I decided to title this post "A 12th Round Knockout" because that's the vision that came to my head when I thought about one of those really difficult grind it out days.  You know one of those days where everything just seems to be harder than it should be for no good reason . Getting out of bed in the morning is a little tougher, follow that by having car trouble or missing your transportation to work.  Then add on to it you having a major brain fart while you're trying to get an important piece of work done. You get the point, just one of those days where it feels like you're being tested, yet you prevail anyway. Those are the type of days where you really earn your paycheck.

I did not expect today to be one of those days for me.  I mean I actually got a really good nights worth of sleep, I woke on time(not 5 minutes before my alarm) and I really had no personal stresses to worry about. Actually I was pretty excited thins morning because I had a few friends that reached out to me wanting to learn more about what I do on a regular basis.  I started my morning normally by reading the psychology portion of my trading plan (which gets me in a good mental place) then reviewing my charts. At about 8am I entered a trade that went directly into the red on me.  I didn't get upset because a losers a loser, but it annoyed me that this particular trade kept bouncing right above the point where I would be exited out for a loss, then going back up to even money. I honestly felt like the market was teasing me like playing the high five game as a kid where you say  "down low...too slow."  I was literally sitting in front of my computer saying "just take me out already, so I can cancel this order and use it someplace else." This same teasing action went on for 4 hours until it finally shot upwards and I was able to collect my profits.  During those 4 hours I was so tempted to simply give in and either accept my loss and just exit at whatever, or to exit when I was back to even money/ a little bit into profit.  But something in me told me to stick my guns and tough it out. And that something in me was right.

We recently started an I Am Business  facebook group titled Self-Made Entrepreneurs and a few of the members have been kind enough to share their stories with us. Some stories simply explain who they are and what they do, and some others have expressed the need for advice or help.  Starting/running your own business is very similar to the experience I had today. It's one of those things where at some point things are going to become so difficult that you want to quit. But you know what that is your test.  That's the point that separates the strong from the weak. Everybody on this planet is blessed with some type of natural talent. But it's only those who work extremely hard at perfecting that talent that succeed. The true test of a person's character is how they act when their faced with adversity.  Will you throw in the towel in round 8 when you're getting your butt whooped? Or will you fight through the pain and finish your opponent with a 12th round knockout? If it's something that you truly love and more importantly truly want to succeed at I suggest fighting through the pain.  Worst case scenario is you fight it out and you lose. But if you chose not to fight it at all then you have already lost. Personally I'll take a 50% chance at winning over an 100% chance of failure any day of the week.

Lastly my personal opinion on going through hard time sis this.  I believe that all legends in history (fictional or non-fictional) faced a point in their lives where they were down, out and almost left to die (figuratively speaking in some cases). However it's how they rebounded and overcame that situation that made them legends and what made their stories the ones we read about today.  Become Legendary I DARE YOU. 

This piece is focused on “who is in your company” which is a post I wrote a while ago. 

People enter our lives for a reason; sometimes they enter our life for the long term and some for short term either way there is a purpose behind those relationships.  If you ever heard the saying everything is not for everybody it is the same when it comes to the people in your life “not everybody is for everybody” some people just do not fit into your life for a number of reasons education, attitude, career, health, spiritually, physically, mentally, socially and more.  If people do not benefit your life in some way you need to remove them because they will only drag you down.  The ideal relationship rather it be friends, lovers, co-workers, or teammates you want you partner to complete you.  For example the creators of “iambussiness” are two of my best friends however they both have skills and abilities that I lack and on the flip side I have skills and abilities they lack which makes for a great “fit” the both of them complete me and allows for each of us to learn and benefit from one another.  

In a previous piece I wrote about positive peer pressure and shared how I compete against others in a positive way, which encourages both parties to be better.  I want to add that you should never measure your successes to successes of others.  It is great to compete but compete against yourself to be better not against anyone else because anyone else do not matter.  I make a conscious effort to be better than I was yesterday everyday.  Whatever it is you do try to be better at it than you previously were you never want to end your day where your day started.

“Everyone has greatness in them but not everyone is great, you must unlock that greatness from within” Devon Rembert

Too many times I have expressed my frustrations with the things I do not have in my life… then it hit me. 

One day I looked in my refrigerator and cabinets to realize I had no food; needless to say I had to go grocery shopping.  Suddenly, when I started to fill my refrigerator and cabinets a sense of victory started to overwhelm me.  It was at that point I felt blessed… because I had food to fill my house, which I bought with my own money.  This idea is simple and may seem silly however, it was vital I realize this energy and acknowledge it because not everyone has that privilege.

