How fast should you make a business decision? Should you spend weeks or months getting every fact to make sure you don’t screw over your company? It turns out that you want to decide fast.
Napoleon Hill spent his life studying 500+ of the richest people in the world in person thanks to his access with Andrew Carnegie. He wrote books telling us how they did it and how you can do the same.
One of the things that he said was that he and Carnegie found that if you are unable to make a quick decision even when you have enough information you need, you will not follow through on your goals or be successful.
Now, this is important for two reasons:
First, note that he says you need enough resources. This means that making decisions without enough information is foolish and it doesn’t matter how slow or fast you make them.
Second, once you have the necessary info, you have to make your decision quickly. Hill went on to say that successful people make decisions quickly and are slow to change. Unsuccessful people make their decisions slowly and are quick to change.
The Digital Revolution have changed the job search process. Everything has been flipped and changed. Old advice doesn’t work anymore.
After years of experimentation and studying many books and even taking some premium courses, I’ve found out what works in the new world when it comes to getting a job interview that you care about and acing it.
“If you have two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.” -a Brian Tracy quote on time management (He’s telling you to do the hardest task first always).
How come some people seem to get three times as much done as us even though they don’t appear that much smarter or harder working?
I’ll tell you it has nothing to do with luck versus hard work. They are smarter with their time and get more done in a day than we do in a week by doing what’s most impactful first.
I wanted to share with you some of the top insights I have learned from studying time management masters. The advice here comes from extensive studying of Brian Tracy’s personal time management videos, articles, programs, and books. If you do not know who he is, he is a highly successful salesman, speaker, and personal development thought leader who started out as a broke high school drop out.
1. Make A Mindset Shift
The first thing you have to do to be great at time management and productivity is a mindset shift.
Brian Tracy argues that all the techniques on time management in the world won’t help you if you still hold the belief that you are bad at time management.
He recommends you program into your subconscious that you are great at time management and organization even if you aren’t. When people ask you, tell them you are. You have to start believing it so that you don’t hold yourself back and so that your subconscious can move you towards new results.
Being better at productivity is a long-term habit-forming process. It takes determination, perseverance, and decisiveness to commit to the process.
You must be determined and keep working on it for an extended period of time. You really have to want to change and stick to it.
2. Understand Your Values
Now that this is covered, you need to understand what you value most. If you don’t set your priorities straight, how can you prioritize?
To properly prioritize, you must have values beyond just your career and business objectives. What are your values and goals for your life?
You could end up pursuing a goal that you don’t have any interest or in. This ends up being unproductive in the long run even if you’re efficient in completing the task. It’s unproductive because even if you can’t achieve that goal in half the time, it doesn’t matter because you don’t care about the goal.
To avoid burnout and exhaustion at work, you must combine a deep passion and interest with what you do at work. People who don’t enjoy what they work get burned out eventually from overwork.
However, others never burn out because work and play become synonymous. I’ve heard a lot successful people say this including Brian Tracy, Richard Branson, Will Smith, and Warren Buffett.
3. Use The Pareto Principle: What Is The Highest Impact Activity You Can Do? Do It.
The Pareto Principle is basically a concept that applies universally to many things in life: 80% of the results come from 20% of the work. An example of this playing through is wealth: 80% of the world’s wealth comes from less than 20% of the people in it.
You will find that this principle is more pronounced in certain areas. Use this in your prioritization.
Ask yourself: What is the #1 thing you can do this week that will bring you the highest impact?
What is the #2 thing?
Usually, it’s very obvious. Do that first. Begin the day with that.
Brian is well known for his catchphrase, “Eat the Frog!” It comes from the book with the same name. It describes street performers who will eat the ugliest frog first as part of an act to get it over with. In the same way, you must start with your ugliest, toughest task first. By doing so, you make the most progress.
By simply “eating your ugliest frog first”, time management becomes simple.
Another related principle that will help is the four quadrants principle called the Eisenhower Matrix.
4. Do This To Defeat Procrastination
Having trouble beginning? The best way to be productive is to begin immediately. Start your day with your most important task. To motivate yourself, say to yourself “Do it now! Do it right this instant!” 10 to 30 times with emotion and enthusiasm. It will help move you to begin.
Note: this doesn’t always work because you don’t enjoy what you do.
For example, you could be in law school or medical school only because your parents want you there. All the motivation in the world can’t push you to continue.
Push through short-term procrastination to move to a long-term goal you do like. For instance, do a job you don’t enjoy to work towards a long-term goal you will enjoy.
5. Avoid Distractions and Multitasking
Stopping and restarting an activity constantly can require 5 times the amount of energy. You get disoriented because you were interrupted, you have to readjust, you have to re-orient, and you have to prepare to begin again.
If you can, avoid any distractions that results in this kind of start-stop behavior. Stay focused.
Studies have shown multitasking to be unproductive, even for the most adept tech-savvy teen. You can accomplish more by avoiding multitasking and focusing.
6. Avoid Semi-Productive Activities. They’re the Worst Distractions.
Your worst distractions and evils to your time management are not the things that are clearly unproductive. Those definitely play a part. But the biggest evil is usually the things that are somewhat productive.
These are usually things that are not important but made to look urgent. Examples include answering emails, people asking you for help in person, or listening to self-help when you should be working.
