Memorial Day: Remembering Those Who Gave the Most

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Memorial Day:  Remembering Those Who Gave the Most

While we are enjoying time with our family and friends on this special day, please take the time to remember and appreciate the sacrifice made for our country on this Memorial Day.

memorial day

Presentation Skills Training Event!

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Presentation Skills Training Event!

Want to create a powerful presentation in a matter of minutes?  Want to deliver the unshakeable confidence to give a presentation in any situation?  Want to learn how to give a presentation that engages your audience? Want to take your presentation skills to the next level?

Then join us now for our upcoming FREE Presentation Skills Training Event, Five Secrets to Creating and Giving Powerful Presentations that WOW Your Audience (In 30 Minutes or Less)!, on June 1st at 12 Noon EST.

presentation skills, publc speaking skills, communication skills, public speaking, communication, presentation skills webinar, Ed Sykes, the sykes groupInvest 90 minutes with me and I guarantee you will learn the skills to WOW your audience.  Space is limited.  Go to for additional information and to sign up now!

Goal Setting for Changing Times: Seven Steps to Achieving Your Dreams

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Goal Setting for Changing Times: Seven Steps to Achieving Your Dreams

goal setting, focus, setting goals, goals, Ed Sykes, successGoal setting is an important tool for our success in life.  Have you noticed that you’ve experienced much change over the past year, months, weeks, and even days? Your situation may have changed due to the challenges presented by these changing times, and you may ask yourself if you have achieved your goals of the past year.  How do we go about starting our goal-setting activity with all of this change happening around us?

The following seven goal-setting steps will help you successfully implement your goal-setting and achieve your dreams in the future in these changing times:

  1. Successful Goal Setting Requires Thinking About Your Goals – You are told how to think and what to think about each and every day.  From when we get up in the morning until we go to sleep at night, television, radio, personal computer, family, friends, managers, and colleagues tell us how to think, feel, and act.

Invest time fifteen minutes to an hour to think.  Turn off all the external distractions, go to a quiet place (home, park, etc.), and think about your goals and how you want to accomplish them.  Think about how you will feel when accomplishing them.

Your goal-setting thinking session should also include how you will benefit from these changing times.  What special skills do you have or need to acquire to take advantage of these changing times?

  1. Successful Goal Setting Requires Writing Your Goals – Nothing happens in goal setting unless you write your goals and put these goals on paper.  Put a pen to paper and you are ahead of all ninety-five percent of other people because they do not write down their goals and then wonder why they are unhappy in their business, their career, and their life.  Take the time to write down your goals.  It doesn’t need to be perfect the first time; successful goal setting is an ongoing process that will change as you accomplish your goals.
  2. Successful Goal Setting Requires Shorter Time Periods -Break the length for your goals into shortened time periods.  This allows you adjust as needed in changing times.  For example, break your goals into twenty-year, ten-year, five-year, one-year, six-month, monthly, weekly, and daily increments.  This will allow you to gauge whether you are on course to accomplishing your goals, or whether you need to make adjustments to get back on track.
  3. Successful Goal Setting Requires Flexible Goals -You need to be flexible when goal goal setting, setting goals, focus, flexible goals, success, Ed Sykessetting more than ever in the past.  As the world changes, planning for these changes is essential. An opportunity that is there today might not be there tomorrow.  What are you going to do with shifting opportunities?  When setting goals, successful people have a Plan A, Plan B, and even a Plan C for these changing times.  Take time to think about what changes might happen in your business, your career, and your life and develop plans to overcome these obstacles.
  4. Successful Goal Setting Requires Passion – Do your goals make you excited?  If they do not, you are not setting goals high enough.  Set your goals so that you are excited about accomplishing them.  When you are excited about your goals, you create positive energy, and the energy creates passion.  With this passion, you will find ways to remove any barriers to your success.
  5. Successful Goal Setting Requires Embracing Technology – Many times in our workshops, we run across students for whom technology is a barrier to their success.  Their jobs or industries have changed so that being proficient in technology is a requirement.  Yet, these students resist learning the new technologies required for their success.

Include a section on what technologies you will learn in your goal setting so that you are successful.  Overcome your fear and challenge yourself through these goals to learn how to master new technologies.

  1. Successful Goal Setting Requires Balance – In these changing times, you are asked to do more with less.  Whether in your business, your career, your community, or your family, you have ever increasing requests for your time and talents.  Unless you include balance in your goal setting, someone else will create unbalance in your life which leads to stress and possibly illness.

Take back control of your life with successful goal setting.  Make sure you set goals in the following areas:

  • Family
  • Health
  • Education
  • Technology
  • Spiritual
  • Career
  • Community

I am sure you can think of some others; however, these form the foundation of your goal-setting activities.  Master these areas to be successful in achieving more in less time while staying in control.

Don’t delay!  Take the time to put think about what you want and deserve, then put a pen to paper.  Invest in yourself and the seven goal-setting techniques discussed in this article and you will be successful in these changing times.

For additional information on goal setting articles, workshops, and coaching, go to or contact us at or call us at 757-427-7032.

