17 Minutes Only!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Wanna’ Get Paid for Your Facebook Updates? Facebook Examining New Monetization Options.

Wanna’ Get Paid for Your Facebook Updates? Facebook Examining New Monetization Options | Social Media TodayWhat if you could get paid to post stuff on Facebook? And not branded content or marketing messages - what if there was a way for you to build a fan base simply by posting things you like, and that your Facebook audience is interested in? That idea could be the seed of a new project by Facebook, or, at least, Facebook’s conducting some initial research on a plan which could see The Social Network introduce new ways to give individual users the ability to make money from their Facebook presence.
The Verge got access to a Facebook survey which had been sent out to verified users posing a range of questions around how they use Facebook and what options they might like to see introduced.
In amongst those queries was this:
“Consider the following options for promoting your cause or earning money using your personal presence on Facebook. Which of these would you be interested in? (select all that apply)
Tip jar (place where fans can tip you money)
Branded content (earn money when posting with brand you have a sponsorship arrangement with)
Donate option (allow fans to donate to a charity you choose)
Call to action button (e.g. button saying “Buy Tickets” or “Sign up for more” on your posts)
Revenue sharing (receive a share of revenue generated by ads in your post)”
Now, there’s a couple of things to consider here. One, this was only sent out to verified users – i.e. celebrities or those with a significant enough presence or following to have actual fans, not just the everyday person. And two, this is only a questionnaire, this doesn’t mean Facebook’s on the brink of bringing out a new monetization option for personal profiles, they may be just testing the waters and seeing what response they get, particularly from high-profile users – though the fact that the query has made it so far as to be released to anyone does suggest there’s something to it.
Writing on The Verge, Casey Newton speculates that the option is likely being considered in the context of Facebook’s wider push on boosting real-time sharing – Facebook recently made a big change to the mobile app to put more emphasis on Facebook Live content and they’ve added other real-time discovery tools like Sports Stadium to boost engagement around live events. Real-time, of course, has long been Twitter’s domain, and no doubt Facebook’s push into their territory has the micro-blog giant concerned, but given Facebook’s privacy restrictions and closed in network, it’s not likely to be able to match Twitter’s real-time, fast-paced stream of in-the-moment interaction just yet.
Interesting to note, too, that Facebook’s been working to get more celebrities to use Facebook Live, with reports that Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was meeting with talent agencies in Los Angeles last month to promote the value of the option, and even explore the potential of monetary reimbursement for them doing so. The strategy here seems pretty straight-forward – live-streaming is an interesting option, but it has a noise-to-signal problem that turns many viewers away. If Facebook can get more high profile users posting content, content with significant appeal to a wide audience, then that’ll boost the value of Live in the eyes of both viewers and other creators, as the latter would be able to get their content featured alongside those highly viewed posts, exposing them to a larger audience. Done right, Facebook could make Live into a genuine TV rival, a whole new entertainment option - but in order to do that, they need more people to be watching more live content to entice creators and advertisers to get more interested in the option.
In this context, the idea that Facebook may be looking to provide more avenues for celebrities to make money from their Facebook activity makes sense - if those high-profile users can make money by being active on Facebook, they’re more likely to post more content, thus bringing more users to Facebook to consume it.
And another consideration in this, recent reports have suggested that people are sharing fewer personal posts on Facebook, with The Information reporting that overall sharing on the network fell 5.5% between mid-2014 and mid-2015, with sharing of personal posts - people's own thoughts and photos – falling a massive 21% during that period. The report suggests that Facebook’s put together a team to address this decline, which they’ve labeled “context collapse”, underlining how seriously they're taking it. Such a decline is particularly significant for Facebook, considering the data that users enter is what fuels their ever-powerful advertising and targeting machine. If sharing decreases, Facebook's value decreases with it. While the idea of incentivizing people to post, as implied by this survey, only points to verified users at this stage, you could imagine, if those declines in personal sharing continue, that Facebook could also consider introducing the same tools for regular users, giving people more reason to maintain an active Facebook presence.
That said, the idea of a “tip jar” system raises a heap of concerns and complexities, and it’d be difficult for Facebook to actually launch and police such a system on a broad scale. It’d boost activity on the platform, for sure, but I’d imagine giving people a way to make money by posting things to Facebook would also come with a range of content concerns and subsequent reports. Given this, I doubt Facebook has conceived such a plan beyond verified users – but then again, maybe they have. Maybe they’re working on a new system to handle these very problems.
As noted by Newton, there are other platforms, of course, that already offer ways for users to generate income from their on-platform activity. YouTube’s had a revenue-sharing program in place since 2007, while gaming network Twitch also has a revenue sharing system in place. Such agreements have lead to the rise of social media superstars like PewDiePie, who reportedly earned more than $12 million last year alone, and such a process could definitely work on Facebook, particularly around video content. But then again, if you’re going to apply such a system to video, why not do the same with posts and updates? Why not provide a means for users to benefit beyond simple Likes and comments?
As noted, the complexities are many, but the fact that Facebook is even asking the question is interesting. Could this be the ace Facebook’s holding to address the decline in personal updates?
Either way, it does raise some interesting considerations.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

