The Six Rules For Success – # 2 Skills

shark belief rules for success horse race

Success With Skills

Rule # 2 is about how you can achieve success with skills.  Skill acquisition is paramount to success because it’s often our skills, or lack thereof, that make the difference between winning and losing.  Skills are not the same as talent.  Too often people make the mistake of thinking that if they weren’t born “gifted” at something, then they can never be great.  That fallacy comes from the emphasis we place on star athletes, musicians or even historical greats such as Einstein and Mozart.  The problem is that we never see all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

Talent vs Skill

Just watch the Olympics and you’ll be amazed at the incredible abilities we mere mortals can develop.  Are these Olympians talented?  Absolutely!  But don’t make the mistake of thinking they were born that way.  We only see thirty seconds, or two minutes, or the final event that crowns a person The Best in the World.  We never see the years of pain and struggle.  We don’t see the sacrifice, the long hours of practice or the bumps and bruises that were required to transform these individuals from average into amazing.


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Keep Your Skills Fresh

The same holds true in the business world.  If you want success, you must begin to develop skills that are specific to your aim.  Will it take time?  Will it be hard?  Will you feel like you’re not good?  Yes, Yes, and Yes!  However, not only is it worth it, it’s necessary.  In a world where software and machines are replacing simple tasks previously done by people, its never been more important to keep you skills relevant and constantly be improving.  Challenge yourself to pick up new skills regularly.  Learn to code.  Take a public speaking course.  Hire a coach to keep you growing.  Once you know what your end goal is, the next step is to determine the types of skills you’ll need to be successful.  Pick one or two and hit it hard.  Stay consistent and push through the pain period.  Commit to learning and getting good at something new.

michelangelo quote on hard work

It takes a lot to be successful. Focus, hard work, determination and key relationships are all common traits.  However, if you don’t have the skill-set required for your goals, then even all your passion and hard will leave you short of success.  It takes a lot more than just wanting it real bad.  Success with skills is one of the key traits that will separate you from the rest.


11 Insights on How to Improve Your People Skills

In every industry, it has proven that the most profitable skills to have, after the required technical skills, are good people skills. Whether you engage in professional networking on a regular basis or are just focused on building a small business, you are still going to need some critical interpersonal skills for building and maintaining significant relationships. Two of my favorite books in this category are Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People and Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone.

I highly recommend you read both of those books.  Here are eleven insights to help you with you with your social skills. These are an excerpt from the chapter on Relationships in my book The SHARK Belief Success Code.

1. Smile

Sounds simple but most people don’t do it often enough. It’s especially important to smile when you first meet someone or if you want to make yourself approachable. Smiling makes you more attractive to others and you’ll also seem more trustworthy and approachable. Smiling is contagious and others will usually smile back at you so give it a shot.

2. Remember their name

A person’s name (or whatever they like to be called) is the sweetest sound to them and also their favorite word. I’m always impressed when someone remembers my name, especially when I barely know them or when I can’t remember their name. It shows respect and awareness for others when you take the time to remember and use their name which in turn will make you more respected and memorable.

3. Listen

It simple and we’ve all heard it before, but when someone else is talking, just listen. Resist the urge to cut them off and jump in with your comments. Rather, actively listen to what they are saying and paying attention to the conversation will make you an excellent conversationalist even if you don’t say much!

4. Compliment and Praise Others

Make it a habit of pointing out and saying good things about other people. Recognize other’s strengths or attractive attributes and point them out. If someone has a new car, compliment them on it. If you notice some has a new haircut, point it out and make them feel special. However, people don’t appreciate flattery and false praise, so make sure you’re genuine and sincere when complimenting others.

5. Focus on the other person

Speak about what they are interested in. Ask questions and show a genuine interest in others. The majority of people like to talk about themselves and their interests more than anything else. If you give them this opportunity, they will enjoy talking with and being around you. They easiest ways to do this is by asking them questions.

