How to Successfully Fund Your Side Business

Heaven High and Happy Thursday!

Are you working a full time job to support your family and your passion? Here are six steps to help you fund your passion and/or your side business.

#1) Stalk the Dollar Signs

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These days you won’t be able to save your way to your passion. I’m sorry to say that your savings just isn’t quite long enough. In addition to saving money, you’re also going to need to supplement your income or follow the dollar signs up the corporate ladder.

#2) Don’t Flaunt the Money You Don’t Have

Showing off the money that you don’t necessarily have is really counterintuitive these days. With how quickly technology is changing, you won’t be able to show off your new toys for too long anyway. Don’t spend your new income on things like luxury cars and watches unless it can make you money. Be known for your work ethic, dedication, and intelligence instead of what you have on your arm.

#3) Don’t Neglect Your Funds

If you ignore your money, it will ignore you – or even worse, it might leave you. Don’t just put your money away in a savings account. Invest it. Pay attention to it. Show it some love. Treat your funds like a puppy. If you ignore it, who knows where it will go – but if you train it and treat it right, it’ll be there for you.

#4) Being a Starving Artist is Only Novel for About a Day

I’ve been poor. I’ve been unemployed. I’ve been at the point where I’m struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. The idea of being a “starving artist” and that “my situation is okay for now” is not good enough. Bill Gates once said that it’s not your fault if you’re born poor. However, “if you die pour, it is your mistake.” Take the initiative and be proactive in funding your life and your ambitions.

#5) Shoot for More

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The biggest mistake that we often make is that we don’t think be enough. If you’re aiming to make a million dollars – aim higher. Reach for $10 million. There’s more than enough money to go around, you just have to know where to go and how to get some.

#6) Get a Mentor

Find someone who lives the lifestyle that you want and study his or her professional habits. A lot of successful people are very generous when it comes to knowledge and resources. If you can get a chance to pick at their brains or perhaps read a book that he or she wrote, even better!

If you want to learn more about what you can do to be successful, grab a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, ACTING FOR REAL, by clicking on that big, beautiful, green button below.

Well, until next time! B BOP!

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How to Work Less for Success

Heaven High and Happy Tuesday!

Today I wanted to talk with you about hard work. Working hard is a necessity for people who want to be successful (including you and me). However, we have a tendency of unnecessarily overburdening ourselves. There are tasks that must be done, but often we are too focused to realize that we are actually overworking ourselves. Here are some tips on how successful people keep that balance between their professional and personal life in addition to minimizing their chance of overburdening themselves.

#1) Disconnecting from the World/Work

One way that they keep their stress level down is to disconnect at the appropriate times. Keeping your professional and personal lives separate is important if you want to retain a healthy amount of balance in your life.

If you can’t electronically separate yourself from work on your weekend, then it’s like you never really left work. The same goes for your professional life. If you’re constantly checking your social media accounts or texting your family/friends about non-emergencies, you’re not really giving work your 100%.

#2) The Power of Reflection

I like to reflect a little bit after every workday. I sit back with a glass of wine and think about my successes, what I could have worked on, what I want to improve upon the next day, etc. Reflection is a powerful improvement tool.

At the minimum, try and spend about a half an hour reflecting on your work week during the weekend. When you have some quiet time to focus on yourself, you’ll start seeing your experiences in a new light.

#3) Pursue Your Passion

I’m not saying that you should drop everything and blindly start your own business. No, pursuing your passion is more than just diving into the deep end of a pool. What I mean is that you should have hobbies that you enjoy by yourself. Indulging in these activities on the weekends will allow you to have some much needed down time.

This will also expand your knowledge base – which will aid you in developing more creative and innovative ideas at work. After all, being creative is all about making connections between different ideas and experiences.

#4) Schedule Some Day Trips & Mini-Adventures

Studies show that when you anticipate the weekend, your daily tasks become more pleasurable and you’re more motivated to get these done (and done well). This is a great way to improve your mood throughout the work week. Traveling – even just micro-adventures – have also been proven to boost creativity.

