Lift someone up today

I have heard this before and so have you.

  • Zig Ziglar said:  Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours. 
  • Be careful placing judgment upon others, for you know not what battles they are fighting.

I was reminded of these two simple statements last night.  A person in our class came in late, which was not normal for them.  They contributed some, but not as much as they usually do.  But they showed up and stuck it out for the entire class.

We ended the class with an exercise where we have the participants write their name at the top of a 3 X 5 index card.  Then they take that card and hand it to someone else. Now the class participant has to take the 3 x 5 index card with one of the other participants name on it and write something about them that they have noticed about them that is unique, positive, and that the individual might not see in themselves.  Now there are about 20 people in the class. So over the last 6 weeks every Monday for roughly 3.5 hours, we all have been together.  So we have developed a lot of relationships and we all know each other fairly well.

This little exercise is probably one of my favorite that we do in this course.  Who doesn’t like to be told something positive about themselves.  Sometimes the participants get overwhelmed with emotion during this exercise.

So going back to the class participant.  This person had a bad day at work.  It was very clear.  I am not sure what exactly happened, but they were different.  So this one little exercise we did, and the 3 x 5 index card with the positive note about them on it, changed their day.  How do I know this?  They told us.  They told us how much they appreciated it after the day they had.

So what can you do today?  This is a pretty simple act that any of us can do. So who in your life needs this kind of appreciation, acknowledgement, encouragement?  Who can you send a note to?  Who is going through something right now, that needs some pick me up?  I would encourage you to be like Zig Ziglar states, lift someone up.



What season are you in

You know the longer I am in business and in life, I find that this is more true.

  • The second mile, the third mile, and fourth miles are really not that crowded.  The crowd thins out the longer you run.
  • During the week at the office.  The one hour or the two hours before everyone is supposed to start work is really not the crowded either.
  • Saturday mornings at the office you don’t have to worry about the coffee pot getting emptied very quickly.
  • By February of a new year, you can usually get back to your favorite machine during the time you go to the gym.
  • There are usually not traffic jams past 6:30 pm during the workweek. Probably closer to six depending on where you live.
  • Most volunteer organizations struggle with attendance at events they hold.
  • Most diets fail within the first seven days.

I could probably create a more exhaustive list than this, but you get the point.  Most people aren’t willing to pay the price for success.  The natural gravitation pull is down.  I think we can all agree that down is usually associated with easier and less challenging.  If that is true, then we have to find ways to rise up and push up so we can realize the benefits of success.  Success has a price tag.  Are you willing to pay the price for success.

Remember life is full of seasons.  Seasons don’t last forever.  Summer is not 8 months out of the year.  Winter is only a few months.  So investing the time and resources for a season  has the potential to pay off big time.  What season are you in?

What are you willing to do this week to pay the price for success?


You should Stop, Start, and Continue these things

How do you know if you are on the right track?  Is that a question that we should ask ourselves sometimes?  I think so.  It is probably a question that we should probably ask ourselves more often.

I think success is a journey.  You won’t get there over night.  However there are some things in life that we should be doing, should not be doing, and things we should do more of.

STOP:  There are some things that you should stop doing immediately.  Don’t you agree?  If you are 30 pounds over weight, you should probably stop your current eating habits and exercise habits.  If you don’t have any exercise and health habits, you should continue to read further and find out what you should start doing.  Do you have negative friends that are making you negative.  Think about it.  How are the people you are around influencing your attitude, your decisions, your spending habits.  If you aren’t where you want to be, you should STOP spending time with them or limit your time with them.

About a year ago, I made the decision to STOP watching the national news.  That one little decision has impacted my life and my success (my definition of success: measurable progress towards worthwhile goals).

What do you need to STOP doing?

START:  I don’t know which one is harder to do.  Start something or Stop something.  I guess it really just depends on who you are and how motivated you are.  But there are somethings we just have to start doing.  Going back to your health.  You just have to start.  Maybe you start with counting calories.  Or maybe you start by walking around your neighborhood or up and down the street.  Whatever it is and how much you do it can always change, but you just have to START.  Your negative friends that you are spending time with, you just have to STOP spending time with them, but maybe you start by limiting your time with them.

I have a friend that made the decision to START working out and he made it a priority in his life.  It has changed his entire life from health, fitness, family, career, and accomplishing more of his goals.

What should you START doing?

CONTINUE:  Then we all have some things that we must continue to do.  There are some things that just work.  I would hope we all have something in our life that is working.  So we must continue to do those things and make sure we find the time to ensure those things continue.  I have found that the best way for me to find out if something works and I should continue to do it, is by doing a lot of things that don’t work.  This trial and error process is what has allowed me to find the things I make a priority and continue to do.