5 New Facebook Live Video Features for Marketers

social media how toAre you interested in live video?
Want to learn more about Facebook Live?
Facebook Live has expanded its features, providing you with new Facebook marketing opportunities.
In this article you’ll discover what Facebook marketers need to know about the newest Facebook Live video features.
facebook live video marketing features
Discover five new Facebook live video features for social media marketers.

#1: Post Live Video to Your Profile, Pages, Groups, and Event Pages

The first of the new features with Facebook Live video relates to where you can broadcast. For starters, everyone should be able to broadcast live video to a personal profile, which is visible based on the settings you choose (public, friends, etc.).
facebook live video profile
Live video for personal profiles.
Second, you should be able to broadcast live video to your Facebook pages, which will automatically have public visibility. You need to navigate to your Facebook page within the main Facebook app and tap on the Publish button.
facebook live video publish option
The page Publish option in the main Facebook app.
There, you’ll see the option to post live video as your page if it’s available to you.
facebook live personal page
Live video for personal pages.
Third, you should be able to broadcast live video to most of the Facebook groups you belong to. It will be visible to anyone who can see posts within that group. The visibility of your live video in groups is based on the privacy settings of the group itself.
Also refer to each group’s rules as to whether it allows live video posts. The group mentioned in the following example does not.
facebook live video group
Live video for groups.
Finally, you should be able to broadcast live video to most event pages if you’ve been invited to the event and have responded as interested or going, which is visible to anyone who can see the event. This visibility is determined by whether the event was created as public or private.
facebook live video event page
Live video for event pages.
Considerations for Group and Event Admins
For Facebook group and event admins who want to create live events for their group members and event subscribers, live video is going to be a great tactic to use. This will be especially beneficial for private mastermind and membership groups that want to go the extra mile with private Q&A sessions, special guests, and other value-add bonuses.
As far as moderation goes, however, there are no controls to limit who can post live video to Facebook group and event pages. If members can post a status update to your group or event page, they can post live video. As CEO of Social Chefs and Facebook group admin Christian Karasiewicz noted, “The core principle is you need to build a manageable but engaged group. Kind of like Cheers, where everyone knows your name.”
If you haven’t done this, moderating the live video content posted to your groups and events could be a tricky issue. It’s much simpler to scan a text post or click through to a link to see if the content is self-promotional or questionable. Watching a lengthy live video, or one that’s currently being streamed, is a completely different matter. This has forced some admins to implement a no live video rule, deleting live video posts as soon as they appear.
While there are no current settings for admins to specifically stop people from posting live video, there are general settings that would allow all posts to require moderation before going live in a group.
facebook live group settings
General group moderation settings.
General moderation settings for events will usually look like this.
facebook live event settings
General event moderation settings.