As you can see, the last one is an example of the most dangerous. It’s things that you can rationalize away as “productive enough” to avoid your most important task.
Outsources tasks to people who can do it better than you so you can focus on what you do best. It’s one of the best ways to leverage your time and energy.
If you run a business, this is essential to succeeding and scaling.
According to the book Code of the Extraordinary Mind, Richard Branson said that the key to moving from 7 figures to a billion dollar business was hiring the best people to do things better than you can and trusting them with it.
Brian Tracy recommends the rule of 70%: if they can do the job at least 70% as good as you, give them the responsibility.
I recommend finding someone who can do the job even better than you if possible.
8. Use The ABC Method
This is a time management method coined by Brian Tracy. It’s really simple. It’s very similar to the Eisenhower Matrix:
Group your tasks into A, B, and C buckets.
A tasks are the ones with serious consequences if you don’t do it. These are things like a big project or meeting.
B tasks are ones with mild consequences. This is like a mildly important email you need to respond to. Never do these until the A tasks are complete.
C tasks are things that have no consequence but would be nice. This is like having lunch with a friend or personal activities. Don’t do these until A and B are done.
Now, organize everything in your A group into a numbered priority list and start with #1.
If you want to go even further, you can add D and E buckets. D are things that can be delegated to other people. E are things that should not be done at all and eliminated: maybe it’s smoking or a pointless, unproductive activity someone planned for you.
9. Remember The Most Important Part of Prioritization: Higher-Level Understanding
The ABC Method or any other techniques fail if you don’t understand what truly matters to you.
You can get really, really, REALLY productive at business. But you can fail to prioritize family time with your child and regret it because you forgot to value it.
20 years later, your child is off to college and things can’t be changed.
Don’t fail at bigger picture productivity.
Ask yourself what matters most to you. Prioritize these things.
Here are some of the most common values to consider:
things you wanted to do before you get old
business and wealth
acquiring necessary skills
meeting people or life goals
having the people who love you love you
big accomplishments before you die
what you would regret most at your death bed.
10. Be Willing and Able To Say No
When you’re just starting out in life, you have plenty of time but not many credentials, skills, or opportunities. It pays to say Yes to everything you’re offered to get your foot in the door.
But what gets you in the game won’t take you to the next level. Once you reach a certain level of success, you’re overwhelmed by too many opportunities. Saying Yes too often will exhaust you to death.
But many people don’t make the switch to saying no because they were not given many opportunities starting out and maintain a scarcity mindset.
Musicians like Lady Gaga and supermodels like Cara DeLevigne have done speeches about this. Businesswomen and actress Jessica Alba has talked about this. Ariana Huffington wrote a whole book inspired by this thought, called The Sleep Revolution, after she collapsed from exhaustion from saying Yes to too many things. Oprah Winfrey has mentioned it too in her book, What I Know For Sure.
Learn this lesson ahead of time. Sometimes, it’s ok to say No. No is enough of an answer. It is one of the most powerful productivity tools out there.
Note: This rule may not apply if you’re young. If you’re young and starting out, you may want Yes more often to get more opportunities.
11. Learn To Read Faster
In one of the few appearances Warren Buffett and Bill Gates did together in front of business school students, they were asked what the most superpower they wanted.
Both responded that being able to read faster would have been huge for them. Both of them credit the power of reading the right books and applying the knowledge as massive contributors to their massive wealth. In fact, Warren said that he would have saved ten years of his life if he read faster — that’s how much he reads!
A photo posted by Motivation Success Quotes (@willyoulaugh_) on
Readers are leaders. Constantly feed your mind with information from the smartest people ever and keep up to date with trends in your industry.
Even if you don’t think you read a lot, most people do: they have to check email, respond, or write things. By learning how to do something faster that you already do naturally, you are saving a lot of time over your life time.
There are plenty of free Speed Reading courses and videos online as well as paid courses. My lessons on speed reading can drastically help you increase your speed while maintaining retention of information by 250%. They are worth the price of a premium paid course.
Warren Buffett mentioned in a speech he did with Bill Gates that he probably wasted years of his life reading slow.
12. Avoid Useless Meetings
If you’re paying each employee $50 an hour for example and you have 10 people at a meeting that lasts an hour, that meeting just cost $500. Is the time spent at the meeting worth the investment?
Eliminate unnecessary meetings, only invite the people necessary, and make the purpose of the meeting clear from the start.
Meetings generally are a great way for employees to goof off or waste time. They often go longer than they should. Be aware of this. Always start on time even if people haven’t shown up.
You don’t want to build a culture of holding up everyone who showed up on time for the one person who’s late. That will just encourage more people to show up later and later.
13. Achieve Email Time Management Mastery. How To Get To Inbox Zero
Emails take up the bulk of most people’s day and are a major time waster. They’re usually unimportant requests that take up your time and energy. Here are the main things you can do to master email:
Never check email in the mornings or the first thing you do when you wake up.
Many successful people don’t do this. And then they learn the hard way.
It’s a huge mistake because you are failing to start your day with the most important task to you. Instead, you are giving yourself to the mystery of whatever requests come in by email, even if they are distracting or unimportant. You are letting other people’s requests and objectives control your life.
Rather than being a controller of your life, you are playing the reactive victim. That’s not what winners do.
