8 Things You Learn When You Hit Rock Bottom

I’m not going to say I have at anytime, hit rock bottom. Doing that seems to me as dangerous as praying for patience. Having had some low points in my life that felt like rock bottom, here are some things that I learned.
  1. It gives you empathy for those going through similar struggles.
  2. It gives you perspective that the only way to go is up.
  3. It clears your mind of the clutter and the noise that is preventing you from progressing.
  4. It helps you overcome the fear of action. (i.e. “What do I have to lose?”)
  5. It helps produce clarity to see what’s important.
  6. It helps to increase your resolve to change.
  7. It helps you realize things in your life you need to let go of.
  8. It humbles you.

J. K. Rowling said about her rock bottom moment, “I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Are there any other lessons you’d like to share?

UQ Power – Have You Got It?

Heidi-UQ-PowerSix months ago a wonderful and original book hit the world by my good friend Heidi Alexandra Pollard called, Power Up Your UQ: Boost Income, Influence, & Impact. I truly regret not sharing this book sooner, but life has been full of twists and turns that have made it difficult to get my review out. Heidi asked me to review the book last year and write the forward. I was honored when she asked me, but even more so after I finished the book. This book is like no other self improvement or leadership book you have ever seen, I guarantee it. Below is the forward I wrote, after reading it recently, I am  sure I could not write anything better to get you to want to read it.

Forward to Power Up Your UQ: Boost Income, Influence, & Impact

“Every successful person has habits, knowledge, and skills that elevate them to rise above others and achieve phenomenal feats. They don’t just desire success, they hunger for it. It’s an unquenchable hunger, and unfortunately there’s not a simple recipe for success. Success is about so many things, such as: changing your mindset, becoming productive, always learning and improving one’s skills. It’s about being creative, asking questions, being a good listener, standing-out from the crowd, and so much more.

In my search on what makes organizations truly successful, I have found that the best organizations are ones that know how to get things done, they execute, and they have a culture of execution that creates and amazing power to excel far above their competition.

Before you can arrive to culture of execution, there are a lot of things that must be present in an organization. A successful business is one that stands-out in the marketplace, its unique; it’s filled with individuals, from the top to the bottom, that possess passion and strong leadership skills. At the heart is a culture that is positive and uplifting which brings out the best in people and motivates them to help the business grow and be mo
re successful. There is a lot more, but the end result is – they get things done.

In my search for the secret to success in life and business, I have read hundreds, if not thousands of books on leadership, management, self-improvement, productivity, personal branding, and every other topic under the sun to improve my skills and ability to stand-out in work and life, and to become more successful. Every once in a while I come across a truly original book that changes lives, enriches souls, and helps to fill in the recipe of how to create success. Power UP Your UQ: Boost Your Income, Influence, & Impact, is just that and much more. In a unique, fun, and creative style, Heidi makes you laugh, all the while teaching you valuable lessons to change your life and business.

This book wraps a hundred years of business and self-improvement literature into a concise, unique, and fun volume that touches on just the right elements to take an individual or business to the next level of success.

Will it be easy? —- Of course not!

Will it be fun?  —- You bet!

Will it be worth it? —- Absolutely!

So enjoy the story, laugh at the illustrations, be inspired at the nuggets of wisdom – then get to work and build your UQ Power.”

If you have read the book or have some thoughts please leave a comment. If you want to buy the book, which you really should, you can get it from Heidi’s website. I’ll be mailing a few copies to some people that leave well-thought out comments.

4 Large Steps to Greater Self-Development and 1 Big Leap for Success

Self-Development-Success-Leadership-Todd-NielsenAaaah… self-development. Most people want to improve and become smarter, healthier, and more successful… but it’s never easy.  Often trials and struggles have beat us down and hinder our desire and ability to improve. If crippling personal issues are beating you down, you won’t be able to focus on the road ahead. Here are a few concrete steps to get your mind where it needs to be.

Start with small accomplishments—but don’t stay there.

We all have some accomplishments in our life. Look at what you have done and build on that. Take the next logical step outward. If a particular subject interests you, research it, maybe write a white paper. Once you’ve written it, consider publishing it as an e-book. If you have one e-book published, research a second.