#2: Go Live

There aren’t many new features for going live yet, but filters and the ability to draw on your screen are on the way, according to screenshots like the one below from Facebook’s live video media assets.
facebook live video tools
Upcoming live video editing options.
Until then, your experience will look like more like this. When you’re ready to go live to any of the above-mentioned areas, start by entering your status update and tapping the live video icon. Then, enter a description for your live video.
facebook live video setup
Starting a live video broadcast.
When you tap the Go Live button, you’ll see a simple countdown timer to get you prepared to be live. You can tap on the icon at the top right to switch from your front-facing to rear-facing camera throughout your broadcast.
facebook live video broadcast
Broadcasting live.
Once you go live, look at the top left to see how long you’ve been broadcasting along with your current number of live viewers. At the bottom, you’ll see comments and reactions from your viewers. When you’re finished with your broadcast, tap the Finish button to end.
At that point, you have the option to save the video to your camera roll and upload an HD version of your video to your personal profile, page, group, or event page.
facebook live video finished
Options after you end your live broadcast.

#3: Get Additional Live Video Insights as a Page Owner

After you end a live video session on your Facebook page, you’ll get immediate insights into how many people watched your live video. This comes in addition to the options to upload HD video and save the video to your camera roll to share on other networks.
facebook live video insights for pages
Additional insights for Facebook page owners.
While you can’t boost live video while it’s broadcasting on your page, you’ll have the option to boost the post once the broadcast has ended, like any other post.
facebook live video boost unavailable
Boost options for live video broadcasts.
In addition, you can go to your Insights to see analytics for your video in the most recent posts section.
facebook live video insights recent posts
Facebook Insights including live video.
These insights will include analytics for the live video broadcast.
facebook live video insights
Facebook Insights for the live video broadcast.
You’ll also get analytics for the post itself after the broadcast has ended.
facebook live video post insights
Facebook Insights for the live video broadcast post.
Based on Facebook’s push for live video, your Facebook page could get a significant boost in engagement by taking advantage of this feature while Facebook is eagerly promoting it.
facebook live video engagement rate
Higher engagement for the live video broadcast post compared to others.
After your video has gone live, people will have the option to subscribe to follow your future live videos.
facebook live video follow
Live video follow option for those viewing a live broadcast or replay.

#4: Engage With Live Video Using Comments and Reactions

Another new feature with Facebook live video has to do with how live video viewers can engage during a broadcast. Before, viewers could only comment. Now, viewers can comment and send reactions, which float across the video screen like hearts on Periscope and props on Blab.
facebook live video engagement
Ways viewers can engage with live video.
Viewers can add a comment in the comment box or send a reaction by sliding the comment bar to the left.
facebook live video reactions
Reaction options for live video.

#5: Discover Live Video in New Ways

Besides subscribing to your favorite live video broadcasters, Facebook plans to make live video discovery simpler in a number of ways. First off, desktop users can find live video broadcasters using the Live Map feature. Please note that what you find won’t always be safe for work.
facebook live map
The live video map for discovering people broadcasting live throughout the world.
Facebook will also update several areas to highlight live video. For example, there will be live video markers in search and trending topics in the Facebook app, as shown in this screenshot from Facebook’s live video media assets.
facebook live trending
Upcoming live video markers in search results.
Live video will also be at the top of the video search results in the Facebook app, as shown in this screenshot from Facebook’s live video media assets. You can also see that the Messenger icon will be swapped out for a Videos icon.
facebook live video search
Live video featured at the top of videos.
So as you can see, Facebook is going to be investing a lot in live video in the near future. Therefore, you probably should be, too!
In Conclusion
Facebook Live has the potential to take over all of the other live video broadcast apps on the market.
The screenshots throughout this article are from the iPhone Facebook app, although some Android users may also have access to these features.

What do you think? How do you plan to incorporate live video into your marketing plan? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

How Elite Entrepreneurs Do More With Less Time – 3 Science-Backed Brain Hacks You Can Start Using Today

As an entrepreneur, you know how important it is to optimize all your investments so you’re getting the best possible ROI.
You probably track your marketing ROI, your profits and losses, but what about optimizing the most important thing you’ve got working for you…your brain?
Recently I’ve been exploring neuroscience as a way to help people do things like beat social anxiety and boost self-confidence by gaining a “mental advantage.” The biggest takeaway I’ve learned is that the brain is a remarkable tool.
I’m talking about a tool so fast that information travels between neurons at over 260 mph, is so strong that it stays alive even after you die, and generates more electrical impulses in one day than all the telephones on this planet.*