Commit To Checking Your Email Only 2 Times or Less A Day
Emails can function as a huge bottleneck and time suck. What this means is that it’s one of those activities that isn’t scalable if not done right. It requires one person’s concentration and effort, which can only be sped up so much.
Check your email in bulk once or twice a day max to avoid distraction. Email can function like social media or other distracting entertainment where one thing leads you down a rabbit hole of wasted time. You can end up spending a lot longer than expected.
Rather than letting email control you by checking it frequently multiple times a day, limit yourself. Checking it more frequently can act as a start-stop distraction as well.
Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week, started at multiples times a day, went to 2 times a day, and finally went down to 1 time a week.
Email Anxiety: Thousands of Unread Emails – Understand It’s OK
I heard a story from a friend of Brian Tracy’s. He had thousands of unread emails and took a deep breath…
and deleted them all.
He reasoned that if they were truly important, these people would email again to get in touch. A lot of the busiest CEO’s of the top companies in the world are very hard to reach via email. They are bombarded and can’t answer them all.
Most of the requests are unimportant anyways.
Sure enough, the people who really wanted to get in touch sent another email. The other 90% never emailed again and weren’t important to begin with.
It’s to be expected that this person is busy and may have missed the email. People will understand that you may be a busy person.
I have suffered from similar anxiety from all those unread emails. It came from this perception that most of these emails were critical or important and I had to answer them all. That was often not the case. Most of the emails weren’t that important.
Limit Or Do Not Use Email
John Paul DeJoria, a billionaire, has chosen to not use email because he would be bombarded by emails if he did. It would control his day. Instead, he relies on in-person meetings, snail mail, and telephone. It helps him firmly establish and do what’s most important.
Filter Your Emails with a Gatekeeper
Many successful people set up a system so that only the most important and urgent emails end up in their email inbox. Although they get thousands of emails, only a couple end up in the primary inbox. Usually, a secretary or assistant can really help with this if you explain to them what you want.
The filter strategy
Ask your gatekeeper to use Gmail. Tell him or her to tag emails into only 2 categories while deleting or archiving the rest. These tags are: Important and Urgent! and Important and Not Urgent.
If you can’t afford a gatekeeper right now, you can manually limit emails.
Here are a few tasks you can do:
unsubscribe from useless newsletters
block spam emails
start with a fresh email and only give this address to the most important people.
Have a second email inbox for the moderately important.
14. When In Doubt, Throw It Out
Brian Tracy has employed a simple method for organizing and dealing with overwhelm of requests. This method has helped many people stay organized and efficient, even when they doubted it.
“When in doubt, throw it out.”
This applies to everything from emails to phone calls to papers on your desk.
Most people fall deeper and deeper into overwhelm and anxiety because they let the emails and papers pile up. Eventually, they are so overwhelmed or disorganized from all the requests.
Brian reasons that if they really want to reach you, they will send another message. Delete everything and the people that really matter will contact you again with the same message. This turns out to be true.
Note: for emails, this can be a short-term fix because you will continue to get bombarded with spam or unimportant emails. I suggest starting a new email address and only giving away that email to the most essential, important, and useful people and services.
15. Remove Inefficiencies
Find Out and Fix How You Are Wasting Other’s Time
Managing guru Peter Drucker said that we don’t only waste our own time but other people’s time as well. You may have made your own life as efficient as possible but how can you make your interactions with others more efficient? Ask them: how am I wasting your time and how can we be more efficient? Often, they will be happy to tell you and it will be a win-win situation for both of you if you can fix it.
When you meet with someone or ask to meet with someone, be as efficient as you can with what you want to do and get started. A great rule, given to me by Brian Tracy, is this: Say “I have 3 points I have to talk to you about and then I will let you get back to your work.”
Get To The Point
A lot of idle time is wasted because of needless small talk or confusion about the direction. If someone comes to you in your office, for example, you can respond with something like “Thanks for coming by. What can I do for you?” It’s polite and gets straight to the point on what can be done while eliminating room for idle chit chat.
Remove Distractions & Interruptions
Sometimes, you need that zone of focus for an extended period of time with no distractions. Interruptions can cause start-stop behavior, which, as I mentioned earlier, can lead to wasted time.
One great starting point is to set aside 1 hour in the morning and afternoon with a Do Not Disturb sign on your door.
The 3-Point Technique
This 3-point technique is simple but effective: Get to work 1 hour early, work through lunch, and stay 1 hour late. By doing so, you accomplish many things:
You start the day and end with very few if any distractions because no one is there
You get the most important tasks done
You get in the groove and flow of working before and longer than others
You get more work done since you’re spending more time
Probably the biggest benefit: You avoid the rush hour of traffic and skip out on all the wasted time commuting to work
My Secret Life Hack: Leveraging Fringe Hours
Brian Tracy says an average person can finish a whole college semester’s worth of time by using their drive time to work to learn through audio books. Turn your car into a university on wheels.
I’ve applied this secret to every area of my life where I’m just standing or sitting and waiting. Maximizing these “fringe hours” has helped me get several hours worth of extra reading time in per week, which works especially well since I’m a better listener than reader.
If you’re waiting in line at the store or at a restaurant, shopping for clothes, going for a run, at the gym, or in your car, consider consuming podcasts, audio books, videos, book summaries, and courses that will advance your future. I’ve tested out audio and text book summary apps too. Check out my Blinkist review here.
