Leslie Brown, or commonly known as Les Brown, is a famous American motivational speaker, author, radio DJ, former television host, and also a former politician. Les started in poverty and has been labeled as EMI, Educable Mentally Retarded. When he was in school, nobody thought that he was going to make it in life. Today, Les Brown is a world-renowned motivational speaker and he has delivered many inspirational speeches to multi-national companies including Avon, McDonald’s, Disney, AT&T, IBM, 3M, Amway, and more.
Les is famous for his quote, “It’s possible!” He was selected as one of the America’s top five speakers by Toastmasters International in 1992. So how did Les managed to rise to stardom and living his dream despite all the challenges and odds that are against him?
This is exactly what you are going to discover in this article. You will learn the top 7 rules for success Les Brown embraced in his life. If you are serious about living your wildest dreams and making your life a success, Les Brown is the person you want to learn from.
1. Believe in Yourself
The first thing you need to do is to believe in yourself. Will Smith, the Hollywood actor once said, “The first step is you have to say that you can.” And Will is absolutely right. Despite living in poverty, the young Les Brown never give up on his dream of buying his mother a house. He often believes that he is destined for big success in life, and this is why he ended up becoming a politician when he was young.
More importantly, when people tell him that it is impossible for him to achieve what he desires, he will simply tell himself, “It’s possible!” However, Les did not start out that way. When he was still in school, people labeled him as educable mentally retarded and deemed him as a slow learner.
One day, his teacher, LeRoy Washington told him something that totally changed his life. His teacher said to him, “Don’t let someone’s opinion of you become your reality.” And from that moment on, Les chose not to let other’s opinion determine his future. He started to believe in himself and telling himself that everything is possible.
This led him to live a totally different life. He started to make different decisions and began to move forward to realize his dream day by day. Even though the journey may not be easy, young Les did not give up and continue to work on what he believed he can achieve.
You have to do the same if you want to achieve outstanding results in your life too. Your circumstances and the situation you are in right now cannot determine your future unless you allow them to. So choose to believe in yourself and never let other people’s opinion to determine your future.
Think about it, if you did not do well in school and someone suggested you work in the post office, and if you buy in, your future will be determined by others, not yourself. Oftentimes, people thought that their opinions are helpful to us, but in fact, it is not going to help us in living our potential. Thus, believe in yourself from now on and choose to live a life on your own terms.
2. Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life
Another important secret to success Les Brown shared is that you must take 100% responsibility for your life. If you want to change your life, you must take full responsibility for it and never play the blame game or give excuses.
Jack Canfield, the best-selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series books said that success can only come to you when you take charge of your life. When you take full responsibility, it means that you are in control and you are in charge of your life, not other people or any other event.
For example, when you start a business and the business is going nowhere, you should take full responsibility in order to make a change. If you choose to blame the economy saying that the market is slow, there is nothing you can do about it. Or you can also blame your employees and say that they are not hardworking enough. When you put the responsibility on others, you are also giving away the power to control and to change.
On the other hand, when you take full responsibility for it and say that it is your decision and your doing that are causing your business to go nowhere, you can then make a change. You can do different things such as try out different products or start a better marketing campaign. This is because you are in charge and you tell yourself that you are the one that is responsible for the result. Therefore, you can do something to change it.
This is why taking full responsibility for your life is important. Remember, you cannot change the event or the circumstances, but you can always change your response to get a different result.
3. Deliver More Than Expected
In many of his seminars, Les Brown said that your number one job is to amaze your customers and deliver more than expected. You have to go above and beyond. If you are just going to do what is expected, soon, you will be out of business due to increased competition.
Regardless of whether you are running your own business or you are working for someone, you need to constantly raise your standard and keep on delivering better work that is more than what is expected. When your boss requires you to meet ten customers by Friday, do it quickly and overdeliver. If you are in sales or running your own business, create more value and amaze your customers.
If you are just performing at average, you will become obsolete. People younger than you will come into the marketplace and give better service than you do. They will overtake you and show you the exit. This is why you need to consistently improve your skills, your knowledge and always explore various ways in which you can improve the quality of the service you provide.
