Evan: He’s an American motivational speaker, author, and former television host.
As a motivational speaker, he uses a catch phrase, “It’s possible.” And encourages people to chase their dreams.
He was the host of the Les Brown Show. He’s Les Brown and here are his top 10 rules for success.
LES BROWN’S RULES
- #Believe in yourself
- Amaze your customers
- Take full responsibility for your life
- Stand up to yourself
- Go All Out
- Stay busy
- Give more than you are paid for
- Someone’s opinion is not your reality
- You’re different
- Don’t stop running towards your dream
Les Brown’s Top 10 Rules For Success
Rule #1: #Believe In Yourself
I do a lot of training for many corporations and I conduct sales seminars and I’ve heard all kind of guys doing techniques and training people techniques of how to close sales and how to work within and begin to control the sale and how to ask for the close.
Let me share something with you. You can learn all the techniques in the world. If you don’t believe in yourself, it won’t happen for you. I learned all of it. That’s why I do a training called Focus on the Seller.
You’ve got to focus on you and as you convince you, as you sell yourself every day, every day, every day, you will begin to see a difference in the things that you’re doing. Selling yourself on your ability to perform a job, to achieve a certain objective, telling yourself every day, “Here I go again and I got what it takes.” “This is my day and nothing out here is going to stop me.”
Rule #2: Amaze Your Customers
It’s necessary that you be flexible. That you are always thinking of how can I improve this better. This is a customer-driven economy. It’s necessary for you to always explore various ways in which you can improve the quality of service that you’re providing for the people in your organization.
I remember something a major company had talked about, the extra value service they were providing for their customers. And the lady who had the news conference summarized it this way. She said “It’s not our intention to satisfy our customers “or to please our customers. “Our intention is to amaze them.”
It’s necessary if you’re going to compete today that you look for ways to amaze your customers by being one of those individuals that keep your commitments, that keep your word, that’s relentless.
It’s necessary as you work with the people that you bring into your organization that they see that you are a good example of a person to work with because you model integrity, and determination, and ambition, and truth and honesty in the way in which you conduct business.
Rule #3: Take Full Responsibility For Your Life
The other thing is take full responsibility for your life. Accept where you are and the responsibility that you’re going to take yourself where you want to go. Someone said we have two primary choices in life.
We can either accept conditions as they exist, or we can take the responsibility to change them. See a lot of people want to exempt themselves from taking responsibility. All they want to do is talk about the problem. Every time you see them, they’ll tell you their story over and over and over and over again. No. No. You want to take responsibility for your life. I got me here. I can get me out of this.
And I’m getting out. I’m not going to be a volunteer victim. George Bernard Shaw said there are two kinds of people in life: those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that don’t know what happened. And he said the people that get along in this life look around for the circumstances that they want and if they can’t find ’em, they make ’em. They create ’em.
I’m in charge here
So part of beginning to get unstuck, you’ve got to decide that the behavior pattern that you have adopted doesn’t work for you. You’ve got to change your strategies and changing your strategy means reinventing your life. Recreating you and you have the power to do that. You can decide that you’re going to change, that you’re not going to be a wimp. You can decide that you’re going to stand up to life.
You can decide that I’m going to live each day as if it were my last. You have the power to make that decision. You can decide, “I’m going to work on myself “and develop myself. “I’m going to empower me.” And all of these things that are happening to me right now, they’re just temporary inconveniences. They’re not stronger than I am. I’m in charge here.
“You can learn all the techniques in the world. If you don’t believe in yourself, it won’t happen for you.” – Les Brown
Rule #4: Stand Up To Yourself
Overcoming the negative conversation, that inner dialogue that’s going on all the time, all the time. Even when you don’t want it to be there. You can’t stop yourself right now from thinking. You can’t do it. It’s going on.
And so learning how to empower yourself, part of doing that is standing up to yourself. You’ve got to stand up inside yourself sometimes and say, “Shut up.” You’ve got to do this. I was going to give a presentation, and this voice inside of me saying, “You can’t do this. “You don’t have everything it takes.” I said, “Shut up.”
I’m behind on my bills and you telling me what I can’t do. I have got to do it. You get scared sometimes. Your mind will go blank on you. Some people you will allow to unnerve you. And you wonder, “What’s wrong with me, I’m not crazy.”
That’s why you’ve got to learn to make a conscious, deliberate, determined effort to stand up inside yourself. Working on yourself, watching that inner dialogue, it will determine the quality of your life.