What are you going to CONTINUE doing?

Take an inventory today of your goals, your passions, your time, your friends, your daily routine, etc.  You may find some examples of things you should STOP doing, you may identify some things you should start doing, and lastly, make sure you continue to do the things that are working for you.

The American Dream is not dead

I had lunch the other day with a young man about 23 years of age. Yes, I am old enough now (at least to him) to say young man.  Ugh!  I digress.  I met him at an event I was speaking at a few weeks ago.   He got his college degree in finance from a very well-known college. He has worked with a big stock brokerage firm and that is where his passion is.  He reads all of the magazines and publications, and knows his stuff.  But what is unique about this 23-year-old, is that his family moved him from Latin America when he was 9 years old.  His family moved here with three suitcases and that was about it.  It was such a neat story.

We discussed life, goals, aspirations, cities to visit, you name it.  But something he said to me that has stuck with me for a few days now is this:  He said the American Dream is not dead.  When he said this to me, I asked him to repeat it, because I wanted to be sure I heard him correctly.  He said it again.  The American Dream is not dead. Obviously, I had to unpack this with him for a few minutes.  We discussed success, hardwork, and determination, everything that is required to live “The American Dream”.   We discussed helping people and changing lives while we change our own.  We had a great conversation and he has motivated me even more.  I like to be around people like him.   I know what the American Dream is to him, and he knows what it is to me.  But what is The American Dream?

I think it is our duty on this earth to become everything we are capable of being, whatever that is. A good question to ask yourself?  Am I doing everything I can?  If the answer is yes, that is ok.  But if you are unsure, then I think the answer is no.  So what can you do? This is a great question to ask yourself in your personal life and on the job.  My mentor said don’t just get through the day, get from the day.  When you get from the day, you squeeze every last drop out of it.

There are a lot of people who say you must appreciate what you have.  Yes, I agree with that statement whole heartedly. So a suggestion I have for you is this: Enjoy all you got, while you pursue all you want.

What is the American Dream to you?

The Forgetting Curve

A question I hear all of the time in business is this.  How do I get ahead in my career and grow within my company?  I talk to professionals everyday that have all of the credentials, education, the pedigree, and the persistence to be successful, so what is it that they are missing to get ahead?

The best career advice I got for you, is to READ a lot.  Yes, that is all.  Read a lot.  What should you read? Anything you can get your hands on.  Read biographies, read the books on your industry.  Read the books on the industry you would like to be in.  Bill Gates reads a book a week.  Peter Drucker picked one subject and would read everything he could on that subject until he felt like he was very knowledgeable on it. Anything from management to birds and plants. Benjamin Franklin read everything he could.

I have done a study.  Not a comprehensive study with focus groups and people in a room taking a survey, nope, my study has consisted of spending lots of time with people who train other people for a living and who are around people a lot in settings to help develop them.

Here is what I have found to be true with people who read a lot:

  • Influence is leadership, reading provides you increased influence.
  • They tend to be more positive about all situations.
  • They have lots of ideas backed up with evidence, instead of opinions based off of opinions.
  • They bring something to the table.
  • They become experts in their chosen field.
  • They are able lead up in their organizations because of their knowledge and skills.
  • The reading discipline usually leads to other disciplines in their life that help them in their career.
  • They add value to conversations at the water cooler.
  • They are more credible
  • They are more confident
  • They either grow within their company or they take their skills to another company.
  • Are they smarter? Yes, they have data to support their opinions.
  • They are more interesting
  • You cant give what you don’t have, period. (Biggest lesson in life) the good thing is you can go out and get anything you want (Isn’t America great)

Most people don’t read so you will see the benefits really quickly, I can promise you.  Remember this, the first mile is where it is crowded, the extra mile is where there are no crowds.

This morning I was reading a marketing book on Hot Buttons. I don’t think I have read anything that I haven’t heard before in some form.  However, I have at least one page of notes already.  That is what inspired me to write this blog today.

As I said, most of the stuff I have probably heard at one time or the other, but unless you use it and apply it everyday you forget it.  Hermann Ebbinghaus did extensive research on this topic in 1885 and is most famous for the FORGETTING CURVE.  His findings and research are still relevant today. A typical graph of the forgetting curve purports to show that humans tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless they consciously review the learned material.  This is kind of scary.  So why wouldn’t you continue to put information into your mind, especially the same information. 