Go out and explore the world. Do things that you’ve never done before. If you’re a little short on funds, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything exciting over the weekend. There are plenty of activities that you can enjoy for little to no money:

  • Movie or game night with some friends/family, held at your house. Make it even more inexpensive by making it a potluck.
  • Day trip with a significant other. Just get away for a day. Pack the cooler full of food from home that you can snack on throughout the day, fill the gas tank, and go as far as your car can take you for a day or two.
  • Meet some friends at the park for a picnic and some outdoor games.
  • Go on a hike and/or an overnight camping trip. Make it more fun by going geocaching as well.
  • Create a bucket list with your significant other or some friends and start to check off some items.

#5) Prepare for the Week

Use Sunday as a day to plan your upcoming week. It only takes about 30 minutes to plan out some big tasks, map out deadlines, and revisit meeting times in order to make the work week a little more manageable and a little less intimidating. Monday morning won’t seem as ominous if you know just what you have to do before you get to the office.

If you want to learn more about what you can do to be successful, grab a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, ACTING FOR REAL, by clicking on that big, beautiful, green button below.

Well, until next time! B BOP!

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3 Steps to More Successful Networking

Heaven High and Happy Thursday!

Last Tuesday, I talked about something that I absolutely love, staying organized. Today I want to talk about something that I also enjoy but most people avoid – networking. No matter what field you work in or what type of business you have, networking is a key to your success. You may not think that it is important for the success of your business or you as an individual but I beg to differ. Networking allows for you to:

  • Grow relationships with other people (clients, coworkers, colleagues, competitors, etc.),
  • Learn directly from others,
  • Meet mentors and potential business partners,
  • Grow your field of influence,
  • Grow as an authority in your field of expertise,
  • Benefit from the associations with others,
  • And that’s just to name a few…

However beneficial it might be, some people still detest it. Some of them just don’t know where to start. Others don’t know how to connect with others. Some people just don’t think about maintaining those relationships after you’ve started to create that bond. Let’s quickly go over three simple tips that will help you build your network and networking skills.

#1) Go With the Right Frame of Mind

If you go into a situation where you can network, with a negative frame of mind, it’s going to be nothing but miserable for you. Instead, look at it positively. It might help to just call it a different word or phrase. Instead of “networking” which can leave a bad taste in your mouth, why not call it for what it is? Building connections and relationships – relationships being the key word.

The best networking connections are built on genuine relationships. Don’t just go into a convention or meeting looking to see how you can manipulate other people or how you can weasel them into doing what you want. Instead, go into those situations looking to build friendships. Treat these people in a warm and friendly manner rather than like a cold business contact.

In addition, do a little bit of research: find things that you have in common, keep conversations light, make some jokes, show them that you care, actively listen to what they have to say, ask them questions about themselves, and (most important of all) be genuine.

#2) Keep Your Goals In Mind

I’m a big believer in having concrete short term and long term goals. When you don’t have goals in mind, how do you know when you’re successful? Yes, even knowing what you need in order to be successful is a vague goal. Networking is no exception to this.

Write down your long term goal. What do you want to achieve in five years? Now write down what you need to achieve during each of those years leading up to that five year mark. Break it down even further now: what do you need to achieve in the next three months in order to achieve that first year goal?

Now let’s integrate networking with a Networking Action Plan. In order to do this, you need to look at your goals and write down three people who can help you reach those goals. Examples of this include clients (Do you need to land a particular, “big” client?), mentors (Who do you look up to?), advisors (Who are the experts in your field?), or potential business partners (Who has your same goals in mind?). Make sure to vary your choices in order to cast a wide net of influence.

#3) Learn How to Build Strong and Healthy Relationships

Building strong connections with strangers can be hard. In order to kickstart that relationship, try these two tips:

Ask insightful questions in order to actively engage the other person. To put it simply, ask better questions.

Actively listen to their answers. Depending on who you are, you may find active listening to be difficult or it may come naturally. Active listening involves, well…, just listening. Don’t think about anything other than what the person is saying and don’t spend that time coming up with your response. Don’t forget to maintain eye contact and respond with relevant questions.

