Ever hear the expression; “I’m a jack of all trades”? I cringe whenever I hear someone bragging about knowing everything. It’s obvious they’re not committed to excellence.
Being the jack of all trades is precisely the problem with the way most people attack their professions. They feel as though they have to know everything about everything related to their job. What ends up happening is that they become their own worst enemy. They are good at lots of things but have mastered none, and therefore never come close to reaching their full earnings or happiness potential. These people do 10,000 things 10 times.
On the other hand, the most highly successful people in any profession master the fundamentals. They focus their attention on doing the dozen or so core fundamentals 10,000 times. They master the core of their vocation that makes them exceed what would be considered the peak for most.
The best strategy for you is to go out and study the most successful leaders in your chosen field, and find out exactly what they are continually focusing on and mastering. There’s usually between 10 and 20 core strategies that, when mastered, sky-rocket their results.
The best part of is, their success is completely duplicatable. Learn from their mistakes. Learn their success strategies. Cut down the learning curve. Master what they continue focus on day-in and day-out.
Michael Jordan said it best when he talked about mastering the fundamentals being the secret to his success. Dribbling the ball on every square foot of the court, shooting tens of thousands of free throws, lay-ups, and jump shot from the exact spot every time. Everything begins with the fundamentals and branches out from there.
I don’t purport to be an expert on many topics, but one area where I’ve absolutely mastered my life (by copying other successful people), is mastering my work life balance.
Do you plug in at home, or unplug? For most, the line between work and personal life is completely obscured. In fact, there is no line. They simply blend together.
The problem is when your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, etc. is texting and/or calling you all day long, you’re not fully engaged and committed to work. You can’t give your all and function at peak performance levels. It adds an entire layer of stress and anxiety to your already full plate. The same holds true for personal time. If you are constantly answering work calls, emails and texts, you’re destroying the time you need most to recharge your batteries. Worse, you may be destroying valuable personal relationships.
So here’s a 10 point strategy to redraw the line and establish an effective work/life balance:
- Define exactly what you want your professional and personal lives to look like – set your boundaries
- Make it clear to everyone from your personal life, that when you are at work you are at work and not to be disturbed unless it’s an absolute emergency
- Make it clear to everyone in your personal life that when you are at home, you will unplug unless it’s an absolute emergency
- Hold a meeting with your key work colleagues and define the boundaries with them. They will respect you more for your honesty. And since we’re being honest, how many of those afterhours calls and emails could really wait until the next day anyway?
- Also commit to everyone at work that you are there to work and you expect the same from them
- If you have a specific commitment, make it clear in advance to those who need to know.
- When you get home, shut off, or at a minimum, put your cell phone and computer in another room for all meals and connection time. If I have to define connection time, then there’s a bigger issue present!
- If you’re bound by a deadline or absolutely must engage a prospect or client afterhours, then schedule a block of time and separate you from everyone else. You don’t want to disrupt them.
- Create a game plan for your personal life of fun activities that you will commit too with loved ones. Schedule them.
- When you’re at work, schedule any personal activities for break or down times.
I’ve modeled this 10 point strategy after some of the most successful entrepreneurs for years, and have really mastered this area of my life. It will take practice and discipline on your part to make it work.
You will fail at times. Don’t beat yourself up. Just pick yourself up and keep committing to make it work. You will succeed.
Image is everything, and how you present yourself paints that picture. The best part is you can be your own Picasso.
I don’t simply mean the clothes you wear. It’s the whole package that makes up your image: your professional attire, your business packaging, your social media contributions, and your reputation. If any of these are out of place or incongruent, you image is in need of a makeover.
Here are 8 steps to creating a successful image:
- Wear professional attire appropriate to career one level up, i.e., dress for the job you want. You’ll perform better, be perceived better, and flat out feel better about yourself.
- When you’re not working, still dress better than the norm. You never know who you’ll meet.
- Polish your shoes regularly. It speaks volumes about you.
- Update your business packaging to reflect and benefit who your real customers are. Your website, brochures, business cards (if you still use them), and your advertising must deliver a cohesive message that focuses on what’s in it for your customers – not how wonderful you are.
- All your social media accounts need to be linked
- Your LinkedIn profile and photo, should match that of your company website, personal website (if applicable), blog, facebook fan page, and twitter account. When there’s incongruence, people sense it right away and lose confidence.
- Deliver value messages to your target audience. Stop spamming everyone with buy now offers.
- Clean up your personal accounts. If you insist on showing drunken, or inappropriate photo’s and posts, then set your privacy filters with restricted access. But then again, how professional are you if the message you’re sending your network in private is not G-rated? That will ultimately transfer to your work life and negatively affect you. Clean it up.
These steps may seem simple, but take a look around. You’ll find incongruence everywhere you look. Use every advantage you have. Image is everything, and you control yours. What your customer sees, your family and friends and your colleagues is a direct reflection of your level of success. Control your image and you start taking control of your destiny.
Do you have a weekly sales kick off meeting?
I don't mean an elaborate over-the-top production, but rather a structured uplifting meeting that focuses on your teams goals for the week and celebrates victories from the past week?
It doesn't matter if you’re working for yourself or your sales team numbers in the hundreds or thousands. Every team is broken down into divisions, so you can easily manage the process.
It's one thing to set goals for the year, quarter and ultimately the month as company. It's an entirely different animal altogether to drill down even further and breakdown by the weeks and days. Anyone can check in once a month and either praise or punish performance, but real leaders, real sales superstars need constant reinforcement and feedback.
They need to feel apart of something bigger than themselves. They need recognition on a regular basis, and the really competitive ones need effective coaching when they're not firing on all cylinders.
Those not meeting expectations need consistent coaching and feedback, and it’s better to address specifics immediately rather than once a month. And for these team members not performing, being apart of an upbeat environment surrounded by those who are winning, may be all the advantage they need.
Here are the 4 essential steps to structure a simple, yet effective weekly kick-off meeting:
1. Schedule the start and stop time for every Monday morning
2. Keep the meetings short, less than 20 minutes
3. Have a set agenda (my recommendation):
a. Set the tone - play upbeat & inspirational music
b. Stretch & get your team movingReview & celebrate last week's successes
c. Share successful strategies
d. Give rewards if applicable
e. Go over this week's expectations
f. Congratulate & thank everyone - even the under performers
4. When the meeting is over email all team members a follow up & thank them again
If your team is spread out throughout the globe you can still meet in smaller groups or via web conference. Technology today takes away that excuse.
Start your Mondays off on the right foot. Set the positive success mood for your sales team and company for the week and the future. You will be rewarded with greater sales, a tighter cohesive team, more loyal employees, happier clients and lest we all forget, bigger bottom line profits.
If you really want 2012 to be your best year ever, you must ask yourself this question. What am I absolutely committed to doing differently this year from last year to achieve my goals and make 2012 the best year of my life so far?
Forget worthless resolutions and empty New Year’s promises to yourself. I mean, with deep sincerity, what behaviors and actions are you willing and capable of changing to make this happen? All of us are capable and have the ability to achieve great things, but very few make the commitment to do so.
Start by asking yourself exactly what you want and why you want it. When do you want to accomplish it by? What must I do differently? Who must I become to set myself up for massive successes?
It’s not who you are as a person. It’s who you must become, what behaviors support your goals, and what type of person achieves the goals you’re after.
Commit to being this person every single day. Read and re-read these attributes every single day. Vince Lombardi said it best; “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
Perfect practicing the person you must become to achieve your goals, and you will be infinitely closer and on a far easier path to achievement. Don’t be guilty of insanity. Choose and take action on a different path.