for the listener. This will also show respect to the person you are talking to - that you have time for them and want to communicate to them clearly. 2. Smile - if you smile occasionally when speaking it will add lift to your voice and tone. This is especially important when you are speaking on the phone to show that you are engaged in the conversation. Of course, there are those difficult conversations when smiling would not be appropriate. 3. Avoid filler words - do you say the words, like, so, um, and ah too much? Repeating these words and others like them can convey that you are unsure, nervous or even unintelligent. It might be better to pause than keep…

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HOW TO TURN FAILURE INTO SUCCESS

HOW TO TURN FAILURE INTO SUCCESS

Failure has such a negative stigma, but it can be one of our greatest teachers if we'll just pay attention and learn with an open mind.  The problem is too many people don't.  Or won't.  Here are 10 ways to flip failure from a devastating experience into a powerful advantage. Overcome fear Overcoming the fear of failing is the first step towards success.  Tony Robbins said, "No matter how many mistakes you make, or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying."  Some people are just afraid of change, rejection or embarrassment. Fear locks you in your comfort zone and nothing remarkable usually happens there.  You can only make progress if you take that first step and sometimes that leap of faith.  Confront your fears today! Plan, plan, plan You have a better chance to succeed in life if you have a plan.  Your plans should ideally be specific, measurable and have deadlines attached to them.  Some goals are ongoing, for example, starting each day with affirmations or waking up at a certain time.  If you are working as part of a team, create team goals together with regular follow up meetings/conference calls and…

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6 Ways To Embrace Change

6 Ways to Embrace Change

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou Accept change Change is an inevitable part of life and no matter how things are currently, the one constant in life is that things will change.  Personally, we are forever learning, aging, adapting and changing. Why is it that so many of us are instantly repelled by the thought of change?  Embracing change in our lives is a major key to our success and happiness. Analyze change Is the change positive or negative?  How are these changes influencing your path?  Life can become stagnant and we can get too comfortable in our routine and become apathetic if we don’t seek to analyze things and make positive changes along the way.  Sometimes change can “shake things up” for the better.  Co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, said, “ironically, in a changing world, playing it safe is one of the riskiest things you can do”.  If you perceive the  change as negative, what can you do to  turn it into something positive? Be proactive It is better to initiate change than to let your life progress down a negative path until the change affects you dramatically.…

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Scarcity Vs. Abundance Mindset

Scarcity vs. Abundance Mindset

When you see what others have, is your first reaction to notice what you’re missing or be grateful for what you have?  Does it send you into a spiral of dissatisfaction or push you to achieve more?  Are you happy for your family, friends and colleagues that have bought that new house, got that promotion, gone on their dream vacation, etc? Never Enough Too often we focus on what we lack instead of what we have.  According to researcher Brené Brown, we live in a culture of perceived scarcity, what she calls “our culture of ‘never enough.’” Brown says we start off the morning thinking we didn’t get enough sleep, go through the day thinking we don’t have enough time, and fall asleep thinking that we failed to accomplish enough tasks.  Whatever we have, do, or get, it’s never enough. As we interact with others, we are painfully aware of what we might be missing: looks, smarts, talent, money, creativity—you name it.  Not only are all of these comparisons discouraging, they can distort and potentially bury the individual gifts we have been given. The gratitude lens Regardless of our culture of perceived scarcity or our individual circumstances, we all can…

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8 Ways To Conquer Self-Doubt

8 Ways to Conquer Self-Doubt

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” -William Shakespeare Have you ever been tormented by self-defeating thoughts that go something like this? I can’t do this, what was I thinking? I’m not smart enough or talented enough to do this. I don’t know if I can handle another failure, so I better not try. Feelings like these aren’t uncommon. One particular study done by psychologists showed that 70 percent of people experience feelings of self-doubt and that it runs rampant among high achievers. Self-doubt is that destructive voice that holds you back from getting started, finishing something or seizing those opportunities that are placed before you. How can you push out this persuasive voice and overcome your inner doubting so that you can move forward? Here are a few suggestions: 1. Be quick to stop Don’t let your self-doubts spin out of control by letting the conversation even begin. Instead, as soon as they start, talk back to them in your mind by saying no, I am not going down this road. This will disrupt your thought pattern. Then, immediately do something to engage your mind positively. 2. Know…