If you want to learn more about what you can do to be successful, grab a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, ACTING FOR REAL, by clicking on that big, beautiful, green button below.

Well, until next time! B BOP!

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5 Ways to Stay Focused & Organized At Work

Heaven High and Happy Tuesday!

Today I want to talk to you about something that we all need a little help with. I’m a nut about organization. I lead such a hectic lifestyle that if I were to be unorganized, I wouldn’t get anything done. I want to share with you some of the techniques and tips that I use in order to make sure that I stay focused at work and stress-free.

#1) Plan Your Day The Night Before

I’m a big advocate of planning your days in advance (with a little bit of flexibility for surprise events, of course). I normally do weekly plans on Sunday and make more in depth plans the night before I go to work.

Sundays are specifically for the big picture: deadlines, meetings, and potential blocks of time where I will be busy and unable to schedule anything. The night before work is meant for specifics: tasks that I need to finish, smaller projects that I can finish for the end of the day, breaking up bigger projects into smaller tasks to finish, etc.

#2) Your Desk is Your Palate

Like a painter’s palate, your desk should have everything that you need in order to do your job effectively. You shouldn’t have to search for anything. That would just take your mind off of your task and cause you to get distracted.

Keep your desk clean and organized. At the end of your work day, take a couple of minutes in order to tidy up. That way, when you get to the office in the morning, your desk will be a clean palate for you to start your work day.

#3) Create a Portable Office

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My work allows me to get up and leave every now and then. I go from studio to studio. I go from the office to other locations. It’s a great way to keep everything in perspective. Unfortunately, we don’t all have the luxury of having more than one office.

However, some of you still have the opportunity to work in other places: co-working space, working remotely, coffee houses, even just outdoors (this is the best option because you can get some much needed Vitamin D also).

I keep a portable office handy whenever one of these options arise. I keep a laptop that is packed with essentials for work: pens, paper, flash drives or an external hard drive, laptop, planner, reference books, etc. I store copies of my current projects on a cloud service so that I can have access to it everwhere.

#4) Schedule Your Internet Time

If you’re like me, you get stuck in time-sucks when you go online. Even the act of checking your e-mail can spiral into an hour of internet surfing. To offset this phenomenon, I suggest three things:

Schedule your e-mail checking time. Constantly checking your e-mail every hour will waste your time. Instead, check your e-mail at three different times: once in the morning, once after lunch, and once about two hours before you have to pack up to head home.

Use apps that block certain websites from your work computer at certain times of the day. If you know that you have an issue with checking social media during the day, use an app that will help you kick that habit while you’re at work.

Pomodoro it. I used to use the above technique to keep me away from Twitter and Facebook. However, part of my job is to stay connected with my fans. So instead, I use the Pomodoro Technique which follows this schedule: work for 25 minutes, break for 5. This happens three times, then work for another 25 minutes, and then take a 15 minute break. I use those 25 minute blocks to

#5) Don’t Forget to Schedule Time for Yourself

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Scheduling some time for yourself is important for your mental and physical health. When your mind and body are in top shape, you think clearly and work more efficiently. When you work too hard, you become stressed and fatigued. Your productivity and quality of work diminish as well.

When you schedule personal time make sure that you’re not doing anything work related. Spend time with friends and family. Spend some time by yourself, working on a hobby that you enjoy.

If you want to learn more about what you can do to be successful, grab a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, ACTING FOR REAL, by clicking on that big, beautiful, green button below.

Well, until next time! B BOP!

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5 Life Lessons We Should Stop Forgetting

Heaven High and Happy Thursday!

Every day is a gift but sometimes we can’t see that because we’re too busy living our lives. More importantly, we live our lives and forget about those important things that we’ve learned in life. Busy schedules, everyday chaos, mistakes, and mishaps. Some of us live our lives on autopilot and we don’t look for anything more.

Is that what we learned as we grew older? Do you remember some of those life lessons that we’ve learned throughout your live?

I’ve compiled a list of five life lessons that you should always keep in mind in order to live a happy and successful life.

