Professional Development Tools: How to Effectively Use Inspirational Books, Audios and Videos

What books are you currently reading? What audios are in your car? One of the quickest ways to master anything is to read books, listen to audios and watch videos on the subject. These are your tools for professional development and business success.

If you’re spending free time reading novels or listening to music, you’re missing a major key to personal and business success. People who achieve high levels of abundance generally read two or three inspirational books every week. They aren’t parked in front of the TV all night.

With today’s technology you have many choices of how to best receive personal growth information. There is no longer an excuse for not having time to be educated.

Look at this partial list of delivery methods for getting professional development information to you:

• Read online or listen to PDFs online–software can read text to you!
• Listen to audio or watch streaming video online
• Download audio or video to your iPod
• Download print, audio or video to your cell phone or PDA
• Print out a PDF to take with you in a folder
• Read a print book
• Listen to CDs or watch DVDs – in your car, on a plane, on your TV or computer

You’re probably thinking, “I barely have time to complete all my tasks now. How could I add anything else?” But, we all have the same 24 hours each day.

Since you can’t add hours, it’s up to you to decide how to spend the ones you have. The advent of the iPod makes it easier to access professional development tools. Now you can listen discreetly while standing in line or waiting for an appointment. iPods aren’t just for kids. They’re important tools for business success and personal growth.

To create the life of your dreams, you must make new choices about how to spend your time. If it were possible to achieve your personal development goals by doing what you’re doing now, you would already have everything you want.

I’m sure you’ve heard the adage that you can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it. It’s the same with any personal growth change you want to make in your life. You can’t create a new life with the old habits that produced the life you have now.

Just as when you were a child and books magically took you to places you’d never been, inspirational books will guide you to become the person you want to be and will help build the business success of which you dream.

Every multi-millionaire I’ve met had many personal growth obstacles to overcome in their lives. Not one of them was born into a life of ease. They dealt with circumstances ranging from total poverty, abandonment as a child, abuse, depression, life-threatening illness, divorce, business loss and bankruptcy.

This reality shatters all the excuses you’ve been using throughout your life for why you can’t succeed. For many, inspirational educational tools were the beginning of their road to personal and business success. These professional development tools will start you on the road to your dreams, too.

Let me give you some examples of abundant people who are big readers. Robert Allen, real-estate guru and author of best-selling books including my favorite, Multiple Streams of Income, reads several books at once by leaving them in various rooms throughout his home so a book is always available.

Cynthia Brian, co-author of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul and author of Be the Star You Are, finds it easy to read several books a week because she carries a book everywhere and spends at least two hours nightly reading instead of watching TV.

David Anderson of Famous Dave’s really raises the bar. He’s a self-proclaimed night owl, sleeping an average of five hours. He not only reads two or three books a week, but 20-30 magazines a month! He reads continually for personal development and to stay current on business trends.

You say you want more from life, but will you move outside your comfort zone to make it happen? Maybe reading a book every week seems unfeasible. Commit to reading one book this month, or in the next two weeks. When you find it’s not so difficult, up your quota.

The key to effective use of inspirational books, audios and videos is that you implement what you learn. Put your new knowledge into practice; don’t just read, listen or watch for the sake of spending time doing it.

Lynn Pierce, the Success Architect, has taught people how to combine business and personal development to reach the pinnacle of success and live the life of their dreams for over 25 years. In addition, she is also the founder of one of the most exciting annual events for women entrepreneurs, “Women’s Business Empowerment Summit”. Now she shares her keys to success and life mastery with you. You can get the first five lessons of “Change One Thing, Change Your Life: A Personal Transformation System” at www.yourbreakthroughtosuccess.com.

Business Coaching Tip: Be a Well-Informed and Intelligent Risk Taker

To be a well-informed and intelligent risk taker, you must learn from your mistakes. It may not be the most fun way to learn, but people who achieve personal success turn lemons into lemonade by finding the positive lesson in everything that happens.

Always put yourself in a position of learning. The more you continue your personal success education, the fewer mistakes you’ll make and the quicker you’ll know how to correct them.

Read at least one book a month on a subject about which you want to learn more. Read one magazine or newsletter a month to stay on the cutting edge of your profession.

Just imagine how different your life will be a year from now when you have read and implemented this additional information for your professional development. What would that level of information do for your ability to be an intelligent risk taker?

Action Step for your Professional Development: Start reading the classics from this ‘Business Coaching, Personal Success Reading List’:

  • Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
  • Acres of Diamonds by Russell Conwell
  • As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

Find these personal success classics on www.half.com or www.amazon.com; they should be part of your permanent library. These professional development books work on your mindset, so it’s fitting that you start reading them now.

