How many of you are blessed with children, and how many have homework to contend with nightly?
Growing up you went through school, just like your kids, and came home with homework. Homework is designed to test, reinforce and condition what you've learned. It's also designed to expand your knowledge and your belief systems.
Children have homework right through high school for some, college and post graduate work for others. The fact is, homework is effective at improving your skill sets. Why then, do you stop doing homework, stop expanding and stop growing, learning and reinforcing the moment you graduate?
It's not because you've decided to stop growing and learning. It's because you've gotten so wrapped up in the day-to-day minutia of your professional and personal life, that knowledge takes a back seat. It's also because you've never been given a blueprint to succeed beyond the school systems.
What we know is from traditional education, and the focus has always been on structured academia. That works in the school systems, but in the real world, the professional world where you get downsized, laid-off and fired for not performing, this model simply doesn't work.
It's not enough to rest on your laurels any longer. Great performers get fired everyday, because there's a class of elite professional who constantly focuses on improving their industry and personal knowledge, professional skills, and mastering their relationships.
These elite members of all professions are safe, because they do their homework. Daily, weekly, monthly and annually they look for ways to improve. They're not satisfied with the status quo. They actively seek out the latest success books, industry journals, and related seminars. They network effectively, and their constant focus is on moving upward in all ways. They do their homework.
So, what homework will you do to dominate your company, market and competition?
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.
What are your new year’s resolutions? Actually, who cares? New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time, and are fruitless.
How many times have you vowed to go to the gym everyday and get in shape, make more money, get out of a destructive relationship, or in a positive and loving one for that matter?
New Year’s resolutions don’t work because they are hollow. Sure people have the best of intentions, but they have no structured plan and no emotional drive behind their desires. Worst of all they set themselves up to fail by setting ridiculous resolutions based on the pressure of the moment and fueled by alcohol.
The best approach would have been to already sit down and outlined exact results you want, why you want them, and a solid plan to go out and achieve. If you haven’t done that make it an absolute must on your schedule and add the following 12 commitments for the New Year:
Resolutions are ridiculous, so don’t waste your time. Commit to a real plan, and the 12 commitments listed here. Your life will skyrocket.
Many of the communications you receive this time of year are Holiday greetings filled with discounted offers to buy.
This is not. Rather, it’s my wish for you – a wish of hope, love, thanks and gratitude. There is so much wrong in the world, and yet there is so much more that is right, otherwise there would be nothing left.
I’m truly grateful to be connected to you, in a relationship with you – even though we may have never met in person, and grateful that we have the privilege to positively impact others through our personal and professional lives. I’m so grateful that we have opportunities that most don’t, and hopeful that we can create similar opportunities for those less fortunate.
Thank you for the opportunity to grow our professional and personal lives together. Thank you for spreading your message and positively impacting others.
I always reflect this time of year, and give thanks and gratitude for everything in my life. I invite you to do the same.
• What and who are you truly grateful for?
• What opportunities and challenges are present that you’re grateful for?
• Who do you love, and who is truly special to you?
• How can you show your love, appreciation and gratitude to affect others?
• What can you give of yourself to help those less fortunate?
• Who sacrificed for you?
Answer these questions and you will understand the spirit of the season, and really set yourself up for success. It’s about what you give, who you become, and what impact you create – not what you expect to get. That’s where your real success is.
For those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! For those of you who don’t, Happy Holidays.
When you work with high achievers, it’s easy to spot similarities. One similarity common to all high achievers is they obsess over what they really want.
I don’t mean they have an elevated interest. They have an absolute, deep-in-their-core, all-consuming obsession. It is there sole focus, where every resource they have, every thought, every free moment is dedicated to making it happen.
It doesn’t matter if it’s leading their team effectively, crushing a huge sales goal, or transforming their body. Whatever it is, they devote all of themselves to it. Napolean Hill said it best, “we become what we think about all the time.”
I see this in myself and my clients too. Virtually everything in my life I’ve accomplished has come from first obsessing over it.
What is it you want for the rest of the year? What will you obsess over, and spend every spare moment working towards. The more you obsess, the more actions you’ll take, the more plans you’ll execute, and the more success will come your way. To give your obsession a tangible plan, follow these 8 steps:
1. Decide exactly what it is that you want to accomplish before the end of the year and write it down
2. Write out exactly why, your reasons – no one else’s. Make them deeply personal to engage all of you
3. Write out every obstacle you can imagine would come up, no matter how large or small
4. Write a plan to mitigate each of them
5. Write down absolutely every action step you can think of that will move you closer to achieving your outcome
6. Schedule them
7. Read this plan every morning, every night, at lunch, at breaks, and at every free moment
8. Enjoy your obsession and the success soon to come
Decide what you really want for your business and life, and go for it.
There’s roughly 33 days left in 2011. What will you do to maximize your results? Will you fall pray to the holiday laziness, and buy into what your potential customers and colleagues excuses are?
