My Dad always had a saying that went something like this, ‘Whatever you do make sure you take care of #1!’

What was he referring to? Why you, of course. You’re #1!

In all areas of your life, the most important person will always be YOU.

It’s easy, often far too easy, to put other people and other people’s hopes and dreams ahead of your own, but you can’t do that and expect to have what you want in life.

As the old story goes, it’s hard to give if you’ve got nothing in your pockets!

Let’s look at your business. If it is indeed your business, the ONLY person who can determine how far and how big it ultimately becomes is you.

Yes, others can lend you some help, give you some advice, but in the end, it will be you and only you sitting at the controls and making the tough decisions that will ultimately determine the future of your enterprise.

Now back to taking care of #1.

In order to do the things you want to do, to be able to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself, and to be able to live life on your terms, you must put yourself first.

Yes, it sounds “selfish” and even ugly, but in truth if you’re not willing to put yourself first, I can promise you that nobody else will either. You see, we teach other people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves.

If you put yourself first, and make sure your own needs are taken care of, people around you will see you as being “important” and they will treat you very differently than if you put yourself last on the list and didn’t think of yourself as being worthy.

Why I tell you this is because it’s a shift that you can make right now that will prove beneficial to you for rest of your living days.

Not only will you see more success in your professional career, but you’ll see it at home, with your family members, friends, and even with those you meet when your out and about.

Back when I was just 16, I figured part of this out when I went to the local bank one day dressed as a typical teenager wearing jeans and a simple t-shirt. Wearing that outfit, I felt almost invisible as the tellers paid no attention to me until they really had to.

A few days later, I was dressed up in a shirt, tie, and wearing a jacket that I “had” to wear for school portraits that day. I went back to that same bank, the same branch, and even saw the same bank teller, but this time, I was “Mr. Imbriale” to them!

I never forgot that lesson, and when I opened my very first professional photo studio in Montreal just out of college, I always wore a shirt, tie, and jacket.

I made it my business to dress as if I were important, because in fact, I was! And I was treated as such no matter where I went.

I loved that so much that to this day, I still dress up, more than everybody else, and I do it because important people dress up. It’s funny when I fly and I’m wearing a shirt and tie and look around and pretty much I the only one dressed that way. I do get “special” treatment from the flight crew.

So what can you do that will send a message to the world that you matter, that you are important, that you are #1!

Dressing up is just one approach, but there are many more. You could block out the first hour of every day and make that time a time when you do what you want to do.

Maybe you love to read first thing in the morning, or maybe you prefer to write, as I do. Make it a priority instead of making it something you’ll do if you could only find the time. If you think it’s important, carve out the time and defend that time against all interruptions.

When you do, people will quickly get the message that you’re important, doing important work, and they will come to respect you for it.

But, remember, nobody will respect you until you do. You must learn to put yourself first, to take care of the most important things you need to do in your day ahead of taking care of other people’s challenges.

It’s easy to look the other way and jump in to help other people first, and it really does feel good. But what happens at the end of the day when you’ve done everything for other people at the expense of doing what you need to do for yourself?

I’m speaking from much experience here and I can tell you, that this is the best strategy for you to achieve professional burn- out instead of prosperity.

What I now know is that if can get the most important thing on my list done for me first, I’m much more able, willing, and excited about helping other people with their challenges.

Your job is to make the changes that will make all the difference in your life and that starts by making yourself the most important person in your life.

It may seem hard at first, but that’s very short-lived, and soon you’ll be in a position where you’ll look forward to each and every day in a new and exciting way!

And, over time, you’re going to see results in your life that you’re really going to love! Imagine going to a restaurant, saying noting out of the ordinary and being seated at the best table in the place.

Or going into a car dealership and being led to the sales manager who can really get you a great deal instead of the sales intern who isn’t sure how to fill in the sales order.

Or going to a seminar and being immediately surrounded by the top players instead of the wall-flowers.

Or walking into a party and having people come to you eager to meet you instead of being stuck in a corner hoping somebody notices you!

Your life changes when you change. This is your invitation to make the changes that make the biggest difference.

Be outstanding!
Robert Imbriale
‘The Motivational Marketer’

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