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12 Tips For Setting Goals

12 Tips for Setting Goals

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” -Tony Robbins With the New Year right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to achieve in 2017. Before you set your 2017 goals, I think it’s a great idea to look at the status of your 2016 goals. What goals did you accomplish? Go ahead and pat yourself on the back and acknowledge that you achieved them. If you didn’t achieve some of your goals, then evaluate the reasons why and be honest with yourself. What goals are you rolling into 2017? Who do you know that you can be accountable to for your goals or mentor you if you don’t already have one? What system do you have in place to review and monitor your goals - is this system working or should you consider adopting a different system? Here are some tips to consider when setting your goals: Break your goals into long-term and short-term goals along with action steps to accomplish them; don’t just state the goal. Put deadlines on your goals - I will accomplish this goal by ___________. This will help hold you accountable. Make sure…

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How To Gain Perspective After A Major Challenge

How to Gain Perspective After a Major Challenge

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” -Martin Luther King Jr. Stephanie Nielson and her husband Christian’s lives were changed forever when they were involved in a terrible plane crash in August 2008. For three and a half months, Stephanie slept in a medically induced coma undergoing countless procedures. The 27-year-old mother of four woke up to realize, first of all, that it was a miracle that she was alive and second, that she had burned the majority of her body and was horribly disfigured. Her arms, legs, hands, and face were covered with third- and fourth-degree burns—the worst occurring on her face. Through her personal faith as well as love and support from her family, friends and community, she was able to accept her new life and move forward with strength and hope. This was a completely unexpected event in Stephanie and Christian’s lives. How many of our lives have been touched by tragic circumstances or had a family member or friend go through them? I’m willing to guess almost everyone has. Personally, we lost our son Kenny who died in a car accident five years ago. Was this devastating for our family to go through?…

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Constitution Of The United States Of America

Constitution of The United States of America

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - Declaration of Independence Considering the very important election happening this week in the United States, I want to choose the Constitution of the United States of America as my November Book of the Month. It is the document that serves as the foundation upon which our country was built and operates. (If you want to do more reading about the formation of America, I recommend the book 1776 by David McCullough.) I have no intention of being political on my blog or to endorse a party or any candidates. However, I do want to ask my US readers to realize that they have the right and privilege to vote. I am thankful for the brave Americans who have shed their blood over the years and for those today that are defending our right to live in a land free from tyranny where we do have freedom of speech and the right to vote. My wife and I were blessed to have been born here…

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The Power Of Events

The Power of Events

Last week I had the great honor to attend and speak at Zija International’s Summit convention. Over the years, I have been to many conventions for companies that I’ve owned as well as other organizations’ events. The incredible energy that I feel from attendees never ceases to amaze me. Why are events so important to attend? By attending the event you are showing your support and setting an example to your team The company will outline their vision and goals for the future Exciting announcements will be made such as new products, technology, sales tools etc. You will be one of the first to get this information and be able to purchase the new products/tools You will receive in-depth sales and product training from corporate leaders and top distributors You will participate in celebrating rank advancements whether your own or your teams You will hear other’s inspiring stories about how the products and business opportunities have blessed their lives You will feel a greater camaraderie with company employees and your team which hopefully leads to greater teamwork, trust and a feeling of “family” You will be motivated, educated and energized to return home to build your business I believe that…

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Why Network Marketing Is Positioned For Hyper Growth

Why Network Marketing is Positioned for Hyper Growth

Over 40 years ago when my partners and I started putting cayenne pepper into capsules, I never imagined how far this industry of sharing products person to person would come. Back then, there were only 6 companies and a handful of people who knew what network marketing (multi-level marketing or direct selling) was. Now, 20 million people engage in some form of Direct Sales generating over $36 billion in revenue, according to the Direct Selling Association (DSA) in 2015. In fact, more individuals generated more revenue in 2015 than in any previous year since the DSA has been documenting it. Network Marketing has come a long way since those early days and I think the best is still ahead of us. By now, many people understand the benefits of getting involved in Network Marketing (low cost of entry, potential tax advantages, autonomy, personal development, etc) Here are a few additional things to consider why it may be the best way for any individual to generate an income in the future: Trend Toward Entrepreneurship People are rushing to create their own opportunities. With an unreliable economy, perceived lack of career prospects and diminished job security, it’s no wonder that people want…

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Looking Back…Looking Forward