4. Give Your All
Let’s be honest, are you giving your all in what you do right now and in your life? Most people are not realizing their dreams because they are not giving their best in life. They hold back and spend too much time worrying about things that are not going to happen. They fear what if they take the action and they fail, and they also fear that if they do not take the necessary action, they will never achieve their goals.
Stop holding yourself back. If you are serious about living your dreams and becoming successful, you must go all out and give it your best. You must do whatever it takes to get there. The journey will be difficult and there will be a lot of challenges, but never let those setbacks take you down.
We achieve what we must do and we often procrastinate on things that we should do. Hence, make your goals into a must achieve. When something becomes a must achieve, you will do whatever it takes to achieve it. When there is a will, there is a way.
When Les Brown first started his business, he has to sleep in his office and bath there. The security guards even requested him to not sleep in his office as that was not his home. He was in debt and there were bills piling waiting to be paid off. Did Les gives up and quit his dream? No, he did not. He continued to work hard and move forward to his dream each day. He is committed to give it his best and make things work. And this is why he is living his dreams right now.
5. Ignore the Naysayer
There will always be people who will tell you otherwise, who do not believe that what you are trying to do is possible, but you must tell yourself to believe in your dream and ignore the naysayer.
When Les Brown wanted to try it out in politics, many people told him that it is not possible and nobody will vote for him. Despite what people told him, he went on ahead and ran for election in the Ohio House of Representatives and won. What others say about you is not as important as what you say to yourself.
After he quit his political career, Les decided to join the radio station as a DJ. Again, people told him that he did not have the qualification to work as a DJ, but he was relentless. He kept going to the same radio station despite being rejected from the manager there.
So young Les went to the radio station and look at how the radio DJs work. He would buy lunches for them and sometimes run some errands for them. One day, a DJ was drunk while he was on air, and there was nobody else there except Les. So he took the opportunity and put his hands on the turntable and became a DJ. After the incident, he was hired as a full-time DJ.
As you can see, you must believe in your dreams, keep working toward them and ignore the naysayer. Just like Les Brown, he kept on and worked hard for his dreams even when people told him that it is impossible.
6. Empower Yourself
The biggest challenge and obstacle often comes from within, you are your own worst enemy. Oftentimes, you are the one that stops yourself from making the decision and taking the action. It is your internal thought that stops you from moving forward. Thus, learn to empower yourself and tell yourself that it is possible and you can do it.
There will be plenty of times you will tell yourself that you should stop or not do it because it is too hard, too difficult, you have no time, the competition is too tough, and so on and so forth. Never buy into these excuses and tell yourself something positive. This is why Les Brown is famous for his inspiring quote, “It’s possible!”
Highly successful people understand the importance of empowering themselves. Every day, you will be bombarded by negative talks from the outside and negative thoughts from your inner self-talk. And if you do not learn how to handle them, they will pull you down and make your life miserable.
Les Brown says, “You have to stand up for yourself”, by which he means that you have to empower yourself with positive thinking each and every day. When you feel tired, exhausted, and wanted to quit, tell yourself to stop and keep moving forward. Extraordinary people choose to work on their dreams even when they do not feel like doing it. Success is not about doing things that are convenient or things that are easy, it is about doing things that are difficult where most people choose not to do.
7. Keep Moving Forward
Finally, you have to keep moving forward. You will have doubts in your dreams and yourself, but whatever you do, do not stop running toward your dreams. Just keep going because setbacks and failures are not there to stay, they are there to pass.
Even when everything seems bleak, keep on believing and do not give up on your hope. When Les Brown wanted to be a DJ, but he has no idea how to get into it, his teacher told him to prepare himself for the opportunity. His teacher, Mr. Washington suggested him to practice being a DJ every day and said, “It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”
And this was exactly what Les Brown did. Every single day, he prepared himself to be a DJ and practice his talks in his room. Eventually, he got the opportunity and has been hired as a DJ. This is what you must do too. You must continue to practice, prepare and move toward your goals and dreams each day.
These are the 7 secrets for success from Les Brown. They are powerful principles that anyone can implement and transform their lives forever. Remember, if you want to live a successful life, you must always believe in yourself, take full responsibility, ignore the naysayer, learn to empower yourself and keep running toward your dreams every day.