Implementing is the key. Reading professional development books may be intellectually stimulating, but you’re wasting your time if no practical application follows.

A good business coaching tip for getting more out of your reading is to take notes as if you had to teach the professional development material when you finish.  You’ll learn on a much deeper level every time you do.

Part of being an intelligent risk taker is learning to be flexible, resourceful and resilient. To achieve a breakthrough to success you’ll need to learn to respond creatively and imaginatively by seeing the big picture.  Intelligent risk takers bounce back from resistance. Think outside the box by being flexible enough to look at other perspectives and options.

Personal success comes from continuing to the finish in the face of resistance. Flexibility gives you the power to return to your center.  Get expert advice and then follow your own intuition. Let me tell you what happened to me when I didn’t follow this advice.

Twenty years ago a respected person in my community was involved in gold mining investments. He said he had received a lot of money from gold mining investments the previous year. I had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right, but I dismissed my intuition because he ‘knew more about this kind of thing than I did’.

It was my first investment and it was substantial. I trusted this person and felt even better about it when I found out a couple of my coworkers were investing, as well.

Based solely on this guy’s recommendation, and doing no research on my own, I invested. Long story short, about a year later, I received a letter from a government agency telling me the whole thing was a scam. I was so embarrassed and felt so stupid, I never told anyone (except for you).

These days I have a different investment strategy. Instead, I recommend that you spend your money on being mentored by an expert. Every new thing I’ve learned in the last few years has been through the time and money invested in an expert mentor. In the end I have saved immeasurable time and tons of money! Now I have profits instead of losses because of advice from mentors.

Mentors are invaluable. There’s no such thing as a self-made millionaire. Everyone has help. You can go a long way toward life mastery and personal success with books and tapes. Eventually you want to have mentors with whom you communicate and interact on a regular basis. There are great mentors to be found right in your own hometown.

Lynn Pierce, the Success Architect, has taught people how to combine business and personal development to reach the pinnacle of success and live the life of their dreams for over 25 years. In addition, she is also the founder of one of the most exciting annual events for women entrepreneurs, “Women’s Business Empowerment Summit”. Now she shares her keys to success and life mastery with you. You can get the first five lessons of “Change One Thing, Change Your Life: A Personal Transformation System” at www.yourbreakthroughtosuccess.com.

Personal Success Strategy: Take a Millionaire to Lunch

Take a millionaire to lunch and you may find a new mentor. Spending the money to be mentored by an expert is a key strategy to personal success and business success. In this past year, several new ideas I’ve had originated from the time and money I spent to be with successful mentors.

Mentors are invaluable. There is no such thing as a self-made millionaire. Everyone has had help with some phase of professional development. You can go a long way toward life mastery and business success with books, audios and home study courses. But eventually you will want to have mentors with whom you communicate and interact on a regular basis. There are great professional development mentors to be found right in your own hometown.

Make a list of those people who intrigue you with their achievements in business success. Then, ask the first one for coffee or a lunch meeting. Repeat this process with each one as you refine your professional development questions to get the most out of the time you spend together.

And, don’t forget to ask how you can be of service to each of these people.

When I was beginning this process, I was surprised that busy, successful people were willing to take the time to share their secrets of personal success with me. All you have to do is ask! You may be surprised to find they will even pass on to you professional development strategies that they have learned from their mentors.

An attitude of openness to possibility is essential. Keep your eyes and ears open, and have enough faith in yourself to make quick decisions and go for it. Don’t ever be afraid to pay someone for his or her knowledge.

The rewards you reap in saving years of trial and error, not to mention the strong possibility that you may never learn on your own the personal development strategies that they are willing to teach you, is more than worth the investment.

Just a few weeks ago, I was at an event where I had the opportunity to network with some of the most brilliant marketers. Some were already friends and some I was meeting for the first time. We brainstormed about business and personal success over meals and in the hallways during breaks in the meetings and in the bar at night.

You’ll find that successful people love helping other people succeed. We all share an attitude of “let me tell you what’s working for me now” that allows everyone to take advantage of each other’s discoveries and business success strategies.

Yes, we’re all in the same business as marketers, speakers and authors; but we are building strategic alliances rather than looking at each other as competitors.

It’s a good idea to associate with the people who are already in the place of where you want to go. Only listen to people who have big goals for themselves and are willing to do what it takes to be successful. Don’t make the mistake of asking someone for advice who hasn’t done what you are planning to do.