16. File Away & Organize Useful Information. Consume It When You Can
Brian Tracy is great at this. He files away very useful information in articles, magazines, or web articles. Whenever he has free time (sitting in line, on the bus, waiting, etc.), he consumes this information and gets ahead of his competitors.
17. Reward Yourself
According to numerous studies in the book, The Power of Habit, good and bad habits form through a cycle of triggers and rewards.
Reward yourself each time you do the right thing. Brian Tracy did this with his sales teams. He would place a bowl of jelly beans in front of them and they would be able to eat one each time they made a successful call.
Be creative and see if you can come up with a reward that is healthy as well. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose. Maybe you can buy yourself a self-development book if you spend extra time doing the things you don’t want to.
18. When You’re At Work, Only Do Work
Brian argues that up to 40% of an average person’s 8 hour work day is wasted on unproductive activities, like small talk, bathroom breaks, or going on entertainment sites you shouldn’t be on.
Make sure that when you’re at work, you’re fully engaged as much as you can.
You may need an occasional 5 minute break to rejuvenate, which is fine. Just don’t go overboard with the 17 minutes here and 7 minutes there.
This guide is meant to be a comprehensive how-to. Save this and reference it whenever you need some help.
If it’s too much, I recommend reading a couple sentences every day and using that advice.
If you learn nothing else, remember to do the #1 most important long-term task FIRST.
Now, it’s your turn. Leave a comment with the best tip you learned here and how you are going to implement it. Remember: Action takers get ahead!
Want more secrets like this? Sign up to my email newsletter below and you will get insider tips I don’t share anywhere else.
For the longest time, I felt like it was way too late to make an impact on the world and become successful.
I am ambitious and I wanted to be really successful. But the news made it seem like if you did not become a singer, actress, or tech entrepreneur by the time you were 21, it was over. It turns out I’m not the only one. A lot of other people (some into their 40’s) think it’s too late.
But then I got into personal development and did some research. I studied hundreds of the world’s most successful people and I was startled at what I found.
It’s not true at all. When you think it is all over, it’s really just the beginning of an incredible journey.
Get Excited. The Best Years of Your Life Are Ahead.
I’ve found a strange pattern on my journey of personal development…
Style and fashion matter.
It’s important to many area of life: dating, sales, business, presentation, grooming, etiquette, and so on.
Yes, you have a few techbillionaires who wear what they want (Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg) but most successful people understand the importance of looking presentable.
If you believe me, you’re way ahead of my young self. For decades, I disregarded fashion because I thought it was what was on the inside that counted and getting good grades was all that mattered. Obviously, that backfired for years in my dating and professional life.
Also, you just appreciate someone who dresses well and takes care of himself more. It looks cool. It shows they care about their image. So let’s not be hypocritical here; we are all superficial on some level for our own good.
Let’s crush these limiting beliefs together. One of the top Men’s fashion Youtubers Alpha M, otherwise known as Aaron Marino, was voted best dressed in high school even though he was dirt poor. He did it by buying intelligently at a thrift store.
It just goes to show you how you can still fail with money while others succeed without it. I have spent hundreds of dollars on clothing I would be embarrassed to wear now. Today, I’m going to share with you how to hack the process so that never happens again.
Why We Look Horrible Even When We Spend Lots of Money
Let’s start with why this happens. Most people have horrible fashion sense. Here’s an example to illustrate. I was listening to a podcast where they were giving an average guy named Joe a makeover. He wore awful clothing and it was revealing when he started reasoning out why he thought it looked cool.
He chose colors and t-shirts because they were his favorite color or design. But he ended up looking like a strange greenish banana. He didn’t see anything wrong with his fashion even though it was clear to others how horrible it was. This is the danger of bad fashion sense.
Instead, get some help from people who know what they are doing.
The Philosophy of Timeless, Simple Fashion For Busy Men
That’s why this article is all about a few core philosophies:
Spending minimal time in your life buying clothes because you are busy and because you don’t have to if you understand some fashion principles.
Using timeless outfits that will always be in style to look sharp.
Having a couple core colors that always look good for each piece of clothing, which can lead to dozens of variations of outfits despite a minimum wardrobe.
Spending a little more time to learn more about fashion so that you appear to know more than 99% of people out there (trust me, it’s startling how easy this is).
Why Fashion Helps You Earn More
I don’t want to go too deep into the reasons why fashion is important because some of it should be obvious. It’s like explaining why exercise is important.
But I must talk a bit about why style can make you earn more because it is overlooked yet so important.
I have read countless wealth creation and sales books like Think and Grow Rich or How To Win Friends and Influence People that mention how fashion is important. In some of the books, they have stories to prove this.
One of them was a man who bought a great suit that he couldn’t afford on credit. It made him look and feel so good. Plus, it made him look the part of a successful businessman. He assumed the image of a successful man and eventually scored a business deal from someone who kept passing him on the street and admiring his fashion.
I don’t recommend buying clothes on debt. But what I do agree with is that looking good makes you feel good. And if you feel good, you will be more confident and perform better. Plus, you look the part and people assume you are someone worth working with.
Now, let’s look at a real story that you can relate to. An article by Neil Patel explains how he tested out wearing a suit versus regular clothing during his sales meetings. Neil does a lot of these and usually closes 1 out of 4 people. But with his suit, he went from 25% to a 40% closing rate. This brought in an extra $692,500 that year. He also said his clothes and accessories helped him form a lot of valuable business relationships.
