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Brian Tracy
A leading authority on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness, Brian Tracy is a dynamic speaker with a wonderful ability to inform and inspire audiences. He is the president of the Institute for Executive Development and was formerly the president of a major development company. The author of numerous books and other materials aimed at helping people perform at their peak and achieve their full potential, Tracy has shared his winning insights with thousands of people throughout the world.
  The Key to Self-Promotion   #85
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Self-promotion is the business of getting ahead more rapidly in your life by selling yourself more effectively to more people, in more places, more often. When you become good at self-promotion, you enable yourself to make the same progress in five years that someone else might make in 15 or even 25 years, if at all.

The starting point of self-promotion is to set a goal and make a plan to become one of the very best people in your field. The better you get, and the more respected you become, the more you will have in common with other people who also are further along on the road of life. You should ask for advice and follow it. You must make every effort to overcome the obstacles within yourself that might be holding you back. You must develop the essential skills you need to join the top 20 percent in your field.

The wonderful thing about this aspect of self-promotion is that it is totally under your control. It depends on no one else. It is an ongoing journey. As Denis Waitley describes it: "It is continually viewing yourself as a 'do it yourself' project."

There are different things you can do to promote yourself by getting to know more and more of the most important people in your community and your industry. This is the second aspect of self-promotion. As you are getting better at what you do, you deliberately and systematically make efforts to meet more people whom you can help and who can help you.

People in any field eventually take on the attitudes and behaviors of the other people in that field. Your peer group has a powerful effect on the person you are today and on the person you will become tomorrow. The friends you socialize with after work and on the weekends have an enormous impact on everything you do and accomplish.

Every major turning point in your life will coincide with the development of a new group of friends and associates. I have seen many occasions when an average salesperson joined a company that was full of top salespeople. Within three months, he or she also was a top salesperson in the industry. The very change of reference groups or social groups often leads to a complete change of aspirations, goals, work routines and levels of achievement.

Many people's lives are, unfortunately, a series of random or haphazard events, like bumper cars at a carnival. They take whatever job is offered to them. They have lunch with whomever is available, and they socialize with whomever they run into — whoever happens to be going out the door at the same time. Their human relationships are largely unplanned and uncoordinated. Their lives seem to go back and forth, and they make very little progress.

Successful people, on the other hand, are very deliberate about their choice of friends, associates and colleagues. Successful people make plans for their lives, and then they look around them to see which people fit into their plans for where they are going in the years ahead. Successful people are very specific about what they need to do and whom they need to know if they want to get ahead more rapidly.

Decide on your goals, become very good at what you do and then get around the right people. Your choice of friends and colleagues can make all the difference.

Now, here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, decide today to become one of the very best in your field. This will free you from politics and playing games in your company.

Second, identify the top people in your field, and make them your role models. Pattern your work and behavior after them. Strive to work up to their standards.

Third, be very selective about your friends and colleagues. Get around positive, successful people, people who are going places. You can then go together.

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