Mental Hack #1: Transforming Your Habits

It’s easy to consume information about what we should be doing…but how many times have you actually put those things into action?
Today I want to start off by setting the stage with habits. If you understand the science behind habits, you’ll be able to implement the tips that follow to ensure long-term change as well as establish any type of habit you want to perform.
Habits regulate what we do almost every second of every day, whether we consciously realize it or not. They are established in the neural pathways of your brain and are strengthened upon repetition.
Habits come in all shapes and sizes. They can be:
  • Mental- i.e. your inner-critic triggered after a tiny mistake
  • Physical- i.e. your exercise routine
  • Verbal- i.e. losing your temper when someone says something you don’t agree with
Habits live in a very deep, primitive part of your brain called the basal ganglia. 
It’s responsible for habit regulation and it’s so powerful that even people who have memory loss and brain damage still remember their old habits if the basal ganglia isn’t damaged. 
Let’s dive into the science behind habits called the “habit loop” introduced by Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit. Once you understand the habit loop, you can transform ANY habit you have and turn it into the habit you want to do.
The habit loop consists of three things–let’s use brushing your teeth as an example:
  1. Cue– this is the “trigger” that precedes the routine– it would be the time of day since it’s the first thing you do in the mornings
  2. Routine– this is the actual “act” of what you are doing– brushing your teeth
  3. Reward– this is the intrinsic or extrinsic reward you get from performing the routine– the “tingling” sensation you feel after brushing
Let’s dive deeper into each of these facets and how you can use it to transform your habits.

Step 1: Identify the Cue

Think of cues as triggers, it’s what makes you perform the routine. If you wake up at 6:00 am everyday your cue is likely your alarm going off. Here’s one I can attest to– turning on your TV as soon as you plop on your couch (cue).
Cues can be based upon:
  • Location
  • Time
  • Mental State
  • Other People
  • Immediately preceding action
Cues are also a great way to get you to do something. For example to make sure I don’t skip breakfast, I measure out and put my oatmeal in a bowl the night before. When I wake up in the mornings I’ll see it on the kitchen counter, cueing me to simply throw in some water and pop it in the microwave. This helps guarantee I have a healthy breakfast everyday.
When it comes to effective habit change, you first have to identify the cues that trigger your routine.
For example, if you end up eating a donut everyday at 3:00 pm think about what is cueing that: is your blood sugar low? Are you feeling stressed out? Are you eating out of boredom because you run out of tasks to do at that time of the day? 

How to identify your cues:

I recommend tracking the cues that you’re identifying in a journal. Note down the time of day, how you’re feeling, what your environment is like, who you’re with, energy levels, etc. that way you can focus in on the cues that are getting you to perform those bad habits.
Now that you understand how important it is to identify your cues, let’s talk changingthe routine?

Step 2: Change the Routine

Changing the routine is the most important part of the habit loop because it’s the only part that can be changed. 
Let’s suppose you have a nasty habit of getting sucked into social media when you’re starting your workday. You’ve identified that the cue is relatively harmless–  you initially hop on social media in the mornings to tweet out a blog post you wrote. But the next thing you know you’re, sucked into all the “bright lights” of social media like pictures of your friend’s new baby.

How to change the routine:

You know that logging into social media in the mornings is throwing off your productivity, so you can replace the routine by scheduling your tweets the night before to avoid the temptation of social networking in the mornings. It’s important to be specific, take it a step further and define the exact time that you’re going to be scheduling tweets in advance.
Now that you have a routine replacement, let’s move on to the next step.

Step 3: Reward Yourself!

Immediately after a successful routine transformation, reward yourself with a meaningful reward.
The man, the legend: B.F. Skinner
You may know this strategy as  “positive reinforcement” coined by the famous psychologist B.F. Skinner.
Simply put, rewarding a certain behavior will make it more likely to be repeated.
Skinner illustrated this using the famous “Skinner box” where a rat was placed inside a box with a lever and every time the rat ran into the lever a food pellet would fall out. Well guess what the rat did after a few times of bumping into the lever and getting some food pellets? Yep, it went straight to the lever every time it was placed in that box.
Now I’m not trying to compare you to a rat, but a principle is a principle! 