6. Gratitude

Show sincere appreciation for others. This is especially important as a leader or influencer. I’m always amazed by how powerful a simple thank you note or phone call can be. If you’re mindful of others and show a genuine appreciation, you will be amazed at how much others will be willing to do for you. Also, wouldn’t you rather be around someone that shows sincere gratitude for the things in their life over someone that is constantly complaining?

7. Be Agreeable

You know those people that like to argue with everyone and contradict ideas or point out flaws? They always have to be right and make it a point to prove others wrong. Don’t be that person! When having a conversation, it’s okay to be agreeable and let others have their way from time to time. Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow.

8. Try to see things from their point of view

Let’s face it, not everyone is going to agree with your or share your opinion. During times of difference, do your best to see things from their point of view before jumping to conclusions. You may gain a new perspective or insight as to why some people see things a certain way which will make you an even better people person.

9. Allow others to save face after making a mistake

Never criticize someone in public or in front others. There will be times when you’re offended or when people fail and let you down. Let others save face and dignity by keeping your critique or dissatisfaction a private matter between you two. Berating someone in front of their friends or coworkers will almost always gain you a permanent adversary. People find it hard to forgive when they’ve been publicly humiliated.

10. Use Humor

Don’t be so serious all the time. People like to laugh and have fun, so learn when to crack a joke or even make fun of yourself. It shouldn’t be excessive but it will certainly make you more enjoyable to be around if you remember to keep things light from time to time.

Added Bonus!

I shouldn’t have to say this but unfortunately, it is a huge reason some people struggle when interacting with others so it must be said. Be mindful of your own personal hygiene and appearance. Simple things like body odor or bad breath can be a huge turn-off and a distraction to others. Beyond just smells and appearance, make yourself easy to be around. I’m not saying to not be your authentic self, but simple things like showing good manners, wearing clean and presentable clothes and personal etiquette play a huge role in likability. It’s all about being self-aware and mindful of how others perceive you.

Top 10 Skills for Entrepreneurs


The list of potential skills an entrepreneur is required to have can be incredibly long.  Most entrepreneurs wear a lot of different hats and may not be able to outsource all of the key activity that needs to take place when first starting out.  Whether you’re just getting starting or already running an established business, here are a few key skills that all entrepreneurs, sales professionals and business leaders should consider developing.  Skills are critical to success and the more you have, the greater your results will be.

In no particular order:

1.  Speed Reading

Yes, reading is a skill!  If you want to continue growing your knowledge base and improving your skills, then reading will have to play a large role in that development. All leaders are avid readers and being able to read as quickly and efficiently as possible will be a skill that pays huge dividends over the long run.

2.  Rapid Learning and Skill Acquisition

Learning itself is a skill and understanding how to learn anything quickly and efficiently can put you miles ahead of the competition. Additionally, using techniques to develop an incredible memory will give you an edge.

3.  Public Speaking & Presentation

As an entrepreneur, you will be presenting often and explaining your ideas.       This can also include other forms of effective communication such as verbal and written communication.

4.  Technical Skills

You probably shouldn’t be the best programmer or graphic designer you know (unless that is your business) but having a basic level of technical skills will have huge benefits in today’s highly technical world. Being able to quickly edit a web page, create a mock-up of an app or query information in a database could give you just the edge you need.  Additionally, since just about every business will now have some sort of technical aspect to it (web marketing/mobile apps/graphics/databases/etc.) having technical skills will also let you communicate with engineers and designers more effectively. This is also true for being able to review and understand financial spreadsheets and financial metrics.

5.  Sales

Whether pitching your idea to potential investors & customers or recruiting highly skilled people to work for your organization, having sales skills will be critical to your success.  Even if you don’t plan on working in direct sales capacity, these skills are needed for almost all areas in life and should be developed.

