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7 Guidelines to Make Success Inevitable

2016 goals success doug sandler.png

What does the little voice inside your head tell you about your future? Many times, it will not be just one voice, it will be an entire choir of voices. The key to success is knowing that you are able to conduct the choir. It is you that is in control of the voices, and not the voices that are in control of you. If you treat the concept of success (as defined by you) as inevitable, success will be achieved by you. Become conscious of the inner voice and aware that it is constantly chattering. What is being said is of paramount importance, make sure is it positive, uplifting and constructive. The conversations you have with yourself should be encouraging you, as if success was inevitable. Here are 7 guidelines for proceeding:

Stop looking back - The past is just that, the past. Nothing you do will change what you have already done, so there is no sense in second guessing or worrying about how your got on the path you are on right now. You chose the path and it has gotten you exactly where you are today. Delight in the knowledge you are here and have learned valuable lessons because of the choices you have made. If you have a tendency to look over your shoulder (figuratively, of course), you can lose focus on all of the amazingness that is in front of you. Continue your amazing journey. It is uniquely yours. Your future depends on the decisions you make moving forward, not the regrets from your past. Let yesterday's lessons make for successful planning for your future.

One key to success is knowing that you are able to conduct the choir of voices in your head.

Focus your attention on what lies ahead - Have you ever tried riding a bicycle backward? It's a very challenging task. Not only is it difficult,  but it looks and feels so unnatural. When focusing forward, however, with your head up, it is much easier to keep your balance and to keep an eye on your goals.  The year ahead will be incredible if you believe it will be incredible. It will require you to make an effort and not only set goals, but put in place, actionable steps to help you reach your goals. Allow yourself some space to make things happen. While looking forward is essential for success, even with blinders on it is important to stop every once in a while to check your progress, evaluate your goals and make adjustments. 

When you come to the fork in the road, give weighted consideration to the road less traveled - The road less traveled is traveled less for a reason and far more satisfying than moving along with the masses. Make your life an adventure, filled with excitement. More adventure and excitement does not necessarily equate to more risk. But even if it did come with elevated risk, would you be willing to risk stepping outside your comfort zone to achieve some amazing results? Taking the road less traveled will result in uncommon rewards. 

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
— Peter Drucker

Stop listening to those who have not traveled your journey - It is easy to be critical when you are directing from an armchair. Most of your critics will be armchair critics who have never endured what you have experienced. Those critics have not been in your shoes nor are they on your path. Instead of listening to their opinions, listen to the words of those that have traveled your journey. As human beings, by nature, we have a tendency to want to please others. Hold yourself accountable only to you and do not let their recordings play in your head. Life is not a popularity contest and there will be as many opinions as there are decisions to make. Do what is best for you and keep in mind that the best response to the sour thinkers is your success. Success is so sweet.

Do not run from change, embrace it -  The only constant in life is change. Once you begin to accept change in your life, stress, anxiety and pressure will be greatly reduced. Accepting change does not mean you need to accept everything that comes along, but you should learn to live life with a greater feeling of flexibility, an understanding the nothing is permanent, and an openness to opportunity when it is presented to you. Although your habits and routines will be tested as you begin the process of changing, it is okay, since the results will be personal growth, professional improvement and and a bigger vision for your future.

When you wake with passion, you work with passion.

Live life with passion - Anything worth doing, is worth doing with passion. When you wake with passion, you work with passion. Over the course of my career, especially early on,  I spent too much time focused on the financial rewards of working hard. For most of that time, I was working to make a living, not a life. I was able to buy stuff as a result, thinking it would make me happy. The more stuff I obtained, the more stuff I wanted and it soon became an endless cycle of desire, greed and unsatisfying results. I was clearly not happy. Once I started to understand the role passion plays in determining success, it became clear to me success was more about finding my passion and not filling a bank account, filling a garage or filling a closet. As my passion evolved, goals and dreams became clearer and I became more financially successful as a result. Start with passion and do what you love. Stick with it and you will be very happy with the results as well.

Don't be so hard on yourself - As you begin to set goals, develop a plan of action, and to work your plan, give yourself some slack. Happiness, positivity and a good attitude can be quickly sabotaged when you are too hard on yourself. Give everything you do your best effort and know that if you fall short of your goals, you simply need to reset your goals and go after them again. You are the only critic you need to answer to, so the six inches between your ears should be protected and precious space. You will get far more from yourself if you are encouraging, accepting and loving and less critical of every move you make.