How to choose a reward:

Make sure your reward is:
  • Gratifying– something you genuinely like
  • Minor– make it reasonable. You can’t reward yourself with $1,000 every time you change your routine (or maybe you can…) you get the picture
  • Accessible– it’s best to reward yourself right after a successful routine transformation, by choosing a reward that you have easy access to you’ll make it easier to attain rather than waiting for.
Reward options can be things like a cup of coffee, a 15-minute guilt-free session of web surfing, a beer after a hard workout or something that has sentimental value to you.

Step 4: Repeat the Above 

In order to strengthen the new neural pathways you’re creating, you have to repeat your new habit loop. If you do this effectively you’ll find yourself on auto-pilot, performing the new habits without much thought.
The better you are at identifying the cues that lead to negative routines, the better shot you have at changing the habit. Once you successfully transform them, positively reinforce yourself immediately to strengthen the new neural pathway. 
Most of the research suggests that 21 days is the optimal number of days to repeat the habit to make it permanent, but it varies widely depending on the person, the routine, and environment.

The Habit Loop in Action (Example)

Now that you understand the different parts of the habit loop, let’s put it all together. I’ll use a personal example of how I used the habit loop to wake up earlier everyday.
In the past, my mornings were short and hectic. My alarm would go off, I’d snooze a bunch of times and before I knew it I was running late to get to the office. I’d throw something on, make a quick coffee and run out the door. 
My day started off stressful and it wasn’t a great start. I wanted to have a consistent routine in the mornings so I could wake up earlier and not feel stressed out.


I realized the main reason my mornings were off was because I kept on snoozing. The number of times I’d snooze depended on how tired I was. Doing some analysis of the cue, I figured out it was because I was going to bed at various times..anywhere from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am.
In order to course correct, I started going to bed consistently, no later than 11:30 pm every night. That alone was a game-changer. I also read that it’s a good practice to drink a glass of water before you go to bed and as soon as you get up. I placed a glass of water by my phone making it easy to drink as soon as my alarm went off and it served as an effective visual cue.


When my alarm would go off I’d wake up and chug the water, it actually did help me feel refreshed. The other interesting thing was because I drank a glass of water prior to sleeping, I had to use the bathroom making me even more eager to get my butt up!
Were there days when my alarm went off and I still felt tired? Of course! That’s where the reward came into play.


I’m a huge coffee lover and recently discovered bulletproof coffee, so I decided to make that my reward when I’d wake up on time without snoozing.
The reward worked because it takes a few minutes to make (meaning I had to get up a bit earlier) and I really enjoy it..finally, it gave me a ton of energy to start my day!
On days where I felt tempted to hit snooze, I’d just picture sipping my bulletproof coffee and that helped me harness the motivation I needed to follow through.
I did this consistently for about two weeks and now it’s on auto-pilot!
You can use these principles to make change when it comes to anything from the way you work, getting yourself to exercise or quit a habit you’ve been wanting to change forever. The power is now yours, use it wisely.

2. Mental Hack #2: Optimizing Your Willpower

Now that you’ve mastered habits, let’s talk about willpower. The reason why I covered habits first is because the more behaviors that are auto-piloted by your habits, the more willpower you have reserved to do better at things that matter.
Wouldn’t you rather use up your willpower to make a business decision rather than trying to decide how you’ll have a healthy breakfast in the morning?
Let’s deep dive into willpower and how you can optimize it to become more effective as an entrepreneur.
Do you ever come home after a long day at work and give up on deciding what to make for dinner? You pickup the phone and order pizza because you can’t even imagine spending brain power on deciding what to cook and how you’ll do it. Trust me, I’ve been there many times.
Well that long day probably included performing difficult tasks that require extreme focus, making a bunch of tough decisions, and interacting with coworkers.
Basically you’re “drained” from using your willpower, this is because it functions like a fuel tank and gets depleted throughout the day by two factors: exercising self-control and making decisions. 

