If this question is asked on any Internet search engine, the answer will most likely be “it is always too early to quit!” Related: Too Legit To Quit: 9 Reasons To Stay At Your Job The ability to push through all of the challenges that stand between you and achieving your goals is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. Challenges come and they come to make you stronger. Meet the challenge and you gain a new skill, a new level of confidence, or a new lesson to share with the people that are depending on you and rooting for your success. Winston Churchill has a famous quote, “If you’re going through hell, keep going!” What that means to me is, if I stop, I never get to see what’s on the other side! Good, bad, or indifferent, I never learn what I could have done. All too often, we quit right before our break through happens. We sit and watch our friends, classmates, and colleagues reap the benefits of pushing through the challenges. We are often left questioning ourselves feeling worse than we felt when we made the decision to give up. Legendary speaker Les Brown writes in his book, “It’s not over until you win!” That hunger must drive you past your naysayers, challenges, and negative thoughts. He says in his speeches, “…some people are negative, they say no seven times before they get to yes…” I have an aunt that instilled in me the Vince Lombardi quote, “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary." Another thing that separates successful and unsuccessful people is the wiliness to work. Hungry people starve because they don’t do the work to get their food. Quitting is the exact opposite of Manifest One Empowerment Group’s five River Rocks: Faith, Family, Focus, Fidelity, and Fortitude. Fortitude especially to us means: having the STRENGTH and COURAGE to persevere through adversity; GUMPTION, no guts no glory! Never be afraid of challenges, they come to make you stronger. It is always too early to quit! This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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This article was written by Damien L. Butler, Founder of Manifest One Empowerment Group, on behalf of the Happy Grad Project. The one thing I believe will help recent grads be successful as they begin job searches, jobs, and even careers is a group of personal core values. I have written about this before, but I couldn’t let this opportunity pass without emphasizing this one more time. Related: The Importance Of Being Aligned With Your Work Core Values are the principles that help make you who you are. They shape your decisions, help you choose your friends, and should help you choose who you work with or for. Personal core values are your brand marker. They are what people remember about you when you aren’t around. Your Personal Core Values will help drive your thoughts, actions, character, and reputation. As you begin a new chapter in your life, your reputation is what is going to get you great letters of recommendations, support from past professors, and opportunities that others are not getting. Your current actions and future vision should be shaped by your values. Values aren’t developed over night. You may have never given them much thought, but your values have been a part of you for a long time. Values are past down from our families, influenced by friends we grew up with, and are a result of the environment we come from. Values vary from person to person, but we all have them. If you value trust, you will act in a trustworthy manner; if you value excellence, you will surround yourself with people who tend to work hard. What you value determines a great deal. My core values are:
  • Faith; belief in myself and my belief system
  • Family; my support system, those who believe in me
  • Focus; keeping my goals clear
  • Fidelity; my accountability to my family and the successful process
  • Fortitude; my ability to push past adversity
The career path you want to pursue will develop as your values develop. The people you choose to build relationships with, the activities you participate in and what you are willing to sacrifice will impact your future and solidify your success. Start thinking about what’s important to you and you can map out the job and life of your dreams. Your Core Values will be a guide you to the things that you want and deserve. Congratulations on starting your journey. If there is only one thing you can take with you, take your Core Values! I wish you life changing experiences and all the success.

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All too often, I go through cycles of what I call the 'blah,' a funk, a rut or simply a time where things just don’t go right - or go at all. During these times, I have to fight off depression, complacency, laziness, and the desire to stop working towards my goals. But the optimist in me tells me that I am going through this because I am about to have a life-changing breakthrough, as long as I keep pushing! Related: Career Failure: Take The Hit And Keep Playing I am a fan of Sir Winston Churchill’s leadership and tenacity. One of his famous quotes is “When you are going through hell, keep going." I use that quote a lot because it is true. The difference between a success and a failure is the ability to push back against adversity. Adversity comes for all of us, no exception. No matter where you begin, your journey with adversity is coming. Even Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Carlos Slim deal with adversity. Granted, their adversity is rarely, if ever financial, but they do face challenges. But back to you and I. These ruts come to teach us something; they help prove our inner (and sometimes outer) critic wrong. The 'blahs' help force you out of your comfort zone; they help you realize that you have to make a change somewhere in order to change your circumstances. The 'blahs' are the basis of the breakthrough. Anyone can create in the perfect space when everything is right, and resources are in place and support is high. However, it takes a special person to create, build, design, or implement when you have to search for funding, ideas, or partners. The 'blahs' pull your passion and purpose out of you. When we are flying high, it's easy to do everything we talk about, but in those quiet moments of doubt, your passion and purpose come to remind you of why you set out to achieve this particular goal. Renewed vigor is born in the 'blahs,' that spark of innovation comes in the 'blahs'. As bad as the 'blahs' can be, they come to an end with small inspirations - a simple random idea that just clicks. The 'blahs' are where Oprah Winfrey “ah ha!” moments happen. My most recent 'blah' became a breakthrough when a reader reached out through social media to ask me a question. All of the frustration, writer’s block, and unanswered requests were now worth the struggle because my 'blah' was this reader’s answer. I just went through what the question was about! Had I not gone through my rut, I may have had a totally different answer. The conversation we had has given me renewed energy and focus on my mentoring and coaching that will definitely affect my speaking. My 'blah' was where my breakthrough found me. It is a necessary part of the cycle; we will have to slow down, we will have to make adjustments and we have to start each new idea at the beginning. We won’t be successful if we start working solutions from the middle; the beginning is where the 'blah' ends and the breakthrough starts.