This past year, 2015 has been a great one for me, but also very bittersweet. Professionally, my book, Nice Guys Finish First launched in February and by the end of March hit #1 on Amazon's charts. It continues to do very well and has been a dream come true for me. My Nice Guy community (blog readers and podcast listeners) continues to grow and I am proud to say that 2015 has brought 2,500 weekly readers to my website, a new crop of readers through my Huffington Post channel, over 20,000 Twitter followers, 5,000 LinkedIn connections and well over 20,000 downloads to my Nice Guys on Business podcast (thanks to my partner Strickland Bonner).  Those of you that know me personally, know my dreams came true when, in August,  I married my best friend and the world's most beautiful woman Danielle. This past year my daughter Rachel graduated from James Madison University and I look forward to seeing her dreams come true as she continues her music studies. My son Adam (yes that's right, Adam Sandler)  continues his studies in graphic design as college sophomore. Sadly, 2015 marks the year I lost my step-father of 43 years, Marty Finstein. Marty was the man of steel with the tin box. I am blessed to have my mother in my life and we miss him very much. I am grateful to have so much love in my life and know that 2016 will continue to put me on a direct path towards success. I welcome you to join me on this path. It is open to Nice Guys everywhere. By now, you have to realize nice guys finish first.

Nice Guys Finish First
By Doug Sandler



2015 Blog Year in Review

'Twas a few days before Christmas,  I sat scanning my blog, I reviewed 2015 sipping a glass of egg nog. 

The year has slipped by us, as quick as two winks. I counted 52 blog posts and 90 podcasts with web links.

The subject matter varied, but the theme, all the same. To succeed in life friends, we've got to go after big game. 

Exemplary service, work ethic, stress management all there. Inspiring quotes, book reviews, even a few app recommendations I did dare.

I wrote of superheroes, self worth and being a business smarty.  Most recently, two posts, eulogizing my amazing dad Marty.

I talked of piggy bank moments, and slowing down a bit, to breathe and relax, reducing stress and staying fit.

Reading my posts you will find lots of tricks of the trade, whether entrepreneur or business owner, never let your dreams fade.

There was the time when I posted about problematic email tone. And also one to my readers to be more attentive while giving phone.

A post about an anxiety attack that happened to me, and the hurdles we all may face on our quest for liberty.

I received plenty of responses when I wrote about my fave booksThe Go-Giver, The Present and Think & Grow Rich all deserve second looks.

Living life to the fullest, stepping out of your zone. I am always emphasizing you're not going it alone.

I wrote of 5 simple rules to live a happier life, and talked of beating to your own drum and living with delight.

Reading my posts you will find lots of tricks of the trade, whether entrepreneur or business owner, never let your dreams fade.

About mid-year I wrote an open letter to my mom, and of amazing training wheel moments that last a whole life long.

We learn a lot about ourselves when we deal with defeat. When loss and failure hurts us and we feel like we're beat.

There was a post about Seuss. Think. Wonder. Yes, indeed. Stand out when you're you and you will win, guaranteed.

And I wrote in the spring about being a nerd, and that success can come to you, when others think you're absurd. 

There was a post on social skills, about Facebook and Twitter, about being a good listener and about being a winner.

We all need a cheerleader, someone by our side, to help raise our ship high, even in a low tide. I encourage my community to walk, hand in hand, and together success will be our promised land.

In 2015 I wrote of an epidemic that's catching. Excusitis it's called and the symptoms can be quite lasting. With a positive mindset, and a great attitude, the excuse illness will pass you and a fever you can elude.

I wrote a bit about marketing, taking a social media stance. I wrote of high touch, not high tech and the client prospect "dance."

And when sometimes you need help and in ways you get stuck, I wrote of predictable habits that can bring you good luck.

But the approach I have shared, I have shared with delight, of compassion, empathy, passion and the belief,  nice is right.  And I continue to catch people as they do the right thing. I thank them for just being, and their praise I do sing.

We all need a cheerleader, someone by our side, to help raise our ship high, even in a low tide. I encourage my community to walk, hand in hand, and together success will be our promised land. 

So as I close out this year, Nice Guys Finish First seems so right. Happy holidays to all and to all a NICE night.

