6 Pearls of Career Wisdom From Brian Tracy


You may have heard of Brian Tracy from his bestselling book on productivity, Eat That Frog! His valuable advice does not stop at that book though. As a world-renowned success expert, Tracy has written 70 books and produced over 300 audio and video programs on the subject. Next time you're feeling a little lost in your professional life, let Brian Tracy be your guide.

1. Success Starts With a Positive Self Image

Practicing positive self-talk might seem hokey, but Tracy has done tireless research on how important our self image is to our success. Tracy talks about self-fulfilling prophecies, and the fact that we can only become what we truly believe we are in his book, Maximum Achievement.

He says, "We will always tend to fulfill our own expectation of ourselves." He explains that just saying a simple phrase like, "I like myself," automatically raises your self-concept. When your self- concept goes up, you automatically start to perform better and be more effective in several areas of your life, including your personal and work life. (See also: The 5 Worst Career Mistakes — And How to Avoid Them)

2. Use the Rule of Three to Maximize Your Priorities

It is so easy to get lost on where to start with a long to-do list. However, not everything on your to-do list will be beneficial to your success. Tracy recommends writing down everything you need to do for your job or business for the entire month. Your list might be overwhelming at 40 items long. So Tracy then suggests that you ask yourself, "If I could only do one thing on this list, all day long, which one activity would contribute the greatest value to my business?" Ask yourself this question three times until you have your top three priorities established.

3. Don't Underestimate the Power of a To-Do List

Tracy estimates that you can save yourself, on average, two hours of unproductivity just by starting your day off with a to-do list. Before you start any work, take about 10 minutes to map out what you need to do and how you will spend your time. He says, "You can increase your productivity and output by 25% or more from the first day that you begin working consistently from a list." If you are outperforming your co-workers, you can be certain your boss will take notice.

4. Develop the Right Habits

What separates you from a successful person? You will be surprised to discover that it's your habits. Tracy says, "Successful people are simply those with successful habits." Research what other successful people develop, and keep, habits that propel them forward. Perhaps you want to make a habit of planning in the morning to be more organized and on top of deadlines, or maybe you would like to establish the habit of reading one book a month to increase your knowledge.

You can virtually develop any successful habit, but it will take time and discipline. Try to focus on developing one new habit every two months.

5. First One to Work, Last to Leave

If you want to be more productive at work, Tracy recommends coming into the office one hour before all of your coworkers. This first hour of uninterrupted work can be your most productive hour, since you will not be distracted by coworkers and phone calls. Tracy also suggests to work through your lunch hour and be the last one to leave. He isn't suggesting becoming a workaholic, though. Instead, he advises these three moves so that you stand out from your coworkers.

By coming in early, working through your lunch, and staying later, you show initiative and responsibility. Also, you will naturally be more productive than your coworkers, making you a valuable employee and giving you leverage to ask for a promotion or raise.

6. Invest 3% in Your Personal Growth

It is common for many individuals to spend a fortune on college, get their degree, land a good job, and then never think about learning another thing. You should never stop learning and growing personally. Tracy says, "Invest 3% of your income in yourself (self-development) in order to guarantee your future." He suggests reading and learning from every expert in your field. Invest in books, seminars, audio programs, and courses. The small 3% you invest in yourself each year will have a much higher rate of return in terms of your success.

By continually learning and advancing your skills, you become an expert in your field, which means that companies will need you more than other employees and they will be willing to pay for your expertise.

What's your favorite piece of career advice?

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