Neil’s story is a great case study because he mentions in the article that he’s someone who does not care about clothing or superficiality. He wears suits now because the numbers do not lie.
Note: looks aren’t everything and you can still be a horrible person on the inside even if you dress well.
I have been watching a decent amount of men’s fashion advice videos and videos where women give fashion advice.
I have also been asking women my age for advice. I have asked maybe 20+ that have given decent responses. It’s surprisingly one of the best ways of starting a conversation. Women love fashion. They are much more open to talking versus using a pickup line.
What I have found from these videos is exciting:
Men are encouraged to keep it minimalistic and simple!
They are told to leave the intricate, complicated, fancy stuff to the females.
I’m so glad about this because it means less work and less accessories or extra clothing to buy for us!
It also goes back to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates:
CEOs and founders have a lot of responsibilities and therefore they have to deal with limited cognition, willpower, and decision making.
To avoid decision fatigue, they have to limit all the small choices they have in a day: like choosing outfits.
It’s a real thing.
That’s why I was SUPER excited about this.
I don’t like spending a needlessly large amount of time buying clothes or picking outfits everyday. I’m all about productivity so it’s great that I don’t have to and still fall into what women love the most.
Without further ado, here are ten fashion tips you can live by that will make you in style and keep you in style for years to come with minimal effort:
1. Spend Somewhat More For Quality (But Not Too Much)
For many consumer goods you buy, you get rapidly diminishing increases of quality as the price goes up. The reason is simple. There’s a limit to how “high quality” it can get. Here are some examples:
Photo and video cameras. The picture quality between a $100 one and a $1000 one is huge. Beyond that, you’re spending massive amounts of money for small increases in quality.
Jeans, socks, and underwear. Can you tell the difference between a $2,000 pair of jeans and a $200 pair? Probably not, right?
This is great news. It means you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to be the most fashionable. Most people can’t tell the difference either, so that’s a great area to cut costs and avoid getting scammed by luxury brands.
My philosophy is to spend a moderate amount for quality, but not too much. If you spend too little, you get horrible quality clothing that rips or shrinks quickly. Others can also easily tell it’s not the best quality. However, if you spend a moderate amount more, you hit the point of indistinguishable high quality.
A moderate quality lasts longer, and looks just as good as something that costs a hundred times more.
The greatest difference in quality comes from that initial few jumps in quality. For the minor articles of clothing mentioned (like socks), one or two jumps in price tier from the cheapest option is enough. For more important clothing, like suits, chinos, and collared shirts, three or four jumps in price are more suitable.
For a suit, that might mean a $1,000 to $2,000 suit rather than a $100 suit. For a t-shirt, that might mean a $30 to $60 one from Banana Republic versus a $5 one from Target.
For shoes, there is a big jump in quality between $100 and $200, and another big jump at $400. Stick around the $200 to $400 range for the best bang for your buck.
Beyond those price jumps, the extra features aren’t worth the price. I’d avoid the $10,000 to $50,000 suit and $100 to $500 T shirt at all costs.
2. Minimalism and Simplicity Are Key
When you ask beginners about fashion, they assume you need six or seven articles of clothing draped around you to look cool. But when you actually look at the men who were something that’s still fashionable 40 years later, it’s simple. Just a well-fitted collared shirt and jacket can do the trick and last the test of time.
This is great news because it means less clothes you have to manage, less time you have to spend choosing outfits, and less money you have to spend.
Our wardrobe and closet does not have to be the nightmare we envision of thousands of clothes in a pile that would take hours a week to organize and maintain.
We can do fairly well by being fairly minimalistic and simple, which is what girls want.
Obviously, don’t overdo it as it would be foolish to believe that some variety is always a bad thing.
1-3 versions of v-necks, boots, jeans, collared shirts, plaid, and suits could just about do it.
I didn’t really like the v-neck because I thought it was for only muscular men.
Having asked enough girls though, it seems that it still works well for non-muscular men, though of course they would prefer a muscular male.
Why A Minimal Wardrobe is Great For Busy, Ambitious People
Second, let’s talk about willpower. There is a reason Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg wore the same outfit everyday.
To conserve their limited willpower. Studies show that if let it, your willpower drain in a day, leading to worse decisions and a weak mind vulnerable to temptations. They need that willpower to make critical decisions rather than waste it on unimportant choices, like which outfit to pick. Obama explained it like this:
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
3. Keep It Timeless: Timeless Colors, V-Neck’s, and Suits
This is the key.
Don’t try and choose crazy colors because you think they “look cool.” Don’t try and buy some wacky designs because you think you’re going to look unique. Don’t try and be the “trendsetter” when you suck at fashion.
It just backfires and makes you awful. And even if it’s in fashion right now, it will go out of fashion in ten years. And you will be embarrassed. Like The Rock:
On the Internet, I’ve watched a lot of makeovers where experts come in to help an average man with his fashion. One of the most common problems is a severe lack of understanding of colors. They choose off-the-wall, crazy colors because it “looks cool” or it’s their favorite color, not realizing the colors clash or are just weird.
Here are the colors you should stick to:
Gray or Charcoal Gray
These colors look well for suits, polo’s, t-shirts, v-neck’s, and dress-shirts.