Nice Guys Finish First
By Doug Sandler



Peace on Earth this Season

During the holiday season, normally a time for wishful thinking and lofty goals like world peace and a season of goodwill for all, the world should be more at peace. I was naive enough to think this year would be a little different, and the people around the globe would show us a glimmer of hope, making this world a better, more peaceful place to live. But more violence, retaliation, aggression. radical actions and more fear seem to be the message that is spreading instead. How many more people getting killed, hurt, sanctioned, imprisoned and castigated will make the other side right? And why are there sides anyway?

Why is it so important to be the religion, ideology, government or power that is right? How can we make stronger the dialog that will lead to a halt of all the violence, killing and extreme fear mongering. When small children are strapping on bombs, teenagers are carrying assault rifles and more hate and unrest is carried out in the name of religion on network news than any other subject, when can we as a world decide enough is enough and put an end to all of this craziness?

We can make a difference by showing respect, gratitude, empathy and fairness.

While I do believe this is something our government is able to take some responsibility for, the resolution, ultimately,  comes down to us. Yes, each of us, individually can make a huge impact, simply by treating each other differently. We can make a difference by showing respect, gratitude, empathy and fairness. Maybe I am just being simple minded and failing to realize the bigger picture, but somebody has got to do something, and that somebody is all of us. One person at a time. Don't underestimate the power of one. Before you start commenting, critiquing and telling me about the issues, consider, for a moment, the possibility that you have within you the ability to change the world, peacefully.

Even without understanding all the issues,  can't we all agree that hate is not the answer.  Love is the answer. How many thousands of years must we endure pain to understand that hate and violence are not solutions to the problem. Compassion, empathy and respect should be our tools, not bombs, guns and ill will. Let's attack hate with love and kindness. I'm not a hippie, or rose colored lens wearing, picket sign carrying, dope smoking idealist. I'm just a guy that writes a blog, spreads a message of "nice is right," and cares about the world around him. Regardless of your skin color, religion, orientation or genetic makeup, I can and will see you for what you are inside. I'm going to "xoxo" if I like you and if I don't, I'm simply going to respectfully ignore you, but I will never interfere with your beliefs and I certainly hope you respect me enough not to interfere with mine.

Even without understanding all the issues, can’t we all agree that hate is not the answer.

Every single one of us can make an impact on the world. You don't have to believe me, just look at the lives of these individuals. Before they changed the world through their actions, they were just people like you and me.

  • Martin Luther King - through non-violence, started a civil rights movement and changed our country.
  • Nelson Mandela - Nobel Prize winner for his work helping to end racial segregation in South Africa.
  • Gandhi - Inspired people all over the world to independence through a path of non-violence.

Although I have listed three iconic members of the civil rights and equal rights communities that have become household names, there lives and lived thousands more that are making a difference in their country, province, community or neighborhood that you may never know by name. 

Even a small change is better than no change at all.

You may not feel you have the power to make a difference, but I can assure you, even a small change is better than no change at all. You have within you the power of gratitude, compassion, empathy, sympathy, warmth, appreciation and most importantly you have the power to love. 

If you feel those words or actions are too distant from where you currently are positioned, I challenge you this holiday season to work toward being more tolerant, forgiving and open-minded. We did not create this violent world overnight. I am not so short-sighted to think that we can resolve all of our problems tomorrow, but we have to start sometime. Why not now? And we all have the power to hope. Hope for peace. Hope for love. Hope for change. 



10 Ways to Avoid Quitting on Your Goals and Dreams

Photo credit Pixabay.com

Photo credit Pixabay.com

Success is not always achieved by the fastest, the smartest, the richest or even to the most capable people out there. Life has taught me success goes to anyone that simply doesn’t quit. Stay on the path made by others before you or make your own path, it doesn't matter. Action will help you achieve your goals. Inaction is a dream crusher. Action moves you forward, and although it may seem obvious that doing something is better than doing nothing, many people choose the latter. And it’s not because people are lazy. For many, getting out of the starting gate is a challenge. Maybe they have the belief that a dream is just that, a dream, and while it would be great to achieve it, it’s not a realistic expectation. For some, quitting comes as a result of losing interest. For others, they halt in their tracks when the temporary pain of sacrifice outweighs the potential pleasure achieved by reaching their target.