6.  Negotiation

Negotiation is something you use everyday in both your business and personal life. Deal making is an integral part of business and negotiation will play a key role here. As an entrepreneur, this skill also goes far beyond just getting a better price or favorable terms. Being a good negotiator makes you more efficient because instead of spending time arguing with others or trying to force people to do what you want, you can use negotiation skills to reach agreements, find win-win solutions and keep you focused on the priorities.

7.  Interpersonal Skills

Having good people skills is critical and are often counted among the most valuable skills to have.  If you’re already familiar with SHARK Belief, then you know Relationships are key to high levels of success.  There is always more you can learn about being a better people person.

8.  Execution

Ideas are wonderful but they are worthless without effective execution. Being able to successfully execute is what separates the winners from the losers. Admittedly, execution is large group of skills but there are few key sub-skills that generate high execution skills. These are planning and project management, delegation, people & priority management and problem solving just to name a few.  It’s about being highly productive.

9.  Leadership

Even if you plan on being a one-person business working from the comfort of your laptop, you must still become a leader. Leadership is critical in all aspects of business and especially when building a new company.

10.  Focus

Maintaining a “laser-like focus” on the ultimate goal and working on the task at hand without being distracted is a skill that we all need to develop. When trying to build a business there will be a seemingly endless list of distractions that have the potential to derail your progress.  By nature, entrepreneurs are curious and prone to seeing new opportunities or better ideas everywhere.  This skill is not easy to master.


Skill is not the same as talent. Talent describes a natural aptitude while skills are developed and mastered through learning, repetition and focus. Anyone can become highly skilled and it has more to do with out-working those around you than it does with being gifted.  To be a successful entrepreneur, begin to master the skills listed above and you’ll see your game go to the next level.

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This Is What A Successful Person Looks Like



If I were to ask you to close your eyes and imagine a successful person, what is the first image that comes to your mind? Most people will describe images of a good-looking person wearing expensive clothes, driving a nice car and having achieved wealth, fame and power. Perhaps they came from rich families and went to Ivy League schools after having been raised by loving parents in upper-middle class suburbia. Most people would probably describe a successful person in such a way because the world tends to define success based on money and material possessions. That’s understandable and there is nothing wrong with being wealthy but money isn’t the only measure. We might also agree with the description above because that is how a successful person is typically portrayed in the media and is similar to what people call the American Dream. We’ve been conditioned to think of successful people this way.

The truth is that there is no standard description of what a successful person looks like.  That’s because success is not defined by what you wear or drive and it’s certainly not dependent on where you grew up or who your parents were.  If I took you to an airport and asked you to pick out the successful from the unsuccessful, you wouldn’t be able to do it.  Success doesn’t care what you look like, whether you’re male or female or even about the color of your skin.  Success doesn’t care what neighborhood you grew up in or how popular you were in school.  There is no success gene and people are not born with a pre-disposed ability to become successful or wealthy.  Rather, people achieve success because of who they are and who they have become.

“It’s not about your looks or your past but is instead about your personal characteristics.”

This is what a successful person looks like:

A successful person keeps goals and a to-do list while the unsuccessful person is easily distracted and unfocused. A successful person talks about their ideas and shares useful information with others, while the unsuccessful person likes to talk about other people and regular shares criticism. A successful person makes time for personal development by reading books and listening to audio that will help them grow as an individual, while the unsuccessful person prefers to watch a lot of TV and spend hours playing video games. The successful person is not afraid to fail and always learns from their mistakes rather than blaming others for their failures. The successful person wants others to succeed and compliments others rather than feeling threatened by someone else’s success. A successful person seeks to build positive relationships with others and learns from those that have gone before them rather than trying to look like they know it all. A successful person is confident enough to show real humility and gratitude instead of trying to come across as successful and as better than everyone else. A successful person hustles and works hard at developing new skills and good habits.  They have patience and they persist because they understand that success doesn’t come easy so they are willing to put in the time necessary to achieve results.  The successful person takes action, makes progress and makes things happen.