I shared my story to say this… be thankful for what you do have.  I am sure everyone can list the things they do not have but at the end of the day you still do not have those things, so do not focus on what you do not have.  Rather, think about all that you do have (family, life, job, food, love, shelter etc) even if your not in the best situation remember someone has it worst and at the end of the day you still can be thankful and count your blessing.

The third and final key to success in this series is persistence. The ability to not give in and keep going. I think that persistence should be used win, lose or draw. To me the word persistence wraps the entire 3 keys to success because in order to be persistent you must have the confidence to do so, and also the ability to forget about a recent setback. It's hard to keep getting up after being knocked down repeatedly but it's the only way you will ever move forward and give yourself the chance at success.  Michael Jordan has had plenty of bad shooting nights throughout his career. I'm not a statistician but I'm sure he's had nights where say he missed 7 out of his first 10 shots.  The thing is I have never seen MJ just quit and stop shooting and even on a bad shooting night, when there is one shot left to be taken in the game guess who demands the ball...Exactly.  And the thing is if he does make that game winning shot, then who out there remembers the 20 shots he missed in the first 3 quarters.   What's cool about life is that in many cases it only takes one time to succeed to overshadow your losses.  A golfer can shank his first 3 shots on a par five, but as long as he gets to the green on 4 and sinks a par putt on 5, who cares about the first 3. From a risk vs. reward stand point it's great. 

Lastly, persistence also deals with how you handle achievements as well, not simply setbacks.  It is just as important not to settle after a victory as it is to rebound after a loss.  After reaching a goal people often settle and relax which eventually puts them right back where they started. A great word to think about in this case is the word "Kaizen" which in brief means continuous improvement. I'll leave you with this last quote that is straight from the psychology section on my business plan. "I don't dream big, I think big and turn those thoughts into goals. I then turn those goals into achievements and those achievements plant the seeds to my new thoughts. I believe that people only fail because they give up before they have a chance to succeed..."

Thanks for reading this series and I apologize for any grammatical errors, i had to rush this post out this morning, busy day!

The second key to success is the ability to forget, or have a short memory. I don't mean this literally as in not being able to remember where you put the car keys when you got home, rather I mean the ability not to dwell on past negatives.  It is often said that past actions help to predict future results.  I'm not saying that this is a false statement, after all my business is ran on this notion. However, we often forget the how part.  A bad decision in the past often doesn't mean a bad decision in the future. As humans we are blessed with the gift of choice, and the ability to decide how we handle each situation we face.  On the negative side, we are also creatures of habit.  This means that each of us is in control of our future and when a similar fork in the road arrives we can either  give in to our habits and chose the same route we did in the past, or we can chose an entirely new path.

If you read the first post in this series then you'll remember me sharing a story about a photographer that was very disappointed with how his shots came out. You'll also remember me saying that he went right back out and started shooting again. This person did not dwell on his past failures. He looked at them, made adjustments and then let them go.  The same thing goes for a quarterback in the NFL when he throws an interception. He has two choices. A) he can moan and pout about the decision he made, which will give him the fear of throwing another one the next time a pass play is called. Or B) he can look at the pictures, find out what he did wrong, then go out and continue to attack the defense without giving his past interception a second thought.  Me personally,  I had a great month of trading in May but ran into a cold streak the first week of June where I nearly gave back everything I earned the previous month.  For a good eight days it seemed that the only thing I could do was lose money.  At one point I was contemplating writing a book about how I trade and telling the readers that the key to being successful and making money is to do the exact opposite of what you read in this book. lol But seriously  I won't even lie to you guys, I was feeling hurt, frustrated, borderline depressed, you name it.  But I knew that I couldn't dwell on the past and I had to keep pulling the trigger. Needless to say it worked out in my favor and I'm back on the right path.  Rewind time eight months ago when the same situation happened, I was so scared to enter any trade that I ended up watching from the sidelines as the markets went in my favor, leaving more than double of what I lost on the table.

