Learning To Say No

In a more and more interconnected world, there are huge advantages to being able to pursue many avenues of income, friendship, relationships, etc. due to our interconnectivity. At the same time, it’s very easy to get distracted by some shiny objects. Squirrel! The more successful you become in your chosen profession, the more opportunities, offers and sales pitches are going to come your way. Having the discipline to politely decline offers which are not closely aligned with your laser-focused goals is one of the most valuable skills you can develop. Politely decline and stay focused on your goals.

Sharpen Your Saw

We get better at that which we study. And pros never stop studying. I just returned from Tom Hopkins’ very last three-day “Sales Mastery Boot Camp” in beautiful Scottsdale, AZ. Tom has been conducting these Boot Camps for over three decades all around the world. When I heard he was going to be delivering his last one, I cleared out a few days in my calendar, went online and registered. I’m glad I did. It’s always good to return to the basics of your craft. That’s what pros do. They continue to learn more and over time they continuously return to the basics. One of my favorite quotes for many years has been, “The most important thing is to remember that the most important thing is the most important thing.” This may sound like double-talk, but it’s not. It’s very easy to get distracted with the flavor of the month …

Back In School

My daughter, Anja, started high school and my son, Tristan, started sixth grade this morning. It’s back to school time! When I was in school, when the earth was cooling, we didn’t have cell phones. We didn’t have iPads. We didn’t have jeans that cost extra if you bought them with holes already in them. An interesting article came out today in the national news talking about how kids today never knew a world where Kurt Cobain was alive or where they had to take their film to the drug store to get developed. If you’re too young to get this last reference, you’re a punk. But no matter how much the world and technology changes, it serves us well to remember that human nature never changes. People will always want to be appreciated and respected. We’ll always feel better when we receive a sincere compliment. So while you’re keeping …

Corporations Can’t Outrun Their Character

I love this post by Seth Godin: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/08/corporations-are-not-people.html I tell my audiences all the time that we can’t outrun our character. Neither can corporations. Chris Brogan talks about humanizing business. I completely agree. We are in an age now where what goes around, comes around. Literally at the speed of light. On fiber optic cables made of light called the internet. Do the right thing. Because it’s the right thing to do. And all the wonderful things that will happen and come back to you in return will be the icing on the cake.  

Make ‘Em Smile

In our busyness we sometimes forget what we need to do in terms of our clients and prospective clients. Yes, we need to under-promise and over-deliver. Yes, we need to keep an eye on emerging trends and threats. Yes, we need to do all that Harvard Business Review, high fallutin, MBA type stuff. But here’s your real job: make ’em smile. And keep ’em smilin’. Be real. Be a person like them. Have a heart. Never pass up opportunities to personalize things to make your clients feel more special. I’m dealing with some technology and product fulfillment issues right now that are bugging the crap out of me. Majorly bugging me. Serious buggage. And it’s having an effect on my clients. This is a good example of it’s not what happens, but how we handle it. I’m thinking creatively and coming up with ways to make ’em smile as I …

Let Them Know You Care

One of the nicest things we can do for someone is to provide encouragement. It’s wonderful to post inspiring messages on various Social Media platforms. But selecting one or a handful of people and encouraging them on a frequent basis is a whole other matter. This needn’t take a tremendous amount of time. Just a check-in from time to time to see what they’re working on in their personal and professional lives and letting them know that you’re thinking of them and wishing them the best in everything they’re doing. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Pick a person or five and let them know you care.

Bad Tweets Will Bite Cha’

Recently, an athlete from Greece was not allowed to compete in the London Olympics because of a racist tweet she posted on Twitter. This is an example of what I mean when I say that we can’t out-run our character. In a more and more interconnected world, it serves us well to strive to become better people. If only for selfish reasons such as being able to pursue your life’s goal of competing in the Olympics. As Dale Carnegie taught many years ago, “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.” Those types of actions have always caught up with us. They just now catch up with us at the speed of light on fiber optic cables called the internet.