Success, you see, is not about what a person looks like but rather it’s about who that person is.

It’s about what they do rather than what they own. The thing that separates the successful and the unsuccessful is what takes place inside their head and it’s not based on genetics or the neighborhood they grew up in. I’m fully aware that some cities and schools do more to help kids become successful than others and that poverty, drugs and violence are very real issues. I myself grew up in such an environment and saw more than my fair share of these things. But I have also realized, that in spite of all these external things, anyone can achieve success if they want it bad enough and are willing to do the things necessary to transform who they are.

Success is not easy, but it’s possible!  Quit making excuses.

Words of wisdom from Gary Vaynerchuk on the myth of overnight success.


The 4 Best Online Tools For Learning Anything Today


We live in an amazing age where you have the power to learn just about anything you can think of; all from the palm of your hand.  Knowledge IS Power and in today’s fast paced world we need to use the new ways of learning to keep our skills and knowledge up to date.  Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do this online and most are affordable and efficient.  There is no shortage of information and the amount of new content being generated each day is staggering.   It’s easy to get information overload but we still have a responsibility to sort through it and learn continually.

I love learning new things and am a dedicated life-long learner.  Here some of the best mobile platforms for expanding your knowledge and to help you learn anything today:


Yes! The world’s second biggest search engine has information on anything you can imagine. It’s great for getting quick and brief info but if you want to teach yourself a more complex skill, you’ll spend a lot of time searching for and piecing together the collection of videos needed. You may not, it may not always have the latest information and the video quality may be an issue. Nevertheless, I use it almost daily and subscribe to many channels. Best free resource other than search engines.

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Online Learning Platforms

It seems like every day there are new platforms being introduced offering a variety of topics. I like these best for learning technical skills such as coding or for replacing the traditional hotel ballroom seminar setting. These sites usually have a free trial version but most are a paid subscription for full access. Here are just a few that I have used personally and really enjoyed.  Links to the sites provided:

  • Udemy – For Anything – Paid mini courses on everything and anything.  My favorite!
  • TeamTreehouse – Great for learning programming and design.  I’m a huge fan.
  • Coursera – Mostly free courses on anything but great for business, technology and sciences.
  • Kahn Academy – For Anything from basic math to high level sciences.
  • Udacity – Great for Technology and Sciences and supported by companies like Google.

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest  

– Benjamin Franklin

Mobile Apps

Most of these learning platforms also have a mobile app counterpart but there are also a bunch of App-Only platforms that are great for learning.  One of my favorites is Duolingo, which is a free app for learning a new language.

duolingo teacher

Books and Audio  

In addition to using these online and mobile platforms, some of the best time-tested ways to learn new information is through books and audio programs. In addition to my physical book library, I really enjoy using my iPad to read e-books or using my phone for listening to audio books on the Audible app. A great feature is that Audible lets you increase the speed in which the book is read to you.  This makes it really easy and fast to get through a book while doing something else, such as yard work or driving!

Kindle and iBooks

And finally there are Podcasts. You can find a podcast on any topic and there are many good ones out there. Do an online search for the best recommended podcasts on the topic you want to learn more about.

Whether you’re sitting on a plane, driving to work or relaxing by the pool, there are no more excuse for not being able to learn anything and also at your own pace.  You have the world’s information readily available to you and there are amazing tools to help you gain knowledge on any topic. Leverage these for your success and use them as a way to SHARK Belief Your Life!

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How To Transform Yourself – 3 Tips


superhero tranform jump

One of the most incredible freedoms you have is the ability to change who you are and what you can do.  Everyone has this amazing power to transform themselves yet it is probably one of the least used powers today.  Most people have settled with who they are, what they have and what they have been able to accomplish.  They’ve quit pushing themselves.

By nature, most us resist change and would rather stick with the status quo.  But for those of you who want more, those that dream big and aren’t afraid of change, here are some tips and basic principals to be aware of.

