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You want to experience career success at a young age? You want to be the youngest person at your office? You want to make your coworkers scratch their heads because you're getting paid the same as them at half their age with a fraction of their education? You want investors and established business people to open their check books to you even though your track record in business is pretty much none existent? We'll you need a learn how to play the young & ambitious card.
Playing the young and ambitious card doesn't mean you don't work hard or that you don't educate yourself, it just means that you take the path of least resistance to a successful career.
In our society we see all these young people, recent college grads and unemployed 'victims' of the economy who could drastically change their position in life if they shifted their mindset and changed their practices just a little. With no college degree I had the following jobs before the I turned 25 using because of my expertise in playing the young and ambitious card: mortgage broker, corporate advertising account executive, marketing director of an entertainment company, nightclub marketing manager, personal & business banker.
Warning: Using these 13 methods and mindsets to play the young and ambitious card will get you jobs you don't deserve or bring you deals that are too big for you. So do be prepared to grow, adopt and learn (fast!) to rise to the challenge or you risk damaging your reputation.
Be Very Coachable
The one thing everyone hates is a rookie who thinks they know it all. Now that I'm a little older (I write this article at the wise old age of 26 LOL)I sometimes find myself on the opposite side of a table of person playing the young and ambitious card. With that perspective I can tell you that seeming coachable is more important than seeming smart. Emphasize that you are very coachable, eager and capable of learning a mastery of whatever business you are in. If you find someone who is successful and can be a key to your advancement stroke their ego a little by asking them to mentor you because you know that they are 'the best in the business' (Tell them this). Make sure in your interviews or meetings that you inform people that you are coachable.
Young and ambitious people make an electric first impression. Here's the trick to this, get your personality out early and often during the first meeting or interview. Obviously practice a little common sense though, if your interviewer is super serious don't be a goofball.
Practice Personality Mirroring: Successful people who've arrived in life will a lot of times show favor and give great opportunities to someone who reminds them of themselves when they were younger. This is very powerful dynamic that you can use to your advantage. When you meet someone like this carefully observe the unique aspects of their personality and then mirror these things back to them
Have a B.E.H.A.G
Have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal; here's a few examples
• Being a millionaire by a young age
• Writing a bestselling book
• Getting on TV or being recognized for a spectacular achievement
• Owning a successful business
Remember that people usually over estimate what they can do in one year but under estimate what they can do in 5 or 10 years. So set a spectacular 5 or 10 year goal and tell everyone you meet about it.
Read the Classics
Go to a bookstore or library and pick up some of the classic books on business and success (Or better yet get them as audio books!). Here's a few I recommend
• Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
• The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump
• Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
• From Good to Great by Jim Collins
• 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
The majority of genuinely successful people credit these kinds of books as being a major influence. By reading them you will begin the instill a mindset that will attract success to you at a young age.
From each book you read pick out at least one insightful line to quote. This is actually one of the most powerful things you can do to impress people; it shows you are coachable, have your mindset in the right place, are actively improving yourself and are wise. Here's a few of my favorite quotes, feel free to steal them!
- "What the mind can conceive & believe it can achieve"
- "You are more likely to die of indigestion of too much opportunity than starvation of too little" & "Good is the enemy of great."
Jim Collins, 'From Good to Great'
- "When making decisions I listen first to my gut instinct, than I get everyone's opinion on the matter who I respect. Then I mentally leave the decision. Don't think about it hours or days. Give my subconscious the opportunity to analysis the decision. Then when I am in a clear state of mind I return to the decision and go with whatever my gut instinct is."
Paraphrasing the billionaire decision making technique by Donald Trump
- "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self."
"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times... It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential." - Bruce Lee
Using quotes really is simple easy thing to do that makes you seem significantly smarter (Along with actually making you genuinely smarter!). I also recommend the website www.BrainyQoute.com.
Dress the Part
This is very, very important; make it a point to be the very best dressed person in office. It's said that you should dress for the job you want not the job you have, I'm going to take this a step further and say dress like your boss's boss. I recommend hitting Express or Forever21 and getting several of the sharpest professional outfits you can find.
For Gentlemen: a few tips to looking extra sharp:
• Make it a point to learn the Double Windsor knot, this is the robust, manly looking necktie knot that you see on sportscasters.
