Category Archives: Self Improvement

Success Starts with Walking Through the Door!

Success Starts with Walking Through the Door: Seven Secrets to Achieving Outrageous Success in Your Life!

Launch Hampton Roads, ODU, entrepreneurial class, success class, ed sykes, blogging expert, social media expert, social media marketing, bloggingSuccess doesn’t look for you.  You need to go out and create your own success!

Recently, I had the pleasure of teaching a group of motivated students how to be successful entrepreneurs using social media and blogging techniques.  I also discussed with the class that even though the program is underwritten by the government and free to the students. In spite of those benefits, many people do not find the time to attend this comprehensive program.  These are the same people who talk a good game of success.  Yet, when it comes down to stepping out of the door and making the sacrifice required for being successful, they are nowhere to be seen.

Success requires you to walk out the door and escape from your comfort zone.  The following are seven secrets to being more:

Let me share the following success story with you:

I recently received a call from a past coaching student. As Senior Vice President of Human Resources at an international engineering company, she wanted to use my services again. Before we concluded our telephone conversation, she shared the following with me:

“I don’t know how much your coaching helped me at that time. I hated my job and the company I worked for and I knew I was better than that. Your coaching gave me the skills to gain confidence in myself and abilities. Soon after your coaching, I decided to pack my things, quit my job, and walk out the door without other prospects on the horizon,” she said. She also added, “I was scared of the unknown. But I knew I had to leave this situation and find something better.”

Well, she did! She explained that two days after leaving her dead-end job she found success. She was hired by her present company where she quickly rose up to the position of V.P. of Human Resources (since our initial conversation, she has received another promotion to Sr. V.P. of Human Resources). She’s looked at as an authority in the human resources field and is invited to speak at various industry conferences, and she is a trusted confidant of the company’s CEO. In her personal life, she married the love of her life. Most of all, she is happy! This happened all because she had the courage to walk through the door of success.

You too can find success on your terms if you are willing to walk through your door of success. The following are seven secrets to motivating yourself to walk through your door of success and achieve what you want in life:

  1. Know That You are Worthy of More in Life – Many times you will be situations, whether at work or home, for so long that you start to accept the state that you are experiencing. I see this many times when facilitate seminars and a student will come up to me and say, “I hate this job. It makes me sick.” I will then ask them how long have you been at your job? They will state that they have been there 10, 15, or even 20+ years. Don’t accept the pain anymore! Realize that you are worthy of more in life and you deserve better.
  2. Set Powerful Goals – Invest in yourself and take time to set success goals for yourself. Create goals that make you feel passionate. Create S-M-A-R-T-E-R (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based, encouraging, and rewarding) goals that motivate you to take action and keep you on track.
  3. Visualize Your Success – Visualize yourself already achieving your success. Take the time two or three times a day, preferably in the morning, midday, and before you sleep at night, and visualize yourself being successful at achieving your goals. The key to your success visualization is already being in the state of achieving your success. Include as much detail in your success visualization as possible. As they say, “If you believe it, and see it, you can achieve it.” See your success! (Read the rest of the article at

Are You Ready for Your Shark Tank Moment? Five Presentation Skills Secrets to Giving a Winning Presentation

Are You Ready for Your Shark Tank Moment? Five Presentation Skills Secrets to Giving a Winning Presentation

Carter Kostler, Shark Tank, presentation skills, public speaking, presentation skills coach, public speaking coach, Ed Sykes, va, virginia beach, norfolk, chesapeake, hampton roads, the sykes groupPresentation skills are an important set of tools for succeeding in life.   This skill alone will separate you from your competition in your business, your career, and your life.

I had the pleasure of coaching one of my presentation skills students who appeared on the popular television business show Shark Tank (I have coached several others since Carter to appear on Shark Tank).  My student, Carter Kostler of the Define Bottle, appeared on Shark Tank and presented his product and walked away a winner.  Carter actually turned down the offers from the Sharks and won big.  On the night of the program, Carter sold $100k worth of his bottles.  The first week after the program aired, he sold $350k worth of his bottles.  He finished the year with $750k in sales.  He accomplished all of this while he was only fifteen years old.