Looking Back…Looking Forward

One year ago I launched my website www.kenbrailsford.com and wrote my first blog post. I started blogging because I wanted to share insights and lessons that I’ve learned regarding entrepreneurship, personal development and leadership. I’ve been pondering what I’ve done and learned this past year and what I’m looking forward to this next year. My website, blog and posting on social media have enabled me to reach many people. I’ve appreciated hearing from people through their liking my posts and their comments. It’s amazing to think about the global influence everyone can have through these channels. What a powerful way to build a network and your businesses! The world has come a long way since I started doing business in the 70’s. What an incredible opportunity it was to write my memoirs My Life Encapsulated: The Path to Success last Summer. I had been meaning to write this book for years, but knew that last year was the right time to do it. I wrote the book to tell my story and for the readers, not for myself.  I’ve heard many positive reviews which is always nice to hear. Writing my blog led me to write my Manifesto. This document…

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Don’t Walk When You Can Run

Don’t Walk When You Can Run

Excerpt below is from my memoirs My Life Encapsulated: The Path to Success As a teen, I always worked. I wanted to make money. So I worked hard. My first job was at  a Thrifti Mart in Bakersfield, CA. I was a cart boy. On the weekends, I collected all the shopping carts from the parking lot and brought them back into the store. I even helped little old ladies out with their groceries. When I was hired, bless that manager forever, he taught me the most valuable lesson with one sentence. “Ken, I never want to see you walking.” Now I would push eight to ten carts at a time and I never walked that whole time I worked for him. I always looked around at the other guys and couldn’t figure out why they were walking. Didn’t he tell them the same thing? But I didn’t criticize them. I just kept going as fast as I could, running if possible, except for when I carried groceries out for the little old ladies. Many of these ladies wanted to tip me a quarter, but I never took it because the manager had also told me not to accept tips.…

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3 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

3 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Mistake 1 Beginning with unrealistic expectations You have huge goals - you’re going to change the world and while you’re at it become extremely wealthy within 6 months! I’m not saying to not dream big, but you can become overwhelmed before you even get started. Break your large goals into small steps and what you need to be doing on a daily and monthly basis. You probably aren’t going to have overnight success - starting and growing your own business takes hard work and persistence. Legendary coach John Wooden said, “It takes time to create excellence (success). If it could be done more quickly, more people would do it.” Mistake 2 Expecting everyone around you to be excited for you There will be those that are genuinely excited for you and encouraging in your circle. However, there will also be some who are doubtful and negative because they may have tried to build a business and failed. Other people may want you to fail because they are hoping to prove that the fears that are holding them back from trying a new venture or chasing a new dream are valid - they wouldn’t have succeeded anyway. When you do find…

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3 Ways To Change Your Mindset

3 Ways to Change your Mindset

What sets successful people apart from others who are frustrated in their attempts to improve? According to pioneering Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s work documented in her book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, the best predictor of success in life is your mindset. Which mindset do you have? Here is a quick quiz to find out: You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.  No matter how much intelligence you have, you can substantially change it. Those who achieve great success generally believe they can improve and grow. This is called a "growth mindset." Those who are frustrated in their attempts to succeed tend to believe their abilities and talents are static. They have a "fixed mindset."  The exciting part of Dr. Dweck’s research is that science proves that you can change your mindset.  The saying that someone is too old to change their stripes isn’t true. This very idea could be the catalyst for many people to find more success in their lives. The fixed mindset says, "Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don't have the talent or skills." The growth mindset answers, "I'm not sure I can do it…

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The Power Of Giving

The Power of Giving

"For it is in giving that we receive." -St. Francis of Assisi   I love the Christmas story by O. Henry of the married couple Jim and Della Dillingham.  They are very poor and don’t have enough money to buy each other Christmas presents.  Jim sells his watch to buy hair combs for Della’s long, beautiful hair and Della sells her hair to buy Jim a chain for his beloved watch.  So when Christmas arrives their gifts to each other are no longer relevant.  This story illustrates that whatever the gifts - the most important thing is when they are given with love and consideration. Most of us were taught as children that it is better to give than to receive.  So why do people give?  Giving teaches us to look beyond ourselves. It teaches us to be of greater service to others through kind words, deeds or actual gifts. It also makes the world a better place.  We don’t do good because we feel good. We feel good because we do good.   Here are some additional gifts you may consider giving: Give an experience as a gift.  Experiences create memories. Consider giving anonymously to those in need.  This…

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How To Find The Right Mentor