Take what you have, no matter how small, and let that spark turn into a fire.” ~ Todd Nielsen (Click to Tweet)

Listen to criticism.

Feedback is immensely important for self-correction. It’s important to see how you’re coming across to others, “Wait,” you say, “everybody’s a critic, and they all tell me something different.” That’s true, you deal with that by picking one or two people whom you trust implicitly, then solicit their advice. These must be people who are not afraid to tell you the truth. If you ask them, you have to seriously consider what they say, even if you don’t agree with it. Find a way to implement their suggestions as a test. It may surprise you.

Take failure for what it’s worth: a great deal.

Failing at an endeavor is one of the most educational experiences life has to offer. It requires honesty and humility to assess the reasons for the failure and the corrections required. It’s a lesson you’ll never forget.

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill (Click to Tweet)

Find your passion, then find out how to make it benefit others.

Truly self-developed people never stop with themselves; they are always looking for ways to spread what they have learned. This is not only how the greatest philanthropists establish their reputations, but how the greatest entrepreneurs make their fortunes.

Being a person that is driven by accomplishment, I am always striving to improve myself. These steps are not always easy, and there are a lot more steps on the road to success. There have been many times I have wanted to give up, but we have to carry on, build on what we have, and continue to make greater and greater success.

Please share your thoughts on what you do to improve and develop yourself.

Bloody Noses, Vices, & Leadership … Oh My!

Leadership and VicesTwo weeks ago I found myself in the hospital emergency room. I was there because I experienced a truly epic nose bleed. After trying to stop the down-pouring of blood for 2 hours, I finally conceded and went to the hospital. I was put in a room and waited, for what felt like a forever. Then it happened, my body said, “That is enough.” I had lost tons of blood, my blood pressure dropped, I finally passed out. I awoke to several doctors and nurses lifting me up to a bed while simultaneously cutting my shirt off and poking me with things.

Minutes later, as the IV fluids and oxygen kicked in, I laid there and stared up at the ceiling and thought to myself, “ Isn’t it amazing how the smallest and most insignificant things can destroy us.” You don’t think of a bloody nose as being life-threatening, although after some research it has happened – I guess the great Genghis Khan died of a nosebleed.

The Vices of Destruction

So the next day I decided to look at what were some of the small things in life that were destroying me. The first thing was my craving of diet soda. There is overwhelming research of the health effects of caffeine, and the absolutely disastrous effects of Aspartame (the sweetener in Diet Soda and many non-sugar sweeteners.) Here is an article and a video if you want to know more, but that is not what this article is about.

It has now been two weeks free of those substances and I am feeling great. But dealing with the dizziness, extreme thirst, jittery hands, and massive exhaustion for two weeks reminded me of how the small vices or problems in life, business, and leadership can bring us to the edge of destruction, or limit us in ways that we never knew. For those that follow my writings, I actually write a lot about this topic. I feel one must be vigilant and always looking for ways to improve and grow.

Click to Tweet This: “The small vices in life, business & leadership can bring us 2 the edge of destruction & limit us in ways we never knew.”

Click to Tweet This: “One must be vigilant and always looking for ways to improve and grow.”

Can you say, “I made it?”

Two days ago I presented an all day workshop on execution to a company in Ohio. I normally would not have been able to get through the day without some soda and caffeine to artificially stimulate some energy. I was on my feet the entire day; talking, interacting, motivating, problem solving …and I made it. I drank more than 8 bottles of water throughout the day, was exausted at the end of the day, but I made it.

The next day I was up at 4:20 AM EST, to catch my flight to California. This is 1:30 am California time. I was pretty tired all day because of the exhaustion of the previous day and my lack of sleep, but I made it to 9:00 PM PST without any artificial stimulation …I made it.

Often times the smallest habits and vices in life or business, can be the things that cause the greatest impact for your life or business. Often, one small course correction can lead you to new heights. I challenge you to make this week, a week of discovering those vices. Make a plan, ask others for help, and execute change in your life or organization that will create miracles of success. I hope in the end, you can say, “I made it.”