To get ahead read as often as you can and share that information with as many people as you can.


The Rear View Mirror

For those of you who drive a vehicle know exactly what I am talking about.  When you are driving you frequently may look in your rear view mirror.  It is not something you do all of the time.  But it is something that most good drivers do quite frequently.  If you are like me, it something you definitely do when you have to hit your brakes and especially when you have to hit your brakes hard.

Looking in our rear view mirror is necessary to understand what is going on around us.  It gives a gauge.  It is no different from life.  In our life we must look in our rear view mirror to see what is going on.

  • How did I get here today.
  • Why did I get here today.

Just like in your car, the rear view mirror is not something you look at very long.  Looking to the past for a quick moment is always good, but don’t dwell on it.  Look forward.  As we start another week in this eighth month of the 2014, I am looking forward.  I am looking so far forward in an attempt to design the life I want to live, the passions I want to pursue and be around others that are doing the same thing.

Enjoy your week and only look in the rear view mirror long enough to be aware of what is going on around you.


It is a feeling

Value is a feeling not an actual number or calculation.  Since value is a feeling and not something that is actually tangible, can you create value or perceived value for something?  The answer to this is simple, YES.  YES you can.  It is done every single day in every single way.

Let me give you an easy example.  In the last year or so I have started playing golf.  Well, playing golf may be a lie, I go out to the golf course every couple of weeks and hit a tiny white ball around in an open field called a golf course.  So I attempt to play the game.

For about the first few months of playing golf I borrowed a set of golf clubs from a friend of mine. Since we were playing more and more, I decided it was time to purchase some golf clubs.  So I go into Golf Galaxy and I wanted to purchase a set of clubs that came with all of the needed clubs as well as a golf bag.  I had in my mind a price that I wanted to stay around.

It came down to really two sets of Golf Clubs. There was a set of Top Flite Golf Clubs and a set of Adams Clubs.  Both sets had the same number of clubs and the bags were similar.  The Adams set was about $200 dollars more than the Top Flite set.  Guess which set I purchased?  I purchased the Adams set of golf clubs.  You know why?  Because Tom Watson is one of the Pro-Golfers that endorses Adams products.  Adams is a product that I have actually seen on Sunday afternoons that the Pros actually use.  I don’t recall ever seeing Top Flite by any of the pros. I went over my budget to.

You know how much my golf game has changed since when I borrowed the golf clubs and I purchased my Adams set?  NOT MUCH!  You know why, because I don’t practice, I don’t take lessons.  I just play and that is when I am practicing so I don’t get any better.

Is the Adams set any better than the Top Flite set?  I guess some experts would argue that, but it doesn’t matter, I felt that the value was there so I purchased.

Value is a feeling, it is an emotion. It doesn’t matter what actually is, it only matters what you feel it is.  When you feel the value is there, you will make a decision and purchase.  So as a salesperson, your job is to create the feeling in your customer’s mind that the value is there. You do that by helping them discover why they need your product, when they are able to see that the value will be there. Just like me and my Adams Golf clubs, the sales person said that they were the most forgiving golf clubs, he couldn’t say that about the Top Flite.  I need a lot of forgiveness on the golf course, but it hasn’t helped much.


Are you in a rut

I heard this little saying this past weekend.  What a rut really is.  Pretty funny and true.  A rut is just a grave without the dirt kicked in.  Anyone who has been off-road in a vehicle knows exactly what a rut looks like.  If it is wet and muddy you cant get your car out of it.  If it is solid and dry, your car is guided by it and it is hard to get out of it.

So how do you get out of rut.  I guess it is different for everybody.  But here are a few things that I have started doing that has slowly gotten me of ruts before and is getting me out of ruts now.

All motivation begins with inspiration. And inspiration usually begins with some kind of further education and experience.  Maybe you had a chance to see a new venture. Or someone came along and showed you a way you could make some additional money.  Or maybe someone showed you how you can actually lose that 15 pounds you have been talking about for three years.  Whatever it is, getting out of rut usually begins with some kind of inspiration which comes from some further education.

Be willing to take new risks.  This is a topic I like to write about, but for the most part I have lived a pretty risk free life myself.  I have taken a few big risks at times, some I thought I lost, but I actually won, and some I just lost.  So I guess my advice here is to be willing to take some calculated risks.  That is where my risk meter kind of stays, the calculated risk point on the meter.  However, as I continue this journey my confidence continues to grow and my calculated risk meter continues to gain momentum.