90% of  transformation takes place in the mind

One of nature’s most incredible creatures is the butterfly.  It enters the cocoon a slow fat caterpillar and soon emerges a majestic and colorful butterfly with wings that can take it anywhere.  While we don’t have the capacity to physically morph into another being, we all have the incredible ability and freedom to transform our minds.

Your beliefs limit what you think is possible for your life and will drive much of what you do over the course of your life.  The types of goals you set, the sacrifices you make to achieve something big, the amount of money you earn and even the kinds of friends you have will all be influence by your beliefs.  The good news is you have the ability to influence and transform your beliefs, which will ultimately transform your life.


no limits


Next time the Yankees play the Red Sox, look at the sold-out crowd and try to pick out the millionaires, the CEOs, successful entrepreneurs, accomplished authors, or the political power brokers.  You won’t be able to do it because much of what makes these individuals successful is what is in their minds.  Sure, some drive nicer cars, can afford better seats or fancier clothes, but if they were all dressed in the same sports attire and standing in the hotdog line next to you, you couldn’t tell them apart from anyone else.  The point is that success begins in the mind.


Transform these three areas to accelerate success

Your knowledge  

Depending on the goal you have set for yourself or the person you wish to become, you will need more knowledge that is specific to your goal.  In today’s world of readily available information, free online tutorials and countless universities, there is no longer the excuse of not knowing what you need to know.  Begin to focus on what you need to learn, seek out the information you need and see how quickly you will begin to transform your mind and confidence in what you can accomplish.  Never stop learning.

Your Habits

A large part of our day to day activity is done on autopilot and this is due to all of the engrained habits and routines we’ve accumulated over the years.  There are good habits and there are bad habits.  Determine which habits or routines would help you reach your aim and being to set those new habits in your life.  It is the cumulative effect of consistently working on establishing a good habit that produces miracles.  Tackle one at a time and slowly but surely, you will build a solid foundation of good habits that will transform your life.

“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.”

Your Skills  

Never say “I can’t do that” or “I’ve never been good at that”.  The truth is, you can learn just about any skill given the time and effort.  Learning more about effective techniques, setting aside time to practice and develop, committing to regular and consistent improvement & not fearing failure will all lead to you developing skills.  Focus on the skills you need to reach your goals and start with one.  Then over time, you can build on that and add new skills.  The most successful among us are the most skilled at something.



Commit to Life-long Development

Most people think personal growth and development stops when they finish school.  In today’s fast paced, ever-changing world, it is critical to stay ahead by constantly learning new skills and gaining new knowledge.  Be one of the few that will continue to improve throughout their lives.  Become obsessed with improvement and you can become anything you put your mind to.  No matter how long it takes or how hard it gets, it’s ultimately up to you.

Why Skills are Better than Talent

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Is it better to have skills or talent?  No, they aren’t the same thing but if you had to choose one, you should choose skills.

It’s love watching the Olympics. It’s incredible to see people push the boundaries of physical human potential and set new records. I love to watch live music performances and marvel at how easily some can sing and play an instrument at the same time.

Natural born Talent or Skills? Well, sometimes it’s both (which is best) but usually, it’s all skill gained by hard, hard work.


“Talent you have naturally, but skill is developed by hours and hours of beating on your craft.” – Will Smith


Skills vs Talent

No doubt, many of us are born with natural abilities and aptitudes. But why should we limit ourselves to those talents and strengths we were born with?  If I have a knack for painting but want to be accomplish my goal of being the #1 sales associate in my company, it will require a different set of skills.  If I want to start my own web design company, it will require certain technical skill and ability.  But if I don’t have these skills now, does that mean I’m out of luck?

The good news: Skills are learned and developed and there is literally no limit to the types of skills or the number of skills we can choose to attain. This can be tailored to support that goal you’re aiming for. Some skills are simple and easy and are really just technique and know-how.  Other skills take longer and are harder to learn but will result in greater finesse, artistry & expertise.