My friend D.R. who is a writer for this site posted a great quote of Facebook the other day.  It read "I don't chase my dreams, I run them down."   I immediately commented saying that I loved his wording because even though to chase and to run down are basically the same thing, to run down is a much more aggressive term.  When I hear chase, I begin to think of the word hope. If you're chasing a dream you're telling yourself that you hope you'll get it one day.  When you hope for something your brain is doing a lot of work trying to rationalize if or how you will accomplish such task.  And when your brain wants to pull reasoning, it often pulls it from past experiences.  Therefore if you accomplished a task in the past you will have more confidence in the future, and if you failed at a task in the past you will have more doubt.  To run down something (to me at least) takes the hope factor out of the equation and tells your brain that this is what I'm doing deal with it. This takes the thought process out of it and we all know that the less you think the less it slows you down. Similar to the expression go with your gut.

I hope at least a little bit of this mumble jumble made sense to you guys and feel free to leave a comment if you have anything to add. Visit the site tomorrow for a brand new quote of the day as always and Part 3 of this series. Thank you. Much Love!

Having confidence in yourself is the number one key to putting yourself on a successful path.  When people think of success they often only think of the endgame, the finish line or the sense of achievement that comes once you get there. But before you can reach any of those points you have to develop the right mindset. If you have any doubts that you will not be successful, well, then you probably won't be.  

In college I studied public relations, business marketing and sport management.  So needless to say I've had a significant amount of experience giving presentations and sales pitches.  The most important lesson that I learned after going through many trials and errors was that if you don't  believe in what your pitching, selling or presenting 100% then there is no way that your audience will either.  It's no different from being on an athletic team where your coach seems a little iffy about the play they call during the final seconds of a game.  Or being on the front line of a battle and having your commanding officer say "I think we should do this."  I can even use the example of approaching a man or women that you would like to ask out for a date. The point is when you're going into something you have to have your mind set on the objective and there needs to be as little doubt as possible. I say this because when the situation gets tough, and trust me it will, all of those doubts will come back to fight you.

Now the big question is how to you gain your confidence? Well for me, I believe that confidence comes from something I call R.P.P. which stands for Repeated, Perfected, Preparation.  The trick I used for gaining confidence while giving speech after speech to different publics was knowing the material and my goals so well that I felt that whoever that didn't buy into what I was saying must be an idiot. Now I'm not trying to say that everybody that didn't donate or sign up was stupid, but that's how confident I was. I figured that all of these people gathered here to listen to me talk, therefore I was the one in the position of power. I was the one providing them with information on a subject which they knew little of. So in order for me to be successful I had to carry myself accordingly. I used the same technique during sports my entire life. I would practice to the point where I felt that I worked harder than anybody else on the field or track so that had to mean that there was no way I could beat. Obviously, I was defeated plenty of times, but that confidence that I instilled in myself allowed me maximize my abilities every time I stepped on the field. Just as with the presentation example, I truly believed that I deserved to be in the position that I was in. The reason coach has me on the court at the end of the game is because he knows I can get it done. The reason I made it to finals in this race isn't because I just got lucky, it's because I worked hard and earned my spot and went in with the mindset that i was going to perform well.

I had the idea for the 3 Keys To Success a few nights so it was really interesting when everything I looked at or read started to relate to the work I was about to create. Yesterday I read an interesting post on the internet by a good friend of mine that practices photography as a hobby.  He mentioned that when he first got his new camera he drove around the city taking hundreds of pictures only to get home and dislike what he took.  He could have easily given up and said to himself maybe this just isn't for me. Maybe I  wasn't blessed with the skill to do this. But instead of letting a small step backwards taint his confidence he went right back out and started shooting again.  I can't speak for him but it seemed that when he went out again (after making some technical adjustments to his instrument) he found a spot and new exactly what he wanted to get out of each shot. You'll have to read his entire post to get the full scheme of things ( http://jpics.blog.com/ ) but he attacked his goals with a confident approach and it paid off.

This was a case where having confidence in your ability paid off. It also presents a great example of tomorrows key. But you'll have to check in and read about it. 

Throughout this week I will be writing a series of posts titled "3 Keys To Success." The objective isn't to narrow down 3 factors that will make you successful, rather simply to touch on 3 things that I feel are important to developing a successful mindset.  I firmly believe that success begins in the mind and in the heart.  Without the desire and will to become successful, you are lost. Good things just don't happen and success doesn't just come because you tell yourself you want to be. It takes action as well. A lot of people use the excuse of people getting lucky when they accomplish their dreams. What's not taken into account is the position that the person spend days, months or years putting themselves in that allowed them to take advantage of when an opportunity arrived. This isn't part of the three factors but I figured I'd give you more than a single sentence post.

So be on the lookout tomorrow for the first key and I hope you guys enjoy the randomness that shoots through my mind onto the screens you view.