Once you’re fully settled in these and know a bit more about fashion, you can venture into:
It may seem boring but these basic colors are timeless. In fact, some of the most fashionable men out there probably wear only or mostly these colors. I bet you. Check out the suits David Beckham wears. You do not need flashy colors to look good. It’s less stress juggling more colors anyways.
Here are some of the top colors and designs you should avoid:
Don’t try and do something crazy. Leave that to professionals in fashion who do this full time.
For you, stick to simple, solid colors, with no (or very few) stripes.
I suggest you only stick to black, gray, and white. Common timeless outfits include v-necks and suits.
Think timeless. These colors will be in trend 30 years from now just like they were 30 years ago. You don’t want to have an outfit or trend that goes out of date in a few months. The same concept applies to not just colors, but outfits.
If you do venture into other colors, remember this…
If you cannot resist buying other bolder colors, keep these colors to 5% of your wardrobe. These should be a tiny “spice” to the rest of your outfit. Adding too many colors makes you look like a rainbow clown.
Suits are one of the big ones. Most women who are asked say that they love a man wearing a suit.
A classic suit is always in style.
There are men who wore suits in the 1940’s who would still look completely in place now. As I explained with Neil Patel, a good suit can help you outside of just dating. It can help you in business.
Your first foundational suit should be versatile, timeless, and smart. Therefore, it should be a solid navy (preferred) or a solid charcoal gray. It shouldn’t have stripes because it’s not as versatile. It should have 3 buttons, no more and no less. Source: Real Men Real Style
Keep it with these safe colors. If you want to add some spice, you can do it with a colorful tie or dress shirt.
Suit Supply has great $400 suits that fit well and are great quality. Some of them have free shipping, returns, and tailoring. Absolutely make sure it’s fitted. See the next heading to see why it matters so much (especially for suits).
4. Get It Fitted
The right fit makes all the difference. Many people have incredibly muscular bodies but fail to show it off because of excessively baggy clothing. Having the right fit can really complement your height and physique if you do things right.
Having the right fit can really complement your height and physique if you do things right. The wrong fit can fail to market you as the incredible person you truly are.
Most people don’t know what the right fit is. They think it’s good, but it’s usually too loose.
If you have money, consider spending around $30 to $40 for a tailor to come in to tailor your dress shirts and suits. It is usually worth it.
If you want to save some money and try to buy a fitted shirt off the rack:
Here’s a general rule of thumb:
Measure your neck circumference and arm length. Those measurements are on dress shirts when you buy them and it’s easy to compare. What people miss are the chest and waist lengths. You don’t have to measure these since shirts don’t even list these measurements.
What people miss are the chest and waist lengths. You don’t have to measure these since shirts don’t even list these measurements. This is what you can do: try on the shirt and look at yourself in a mirror. Put your arms out to either side. There should be an inch or less of room on either side of your chest and waist if you pull out the shirt.
There it cuts off on the shoulder part of your suit, jacket, or dress shirt should be at the end of your shoulders.
There’s plenty of videos on Youtube about how dress shirts, jeans, t-shirts, dress pants, and everything else should fit.
If you have the money, you can spend around $40 bucks to get it custom tailored and it will be worth it. You want to only do this for the things that matter, like a suit or dress shirt.
For something like t-shirts, learn a bit about proper fit to buy it right off the rack.
5. Wear What’s Comfortable For You And Fits With Your Lifestyle
The function of your clothes is one of the most important factors of your purchase decision. Buy clothes you are going to wear often. If you’re wearing something that doesn’t fit with the context of the event you’re attending, you’re screwed no matter how expensive or high quality it was.
For example, don’t wear a suit to the gym and don’t wear a t-shirt and jeans to a formal event. In cases like these, choosing an appropriate outfit for the event (the function) matters more than fit or fabric.
Also, push your comfort zone with your choices, but not too much. You still want something that comes natural to your personality. Even if you look attractive, if you don’t feel like it really represents you, that will seep through on a subconscious level and make you look less attractive.
I think the difference between a good and great fashion expert is that they understand this. Don’t force a nerdy outfit if you’re more of a jock.
6. Don’t Try Too Hard
If you try overly hard to showboat something, people can sniff that out as compensating or faking it.
This happens all the time when people rent expensive cars or buy fake watches and pretend it’s real and they own it.
Women and men sniff it out because it’s over the top.. and it’s a turn-off.
The lesson is simple: don’t be super flashy with your fashion and try-hard – it’s off-putting.
An example would be an overly playboy or bad boy outfit.
A quick reference back to the Neil Patel article: he also experimented with buying a number of different watch brands. He found that an overly flashy and clearly flamboyant $28,000 watch was looked down upon while a simple, non-fancy $100,000 watch got noticed and got him more business contracts.
The point is: don’t be overly try hard in trying to look successful
7. Make Sure It Fits Your Body Type
Make sure the clothing fits you well.
The difference between a crappy outfit and a good one could simply be the size that you choose to wear it.
Based on me studying fashion advice, I have found that I have usually been choosing a size that’s usually overly baggy: I used to choose a large t-shirt even though I have a smaller body.