• A lot of times you will look great in suit jacket off the rack but make sure you get your suit pants tailored to the correct length to your legs. Your pants should not bunch up around you ankles because they are too long.
• Buy a few cufflinks shirts and get some cufflinks for them.
• Buy a decent looking watch – definitely not an LED screen.
• Iron your shirts.
• Make sure to get shirts with collar stays.
• Buy a couple pairs of decent looking shoes and then take care of them. Dress shoes are kind of like a Japanese car, if you maintain them they will last a long time and provide you excellent service. Make sure to wash (I just use water & soap) and shine you shoes at least once a month.
• Get your gig-line straight. This means that if you are wearing a tucked in button down shirt that the buttons line up with the zipper of your pants (photo)
For Ladies: Well, women's fashion is a world of it's own that I am not an expert on but here's a few pointers
• Dress as stylishly as you can without it being a distraction at work
• Pickup some nice lady suits
• Forever21 & Express are your best friends
• Buy a nice watch - in general men have more discriminating tastes in watches then ladies so its a great way to make yourself stand out
Practice Power Body Language
Confident Stride - As you walk; inhale deeply so that your chest rises slightly. Move your shoulders back. Also slow down your walk some, feel your center of gravity and visualize yourself gliding.
Room Entry - When you walk into a room stand in or near the doorway for a moment and survey the scene. Most people when entering a room will march directly over to a bar, table or whatever. This makes you stand out and commands attention.
Take Up Space – Keep your legs spread (just for gentlemen!), keep your shoulders back with your arms spread out if you are going to put your hands together
Mirroring - This is a body language technique where you mirror the body language of the person you are interacting with. If they put their hands on the table, put your hands on the table. If they rest their elbow on their seat, rest your elbow on your seat. Mirroring should be used with strategic timing though, do not mirror them 100% of the time. Mirror them to build rapport when they say something you like.
Using your hands – The power position for your hands, while sitting at a table is together with your fingertips touching (photo)
Upper Back Pat – In more social settings, as you are passing by a friend or joining a conversation circle, lightly pat your friend on the upper back or shoulder. This is casual way of showing affection that also shows your dominance. Think of a proud dog owner caressing lightly caressing the back of his noble hound. Make sure there is some verbal communication to go along with this. This is more for social situations and less for the office.
Ready. Fire. Aim (NOT Ready. Aim. Fire)
This is the opposite of what people describe as analysis paralysis; when you embark on a new endeavor you focus on action, making progress and resist the temptation to over plan, over analyze and second guess. The quintessential example of this is the entrepreneur who gets a good idea for a business, determines (Through a brief research or past experience) it's a sounds idea and then launches a business and starts getting customers. Contrast this with the entrepreneur who gets a good idea, spends a week writing a mission statement, creates a 50 page business plan, creates a monster spreadsheet of financial projections for the next 5 years, hires consultants to educate him about the target market, then spends 2 years trying to raise venture capital. Now there are times to take the long and analytical route but ready-fire-aim is a winners mentality.
Embrace Your Risk Tolerance
As a young ambitious person risk is your friend. At your age you could try something completely crazy, experience epic failure, go broke, declare bankruptcy, ruin your credit and then rebuild your whole life and experience the American dream. In fact you could go through epic failure multiple times and still bounce back to greatness and accomplishment. Remember, before Donald Trump had a successful TV show and a global real estate empire during his midlife he was almost completely ruined by hundreds of millions dollars in personally guaranteed debt, Ray Croc acquired the very first Mcdonalds restaurant in his late 50's and Hugh Hefner had 7 Playboy bunny girlfriends while in his seventies.
Act As If
Strike a balance between the coachable attitude of an apprentice and showing some cockiness. Success and confidence have a symbiotic relationship with each other. Try to place yourself in the mindset of a person that has already accomplished what your vision is for your life.
While you are pursuing success with passion you face the risk of sacrifice your ethics for an easy gain here or there. This is the most serious risk you face while young and ambitious. Success is sure to come to the person who can find a balance of ambition, passion and integrity.
Focus on Creating Value
A lot of young people think success is about making money by being smarter or working harder than everyone else, unless you're the kind of person that wants to live a rollercoaster life of sporadic moments of happiness that kind of mindset actually doesn't lead to success. The mindset of winner is someone who looks to create value in the world.
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