Put In The Good

As you go through your day you’ll hear people talking about all the bad things happening in the world. Shootings, wars, and so on. Yes, these things exist and always will. People sure love their iPads, iPhones, Androids, Bluetooths, and every other electronic leash that’s been invented. And yet they forget that these tools will connect them to whatever they want. Apparently they want a lot of negativity. These amazing tools will also connect you to unlimited sources of inspiration and goodness. We choose what we put into your heads. Just look around and you’ll see all the choices people are making. It’s right in front of you when you look at folks and when you hear what comes out of their mouths. And what doesn’t come out of their mouths. Choose to put positivity in on a daily basis. Putting it in multiple times each day is even better. …

You Are Blessed

2012 has been a rough year so far for Colorado with the massive wildfires which burned over 500 homes and a madman who went on a shooting spree early yesterday morning. Regardless of how many horrible things happen, we should remember that the beautiful things happening all around us every day far outnumber the terrible things. At the risk of sounding like a Kum-Ba-Yah moment, it serves us well to take a minute and count our blessings. The moment in the morning when your eyes open from sleep and you realize you’re blessed with another day. The first kiss of the day with someone you love. The giggle of your child. The taste of your first bite of breakfast. The breeze in your face when you walk out the door. The convenience of a bike, car, train, plane, boat or your legs to get you around. The joy of watching …

Personalize Everything

It takes so little to be above average. In a more and more interconnected, over-caffeinated, hyper-competitive, Mach 5 with your receding hairline on fire world, it’s easy to forget to make personal connections. And most people just hit the Like button on Facebook, Accept Connection button on LinkedIn and Follow button on Twitter. If someone walked up to you in real life, stuck out their hand and introduced themselves to you would you look at them, ignore their extended hand and just turn around and walk away? If you did, your mother would smack you. Don’t be a Social Media drive-by Liker, Friender or Follower. That’s what the masses do. By the way….watch what 95% of society does and do just the opposite. Always, and I mean always, personalize everything. Send a personal note saying thanks, asking them how they heard of you and how you may be able to …


Small Biz Can Be Big Biz

Society programs us to think that we have to always be bigger, faster, stronger, etc. This is especially the case in business. But this isn’t true. It may have been in the past, but it’s not now. It would serve people well to revisit from to time why they are doing the things they’re doing as business owners. Did they get into business to build the biggest, most profitable, etc, whatever? Most of the time they didn’t. They got into business to earn a good living providing a product or service they have a passion for at a fair value to people who are desiring it. When you get seduced into thinking that your company has to be the biggest, most profitable, etc, many mistakes will follow because your decisions will be built on the wrong foundation. As the world becomes more and more interconnected and niched, you can do …


Problem Or Project?

The way we define a thing often frames our attitude towards the thing. We often freeze up when confronted with a problem. We often get our creative juices flowing when taking on a project. This is more than semantics. Our perception of things greatly influences our experience of things. By changing the word “problem” to “project” we can change our attitude toward the situation. You may be surprised at what you can do when you make the shift to accomplishing projects. What project can you make progress toward today?


Relax And Enjoy The Game

Ever notice that people who are good at something seem pretty relaxed when they’re doing it? Business tends to be a very serious game for most folks but that doesn’t mean you have to be so serious. Yes, take your business seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Put people at ease. It’s easier to communicate and work with people when they’re relaxed. Just for fun you may want to play a game with yourself called “How relaxed can I make this person feel?” As my good friend, Bob Burg, taught me years ago, “All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to people they know, like, and trust.” Usually they know, like, and trust you because they feel relaxed with you. What can you do to make people feel more relaxed today?


