20 Successful Habits I Learned Working For Two Billionaires

A little real-life experience does wonders to further a person’s education. Especially when it’s obtained from two of the planet’s richest people. Universal lessons! Secret keys to success! TVWriter™ lurves ‘em!

Oprah-Enver-1024x512by Paul C. Brunson

I have spent decades “being educated” –  in college, graduate school, numerous professional certifications, and now a PhD program. All of that schooling and training helped shape the person I am today, but at no point in my life  has there been a more profound education than my time working for Enver Yucel and Oprah Winfrey.

Enver and Oprah are two extraordinary people. And on top of that, they’re both billionaires. On the surface, they appear to be totally different people. They are in different industries, have different family structures, practice different religions, and speak different languages. However, once you get past their written biographies and dig deeper, you will notice they possess many of the same successful habits.

I had the opportunity to work with both Oprah and Enver for 6 years collectively and those were, hands down, the best professional experiences of my life. I worked my ass off for them and in doing so absorbed everything I could.

It’s my honor to share with you what I learned from them. Here is Part 1 of the 20 successful habits I learned working for two billionaires:

1) Invest in Yourself

This is a very simple concept, but something you would think someone who has “made it” would stop doing. Not at all for these two. I saw them both spend a significant amount of time dedicating their resources to self-development  (whether it be a new language, exercise, social media classes, etc). The moment you stop investing in yourself is the moment you have written off future dividends in life. 

2) Be Curious…About Everything

What the average person sees as mundane or overly complicated is not viewed the same way with a billionaire mindset. I once had a 30 minute conversation with Enver about the height of the curbs in Washington DC versus Istanbul, Turkey.  Billionaires are incredibly curious; what the rest of the world thinks is a problem and complains about — that’s what these people go and work on.

3) Surround Yourself With “Better” People

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BALANCING WRITING AND LIFE

Good advice for writers and creatives of all kinds, courtesy of Rita Karnopp’s and Ginger Simpson’s fine blog:

by Rita Karnopp

When we hear the word ‘balance’ then add writing and life, an author could almost laugh.  It’s a bit of a facetious statement.now later

When I started writing my children were very young, five and three.  So I scheduled my writing time after they went to bed around nine and wrote until two or three in the morning.  But, that’s not to say I never wrote during the day – because I did.  My office space was in our front living room (because we never used it, we always used the huge family room to the back of the house facing the mountains) and my desk faced the hallway toward the bedrooms.  The kids, and their friends, came in and out of that front door – past me –  how many times a day?

I set rules and explained they could wave at me, but if they didn’t have anything really important to ask or say, they could just walk on by and not interrupt.  It’s called respect when someone is busy working on something that is important to them.  It took some time, but they actually got it.  I think my husband became the biggest offender of interrupting for ‘non-important’ things.

I’ve said in other articles, my kids now laugh about falling asleep to the clicking of my keyboard . . . and of course there are the hilarious stories of them listening to my printer’s endless buzzing and snapping back and forth . . . and how they waited for it to stop so they could go back to sleep.

Writing time should be designated, planned, and a habit.  When we steal more time to write we have to fit it into the whirlwind around us.  I find I can now write just about anywhere, with just about anything happening around me.  I’ve come a long way from the days when I used to say, “Unless it’s completely quiet – I can’t concentrate to write.”

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How to get better brainstorming results

On many TV shows, the creative process gets kickstarted by brainstorming in the writers room. Which translates into: When you get into that room you’d better know what to do to get the best results. So here, have some tips:

brainstormby Jessica Hullinger

Where do great ideas come from, and how can you generate more of them?

You’ve tried all the recommendations, from waking up early to writing by hand.

Maybe your company has even hired a consultant to help employees generate new ideas, all in pursuit of that elusive eureka moment, the light bulb, the bolt of inspiration that leads to the next big thing.

But research continues to show that our hunt for the eureka moment may be in vain. The most recent example comes from Joel Chan and Christian Schunn of the University of Pittsburgh, who sought to understand how “thought A led to thought B that led to breakthrough C.”

They analyzed transcripts from the brainstorming sessions of a professional design team tasked with designing a hand-held printer for kids. The transcripts showed that new ideas don’t come out of thin air due to massive cognitive leaps.

Instead, creativity is a series of small steps. “Idea A spurs a new but closely related thought, which prompts another incremental step, and the chain of little mental advances sometimes eventually ends with an innovative idea in a group setting,” they say. They also found that analogies helped lead from one idea to the next.

An analogy, as Chan explains it, is “when we look at two things in our memory or in the world and we say they’re similar based on some underlying structure they share.” He gives the stock example of the similarities between the solar system and an atom. “Even though the two things look very different on the surface, we can see them as similar because of some underlying structure they share.”

Analogies come naturally to us. Our brain makes analogous comparisons unconsciously all the time as a way of making sense of the world around us.

“In order to survive, humans rely upon comparing what’s happening to them now with what happened to them in the past,” write Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander in their book Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking.

Says Schunn: “Your head is filled with solutions you’ve seen, and analogies are a way of looking through that past history of solutions to say, ‘Well, maybe one of those could work here.’”

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The Imagination Institute wants you

imaginationinstitute-tvwriter.net

Do you want it?

According to co-founder Scott Barry Kaufman, a new website called The Imagination Institute “is dedicated to making progress on the measurement, groth, and improvement of imagination across all sectors of society.”

It’s based on the assumption, with which TVWriter™ heartily agrees, that imagination is one of humanity’s most precious resources. So it follows that knowing more about what constitutes imagination and what conditions help it grow would be a great benefit to us all.

Especially those of us with imagination.

The Imagination Institute is putting together “scientists from various disciplines…and is dedicated to making progress on the measurement, growth, and improvement of imagination across all sectors of society.” It’s funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, a Pennsylvania non-profit.

What do you think? Can something good really come out of this or is the site just another example of non-creative types chasing their scientific method tails? Can it help you? Can you help it?

Only one way to find out, right? Get thee to http://imagination-institute.org/and see what’s up. And if you get the chance, c’mon back here and let us know whatcha think.

Cuz no way can we imagine what’s gonna happen at this place next.