How to Find the Right Mentor

Over forty years in business have taught me that great mentors are everywhere. You don’t have to find the one golden Master Mentor to make all your dreams come true. However, you do need to know what you’re looking for and what kind of results you’d like to achieve. Here are a few ways to find the right mentor(s) for you and the best part is that you can get started right away: Read, Read, Read Some of my best mentors have been those that I’ve read about in books. They’ve provided role models for developing my character and work ethic along with motivation in instilling in me that if they could do it so could I. When looking for a business/personal mentor look for those that have values that you admire along with personal integrity to always be true to their values. Another thing I look for is someone who has overcome challenges and not given up - these challenges mold people into strong leaders. I admire Bible prophets, the Founding Fathers of America, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Gandhi and Napoleon Hill to name a few. Harry S. Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are…

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Why Every Entrepreneur Needs A Mentor

Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Mentor

Bill Gates had Warren Buffett, Tony Robbins had Jim Rohn and Luke Skywalker had Yoda.   I had Jack Ritchason, who I will forever be grateful to. When I met him, he was a distributor at Shaklee, one of a handful of direct selling companies in business at that time. It was 1972 and I had just co-founded Nature’s Sunshine Products.  I needed advice because we were blazing a relatively new trail.  He gave me a lot of counsel over the years, and without him I think I would have made some fatal mistakes.  There weren’t too many people you could ask for this kind of information. Jack was one who understood the business from A to Z and consistently pointed me in the right direction. Can I honestly say that I might not be where I’m at today without Jack?  Yes, this is a very honest conclusion. I’ve always been fascinated with data.  According to Bloomberg Business, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months.  Research shows that 70 percent of mentored businesses survive more than five years, double the rate for non-mentored small businesses over that same period.  What does this mean?…

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Why Christmas Eve Will Make You Laugh And Cry

Why Christmas Eve Will Make You Laugh and Cry

“Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives.” -Walt Disney   Here is an excerpt from Ken’s recently penned autobiography My Life Encapsulated when he talked about going to a movies as a kid. One of my Saturday morning excursions was to see the movie Superman.  I decided that if Superman could fly, I could put on a cape and fly off our third story balcony.  I got a towel and a safety pin, put my cape around my neck and stood out on that balcony fully determined to jump off and fly.  A little apprehensive, I was getting ready to leap just as my parents came home.  It was my mother who caught me and saved me.  That was one of the many times God has intervened and saved my life. Speaking of God’s intervention and movies, you got involved with the movie The Other Side of Heaven as a late investor so they could have the funds to finish the movie.  Please share with me the reasons you invested.   To summarize the movie, it’s about a young missionary who goes to Tonga in the 1950’s to preach the gospel.  There is one inspiring scene…

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When I Was A Superhero

When I was a Superhero

(Excerpt from my autobiography My Life Encapsulated) My childhood was really quite idyllic and full of the kind of play you don’t see as the norm these days with kids. We had no video games to occupy our time, no Internet, no cell phones, no social media. I played War with marbles or little plastic characters. I loved that game of War, and I played both sides, but one side was always “me” and, of course, it was the hero side. I’d play it on the wooden floor for hours at a time, learning strategies and just pretending. Life itself created patterns that enabled me to put my natural talents to good practice for strengthening the traits I would later need in business. What was a young boy who loved action movies to do? A certain amount of independence asserted itself into my life while I was still in elementary school. My father went back to school at the University of Utah to earn a PhD in metallurgy and organic chemistry, and my mother worked at the ZCMI credit department to support the family. I often visited her there at work after school, and her parents lived just a couple of…

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Recording Your Life

Recording Your Life

“Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life.” -Robin Sharma I’ve recently been compiling my memoirs into an autobiography. Over the years, I’ve kept a couple of journals, but for the most part I’ve had to recall memories. In hindsight, I wish that I would have been better about keeping journals. For the book, I bought a small recorder and spent many evenings sharing my memories into it. I also had a professional interviewer jog my memory with questions. Thank goodness, I have a pretty, good memory. My wife Linda, our children and other people also helped me recall important events and details. Recently, I blogged about leaving a legacy. I love that my posterity will now be able to read my autobiography; they’ll be able to better appreciate my legacy. By leaving behind journals and photos, your posterity will be able to learn from your life lessons. Now with social media, you’re able to create an album with your posts and photos; this could help document your life for those that consistently post. Another way, if you’re not a writer, would be to audio or videotape as a way of documenting; then…

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