You know the ones I’m talking about. Those people that tell you to call them after the holidays, or those that use the holidays as an excuse for their failures.
Get real, there’s really only two major government holidays left. Two days out of 33. Let’s maximize the other 31 days to the best of our ability.
If you want to increase your happiness, sales, wealth and influence, here’s a 12 step strategy to not only set yourself up for success the rest of this year, but to arm yourself to crush 2012.
1. Raise your personal standards for how you’re going to live your life and build your business.
2. Wake up an hour earlier each day. Read something short & inspirational, get some form of exercise – even if it’s just a walk around the block, and then re-write your goals & your daily action plan every morning. This one will be your toughest, and likely the one most quit following through on. Huge TIP – it’s the most important one of all!
3. Stop using 5 different time management and CRM systems. Pick one, commit to it, and make it work. You can master one to your benefit, or be a slave and a failure to all 5 – you choose.
4. Schedule block time for your action items, meetings, prospecting, and so on.
5. Commit to connecting & building 100 new relationships in the next 30 days. It’s easier than you think.
6. Read two books to improve your skills and knowledge base
7. Go find a sale or relationship you screwed up and fix it, or at a very minimum make peace
8. List every last conceivable resource you have, and write out a plan to maximize each of them to build your business. Some of them may seem insignificant to you, but to others they may make all the difference in getting a deal done.
9. Run a 10/10/10 campaign. If you don’t know what one is, call me and I’ll walk you through it.
10. Send out a hand written note to all of your new contacts. No one else will, and they will never forget it.
11. Every night before bed, reread your goals and visualize them. Your brain will come with creative ways to achieve them while you sleep
12. Finally, while everyone else is out getting drunk and over-indulging this holiday season, do something constructive to improve someone else’s life. You’ll be rewarded.
Success isn’t hard. Sales aren’t hard. Life isn’t hard. Building effective teams isn’t hard. Follow this 12 point plan, and you’ll see how much easier it is to win.
When you have a prospect to follow up with, what do you do when you call them?
If you're like most "salespeople" then you're probably calling up and asking a silly non-value question such as; "just following up to see if have any more questions, or have you made a decision yet?"
Instead of calling your prospect & asking if they've made a decision - call & offer them some information of value to their business, life, and/or give them a referral. Be more than a typical salesperson. Wake up, they know why you're calling them. Don't pester them. Be different, be original, be a "sales professional" - be their advocate, their cheerleader, their source of value beyond the sale. Give more of yourself selflessly and they'll give to you.
How do you stand out in the crowd? Let’s face it there’s a million other people offering the relatively same product or service as you if not the identical product or service.
The famed sales trainer, Jeffery Gitomer says, “differentiate with value, or die with price.” He’s exactly right. But what is value? In terms of your business, it’s anything you do above and beyond the normal course of business that differentiates you in your prospect or clients eyes. Let’s keep it short and sweet this week. Here are 10 strategies that you can you use to differentiate yourself with value over your competition:
1. Stop cold calling please. It doesn't work. find out who you want to do business with and, connect with them on LinkedIn, follow them and their company on twitter, friend them on facebook and fan their page, and/or get introduced to them through a mutual connection. Take your time and build a relationship, or you are guaranteed to come off just as shallow and selfish as your commodity providing competitor. It takes time and hard, but fun, work. Do it.
2. When you call on a prospect give them something of value. Buy them lunch, bring them a gift they can use, or better yet, bring them or refer them business. Nothing in business says I love you more to someone, then stuffing their wallet.
3. Help your prospects and clients with their problems. We’re all in business and all face similar challenges. The scope and size may vary, but if you look to your network you certainly can find some solutions to help them out. Oh yeah, do it selflessly.
4. Be the go to lady or gentleman in your business that others look to for advice and guidance. The absolute fastest way to get recognized this way is to speak free to every group that you can get in front of. You will be perceived as an expert by default.
5. And to go with #4, be an expert in your industry. Make your business an art form. Learn everything you can about it, your business climate, what’s in it for your customer, and how you can deliver it more efficiently than anyone else.
6. Teach, don’t preach. People inherently like to learn. So don’t show up and throw up. Explain yourself likes its sliced bread. Customers and prospects will learn more from you and do more business with you as a result.
7. Under-promise and way over-deliver, not the other way around.
8. Do not pester them with silly follow calls that provide no value. In other words, don’t call and ask if they’ve made a decision. Call them and offer another value added solution, suggestion, or referral. They know why you’re calling.
9. Be genuine and nice. This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.
10. Be grateful and show your gratitude. Every grateful person I know is far wealthier, both spiritually and financially, than pretty much everyone else.
Delivering more value and differentiating yourself from your competitors is not hard. It just takes work, and if you love your work this should be a labor of love. Get creative, be goofy, and have fun being different. Who knows, you may just end up fattening your clients wallet, your wallet and your spiritual wallet.