You may never appear on Shark Tank, but you probably will be put into a high-pressure situation at your business, in a team or company meeting, or sales presentation.  The following five presentation skills secrets will make you successful in all of your situations:

  1. Know What You Want to Accomplish – Invest in the time to analyze what the end result is that you want to  accomplish by giving your presentation.  What are the main and secondary goals you want to accomplish by the time your presentation is over?  If I don’t achieve my main goal, what are the minimum goal(s) I am willing to accept?  Many presenters fall short in this area.  When you have a crystal clear understanding of what you want to accomplish, it becomes easier to work backwards to create a powerful and persuasive presentation that accomplishes what you want.
  2. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare – I can’t say how important preparation for your presentation is for achieving the success you want.  If possible, practice for all the possible scenarios during your speech.  Prepare for a plan A and B within your speech so you can adjust to the flow of the presentation.  Prepare for all the possible questions you may receive and have powerful answers for these questions.  Prepare for the audience that will be listening to your presentation.  What will the audience want from you?  What will be the attitude they are expected to take toward your presentation?  What is the setup or environment where you will be presenting your message?  I am sure you can ask many more questions that pertain to your situation.  (Read the rest of the article at Presentation Skills)

For additional information for giving outstanding presentations, go to

Motivational Quotes to Jump Start Monday: Journey Wisely

Motivational Quotes to Jump Start Monday: Journey Wisely

motivational quotes, motivation, success, success quotes, success and inspiration quotes, Ed Sykes, motivational speakers, va, virginia beach, norfolk, chesapeake, hampton roads, the sykes groupYour journey of success starts with a single step.  You will have miss steps along the way.  Embrace your challenges along the way   It is how we react and learn from these miss will determine how smoothly the rest of our journey will be.  Realize you success is a continuous journey.  Just when you think you are at the end of the journey, the journey continues on.

Enjoy this motivational quote along with other motivational quotes from our website to be motivated and inspired to achieve more success in your life!


Wednesday Motivational Quotes: Be Willing to Expose Yourself for Success!

Wednesday Motivational Quotes: Be Willing to Expose Yourself for Success!


motivational quotes, motivation, success, success quotes, success and inspirational quotes, motivation, Ed Sykes, va, virginia beach, norfolk, chesapeake, hampton roads, the sykes groupToday’s motivational quote challenges you to expose yourself for success.  Success is not something you can stay on the sidelines and achieve.  You must get in the game and make the mistakes so that you can inch closer to success.

When you make mistakes that are very public, it may sting and hurt.  However, you must be willing to make the mistakes so that you will learn from them and become a better person.  Think of these mistakes preparing you for something bigger and more exciting in the future.  That is what success is all about!

You can find more motivational quotes at success.


Motivational Quotes: Success Means Inspiring Others

Motivational Quotes: Success Means Inspiring Others

motivation, motivational quotes, inspirational quotes, motivation, success, success quotes, Ed Sykes, motivaitonal speaker, va, virginia beach, norfolk, chesapeake, hampton roads, the sykes group

Motivation is the key ingredient for success in any organization.  You can have all the technical skills in the world; however, if you can’t motivate your team, you will not achieve success.  As a leader, a majority of your job is to motivate others to succeed so that everyone’s goals are accomplished.

The following are eight quick tips to motivate your team:

  1. Everyone Has Motivation – Your employees are motivated on some level.  It is your job to find the level of their motivation and move your employees to the next level.
  2. Listen to WIIFM – I wake up every morning listening to a very important radio station, WIIFM. I hope you do too.  WIIFM stands for What’s In It For Me?  To truly be a motivator, you must always be in tune to your employees’ WIIFM.  Find out why it is beneficial for your employees to do a task, etc.  Once you find out the employees’ motives, you find out how to motivate them.
  3. It’s about Pain or Pleasure – Motivate your employees toward pleasure or away from pain.  You motivate toward the pleasure by providing recognition, incentives, and rewards for doing a good job.  You motivate away from the pain of a corrective action, losing a position, or doing a poor job.  The key to this motivation is to be consistent with all your employees at all times.
  4. Give Me a Reason – Do it because I said so!  Well, with our educated workforce these days, that doesn’t work anymore.  Employees like to know why tasks are being requested of them so that they can feel involved and that the task has worth.  Let your employees know why doing the task is important to you, the organization, and for them. (Read the rest of the article at team rules)