The Limitations of Self-Control

In a classic willpower experiment, two sets of students were invited into a room with chocolate-chip cookies and radishes.  The first group that entered was invited to eat the cookies. The second group was asked to resist the cookies and eat radishes instead. 
Afterwards, they gave everyone an impossible geometry puzzle to solve. The students who ate the cookies worked on them for an average of 20 minutes. Guess how long the radish-eating students who had to resist the cookies worked on the puzzle? An average of 8 minutes, they then gave up.
The study illustrates that using self-control in one task negatively impacts your willpower to perform sequential tasks, that’s why the second group gave up so easily. To put this in startup terms, this may be when you’re working 24/7 on your project and let other things slip like hygiene (is your beard getting too long?) or eating healthily.
By the way, exerting self-control goes beyond simply resisting temptation.Anytime you have to control your emotions in some way you’re exerting self-control, this is something we do an average of four hours a day.  
In another study, people who were told to suppress their emotions while watching a sad movie showed depleted levels of willpower compared to those who were simply told to watch the movie without instructions. 
Anytime you’re trying to control your emotions like when you’re trying really hard to not lose your temper or putting on a “brave face” during the entrepreneurial lows, you’re using up willpower. 

The Limitations of Decision-Making

Decision-making is the other factor that withers your willpower. 
In an astonishing study, researchers studied 1,112 rulings by Israeli judges on whether or not to grant a criminal parole. What was the #1 determinant in whether the criminal would get parole or not? It was not their ethnicity, religion or severity of the crime…it was the time of day! 
The earlier in the day the case was, the higher the odds of the criminal getting parole. It turns out that the judges suffered from “decision fatigue” towards the end of the day and the easy decision to make after being fatigued was to simply say “no.”
When we face difficult decisions after our willpower has been depleted, the brain looks for shortcuts by doing one of two things:
  1. Making impulsive choices– this is when you give up and order pizza or when the judge denies a criminal parole because it’s the easy thing to do
  2. Do nothing– this is when you simply have no energy to even consider the factors of decision-making and don’t make a choice
Now that you understand the limitations around willpower, how can you use it to your advantage?

Tip #1 : Do your hardest work earlier in the day

Since your willpower is like a tank of gas that gets depleted throughout the day, try to schedule doing your hardest work earlier. 
Use the habit loop to turn this hack into a daily routine where you tackle the most difficult tasks first. Here’s an example of a habit loop you can use:
  1. Cue– the night before, schedule a Google calendar event for 7:00 am and title it as the hardest task you have to do that day. The next morning you’ll get a pop-up reminder that serves as your cue 
  2. Routine– do the task at 7:00, duh!
  3. Reward- you can reward yourself with a morning coffee or a 15-minute break to do whatever you want

Tip #2: Avoid willpower drains 

Your goal is to reserve your willpower, therefore it’s critical to avoid things that quickly deplete your self-control like interacting with a coworker who you find hard to deal with or putting yourself in situations where you have to resist temptation.
A University of Toronto study, “found that people whose willpower was depleted by self-control tasks showed decreased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, a brain region involved with cognition.”
Be sure to avoid putting yourself in situations where you have to exert a lot of self-control or hold back your emotions right before an important meeting or event.

Tip #3: Eat

Glucose is fuel for your brain, interestingly it has been scientifically proven to improve self-control. Studies show that both humans and dogs who had to exert willpower show depleted levels of glucose compared to those who didn’t. Something as simple as drinking a glass of lemonade or Gatorade has been shown to improve self-control.
If you have to focus or make continual decisions throughout the day, make sure you’re blood sugar levels are sufficient.  
You may want to get a hit of glucose before making that next big decision!

Tip# 4: Build your willpower muscle

Willpower is like a muscle that can be strengthened. Strengthening willpower is a great way to improve your discipline over the long-term.
You can build your willpower by systematically avoiding temptation and improving your self-control. A helpful tactic to use is called “implementation intention.”
The idea is to have a pre-planned action step when you’re tempted with something you want to avoid. You can think of it as an “if, then” statement. 
For example, if you are trying to kick the habit of constantly checking your inbox, your “then” statement can be: 
“Every time I’m tempted to check my email, I will double check my ‘to-do’ list for the day and work on my #1 task instead.”
Getting specific around what your “then” action will be will help you exert self-control over the things that matter and doing this repeatedly will help you both build new habits and strengthen your willpower.