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Success is something we all want. We all have ideas on how to achieve, but we all have different ways to go about it. Success is not a solo achievement; we have to build relationships to help us complete our goals. Through these relationships, we acquire the skills to be successful over and over again. Related: 4 C’s To Career Success These relationships give us access to the way other people solve similar problems, reach similar goals, and move from one task to the next without missing a beat. Once you have chosen your goal and created your plan, you have to work to achieve it. The work can be easier with the "Beg, Borrow and Steal" method to success. The "Beg, Borrow, and Steal" method is about being in relationships that allow you to ask questions, share ideas, or just take proven methods that work for yourself.

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I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on CAREEREALISM TV to share ways to nail your next job interview. Below is a list of some of the points that were discussed. Related: Interview Cheat Sheet: 8 Tips For A Flawless Interview This is not an all-inclusive, 100% foolproof plan, but it is a plan; and if you at least follow step one, you are on your way to your second interview - and a possible job offer. Best of luck to you. 1. Plan for the Interview: If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! 2. Be Confident:You are that good! The company saw something in you to bring you in for the interview. Show confidence and competence. 3. Research the Company: Learn about the company. Study their website, financial reports and or recent news articles. 4. Practice for the Interview: Have someone ask you the type of questions you will be asked during your interview. 5. Prepare Questions for the Interview: You can prepare questions based off of your research of the company. You can also find list of questions on here. 6. Know your resume: Even if you wrote your resume, review what’s on it so you aren’t surprised by any interview questions about your work history. 7. Panel/Group Interview Tips: Eye contact, remember names, include all panel members, research other members if possible, be inclusive 8. Sell yourself (You are your Brand!): An outstanding CEO once told me that you are hire based on your personality aptitude and experience. Be prepared to talk about it. 9. Salary negotiation is Secondary: Get the job offer first! 10. Older (often Overqualified) workers starting at a new company: Highlight your skills and sell them as an investment for the future. If the need arises, you have the skills needed to help the company immediately without an extensive time consuming search. 11. Thank you notes are important for post interview communication: You may not get this job but with a timely thank you note you position yourself to be remembered for a future opportunity. A “no” simply mean not now. It does not mean not ever. 12. The Bottom Line: Be Confident; Be Prepared; Be Open; Be Honest; Be Collaborative; Be a Problem Solver; Look for and highlight opportunities to help that company move forward!

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Happy New Year! It’s a few days into the New Year and your resolutions are already starting to become a burden. Don’t beat yourself up. Most likely, your resolution was an emotional decision not based on fact. New Year’s resolutions are goals that don’t usually pass the test of time. But why? Goals need to be realistic, attainable, and measureable. Realistic goals are attainable to you within a set amount of time. An example of a good goal could be earning a Bachelor’s degree in three years. A stressful goal would be earning that same degree in two years. It isn’t impossible, but it is beyond extraordinary and everything must go exactly as planned. One misstep and your strict timetable is off track. Another example of a good goal is the ever famous lose XX* pounds (*insert your personal number here). All too often, we want the weight to disappear and we commit ourselves to a goal of 10 pounds a week. When we only lose three, we are stressed to the point of gaining an additional seven. Lofty goals aren’t a bad thing, but it is important to be realistic in how and what we have to do to be successful. Success requires clear thought, decisive action, and deliberate reflection. As you begin your journey towards successfully achieving your goals (or resolutions), keep these tips for goal setting in mind:

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