Be An Opener, Not A Closer

In sales, one of the bad stereotypes is the killer closer. I think it’s a good idea from time to time to examine our language because it has a huge effect on us, often without us knowing it. The fish doesn’t know it’s wet. First, no one wants to get killed. If you’re interacting with your prospects, clients, networking partners and referral sources with a “killer” mindset, they feel it. And they don’t feel good. Don’t kill people. Help people lead more inspiring lives by being more inspiring yourself. Second, no one wants to be “closed”. Thinking that you’re going to close a sale means that you’re treating your clients like prey. And they can feel it. Yes, you need to generate business, but closing is so 20th century. In a more and more interconnected world, if you’re running around closing people, you’re leaving a wake of people behind you …


Stand Up Straight

My older daughter recently told me that I have good posture when I sit and when I walk. I never think about my posture, so it was an interesting comment. On a side note, I haven’t thought of this in years, but my daughter’s comment made me remember that I had a girlfriend twenty-five years ago who told me “I love watching you walk.” When I asked her why she said “Because you know where you’re going and it shows.” I forget a lot of things but I remember her comment. Stand up straight when you’re on your Social Media platforms. Stand up straight means do the right thing. Take the high road. Pay it forward. Under promise and over deliver. Don’t complain. Be polite. Say please and thank you more. Don’t slouch. Having good posture shows that you’ve got a good spine. That’s code for backbone. And in a …


Avoid Complication In Everything

Leonardo DaVinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” He was right. BTW – he stole that line from me. He was quite the klepto. Any idiot can take a simple thing and complicate the heck out of it and many idiots do. It takes a more insightful person to take something that may seem to be complicated or overwhelming and simplify it. Not “dumb it down” but simplify it. I have what I refer to as my “8 & 80 Rule”. Regardless of the subject matter, quantum physics or interpersonal skills (actually very similar subjects), if you can’t explain it conceptually in a minute or so to an 8-year-old or an 80-year-old, you don’t really understand the subject yourself. This is a great self-check. Some people complicate things because they think it will make them look smart. That’s just their low self-image talking. Think of the sharpest folks you know …


Do Business With People Who Believe What You Believe

I don’t remember where I first heard it, but something that has really stuck with me over time is “Don’t work with the people who need what you have; work with the people who believe what you believe.” This may not resonate with you, but it sure resonates with me. If you’re trying to convince (that’s code for “sell”) everyone that they need what you have, that’s a hard road to travel. And it’s the road most people travel. If you’re finding people who believe what you believe in terms of life philosophy, attitude, business practices, etc., you’ll find that life becomes easier. This is a road with little traffic. Taking this approach means that you have to find out people’s life philosophy, attitude, business practices, etc. And most people don’t find out these things about other people. Most people are just looking to close a transaction versus open a …


Imagine if you could do what you love for a living. Imagine if you could have a better relationship with your spouse or significant other. Imagine if you could be happier. Imagine if you could spend more time doing the things you enjoy. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve. Imagine if you could figure out how to do these things. Imagine that you can. And you will.

Small Repeated Efforts Produce Massive Results

People are always looking for a shortcut. Whether in Social Media, fitness, finances, relationships or whatever, it doesn’t matter. I’ve found the shortcut. Small efforts repeated over time is the shortcut. That’s it. There is no other short cut. None. Nada. Bupkiss. Goose egg. Implement this strategy in whatever you’re seeking to accomplish and you’ll leave 95% of the population in the dust. Probably 98%. It takes so little to be above average. How bad do you want it?

Stop And Think

No matter how sophisticated technology becomes, success will always come down to the ability to consistently serve and add value to people. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a wise guy (not to be confused with the Jersey-type of wise guy) is to sit down for an hour in the morning with a legal pad and pen and write down as many ways as you can think of that you can possibly add more value to your clients, customers, boss, company, referral sources and networking partners. This is not an easy thing to do on a consistent basis. Most of the ideas will be thrown out but you will uncover some gems. When you do, implement them. There’s gold in them thar hills. Edison said that 2% of the people think, 3% think they think, and 95% would rather die than think. He was right. …