Lynn Pierce, the Success Architect, has taught people how to combine business and personal development to reach the pinnacle of success and live the life of their dreams for over 25 years. In addition, she is also the founder of one of the most exciting annual events for women entrepreneurs, “Women’s Business Empowerment Summit”. Now she shares her keys to success and life mastery with you. You can get the first five lessons of “Change One Thing, Change Your Life: A Personal Transformation System” at www.yourbreakthroughtosuccess.com

Personal Growth Quiz: Test Your Level of Self-Esteem

A few days ago I wrote a comment on Kevin Nation’s Big Ticket Mastermind site. At the end of my comment on the topic of marketers ability to communicate their true value I said, “The other part of this that comes up over and over with my clients is their lack of belief in their level of expertise, or feeling undeserving of getting paid big bucks for what they do.”

Over the weekend I kept thinking about what I had posted about beliefs which led me to think about how your beliefs impact your self esteem.

So I wanted to give you the opportunity to take this self-esteem quiz that you’ll find in my book, “Breakthrough to Success; 19 Keys To Mastering Every Area of Your Life“. Please share your thoughts by commenting on this post.

Every day I hear people from all walks of life saying things that literally cut them off from their own personal growth and total abundance. Things like, “I just can’t seem to get ahead,” or “I can’t believe I always do such stupid things.”  Hearing those things is such a shame because it’s so unnecessary.

If you were fully aware of how you talk to yourself and talk to the world about who you are, you’d be shocked. We’re all guilty of this to some small degree, but for many their self-talk is debilitating.

Take a minute to answer these questions:

  1. Are you talking yourself out of living your fullest life with the self-concept you’ve created?
  2. Who do you tell yourself you are with your self-talk?
  3. Which of the following scenarios is closest to your self-talk?
  • Maybe you are saying to yourself, “This is the year I’m going straight to the top,”
  • “This is the year I become a superstar”
  • “I’ve got everything going for me and this is my year”
  • “Things don’t look like they’re going to be much better this year; in fact it might be a little worse than last year,”
  • “Maybe it’s time for some belt tightening; I don’t want to take any chances”
  • “You never know what could happen, better to be safe than sorry.”

Is there any doubt in your mind which of these examples shows the confidence that will build self-esteem, and which are the ones that demonstrate low self-esteem?

Here are a couple more personal development questions in follow-up:

•    Which type of self-talk creates a better atmosphere for personal success and living an abundant life?
•    What do you think is the difference in income and professional development between people with these two types of self-talk?
•    What goals do you think each of these people possesses?
•    Who is having more fun and excitement?
•    Who do you want to be?

Your level of self-esteem sets the personal success bar for everything about you. Every decision you make is filtered through your self-concept. Your self-concept is the out-picturing of your self-esteem.

Take a look at just eight reflections of your level of self-esteem:

1.    Your career choice
2.    Your friends
3.    Your primary relationship with another
4.    Your level of income
5.    Your home
6.    Your car
7.    Your free time and hobby choices
8.    Your vacations

Changing what you believe about yourself will change your life in an instant.

Build self-esteem and you will build your self-concept. But, your self-concept requires attention and care to be maintained. It’s not as simple as saying you feel good about yourself and that’s the end of it.

Do you know that your self-talk comes at the rate of a magazine page of text every single minute of the day? That’s a lot of talking to yourself! If you fill your mind with positive input, it’s a pretty good bet that most of your self-talk will also be positive and foster personal and professional growth.

Use this personal growth quiz to become aware of your self-talk. By changing what you say to yourself and transforming what you believe about your personal success, you will automatically build self-esteem.

You can use this article by included this author information:
Lynn Pierce, the Success Architect, has taught people how to combine business and personal development to reach the pinnacle of success and live the life of their dreams for over 25 years. In addition, she is also the founder of one of the most exciting annual events for women entrepreneurs, “Women’s Business Empowerment Summit”. Now she shares her keys to success and life mastery with you. You can get the first five lessons of “Change One Thing, Change Your Life: A Personal Transformation System” at www.yourbreakthroughtosuccess.com.

Create a Personal Manifesto for Personal Growth and Professional Development

A manifesto is a series of statements clarifying what you stand for in your life as well as what you won’t stand for.

Having a personal manifesto helps keep your focus on who you are and your purpose in life. I created my personal manifesto as a certificate with a personalized logo and it’s up on the wall in front of my desk.

You may be wondering why it’s so important for women in business to have some kind of measuring stick, such as a personal manifesto, to use in your decision making process for personal growth and professional development. At a conference I met a man who was extremely successful at predicting the futures market, which is a part of the stock market.

He felt he was really successful in just about every area of his life except for his weight. He was extremely overweight. He had gone to see his mentor in person, and they had a conversation where his mentor asked him, “What are your rules about your weight?”

He thought about it, and he realized, “Okay. I’ve been so successful at my work because I have clear-cut rules on how I do everything in my business.”