If you don’t know, choose the smaller size so it wraps around your body better. (may be different if you have a bigger or overweight frame)
8. Realize That The Most Expensive Choice Isn’t Always The Best Value
Some stores, like Hugo Boss, rip you off. They charge two to five times more for the same quality and design of clothing.
OK, if you’re rich and don’t care, you can skip this section. You can even hire a tailor to come to your house if the time cost of going to the mall isn’t worth the money you could be making.
However, you can definitely save a ton of money by spending a bit more time choosing.
Only buy clothes you set out to buy. You can often find great deals at the discount section and I encourage you to take a look. However, beware of buying clothes you never should have because it’s on sale.
Everyone has a piece of clothing that is too big or small or just a weird color that they bought because it was on sale, even though they’ve never worn it. Even if it’s cheap, you’re still wasting money on something you will never use! Don’t fall for sales gimmicks.
Here are some of the best clothing stores to go to that have great quality clothing but are still affordable. This is ranked from worst quality and cheapest to best quality and most expensive:
H&M (decent quality but wears quickly)
Macy’s (The American Rag section and the J. Ferrar line are great)
The Gap (great quality and price but more for casual clothing. It’s a versatile brand that fits almost everyone.)
This video also has some great options:
The Tie Bar is a great place for affordable ties. See Point #10 on this article to understand why you shouldn’t waste time spending too much extra on a tie.
For shoes, here are you best options (starting at affordable and going to higher quality and more expensive):
Zappos.com (affordable and has almost anything. Flexible)
DSW (slightly more expensive, good quality)
Nordstrom (great but for more formal and business-type shoes)
If you are really on a budget, here are some tips to really the most affordable clothing:
Sign up for email newsletters on Brand websites for coupons.
Go straight to the discount section (often, the size won’t fit you, but sometimes you’ll be surprised).
Go to outlet counterparts of stores.
Go to Target, Marshall’s, or TJ Max.
Go to Thrift Stores.
9. Never Buy Clothing You’re Iffy About. Don’t Have Bad Clothes In Your Closet.
Have you ever spent money on clothing you’ve barely worn or never wore? I have. And I’m a very frugal guy. But over my lifetime, there’s probably a good 300 to 400 dollars worth of wacky clothing I never wore.
Because of my naivete, I bought things like a bright blue, plaid hoodie from Hollister and a deep Ed Hardey v-neck that I’ve never worn even though they cost me an arm and a leg.
Lack of fashion knowledge can cost you when you are most vulnerable. I was frugal for many months but ended up splurging on random clothing like this that I’ve never worn.
How? When they asked him how many bad outfits he had, he said he had none. All he was were 3 awesome outfits that he kept clean. He would steal cologne and grooming supplies from the mall.
What’s my point? This man was better dressed than most men because he adopted a minimalist wardrobe with no bad options.
If your wardrobe has bad clothing init you’ll never or will rarely wear, remove it.
You want clothing that you can wear confidently because it fits your personality. If you are iffy about it, pass on it. Trying to wear something that’s not you is like trying to fake a personality. It doesn’t work! I’ve tried.
10. Spend Less On The Items Most People Will Never Notice
Ties are one of those things where 99% of people can’t tell the difference between a $10,000 tie and a $200 tie. The same goes for underwear and socks, something that you’ll barely even show to others — if at all. This is an easy place to save money or waste money with close to no extra impact for the money you spend. Save your cash.
The Tie Bar is a great affordable yet quality website to buy ties.
Many big companies cheat customers by selling the same piece of clothing for multiple times the price by pumping up the brand name. It’s often the same thing in every way as a competitor product that doesn’t have the logo. But the often successfully trick you into thinking there’s something more there.
Sometimes, the quality is even worse but people will pay through the nose for the logo. I’m sure you’ve experienced this yourself. Despite my frugal Asian upbringing, I’ve fallen for this too. Here are some big examples: Beats by Dre Headphones versus any other brand headphone or The North Face jackets versus any similar jacket with a different logo. Air Jordans and Yeezy shoes are a similar thing. A pair of Yeezy’s can go for $2,000+.
Here are the biggest brands to avoid according to my trusted source, Alpha M:
Polo’s or other clothing by Ralph Lauren or Lacoste
Jos. A Bank
Note: the exception to this rule is that occasionally the logo is worth it. For example, I have asked many girls in the area and they love and look for the Ralph Lauren logo. However, this is different for each location you live in so figure out what works for you.
Most of the time I overemphasize on this, I pay too much and get underwhelming results. Don’t do this often. For example, I paid for quite a few Ralph Lauren polo’s. It did make me look more presentable, but there was a very negligible, noticeable change in results in any part of my life. Girls definitely didn’t flock to me just because I was wearing the shirts. Also, each shirt cost $50 to $80. It cost an arm and a limb for me. It was too expensive given my limited budget and I won’t do it again anytime soon.
Also, each shirt cost $50 to $80. It cost an arm and a limb for me. It was too expensive given my limited budget and I won’t do it again anytime soon. Maybe when I’m super rich.
Don’t Focus On The Minor Low-Impact Items
A common mistake for beginners is that they will focus on small minutiae while overlooking high impact points of fashion. Let me explain:
Have you ever heard of Pareto’s Principle? Essentially, it says that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort, and 20% of the remaining results come from 80% of the effort. Therefore, focusing on the 20% matters more.
In the case of men’s fashion, the 20% is mastering your fit, fabric, and function.
