Ready to be more successful, more productive, and more effective?

If you are, then you are in very good company.

John Maxwell has written at least 89 billion books on leadership, self development, you name it. And they are all really good.

Regardless of whether or not you’ve read his work, I want you to know that as you build your business and intentionally create a life based around what is most important to you, at the end of the day, it all comes down to one simple thing. The power of choice.


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You became a leader the moment that you decided to create a life and a business that you love.

This power is fully available to you every second of every day. Ironically, you must CHOOSE to see it and to use it.

Before you tell me that you “aren’t” a leader or that this doesn’t apply to you, I am going to ask you to pause for one moment.

You became a leader the moment that you decided to create a life and a business that you love. By choosing what you want, and choosing to act, you are also choosing to lead.

One of his books that attracted me was, “How Successful People Think.” One thing that I challenge my clients to do each week is to not only schedule in time to work IN their business (working with clients one-on-one, or responding to emails from clients) but to also dedicate time to work ON their business and to employ some (not all) of the types of thinking listed below.

In the book, he weaves in stories and examples of each type of thinking and how it applies to you. Your list of “must read books” is likely as lengthy as mine, so I decided to go ahead and give you my highlights from his book.

Prepare to learn the 11 different ways that successful people think.

Big Picture Thinking

Big Picture thinking allows you to lead, keeps you on target, allows you to see what others see, promotes teamwork, helps you to chart unexplored territory and prevents you from getting lost in the mundane details.

To acquire the wisdom of big picture thinking, John Maxwell suggests that you:

  1. Do not strive for certainty
  2. Learn from every experience
  3. Gain Insight from a variety of people
  4. Give yourself permission to go beyond the status quo

Focused Thinking

By engaging in focused thinking, you harness your energy toward a desired goal, give ideas the time to develop, bring clarity to the target and achieve greatness by becoming skilled at what you are doing. Your priorities, your gifts, and developing your dream are all great places to start when working on your focused thinking.

How can you stay focused?

The answers aren’t rocket science and they are often overlooked.

To stay focused:

  1. Remove distractions
  2. Schedule time for focused thinking
  3. Keep items of focus in front of you
  4. Set goals
  5. Question your progress

Please realize that by focusing your energy on developing only what you are most skilled at, you are giving up the ability to be a generalist. You are giving up on knowing every person. You are giving up trying to do everything. You are giving up going everywhere and being well-rounded.

Is that OK with you?

To grow and to achieve new things, we must be willing to let go of some things (ideas, people, activities) that we held on to tightly in the past.

Creative Thinking

Creative thinkers value ideas, explore options, embrace ambiguity, celebrate the “offbeat”, connect the unconnected ideas and do not fear failure.

What is so great about creative thinking?

Creative thinking:

  1. Adds value
  2. Compounds (the more you work on thinking this way, the more creativity that you’ll have)
  3. Draws people to you and your ideas
  4. Helps you to learn more
  5. Challenges the status quo

Realistic Thinking

By employing realistic thinking, you are minimizing the downside risk, gaining a clear target and game plan, creating an environment for change, gaining credibility, providing a foundation to build upon, providing security, developing the dream and bringing it to life.

To recognize the importance of realistic thinking, you can:

  1. Develop an appreciation for truth
  2. Do your homework
  3. Think through the pros and cons
  4. Picture the worst-case scenario
  5. Align your thinking with resources

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking (one of my personal fave’s!) is incredibly powerful. Not only does it simplify the seemingly difficult, it prompts you to ask the right questions, encourages you to customize your plan to fir the circumstances, but it also prepares you today for an uncertain tomorrow and reduces the margin for error.

John Maxwell recommends several steps to develop strategic thinking:

  1. Break down the issue
  2. Ask WHY before HOW
  3. Identify the real issues and objectives
  4. Review your resources
  5. Develop your plan
  6. Put the right people in the right place
  7. Keep repeating the process

Possibility Thinking

This type of thinking gives you several advantages as you build your business online. First, it increases your possibilities. It also draws opportunities and people to you, increases the possibilities for others (it’s contagious!), allows you to dream really big dreams, makes it possible to ascend beyond the average, gives you energy and prevents you from throwing in the towel. (Whew!  That’s a lot!)

To feel the excitement of possibility thinking:

  1. Stop focusing on the Impossibilities
  2. Stay away from the “experts”
  3. Look for possibilities in every situation
  4. Dream one size bigger
  5. Question the status quo
  6. Find inspiration from great achievers

Reflective Thinking

When you shift your focus to reflective thinking, it gives you a true perspective, increases your confidence in decision making, clarifies the big picture and takes a good experience and makes it a valuable experience.

To better embrace the lessons of reflective thinking:

  1. Set aside time for reflection
  2. Remove yourself from distractions
  3. Regularly review your calendar or journal
  4. Ask the right questions
  5. Cement your learnings through action

Popular Thinking

There are good reasons to question popular thinking. First, it often means that you aren’t doing any thinking at all. It also offers false hope, is slow to embrace change and brings about only average results.

To develop your ability to challenge popular thinking:

  1. Think before you follow
  2. Appreciate thinking different from your own
  3. Continuously question your own thinking
  4. Try new things in new ways
  5. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

Shared Thinking

This type of thinking is another fun one to look at. At its core, shared thinking is faster than solo thinking, is more innovative than thinking alone, brings more maturity to the situation, is stronger and returns more value than solo thinking.

If you’d like to embrace shared thinking:

  1. Value the ideas of others
  2. Move from competition to cooperation
  3. Have an agenda when you meet
  4. Get the right people on the bus
  5. Reward good collaborators and thinkers

Unselfish Thinking

This type of thinking can often deliver a return greater than any other kind of thinking. Some of the benefits include personal fulfillment, adding value to others, encouraging other virtues, increasing the quality of life for you and others, making you part of something larger than yourself and it creates a legacy.

To better experience the satisfaction of this type of thinking:

  1. Put others first
  2. Expose yourself to situations where people have needs
  3. Give quietly or anonymously
  4. Continually check (and re-check) your motives

Bottom Line Thinking

Bottom line thinking provides clarity, it helps you to assess every situation to make the best decisions, it generates high morale and it ensures your future.

To improve your bottom line thinking:

  1. Identify the real bottom line
  2. Make the bottom line the point of focus
  3. Create a strategic plan to achieve the bottom line
  4. Align all team members with the bottom line
  5. Stick with one system and continuously monitor your results

By choosing what you want,

After reading this, I imagine you may be thinking (ha!) that it seems waaaayyy too simple to just change your thoughts to get new and different results. Yes, that’s what your OLD thinking patterns have taught you.

As you create new things, I want you to embrace new ways of thinking about your life and business. Be open to new ways of doing things. Just consider….what if strategically changing your thoughts could seriously upgrade your life and your business? What if? And if it can, why not give it a try?

So, here’s your Income Inducing Challenge:

Step 1: Choose a new way of thinking from the list above

Step 2: Pull out your calendar and mark off 60 uninterrupted minutes each week for the next 4 weeks to practice this type of thinking

Step 3: Post a comment below (commitment is what makes it real) with your start date and your choice from Step #1

Step 4: Share your results – with me and your friends – as you see the big things come from this small in your business and life.


Resisting posting a comment below? That’s normal.

Inertia has kept you where you are and that resistance is because you are choosing a new path.

You need to take new action to get new results so go ahead and make your commitment by commenting below, OK? And, I promise – I’ll respond to each one 🙂

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