He also quickly realized that he had never set up any personal development rules about what his health was supposed to look like. He had a vision and an action plan in every other area of his life, and, surprise, the one area of his life that wasn’t working was his health and his weight.

So he went home from that meeting and spent several hours writing out what he wanted his health to look like; much like a personal health manifesto.

He decided he was going to lose 70 pounds in 70 weeks, without starving himself or being on a diet. Then he planned to make millions by telling other people how to do it.

This is only possible because he established a plan, an outline of what health looked like to him, and what he would and wouldn’t have in his life pertaining to his health.

That’s what your personal manifesto is. It’s the rules you’ve set for yourself to be who you are. It is an easy reference for women in business. When something comes up and you aren’t sure what to do, you can look at your personal manifesto and see if it fits with what you wrote. It won’t be long before you don’t have to look at your manifesto at all. It will become a natural part of your internal decision making process for personal growth and professional development.

One multi-millionaire friend of mine mentioned she was setting up a new real estate investing partnership. She talked about the rules they set for how they were going to find properties, who the partnership would acquire them with, and how they would sell them.

Everything you want to be successful at needs a set of rules or guidelines that you follow so you have a way to determine your level of success and a way to judge opportunities as being a good fit or not for personal growth and professional development.

You don’t have to call it rules. If you have a problem with the word rules, which most women in business do, you can use guidelines, blueprint, roadmap, or whatever you want to call it.

Creating a personal manifesto is the first step in deciding what’s most important to you.

Daily Spiritual Practice: The Foundation for Your Breakthrough to Personal and Professional Development

Down through the ages, great thinkers, inventors, artists, statesman and philosophers have credited their spiritual connections for their successes.

If this seems like a strange place to begin, you may be wondering what this has to do with our topic of success and life mastery.

Daily spiritual practice is the foundation everything else builds upon to create an abundant life.

In studying the professional development of many of the wealthiest and most empowered millionaires, I found the majority of them start their day with an hour of spiritually oriented reading and meditation. Yes, I said an hour.

It seems like a lot of time for a busy successful person, but the consensus of the truly successful is that taking this time is what sets the tone for the day and gives them the energy they need for an incredibly busy life.

By the way, they also tend to go to bed later and get up earlier than the rest of the population.

How different would your life be a year from now if you added 365 more hours of positively invested time to your year?

If you normally work a 40-hour week, you’ve just added the equivalent of nine weeks to your year, devoted totally to your personal and professional development. And you thought you didn’t have time for personal growth or professional development in your life!

Let me explain what I, as a personal development mentor, term an empowered millionaire. They are different from other millionaires whose main focus may be on accumulating money. Empowered millionaires are what I consider to be truly successful people.

Empowered millionaires have a life purpose that serves others. This purpose is bigger than they are. Oprah is a great example of an empowered millionaire, as is Bill Gates.

Both of these incredibly wealthy people could be living a life of luxury, hording all their money and never working another day in their lives. Yet they are working overtime as philanthropists, helping to make the world a better place.

They go above and beyond simply writing a fat check to a cause, although I appreciate all the people who do that as well. My point is, that despite their busy schedules, they research and travel and work personally to improve the lives of as many people as possible.

That, to me, makes both Bill Gates and Oprah great examples of empowered, spiritually motivated super successful people.

Through their service to the world, spiritually based successful people have become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. These multi-millionaires and billionaires work harder than most people I know, when they really don’t need to work at all.

Think about all the other examples of people you know who demonstrate their spirituality by freely sharing their knowledge, their money, or both with the world to make it a better place for everyone.  These are the people who are truly making a difference in the world.

We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their willingness to come forward and lead. They make things happen not just for profit, but because it’s the right thing to do. The energy to take on the work they do comes from the foundation of their daily spiritual practice.

Would you like to be incredibly wealthy, full of energy and purpose, living a life that makes you outrageously happy?

Would it be worth getting up a little earlier or missing the first half hour of the news in the morning?

If you don’t already have everything you want, I challenge you as your personal development mentor, to ask yourself …“How much effort is the life of my dreams worth to me?”

You may not see the full connections yet, but daily spiritual practice is the foundation for your breakthrough personal and professional development.

You can start with something as simple as being grateful for the opportunity of another day. Years ago in Las Vegas I met hypnotist Marshall Sylver, who suggests jumping out of bed every morning and saying what a beautiful day it is, filled with love, opportunity and abundance.

Any type of daily spiritual practice will keep you uplifted while you achieve personal and professional development and life mastery. It will also keep you grounded in the truth of who you are. As you implement daily spiritual practice, you will learn that it is the foundation to your personal growth, your professional development and your abundant life!