In order to hit a target, you’ve got to have a target.

If success comes by simply not quitting, what is the reason for the disconnect and why is it that so many people give up on their goals and get out of the game? Looking back to countless projects that I’ve started over the years but not finished, businesses I’ve brought to life and seen consequently die, and plans I have built only to watch them crumble, the overwhelming majority of the time I have not achieved my goal was because I gave up, nothing more.

Here is a list of 10 ways to avoid quitting on your goals and dreams.

  1. Rule one. In order to hit a target, you’ve got to have a target. If you are not big on goal setting, I can completely relate, but it’s a critical step for a couple of reasons. First, setting goals will help you visualize where you want to be and second, if you don’t set goals, how will you know when you get there? The only way for you to get what you want out of life is to set goals. Don’t like writing lists? Draw a picture. One of my goals is to speak at a TED Talk conference. On my bathroom mirror is a stick figure drawing of me, delivering my 18 minute speech, wearing a little beige microphone, standing on a round, red carpet.

  2. Set realistic expectations. If your goal is to run a marathon, but you have never run in your life, give yourself time to train. You’ve got to build up to 26.2 miles. Many people quit because they have an unrealistic expectation of how quickly they want to reach their goal. Keep in mind, while you are working on reaching your target, life is going on all around you. Give yourself time to reach the summit.

  3. Big goals need to be made into bite size nuggets. Once you’ve set your goals, take it a step further and break them down into daily tasks. When I started writing my my book, the idea of writing 200 plus pages of a business book seemed way too challenging. However, writing 10 pages a week for twenty weeks didn’t seem to scare me as much. For me, however, I wanted to make sure “book writing” got onto my daily to-do list, so the idea of writing 300 words a day was totally realistic.

  4. Be prepared for the roadblocks. There will be traffic tickets, office projects, fights with your partner, visits to the ER, calls from school and a thousand one other obstacles that will get in your way. Don’t fall prey to excusitis. Know that life is going to come down hard on you as soon as you set your goals. Be prepared, don’t quit, keep moving.

  5. Set a realistic date for your goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it's the same with your goals. Many people give up on their goals and dreams when they don’t achieve them overnight. Set a realistic date, be as specific as possible and look at it everyday. As you start to close in on the date, make a push to reach your goal. Get excited when you see the finish line and work hard to make it happen.

  6. Make sure you can measure your progress. When I first started following my website analytics, I became very focused on the numbers. More traffic driven to my website equaled more inquiries, more shares on social media and more services sold. Instead of feeling like all of my website traffic goals were locked into just one overall number (total visits), I was instead able to measure things like unique visitors, shares on specific social media channels, comments made and more. Although I may not achieve my total visits goal every day, I am usually able to find a victory in one of the analytics I use. Measurable progress is a must.

  7. Reward yourself along the way. I do like a good party. Small celebrations will prevent me from quitting. Even if I have a particularly rough setback, I will find a reason to celebrate. Keeping your head in the game is the cause for celebration and you must not allow yourself to get into a negative funk. Negativity will squash your dreams faster than the Grinch’s run through Whoville.

  8. Watch what happens along the way. As you move forward, great things will happen. As you stay the course and start to build momentum, you will receive much needed support that others could write off as luck. Speaker, author and successful businessman Brian Tracy says of luck, “I found luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active, show up more often.”

  9. Make yourself accountable to someone. Do not remain silent about your goals. If you want to achieve more and avoid quitting on your dreams, have someone close to you hold you accountable. One rule about accountability - No wimps! It is critical that you find someone that will not let you off the hook so easily when you falter.

  10. Own it. Speak it into existence. When you talk about your goals and dreams, don’t talk about what you are going to do, talk about what you are doing to make it happen. Less wishing, more doing. Want to be an author? First, start writing. Second, when someone asks you what you do, tell them proudly, you are a writer.

Life has taught me success goes to anyone that simply doesn’t quit

Make 2015 the year that you not only start to reach for all of your dreams, but also the year you decided not to give up on your dreams. It is never too late to get want you want out of life, never too late to be the best you can be, never too late to be successful and never too late to change.

My first book, published by Motivational Press is scheduled to be released first quarter 2015. I am available to speak to your company about how to build lifelong relationships with your customers and providing exemplary customer service. My blog also appears in Huffington Post. Please share my post on your favorite form of social media.