If you don’t have that down, it doesn’t matter what else you do, you’ll look bad. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on pointless minutiae, like having a fancy tie knot or a bizarre pocket square, when your suit doesn’t fit, is low quality, or doesn’t work with the event you’re attending.
In summary, master your fit, fabric, and function — and the rest will follow. Also, keep these timeless secrets in mind:
Use simple solid colors, especially black, white, and gray, and clothing that is interchangeable.
Collared Button-Up’s are timeless when it’s cold outside.
Simple, Minimalistic outfits, like jeans, boots, a shirt, are fine. You don’t have to over do it as a man.
Avoid the “child’s look” (t-shirt, hoodie, and tennis shoes) if you’re no longer a teen.
A classic suit works wonders.
Looking back through my life, there were plenty of moments where I walked through numerous clothing stores wondering what to buy.
I would come out of the store bewildered, not knowing what to buy because I had no knowledge of the science of men’s fashion. If I did buy something, it would be something crazy-looking and expensive that I would end up never wearing, like a Ed Hardy deep v-neck.
I’m so glad that I took some time to invest and learn about men’s fashion. I realize now that the materials and ingredients were always there around me. The stores I wanted to go to were always where, but I just didn’t know what to buy or look for.
Rather than looking for a dress-shirt or a proper fitting pair of pants, I might come out with some crazy-colored t-shirt I thought looked cool. This is a great example of learning from people who know what they’re doing.
Fashion is one of those areas where someone who is below-average in skill can be lead to believe that he is great at it. Learning about the standards of fashion and what other girls like really helped eliminate my bias. I see this in others to an extreme extent and so you have to be careful.
If I were to summarize this whole thing in as few words as possible, it’d be:
Keep it smart but simple, wear what’s timeless, wear what’s comfortable to you, wear v-necks, black and white simple colors, suits, boots, jeans, be willing to spend a little more for quality.
Don’t spend too much on a specific article of clothing.
Certain things 99% of people can’t tell costs 100x more so save yourself the cash.
Examples include jeans and ties. Spend a reasonable amount (don’t be super cheap) but don’t spend thousands or even hundreds.
Fashion differs slightly depending on your culture and geographic location. People in a certain area might like more preppy-clothing.
According to Realmenrealstyle.com, remember the 3 pillars of Fashion success: fit, fabric, and function.
Fit – Does it properly fit your body frame well?
Fabric – Is it good quality? Will it last?
Function – Are you wearing it for the right occasion?
What you choose to wear can have a deep effect. You could be the most successful, wealthiest, most intelligent businessman on earth but if you dress like you’re a 17 year old teenager with a messy t-shirt, men and women sometimes won’t even give you a chance to open your mouth.
They often have nothing to go on but your looks.
I’m starting to see the importance of looks now. There are adults who have done fairly well and somehow managed to get through life without having to care at all about their fashion or grooming. Because of that, they have disheveled hair and crumbled jackets that they wear. Even I can’t deny it’s not a good look.
You’re definitely selling yourself short if you’re an amazing guy and you choose to dress very poorly. Most people don’t realize that your fashion is a choice. Many people have sort of just got used to it being a routine. It is definitely something that is a choice and that can be changed for the better.
Most people don’t care about succeeding. They walk through life like zombies. But you’re not like that. You’ve been looking to earn more and do more for a while now. I’ve heard your cries for help.
It can be frustrating when you work hard for extended periods of time without recognition. I’ve been there. You know what it’s like. But no longer.
I’ve curated some of the best advice from experts on how to get a raise or promotion, including Ramit Sethi, Jack Welch, Dorie Clark, Gary Bencivenga, and more. I want to share with you what I learned.
When I was in school, I was a beast. I was juggling ALL advanced placement courses, practicing one to two hours of piano for competition, studying hours for the SAT, and running track … all in one night. Yet it was one of the most productive, fulfilling, and exciting times of my life. Why?
Because most people don’t realize the opportunity in hacking studying. Studying is an art form that can be improved and used not only for school, but also for modeling masters when you enter the corporate world.
You will learn in this audio podcast episode how to study effectively (hint: all you need is to use a secret tactic during lunch time).
If you haven’t heard of Ramit Sethi, he runs a blog and company at Iwillteachyoutoberich.com. He teaches Millenials in their twenties and thirties how to earn money on the side as a freelancer, get their dream job, and/or start an online business.
This is the story of how I spent over $2,000 on his online course, Dream Job. It’s also my brutally honest review on if it was worth it. Maybe Ramit would kill me if he saw this, but I thought it’s best to be honest as a consumer; I have my right to be.
Perhaps, it’s best to start my story at the point where my emotions were highest…
Before I Bought the Dream Job Course: Desperate, Frustrated, & DisIllusioned
Before I bought Ramit’s Dream Job course, I was at one of the toughest times in my life. I was frustrated and confused with getting any job and I was getting desperate, which wouldn’t make sense if you knew how academically-focused I was in school right before.
I was taking some of the hardest classes out there. I was used to a rigorous workload and schedule. In high school, I spent hours a day preparing for SAT, practicing piano, running track, and doing homework for advanced placement classes. In college, it was a similar story. Yet the job market wasn’t rewarding me for it.
Two years after college, I was working as a waiter and still looking for work. How is this possible?