#1) Fear is the Main Source of Regret

Don’t be afraid to take risks. In the face of a scary situations sometimes we hear the phrase, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” What is the worst thing that can happen? Dead? Is there a safety concern? What is keeping you from being adventurous? Don’t let yourself live your life and die inside.

#2) Self Worth Comes from You – Not Other People

You are the only person who should be able to determine your own self-worth. Don’t allow other people’s opinions or accomplishments take any of your self-worth from you.

#3) Surround Yourself with People That Lift You Up

If you surround yourself with inspiration, you will have more of a chance to shine and show your brilliance. Inspiration and creativity beget innovation. I don’t just mean motivational posters and images that you find inspiring – I mean people as well. Don’t surround yourself with negative people. We have a tendency of mimicking the people that we surround ourselves with. Why would you want to mimic that kind of behavior?

#4) Embrace Change

Change is inevitable. It’s not always easy but if you keep an open mind, you can realize the positive outcomes of any change.

#5) Life is Too Short

You’re living the life that you’ve made – you’re not a sum of circumstances that are all beyond your control. No one can really force you to make any decisions – especially when it comes to you values, passions, and aspirations.

If you want to learn more about what you can do to be successful, grab a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, ACTING FOR REAL, by clicking on that big, beautiful, green button below.

Well, until next time! B BOP!

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Working A Job While You Start Your Own Business Is Tough But Doable… And Here’s How.

Heaven High and Happy Tuesday! How are you on this fine Tuesday evening?

Today I want to talk about how to work a full time (or part time) job and start your own business on the side. I don’t want to get all technical. We could start talking about lenders, business plans, and accounting. Instead I’m going to focus on something smaller but even more important: how to mentally prep yourself for all of that hard work. It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of time but it will be worth it in the end. Just keep these three things in mind.

#1) Maximize Your Time

People that work for 48 hours in a row are impressive, right? They’re the superheroes of the business world. However, if you have to actually work for two days in a row to meet a deadline, you probably aren’t maximizing your time or planning your day well. Nor are you properly delegating tasks.

If you know that your job takes over 40 hours per week, you’ll need to be able to maximize the 40 hours and delegate other tasks so that you won’t have to spend 50 hours at work.

Work should be a priority in your life – for as close to 40 hours as possible. Remember that after the 40 hours of work, there should still be 72 hours a week to do with as you wish. Sleep should also be a priority for that time, as should having an active lifestyle and being social.

#2) Look At Your Current Job In A Different Light

We don’t normally want to go to work. No matter how much you love your job, when Monday rolls around, most of us would rather stay in bed. However, being happy at your job is all about perspective. When we actually love our jobs, we are happy about it as soon as we get there. When we aren’t, that’s when the issues come into play. But just like I said before, it’s all about perspective.

Have pictures (photographs or vision boards) up in your cubicle or office that remind you why you are doing this. Do you work because of your family? Do you have images of items from your business? Perhaps an end product or even a prototype?

Your job (whether you actually like it or not) is a means to an end. You’re just working it to be able to pay for things while you get your second job up and running.

#3) Use Your Job As Motivation

When you think about how frustrating your job is, use that as motivation for why you should work hard. This job is paying for your business. This job is also helping pay for your food, take care of your family, and keeping you comfortable. You may not enjoy it but a little discomfort and frustration builds character and look at it this way – the harder you work, the faster you can quit so that you can take care of your small business full time.

If you want to learn more about what you can do to be successful, grab a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, ACTING FOR REAL, by clicking on that big, beautiful, green button below.

Well, until next time! B BOP!

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Happy Mother’s Day

Heaven High! We just wanted to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there.

The warmth and kindness of your hearts make you more beautiful year after year.

 

B BOP!

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5 Ways to Kill Procrastination for Better Success

Procrastination is a successful career person’s enemy. Whether you’re a CEO of a company or an actor, trying to land the role of a lifetime – if you procrastinate your way through your day, you will get nothing done. So how do you overcome procrastination before it gets the best of you?