Walk away from everything and everybody that is keeping you in the rut.  If you were talking about this or that a year ago and you are still talking about it, it may be time to move on and get around some people who inspire you to take action.  This goes back to your associations.  You are who you spend most of your time with.  You are what you spend your time thinking and talking about.  So to get out of that rut get around some people who inspire you to think outside the rut.


Make some goals and write them down.  This is where all motivation and inspiration begins really in my opinion.  I am coaching a few clients on goal setting and goal developing as we speak (BTW: I am doing this as well) and the things that they are accomplishing and I am accomplishing are just truly amazing.

So are you stuck in a rut?  The key is to take action, do something different.  I would love to hear from you on what you are doing to get out of the rut.

Brian Willett


3 step process to resolve objections

In almost all sales classes I teach and every time I meet a new sales person, they always love to talk to me about additional training on how to resolve objections.  I guess it should technically be my one of my favorite subjects since so many people and companies buy sales training for this reason alone.

I like to keep things simple.  I am simple person and the more simple I can keep things the better off I am.

Here is a the process I teach.  The scenario: You just heard the objection, how do you respond:

1st:  Instead of instantly replying with your answer.  You respond to the individual letting them know that you heard them.  You would say something like:  “Bob, I understand pricing is a consideration for you in this purchase.”   This lets the buyer know you heard what they said and you acknowledge it being a concern.

2nd: Clarify:  “Bob, since the budget is a consideration, what are your parameters of your budget.”  This question allows you to seek clarity to what the budget concerns are. Maybe he has an exact budget number.  Maybe they have a fiscal year coming up, maybe it is the end of the month cycle. It could be all of these things.  So your job as the sales person is to seek clarity around this budget.

3rd:  Dive a little deeper:  So you have fleshed out the budget constraints.  You now need to seek out if there are any other things that could prevent the sale from moving forward.  So you would ask Bob.  “Bob, outside of the budget considerations, is there anything else that we should look at before moving forward?”  This is his opportunity to tell you if there are any other things he may be unsure of.

Once you take a prospect through these questions you should have an understanding of where they are.  In each of the above scenarios your job is to clarify and explain to them how your product will meet their needs they have.  But you first have to get all of the possible objections out on the table and that is what this process does.

The key in dealing with objections is first asking the right questions and understanding their needs before you ever get to the objections.  Are they really a buyer.  Think about it.  When you need something really bad, you go and buy it, right?  Have you ever purchased something you didn’t need?  Sure you have, we all have.  Why is that? Because after seeing it you wanted it.  Maybe the sales person was able to show you how you could benefit from buying the product.  Keep something in mind, we all love to buy things.

Remember all sales begin with relationships, and once you have a strong relationship established it creates the right environment for someone to want to buy your product.

Brian Willett

Why I do it

I have been in the trenches this year working on an e-book.  I have actually written almost two books in the process of trying to write one.  But nonetheless my goal is to have one of them complete soon.

This morning I am reading the book by author Simon Sinek titled “Start With Why” (How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action).  I have written on the subject of “Why” many times and I actually have a seminar around this topic.  But this morning as I am reading this book, it has me thinking about “WHY” I write this blog, why I am trying to position myself as an authority in the self-development world, and why I do the things I do.

As Simon says in his book when things are emotional and in the heart, it is difficult for us to articulate why we feel the way we do.  In my presentations, I like to give a short pre-amble and tell people when I speak from the heart that my words will be “clumsy”, it is because I am speaking from the heart and when we speak from the heart it is hard to say what we want to say.  Simon has revealed to me why my words are clumsy, it is because our heart is controlled by the limbic part of the brain.  That is why we use the words feeling sometimes when we describe something or someone.  Have you ever heard someone say, it just felt right?  I just knew it was the right person, because there was a feeling I had.  These emotions are controlled in the heart, but it all transpires in the limbic part of the brain.

So what does all of this have to do with “WHY” I do what I do.  Warning, my words might not make sense as I mentioned above.

I just feel like this is what I am supposed to do.  I have had my life transformed by some of the things I have been exposed to.  I have been blessed without measure and I want to share these blessings with others.  Not to show them what I know, but to inspire them to take action in their own life.  Maybe I can blog something or tweet something that will change a persons day or maybe even their life.  My mentor said something to me that changed my life.  What if I could do the same thing. Secondly, I continue to pursue self-development because it keeps me on course, it keeps me doing the things I challenge others to do.  Leadership is helping someone see themselves in a way they don’t or can’t see themselves. Once you change a person that way, you are making a difference and have significance.  When the world comes to end for Brian Willett, I want to be remembered for significance.

So a question for you.  Why do you do what you do?