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Success Requires Skill

Any goal you aim for will require some sort of skill or technique. The sooner you can identify what those are and how to attain them, the sooner you will begin to see results.

Greatness and Success are the RESULTS of a lot of little things done well, day in and day out. Too many people choose to focus on the big prize of success when they should instead be focused on developing the SKILLS it will require to reach that level of success.

Desire is good, passion and hard work are great, but skill will take you over the top!

The problem is, wanting a skill doesn’t sound as sexy and we all know it actually translates into timeeffort and commitment.  Start a routine that will force you to regularly work on developing skill and through your practice, understanding and experience you will enter into the ranks of a Master.




How to Master a New Skill

  1. List 5 key skills that you would need to reach your goal or take your results to the next level.
  2. Narrow the list down to the top priority skill.  Which one skill, if mastered over the next few months, would have drastic impact on your results?
  3. Research this top skill and learn everything you can about it.  Study those who have this skill, watch videos, listen to audio and learn as much as you can about how to master this skill.
  4. Take action!  Grind, get to work, do something to start practicing and mastering your top skill.
  5. Stay focused and motivated.  Anytime you learn something new, you face fear, uncertainty, discomfort, pain, and maybe a little failure.  When the going gets tough, remind yourself why it’s important that you master this skill and stay committed to reaching your goal.


“You don’t have to be great to get started,

but you have to get started to be great.”  

– Les Brown


SHARK Belief your life, start with SKILLS!


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SHARK Belief – Get Started With This Success Map


Here is a simple way to get started with SHARK Belief by drawing your own success map.  A great way to start is by asking yourself the right questions.

Albert Einstein famously quoted “A problem well defined is a problem half solved.”

This requires not only asking good questions, but also attempting to answer them.   To apply the Shark Belief process, you must first create a map that will get you started and keep your efforts focused on the right actions for the best results.

Start by answering the following questions for each element and create your success roadmap:


  • What ultimately do I want to achieve?
  • How will I know if I have been successful (or am being successful)?
  • Have I written it down yet?


  • What skills and/or techniques are needed to achieve this goal?
  • Should I develop these skills myself or work with someone already skilled in this area?
  • What is the best way to practice and ultimately master this skill?


  • Are there habits or routines I can establish to make progress toward my goal each day/each week?
  • What habits or routines have other successful people implemented?
  • Do I have bad habits that I need to replace?
  • What one or two foundation habits should I start to develop first?
  • What habits can I stack on after that?


  • Who can help me achieve this goal?
  • Do I need a mentor or accountability partner?  Who might that be?
  • Do I lack skills or knowledge that can be bridged by someone else?
  • Where can I meet others that are working toward a similar aim (or those that have done what I want to do)?
  • Are there people negatively influencing me or holding me back?  How can I change that?


  • What specific things do I need to learn more about to accomplish my goal?
  • What are the top three sources for this knowledge?
  • What is the most effective way to learn it?

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  • Do I believe it’s possible for me to accomplish this?
  • Have I visualized myself reaching my goal? What does that look like?
  • How can I continue to reinforce my beliefs and stay motivated?
  • Do I have limiting beliefs, fears or doubts that are holding me back?
  • What do others that have succeed believe?

Build Your Success Blueprint

Ask yourself these questions and write down the answer to each.  Brainstorm multiple answers and most importantly, take action when you’ve come up with an answer.  It’s one thing to know what you need to do and why.  It’s another thing entirely to hustle and take massive action towards the accomplishment of your desired aim.

None of this will work, unless you do

The SHARK Belief Philosophy is about taking action.  You must first determine your target, then ask the right questions that will lead you to the most effective course to follow.  All success will contain the six elements of SHARK Belief.  Start with the SHARK Belief Overview and discover what they are and how to apply them for greater acheivements.