#1) Know Yourself

Know your habits and what distracts you. Know your schedule – and by schedule I mean both your body’s clock and your desk calendar. If you know that you get in a slump around 2PM, assign some tasks that are quick and easy to complete around that time. Checking things off will help motivate you to work harder and you don’t actually have to work harder to get it done.

If you know that you get distracted while on social media sites, don’t go there during the work day. There are apps that you can download onto your computer and plug-ins that you can put into your browser that will actively block certain websites during certain times of the day.

#2) Effective Time Management

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Managing your time effectively will guarantee that you don’t have enough time to sit around and daydream – not that you should pack your day full. The difference is that you should have enough tasks (and a variety of them to keep you engaged) to be able to feel both productive and needed.

#3) Change Your Perspective

Keep focused on why you love your job and this particular career path. Even if you don’t actually love your current job – consider your motivations behind why you work there

Want to afford that dream car of yours? Get a picture of it and tack it up on your wall, so that when you start daydreaming, you can catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of your eye and remember why you do what you do.

Love and support for your family? Get your favorite picture of your family and set it on your desk. These little motivations will do worlds of good for your perspective. Identifying your personal goals will help improve your engagement and puts things into perspective.

#4) Task Lists

Devote small chunks of time to a large task. Save the small tasks for the early morning (it helps me stay motivated to work hard during the day) and during the times when you know you feel sluggish. Write down the important tasks and keep plenty of time on your schedule for extracurricular activities (to keep you from burning out).

However, you must remember to stay flexible. If you’re too rigid, you will be too hard on yourself if you don’t get all of your tasks done. Prioritize your list so that you can get the time sensitive projects done on time and not feel too stressed during your work day.

Don’t know how to be flexible? Try this activity on for size. List the possible obstacles for completing your assignments. When you’ve got them down, write down some countermeasures next to them. “When I find myself on Facebook, I know that I need a break, so I will go for a quick walk down to the water cooler.” This helps you mentally prepare for road blocks.

#5) Create a Productive Environment

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A productive environment is clean and clear of clutter as well as inspirational (put up those motivational images or vision board), engaging (have interesting things around your office that inspire both creativity and innovation), and organized (so that you can spend less time searching for things and more time working).

Open offices are big right now also. The feeling of being stuck in a prison is often stifling. If you are actually put into just a small office with four walls, create a sense of openness by leaving your door open (if it isn’t too noisy), opening windows (let in that natural light), engaging with coworkers, and clearing away the clutter. A cluttered office can wall you up even more!

I also suggest getting some great air-purifying plants!

It may also help to give yourself a reward system to celebrate when you check off your tasks. This helps positively reinforce your effort and provides incentive. I try not to reward myself with food – it leads to bad habits (like a chocolate addiction). Instead, I reward myself with small breaks, another cup of coffee, a fun task after I get off of work, a new song to add to my work playlist, some down time during the weekend (when I have a productive workweek), etc.

If you want to learn more about what you can do to be successful, grab a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, ACTING FOR REAL, by clicking on that big, beautiful, green button below.

Well, until next time! B BOP!

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The Link Between Your Health and Success

Heaven High and Happy Tuesday!

Today I want to talk about something important to any entrepreneur, businessman, and creative out there: health. Staying healthy while you are working hard at your passion is integral to your success. You can’t work hard if your body isn’t in perfect working order.

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It’s like working on building a house with tools that are in shotty condition. Can you build a sturdy house if the head of your hammer keeps falling off of the handle? What if you’re using dull nails and stripped screws? Do you think that your home will be sturdy?

That being said, I can understand how difficult it can be to make healthy decisions when you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off – believe me. Despite our different but equally hectic schedules, I’ve compiled a list of five things that everyone (including me) can work on in order to make healthier decisions. These things can positively affect both your energy levels and your overall health.

#1) Don’t Skip Breakfast

Skipping breakfast has been linked to diabetes and an increase in obesity. It has also been linked to that sluggish and moody “Monday morning” feeling that you get every day. If you’ve got a presentation, an audition, a deadline, or a morning meeting, breakfast is probably the last thing on your mind. But eating a quick, healthy breakfast can help your work performance and can help you stay focused.

