Adam Braun is an American entrepreneur, best-selling author, and philanthropist. He is the Founder of Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases access to education for children in the developing world
He has recently founded a company called MissionU which is an alternative to higher education that is set to disrupt the industry and change the way that we view higher learning.
Favorite Success Quote
“Live not in dreams but in contemplation of a reality that is perhaps the future.” ~Rainer Rilke
1. Say “No” More
One of the most powerful words in the English language is the word “No”.
If you learn to use this word effectively, you can add dozens of hours of productive time to your weeks, reduce your mental and emotional stressors, and eliminate the vast majority of the tasks that aren’t truly serving you.
But there’s a catch…
In order to become a master of the word “No” you must first learn to prioritize your own time, success, and happiness above anyone else’s.
It might sound selfish or egotistic, but the simple fact of the matter is that you should come first.
If you aren’t taking care of yourself by saying “no” to the things that aren’t serving you, then you are withholding your potential and your power from the world.
Think about it…
If you say “Yes” to working on a project for 3 clients even though that project will not pay you what you are worth and isn’t in alignment with your goals and values, then what’s going to happen when you are swamped with work but have a new client reach out to you with a position that would change your life?
Or imagine that you have said “Yes” to several meetings that you didn’t want to attend and that didn’t serve you in any way… You are now forced to say “No” when an opportunity presents itself that is in true alignment with your vision.
And all of these seemingly little and innocuous compromises will eventually accumulate until you are off track, off purpose, and up to your neck in things that aren’t part of your ultimate mission on this planet.
2.Learn to Delegate
Richard Branson, the (in)famous entrepreneur, author, playboy, and philanthropist was once asked to share the secret behind his numerous billion dollar companies.
His answer was surprising…
He didn’t say anything about needing a good idea, or working hard, or having lots of capital.
No, he said that his secret was to find people who were better than he was, hire those people, and provide them with everything they needed to take his companies into the stratosphere.
If you truly want to excel at business, then you must learn to delegate.
Find people who are better than you are at a given position and give them the reigns.
Because you can’t do it alone.
And you would be a fool to try.
3. Be an Entrepreneurial Missionary, not a Mercenary
There are two types of entrepreneurs.
Missionaries and mercenaries.
The entrepreneurial mercenary has one focus… Money.
And while money is not necessarily a bad thing (as we will discuss momentarily) you need to realize that anyone who is solely focused on wealth will likely lose motivation, tire out, and quit.
Instead, you should strive to be an entrepreneurial missionary, or, in other words, an entrepreneur whose end goal encompasses more than just a few added zeroes in your bank account.
You need to have a mission for your business, you must genuinely want to serve the world and make an impact, and believe that you are the person to do it.
Otherwise, you will spend years of your life tirelessly chasing money and success without ever making a real dent in the universe, without ever making a difference.
And the irony of all of this?
Entrepreneurs who focus on adding value and serving their world first tend to be the entrepreneurs who make the greatest profits in the long run.
So regardless of whether you own your own company or are working for someone else, do your best to ensure that every step you make and every goal you set is for a purpose and a mission greater than yourself.
The results will astonish you….
4. Money is an Avenue to Freedom
Money is a complicated beast.
It can bring about so much joy, happiness, and fulfillment, but it can also be at the heart of so much pain, agony, and suffering.
Because of the dichotomous and confusing nature of money (and the fact that few of us receive a relevant financial education), it can be easy to fall into the trap of viewing money as either “Evil” or the “End all be all” of life.
I am here to tell you… It’s neither.
Money is simply an avenue to freedom, it’s a tool, an instrument to be wielded by those who possess it.
With money, you can do some incredible things.
You can transform lives, build a lasting legacy, and create a real impact on the universe.
Without it, your options are severely limited, and your freedom is hindered.
The sooner you realize that money is a tool and that in and of itself, has no moral standing, the sooner you will be able to create real wealth for yourself that you can use to bring about a significant amount of good in the universe.
5. Set a Vision, Stick to It, and Stay Accountable
If you want to achieve your goals and live a life of success and fulfillment, then you must set a vision, stick to it, and get massively accountable.
You see, most of you reading this right now have at least one of these three steps in order.
Maybe you have a vision, but you are constantly changing it and find yourself unable to follow through.
Maybe you have been working tirelessly towards a goal or a dream but you know in your heart that it isn’t truly congruent with your values and deepest desires.
Maybe you have surrounded yourself with people who lift you to a higher level and want you to excel… But you have no vision for which they can hold you accountable.
Whatever the case may be, if you want to excel in all areas of life and truly live a level 10/10 life, then you must set a crystal clear vision for what you want, stick to that vision, and get massive accountability from people you respect and admire.
If any one of these ingredients is missing, the whole ship will sink and your dreams will never come to fruition.
Set a vision.
Stick to your vision.
And get accountable.