Rule #5: Go All Out
Next thing is that you’ve got to activate the thinker in you. Don’t allow your emotions to control you. We are emotional, but you want to begin to discipline your emotion. If you don’t discipline and contain your emotions, they will use you.
Your mind goes on automatic, just like a garden. You know I loved reading the book called As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. He uses the analogy of the mind being like a garden. You know weeds don’t have to have any encouragement to grow.
You don’t have to water them. They don’t have to get sunshine. They don’t have to have fertile ground. They will grow through the cracks of a sidewalk. Am I right?
But if you want to grow orchids or roses or any kind of exotic flowers, there are special processes and procedures you must go through. By the same token, you don’t have to foss yourself or motivate yourself to think negatively, to be depressed, to hate somebody, to want revenge, to want to get back at somebody, to beat yourself up over the head, to feel loaded with guilt. You don’t have to make any effort to do that.
You’ve got to be willing to harness your will
Your mind is on automatic. It will do that by itself. But if you want to begin to move into your own personal greatness, if you want to begin to really enjoy a happy successful healthy life, you’ve got to be willing to go against the tide. You’ve got to be willing to harness your will.
And say, “In spite of this, I’m in control here. “I’m not going to let this get me down. “I’m not going to let this destroy me. “I’m coming back and I’ll be stronger and better “because of it.” You have got to make a declaration that this is what you stand for.
You’re standing up for your dreams. You’re standing up for peace of mind. You’re standing up for health. You want it and you’re going to go all out to have it. It’s not going to be easy. When you want a change, it’s not easy. If it were in fact easy, everybody would do it. But if you’re serious, you’ll go all out.
“We can either accept conditions as they exist, or we can take the responsibility to change them.” – Les Brown
Rule #6: Stay Busy
I don’t care how good you are, I don’t care how talented you are, I don’t care how much you work on yourself, there’s some times when things aren’t going to go right. They just are not going to go right.
There are times when anything that can happen will happen. Murphy’s Law will be knocking at your door. Why? I don’t know why. That’s called life. And you have to deal with it. Sometimes your life will be in a slump. Just like sports.
Some of the best shooters can’t hit baskets different times in games. They get in a slump. Do they sit on the sideline and say, “You know I just didn’t hit a basket today.” No. They continue to execute.
I suggest to you that if you are facing a challenge, don’t stop. Stay busy. Work your plan. Continue to do those things that you know that work for you after you have evaluated yourself from the situation. Continue to move. Stay busy, stay busy, stay busy.
Rule #7: Give More Than You Are Paid For
I was working on a job and I came home one day. I was married at the time and I told my former wife, “That guy Burt I work for is stupid.” She said, “If he’s so stupid, why does he sign your paycheck?” Now you see why I divorced her, right. I couldn’t stand her.
That night I could not sleep well. Here was a guy that was controlling my life. I was going through all kind of changes because this man controlled my paycheck. And it was Carlisle who said, “Truth crushed to earth “shall rise again.” Winston Churchill said, “The truth is incontrovertible. “Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it “but at the end there it is.”
And we know Scripture that says, “Ye shall know the truth “and the truth shall set you free.” And the truth that I had to come to grips with that I wasn’t in charge of my destiny. The truth was that I wasn’t giving all that I had.
Develop the habit of giving more than what you’re paid for.
The truth was that there are some things that I wanted to do but I didn’t have the courage to act on those things. And the truth was that Burt Childs was a blessing to me. He made life so miserable for me, I had to start looking at my life differently. I started going to work earlier.
I started being the last one to leave there. I started working harder than anybody else. The other guys could not, “Why would you work so hard, Les?” I said, “I’m not working for them.” I had been cheating Burt, I thought.
I’d been cheating myself and my family. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, do it with everything that you have. Develop the habit of giving more than what you’re paid for. Develop the habit of setting standards that others will be measured by. Someone said, “Do not go where the path may lead, “but go where there’s no path and leave a trail.”
Rule #8: Someone’s Opinion Is Not Your Reality
In the process of working on your dreams, you are going to incur a lot of disappointment, a lot of failure, a lot of pain, a lot of setbacks, a lot of defeats. But in the process of doing that, you will discover some things about yourself that you don’t know right now.
What you will realize is that you have greatness within you. What you will realize is that you are more powerful than you can ever begin to imagine. What you will realize is that you are greater than your circumstances, that you don’t have to go through life being a victim. As Jack indicated, I was born in Miami, Florida, in an area called Liberty City in an abandoned building on a hard linoleum floor with my twin brother.
Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.
We were six weeks of age we were adopted. When I was in fifth grade, I was identified as EMR, labeled educable mentally retarded, put back from the fifth grade into the fourth grade and stayed in that category until I got out of high school. I don’t have any college training. But I met a high school teacher who one day changed my life. I was waiting on another student and when he came in he said to me, “Young man, go to the board “and write what I’m about to tell you.”
And I said, “I can’t do that, sir.” And he said, “Why not?” I said, “I’m not one of your students.” He said, “It doesn’t matter. “Follow my directions now.” I said, “I can’t do that sir.” He said, “Why not?” I said, “Because I’m educable mentally retarded.” And he came from behind his desk and he looked at me. He said, “Don’t ever say that again. “Someone’s opinion of you does not have “to become your reality.”
Rule #9: You’re Different
I’m saying this is a time more than ever that you want to begin to inoculate yourself with positive words, coming to conventions, showing up for meetings, being on the calls, to make yourself unstoppable. To get out of your mind the polluting negative thoughts that’s causing most people to go through life being stuck because they’re volunteer victims. Somebody said that many people die at age 25 and don’t get buried until they’re 65 because they got so much garbage in their minds.
You’re here because you got a clear vision of what you want and where you’re going. Give yourselves a round of applause. Come on, bring the energy level up. Yes. Yes. You want more. You want more. You’re different. You’re different than everybody else. Don’t worry if they don’t get it. Don’t try and convince people to do this business. A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still. You are not like everybody else.
You can walk outside and find pigeons but if you’re looking for eagles, it’s going to take you a minute. You are different. It’s lonely at the top. How many of you know it’s lonely at the top. Raise your hands.
It’s my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid
It’s lonely at the top but you eat better. That’s what I’m talking about. You’re different. One great entrepreneur said, “I choose not to be a common man. “It’s my right to be uncommon, if I can. “I seek opportunity not security. “I do not wish to be a kept citizen humbled and dulled “by having the state look after me.
“I want to take the calculated risk to dream and to build, “to fail and to succeed. “I refuse to live from hand to mouth. “I prefer the challenges of life “to the guaranteed existence, the thrill of fulfillment “to the still calm of utopia.
“I will never cower before any master, “nor bend to any threat. “It’s my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid, “to face the world boldly and say, this I have done.” You showed up because you’re building a business that you can stand and say, I did this. I did this. This is my dream. Give yourselves a round of applause. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
“Working on yourself, watching that inner dialogue, it will determine the quality of your life.” – Les Brown
Rule #10: Don’t Stop Running Towards Your Dream
It’s hard changing your life. It was hard when just over three years ago in the Penobscot Building in Detroit, Michigan, where I was operating my business, and I fell on some hard times and I was sleeping in my office. It was hard coming into the lobby and the security said, “Excuse me, Mr. Brown, can we see you for a moment?” And I said, “Yes.”
And I walked up to the counter and he gave me an envelope, and he said, “Would you mind reading it here?” And I opened the envelope and the envelope was from management that said, “This is an office tower, it’s not a hotel. “Please do not sleep in your office.”
And I said, “Excuse me, sir, I just work long hours “in creating my business. “I’m an entrepreneur and right now things are bad for me, “but they’re not going to be this way always. “And I just ask for the opportunity to continue “to operate like I’m doing. “I’m not trying to make this my home.”
And it was hard coming through the lobby, and sometimes they would laugh, “There’s the guy talking about becoming successful “and look at him. “He’s bathing in the bathroom upstairs on the 21st floor. “He sleeps on the floor. “Him and two other dreamers up there. “Look at him.” It was hard, ladies and gentlemen. Coming to speak to people and I was facing financial difficulties in my own life.
Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop running toward your dream.
I was behind on my bills and my dreams and I’m saying to them, “You can live your dream.” It was hard, ladies and gentlemen. It was very difficult to pick myself up each day believing that I could do it. There were times that I doubted myself. I’d say, “God, why is this happening to me? “I’m just trying to take care of my children and my mother. “I’m not trying to steal or rob from anybody. “Why did this have to happen to me?”
It was very hard, and here’s what I want to say to you. For those of you that have experienced some hardships, don’t give up on your dream. No one could have convinced me by holding on, by continuing to push forward, by continuing to run toward my dream, that one day I would have my own talk show.