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Short on time? Try a peanut butter and banana smoothie (a fantastic way to get some protein in the morning). Blend a frozen banana, two tablespoons of peanut butter, a cup of almond milk, and a handful of ice cubes. If you know that you’ll be running out of the house in the morning, prep it at night. Also try your own fruit and yogurt parfaits, healthy muffins (made the night before or on Sunday for the rest of the week), or overnight (refrigerated) mason jar oatmeal – for those cold mornings.

#2) Prepare Your Food

Prep your meals the night before or prep ready-to-go foods on Sunday. Sundays are always my no-work, housekeeping days. I prep serving sized snacks in those single-serving resealable bags and have them at hand so I can just grab a baggie and go when I leave the house. Keeping healthy snacks available means that I won’t be making bad decisions when I get h-angry.

#3) Don’t Eat & Multitask

Multi-tasking and eating is dangerous for your waistline because you’re not focusing on how much food you’re putting into your body. People can eat and eat without realizing how much they have eaten or how full they actually are. If it’s lunchtime, take your lunch outside (for some fresh air) or join your coworkers in the lunchroom so that you can socialize. Not only will this help you create a better eating experience, it will also get you away from work so that you can feel refreshed and ready to take on those tasks when you get back.

#4) Drink Lots of Water

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Sometimes our body mistakes thirst for hunger. Staying properly hydrated can help you lose weight because you’re not constantly snacking and helps you stay alert and on-the-ball at work. Whenever I have to spend a large amount of time at my desk, I keep my water bottle next to my computer. Whenever I see it out of the corner of my eye, I take a swig. This little habit helps me get the right amount of water every day without even trying.

 

#5) Choose Quality Foods

It may cost a little more but fresh foods are much better for you than those pre-packaged and processed foods. It may take more time to cook dinner every couple of nights but you can use that time to bond with your family. Evening meals are important times where you can bond with your family. Leisurely meals together can help you maintain a healthy balance in your life.

If you want to learn more about what you can do to be successful, grab a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, ACTING FOR REAL, by clicking on that big, beautiful, green button below.

Well, until next time! B BOP!

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Improving Success With Your Personality

Heaven High and Happy Wednesday!

Today I wanted to talk about what it takes to court clients, agents, and other people that you need to impress. Personality is incredibly important in these situations because when we are faced with the option of working with different people and their respective personalities, we have a tendency of choosing certain “types”. So what can you do to improve your likability?

#1) BLT Isn’t Just a Sandwich

BLT stands for:

  • Believability,
  • Likability, and
  • Trustworthiness

If you cultivate a these three personality traits, colleagues will pass that on (and so will clients and agents). You can cultivate this reputation by showing examples of these traits as often as you can. Always stick to your word. Be courteous and kind to others. Help others and show emptathy. Be someone that they can trust.

#2) It’s Not Always About You

Showing interest and curiosity in other people makes them more open to you. Open ended questions are great for getting to know other people. The other half of this is that you have to actively listen. Don’t just think about how you can work the conversation to work in you favor. Be in the moment – their moment – and focus on them.

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Engage them by speaking to them with your body language as well as your voice. Your gestures speak louder than your actions. If you’re crossing your arms and looking away, it will be obvious that you’re not interested in what they have to say.

 

Being open-minded about other people is also important. Being judgmental of others or gossiping about them on a regular basis will invited negativity into your relationships.

#3) So Important: The First Impression

No matter what anyone says, everyone forms an initial judgement as soon as they meet you. It is imperative to make a great first impression – which has a lot to do with appearance. However, it doesn’t just deal with the visual. Yes, dress appropriately and professionally. It is also equally important to make a good impression on all of their senses. Make sure that your clothes fit. Have good manners. Give a firm handshake. Don’t overdo the cologne or perfume and hygiene is important. So important!

If you want to learn more about what you can do to be successful, grab a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, ACTING FOR REAL, by clicking on that big, beautiful, green button below.

Well, until next time! B BOP!

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