Zig Ziglar, the famous author and motivational speaker, said one of the most profound things I’ve ever heard, and it stuck with me ever since the first time I heard it. He said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.”

Lots of people have loads of intelligence but don’t have the right attitude. After training thousands of students, I’ve noticed that the ones who succeed the most are often the ones with some warts on their resumé. It was their determination and attitude, not their lofty intelligence or blue chip education that brought them success.

I’m not smart, I’m just seasoned. There’s an old Spanish proverb they say here in Texas, and it goes like this: “Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.” It means, “The devil knows more from being old than from being the devil.” I started in the business at 20 years old and I had an Associate’s Degree in Ranch Management, plus I was dyslexic; which is not exactly a recipe for success in the financial world. But I had an attitude that I was going to keep learning and keep trying. Now, after four decades in the note business I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but I learned a valuable lesson from every single one.

You don’t have to know everything to do anything. We shouldn’t be deathly afraid of making a mistake because every mistake you make is an opportunity to learn. I’d even say that it’s our mistakes that cause us to be the most successful. At NoteSchool we teach the building blocks for success. But you’ll still make some mistakes during your career—we just teach you how to avoid making any really expensive mistakes.

Whether notes are a small sliver of what you do or the majority of what you do, ask yourself what is your purpose for doing what you do? How important is your success? Then make sure to keep that purpose front and center in all your business dealings. Keep reminding yourself of the things that are most important to you and your family, and your attitude will improve.

If I can control what I tell myself, I can control my attitude. That’s why I say be very careful what you tell yourself. Why? Because you are listening!

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