Mental Hack #3: Training Your Brain For Success

It’s pretty obvious that we’re constantly overloaded with information. In one day we’re exposed to the equivalent of 174 newspapers worth of data. Of course you’re too busy to pay attention to all that information, so you simply pay attention what’s relevant to you. How? 
There’s a part of your brain that’s solely dedicated to filtering and focusing your attention to things that are important, it’s called the reticular activating system(RAS). It’s a loose network of neurons and neural fibers that run through your brain stem. 
You may have experienced your RAS in action when you’ve considered buying a particular car. Do you realize that you start noticing that car everywhere?
Well it’s not that everyone went out and bought that car, it’s that your RAS has been primed to focus on it since it’s now deemed “important” to you. 
Simply put, the RAS links your thoughts and feelings with similar things in your environment.
How can you use the RAS to your advantage?

Tip #1: Write down your goals

Writing down your goals helps your brain focus on the things that are important to you. Since the RAS links the unconscious and conscious parts of your brain, you want to prime it to focus on the things that can give you disproportionate results.
To help you do this, take some time to clearly define what your goals are and how you will execute them:
  1. Envision your desired future: Vividly imagine what you want your future to be like. What type of business will you be running? Where will you be living? Who will you be hanging out with? Working with?
  2. Establish long term-goals: Get specific on what your long-term goals are. For example, if you want to “work from wherever” then your long-term goal may be to generate at least 75% of the income from your startup that you’re generating from your day job. Create a few long-term goals that are in line with the desired future you just mapped out
  3. Establish micro-goals: Once you understand your desired future and have a few long-term goals you want to achieve, chunk them down into short-term micro-goals to set yourself up for small wins.
If one of your long-term goals is to start your own business, your micro-goal would be to identify a specific market with a specific problem you can fix. If you’ve already done that your next micro-goal could be simply making $100 in 30 days.
Make sure your micro-goals are specific, achievable, and have a deadline. You can then get even more specific and outline the action items that would get you to $100.
Writing this down will activate your RAS and get you concentrating on the things that matter while ignoring all the other “noise” that can distract you from reaching your goals. Studies have shown increased retention and brain activity when you write things down versus typing.

Tip #2: Visualize

The RAS also controls your belief system, you can use it to cultivate a stronger belief in yourself through visualization. 
You can use this to improve your mental strength, whether it’s to silence your inner-critic or harness the motivation you need to get through the entrepreneurial lows. 
Think back on a moment when you achieved something challenging in your life. Maybe it was the time you worked hard on a project that was well received or the time you hit the game winning shot?
Visualize those moments in vivid detail, down to the tiny things like what you were wearing and thinking in your head as it happened. 
What did it sound like, feel like, who were you with, what traits got you there, how did you persevere when the going got tough? 
By visualizing your past success you can feel that same sense of achievement you felt back then and you can identify the traits that got you to that “win.” You can then focus on those traits to cultivate them in a deeper way to replicate success.
Let’s suppose that one of the main reasons you were able to learn a new language quickly was because you had a language partner that helped you practice and improve. 
In business terms, that may translate into identifying a mentor in your field who can push you to practice and improve.
Taking the time to visualize past success will help you identify the top qualities that got you there and will prime your brain to begin focusing on developing those traits. You may find yourself becoming hyper-aware of networking events or people in your life who could serve as mentors once you’ve identified that as a factor for success.
Another positive byproduct of visualizing past success is that you activate the same sensory and motor programs in the brain that were involved with the action you’re visualizing. 
In a groundbreaking experiment piano players were divided in two groups. One was told to physically practice, while the other was told to “mentally” practice by visualizing playing the piano. 
In both groups, the same physical changes in the brain were found in the motor cortex and after three days their accuracy was exactly the same regardless of how they practiced. Crazy right?! 
Visualization is not some new-agey voodoo, it’s a real way to activate the areas in your brain that can help you achieve your goals tangibly. Top athletes also use visualization techniques to prepare for victories and you can too!

In Conclusion

Being an entrepreneur is tough, the path is paved with numerous challenges. 
By being able to build positive habits, make good decisions, work “smartly,” and deeply focus on the stuff that matters are essential to becoming a successful entrepreneur. 
By understanding how your brain works and optimizing it to your advantage, you can have a “mental edge” on your entrepreneurial journey. 
Get started optimizing your brain today! Now that you have the framework of the habit loop, you can actually put these tips into action. Comment below and share your favorite tip and how you’re going to implement it in your day!