It’s a long shot, ladies and gentlemen, from Liberty City in an abandoned building on a floor, never knowing my mother or father. It’s a long shot being here with you today in this dome in Atlanta. It’s a long shot, no college training, labeled educable mentally retarded, but I kept running toward my dream. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop running toward your dream.
Thank you so much for watching. I made this video because Demo Healthcare asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do. I’d also love to know what of Les Brown’s top 10 rules hit you the hardest. He’s one of my favorite speakers so I’d love to know which of the 10 points meant the most to you. Leave it in the comments below and I’ll join the discussion. Thank you so much for watching. Continue to believe and I’ll see you soon.
Program Your Mind Positively
Program your mind deliberately. The reason that most people don’t achieve their goals is because they are thinking like everybody else. 16 revolutionary words, “Be not conformed to this world, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” That’s an ongoing process.
What are your goals? What are your dreams? Nightingale was right, “You don’t get in life what you want. “You get in life what you are.” And so you want to take the time every day to listen to things that can help to program your mind positively. Because at the end of the day, if you don’t program your mind it’s going to be programmed. Trust me. It’s going to be bombarded with all kind of head trash, commercials.
I was at a service station pumping gas and a commercial came up. You get on the elevator and commercials are there. You look at billboards, there are messages just coming in, over 5,000, 10,000 messages on a regular basis. And so as you look at your goals and dreams, it’s very important that you are intentional about controlling what goes on in your mind. Because everything gets in through the eyes, and through the ears.
You’ve got to be intentional about programming your mind.
So what do you want? What do you want for yourself? What I’m doing right now, I didn’t do it for 14 years. You know why? Because I was suffering from possibility blindness. Have you ever thought about doing something and you looked at what you wanted to do and your heart said, “I can do that.” And then your mind asked, “How?” Then you start thinking, “Well, I can’t do that. “I don’t have a college education.
“I can’t do that. ‘I don’t have an MBA or PhD. “I can’t do that. “I’ve never worked for a major corporation. “Why would corporations reach over people with PhDs “and MBAs and years of experience and pay me “to come in to do something I’ve never done? I thought about doing this for years and I talked myself out of it.
There’s an African proverb that says, “If there’s no enemy within, “the enemy outside can do us no harm.” Shakespeare says, “Therefore, dear Brutus, it’s not “in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings.”
And so as you look at yourself and look at your goals and look at your dreams, I’m saying to you that it’s possible. Because if anybody at any point in time had a goal, had a dream of what they wanted to achieve, and they made it happen, then it’s possible that you can do it too. But you’ve got to be intentional about programming your mind.
Detoxify Your Life
It’s necessary that you detoxify your life, that you have to look at your life, and look at the people in your life. And Jim Rowan said ask the question, “What is this relationship doing to me?” See most people never live their dreams because they are saddled with too many toxic, negative, energy-draining people in their lives.
Look at the people around you and ask, “Is this relationship “helping me to grow mentally, emotionally, “financially, spiritually.” And the financial part, MIT did a study, you earn within two to three thousand dollars of your closest friends.
It’s necessary if you are serious about your dream that you detoxify your life. Dr. Dennis Kimbro out of Atlanta said, “If you are the smartest one in your group, “you need to get a new group.” When I heard that, I got all the broke people out my life.
Why, because people rub off on you. John H. Johnson, who had a loan of $500 from his mother and built a 400 million dollar empire with Ebony magazine and Jet magazine fired his best friend.
And the reporter asked, “Why’d you fire your best friend?” He said, “He told me I couldn’t do it.” He said, “Hell, I didn’t think I could do it. “I didn’t need anybody on my payroll to tell me.” And so you have to look at your life and say, “Hey who’s in my circle, who’s in my ear?”
Don’t Aim Too Low
The only reason that most of us don’t accumulate a level of achievement in our lives, one, most people end up aiming low. That’s what I did most of my life. Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss.
Most people fail in life because they aim too low and hit. And that’s what I did. I was a disc jockey. I was very satisfied I had achieved a level of professionalism and mastery in that area. And then someone challenged me and said, “You can do more.” And it took him 14 years to convince me to become this person that you now see.
This person that you now see, this voice which I consider my power voice, I had absolutely no idea that this person existed. But there’s some times in life someone can take you to a place within yourself where you can never go by yourself, and he saw something in me. And sometimes you have to believe in somebody’s belief in you until your belief kicks in.