Additional Reading:

Motivational Quotes: Success Starts with Focus!

Motivational Quotes: It’s the Journey to Achieving Your Goals That Count!

Motivational Quotes: Success Comes Brick by Brick

Success Article: Three Secrets to Creating Success by Looking Up!

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Success Article: Three Secrets to Creating Success by Looking Up!

Success, achievement, achieve, motivate, motivation, Ed Sykes, the sykes group, motivational speakers, vaSuccess is all around us if we just look for it.  Sometimes we unintentionally block success from finding us by the actions we take in our lives.

Recently, I was invited to speak about success to the students at the business department at a university.  As I stood at the door to the auditorium, out of the first twenty students who walked by, nineteen had their heads down working with their smartphones, tablets, or other electronic devices.  Instead of embracing the opportunity to connect with someone who could possibly further their careers, they choose to stay engaged with their devices.

How many of you may be doing this every day?  Maybe you have seen others doing the same thing.  We are so busy looking down at our devices that we might be missing opportunities directly in front of us.  The opportunity could be the person you have been trying to connect with for a job or career opportunity.  It could be an event that will give you the idea to create a successful business.  You could be someone who might turn into your perfect mate.  You get the idea.

The following are three success secrets to being engaged so that more opportunities come your way:

  1. Make an Effort to Look Up – Always value people over things.  Whenever you have opportunities to be among people, put down the devices and engage with the people.  First, it is a sign of respect and says to the other person that they are important.  Second, when you are looking up and creating eye contact, it makes it easier for other people to approach you and engage in conversation.  Devices can give you the information, but people can make the decision on your future success.
  2. Focus on the Conversation – When you’re in a personal or business conversation, do not consistently sneak looks at your device.  It is rude and disrupts the flow of the conversation.  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen conversations where the it started off great.  Then as soon as someone brings out a device, the flow of the conversation becomes choppy, sentences are shortened or stopped, and potential opportunities are lost.  Keep your devices out of sight in your pocket.
  3. Take Time Away from Technology – Take a “technology time-out.”  Believe me, you can do it.  Whether it is an hour or a day, leave your device at home, go outside and reconnect with yourself or others.  You will recharge your batteries and become creative in other ways.  You will find solutions to opportunities you didn’t think of when you were using your digital devices.  Your stress level will decrease, and you will find success more enjoyable in your life.

Create your success by implementing the above tips.  Looking up and engaging with others will help you be more successful in your career, your business, and in your life!

Motivational Quotes: Success Comes Brick by Brick

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Motivational Quotes: Success Comes Brick by Brick

success, motivational quotes, quotes, success quotes, inspiration quotes, Ed Sykes, the sykes groupAre you creating your foundation of success? Are you motivated to take on challenges that others are not willing to do? The following is a story of someone who did and achieved great success in his life and how you can, too!

There once was a young man who grew up in Crawford, Mississippi. His father worked as a brick mason building home foundations. Everyday after school and during the summers, this young man would help his father build foundations. It’s not the most glamorous job by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s an honest, backbreaking, and low paying job that put food on the table and paid the bills. The father would start by throwing bricks towards the son in the area where they would build a housing foundation. Under the hot, sweltering Mississippi sun, his son would catch brick after brick with his hands, day after day. While most other kids were enjoying their summers or working in less strenuous jobs, this young man was motivated to work long and hard with his father, while catching those bricks and building a foundation for success in more ways than one.

You see, each time that young man caught bricks, he was not only making his hands stronger, he was building character and the foundation for success in his later years. With each brick he caught, he was even more determined to be successful in life. When he wasn’t helping his father and going to school, he was pushing himself through football workouts to be better than any other football player. You see the young man’s name is Jerry Rice, and he went on to become the most successful NFL All-Pro wide receiver of all time with the San Francisco 49ers. Some of you non-football fans may know him as a contestant from the television program, “Dancing with the Stars.”

The following are the six success secrets that Jerry Rice used that can easily motivate you to achieve success in any aspect of your business, career, and life:

  1. Motivate Yourself to See Opportunities in Every Challenge – Jerry could have looked at the job of catching bricks as a chore that was a waste of his time. But he saw the big picture and made the chore more enjoyable by developing games out of the activities. Many times in life, we are thrown bricks and complain and miss the opportunity it presents to us. The person who can find solutions in the challenges they are faced with can write their own ticket for success. When you take on a challenge, it’s preparing you for an opportunity in the future. You may not know when the opportunity is coming, how it is coming, or what the opportunity will look like, but it is coming; and will you be prepared? Embrace your challenges so you will be prepared.
  2. Motivate Yourself to See That It’s Normal to Experience a Little Pain – As Jerry was experiencing the pain of catching bricks each day, this pain was actually building him to becoming a stronger person. Each brick was fueling Jerry’s internal desire to be successful. Think of some situation at work, in business, or in life that was painful. Your pain may be an embarrassing moment, it may be a learning experience, and it may be a setback. How can you use this setback to motivate you to become more successful? We achieve success in our businesses, careers, and life when we develop the success tools of using our “pains” as a learning experience and a springboard to success. (Read the rest at