Three myths you have about your potential

The definition of potential is having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.  Which means we all can become something we are not currently.  We all have the ability to work on a particular skill and become better at that skill tomorrow than we are today.

Unfortunately, many people go through life thinking that they are getting better at something by just doing it, when all research and evidence says other wise.  Yes we can develop potential. And yes we can become better at something when we work hard at it, but there is a certain way this must be done.  It can’t only be done by performing the skill or activity over and over.

Here are the three myths about your potential that you most likely have been told:

1st myth:  We are limited to what we are given.  A lot of people believe that we are born with certain innate abilities and skills that allow us to be successful in certain endeavors.  Although there are certain attributes that can help you be more successful when utilized, those attributes by themselves alone will not make you successful.

 

2nd myth: If you do something long enough you will get better at it.  Lets be honest here.  How many people do you know who have been driving for thirty or even fifty years, and you wouldn’t get in a car with them driving to go around the block?   Extreme case here, but true.

3rd myth: If you try harder you will get better.  Unfortunately, this is a common response we give people to encourage them.  But it is actually bad advice.  Sure, if we feel that a person lacks a certain work ethic and they are not putting in the effort, we may suggest that they try harder.  However, if you are in a professional position such as sales, management, etc., if you are not practicing techniques designed to specifically improve in these areas, trying harder will not get you very far.

So how do we realize our potential:

Anders Ericsson in his book Peak, Secrets from the new Science of Expertise, 2016.  Tells us the only way to become better at something and maximize our potential in an area is by utilizing the concept of purposeful practice and deliberate practice.

If you have not heard of Anders Ericsson he is the person who conducted the research that has now become known has the 10,000 hour rule.  The 10,o00 hour rule is what Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, The Story of Success brought to life.  In Gladwell’s book, he discusses the research conducted by Ericsson on what elite performers did to become elite in their chosen field or specialization.

In Gladwell’s book, he references Ericsson’s research that all studies showed that it takes 10,000 hours of practice in a chosen field to become an expert in it.  Although, some of this is correct, Ericsson points on in his book Peak, that 10,000 hours is important, but what it is in those 10,000 hours is what is more important.  And depending on how you practice, you can speed up the 10,000 hours.

Ericsson uses the term deliberate practice to explain the process of how someone can develop a chosen skill.  For deliberate practice to occur the practice must include these traits:

  • Deliberate practice must be overseen by a teacher, mentor, or coach.
  • Deliberate practice must take someone outside their comfort zone. Not too far, but just enough to stretch their current performance. Which means it will require the maximum effort from the individual.
  • Deliberate practice must have well-defined goals and often involves improving one targeted area.
  • Deliberate practice requires total focus and effort by the individual.
  • Deliberate practice must include some kind of feedback from the coach, manager, teacher on how the person did on the specific task.

The three things we have always been told or may have even said ourselves are myths, because they don’t include the traits of deliberate practice.

1st myth: We are limited to what we are given.  This is incorrect because we all start out as novices in a chosen field or skill and we have developed those skills over time and we are now better.  We might not be experts, because we have gotten to the point of good enough, which is where most people stop.  We all have the ability to continue to develop our skills as far as we want to go with them.

2nd myth: If we do something long enough you will get better at it.  Again, if we look at the traits of deliberate practice this is not true.  If we are performing good enough, we never stretch ourselves to see if we can actually do better. We never seek feedback from other people to see how we may be able to do something a little bit better.  If we do both of these things; seek feedback and stretch ourselves, we can actually get better at it, but just doing it doesn’t make us better at it.

3rd myth:  If you try harder you will get better.  If we are trying harder, but we are not actually changing how we are doing the activity, then more effort is not going to produce better results.  We have to get feedback on how we are doing something and use a different technique or process to get a better result, which we all can do.

The question I have for you is this:  When is the last time you worked on a skill or technique by using all of the traits of deliberate practice?  Your answer is most likely, “it has been a long time.” Probably since you started in whatever it is you are currently doing.

Something we use to always say in leadership is this: Some people say that have ten years of experience, when they really have one year of experience, ten times.  Meaning that they have been doing whatever it is for ten years, but they have yet to get past the first year of knowledge in their abilities.  They haven’t increased their skills past the first years development. It’s like a toddler learns how to walk, but never learns how to run.

What are you going to do to ensure you continue to develop your skills in your chosen profession?  What are you going to do to implement the traits of deliberate practice into your daily life, so you can continue to develop your skills to become better and increase your potential in your chosen field?

To your success and your future.

References:

Peak; Secrets from the new Science of Expertise; author: Anders Ericsson, 2016

Purchase the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Peak-Secrets-New-Science-Expertise/dp/0544456238/

 

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Two behaviors that will make you more successful

I have studied people for the last ten years or so.  When I say study, I mean deliberately and frequently observe and evaluate people and their behaviors.  Sure, we all have done a study of people for as many years as we have been on this earth.  But when it is your job to manage and encourage people to change their behaviors, and then evaluate them on whether they actually did, you are looking at it differently than just casual observations of other people in our daily lives.

I have studied people from a management perspective.  Overseeing a large number of people in an organization provides a real unique opportunity to see and be around people. It allows you to get a bird’s eye view of people and how they go about their daily lives.  You see habits and behaviors, good and bad, that either help people on the job and in their personal life or hurt them in both of these.

In management one of my jobs, and all managers jobs, is to provide knowledge, ie. training, to people who foster behavior changes that increase performance.  Training and development sessions also provide a unique opportunity to look at behaviors of people and gives you insight that you might not get otherwise.  When you spend hours and days with people, it provides the chance to see how someone learns and applies what they learn in real-time.

After managing and leading for ten years I then started training and development full-time. And this is what I have done the last four years. Moving from training within one company to provide training and development to many companies and the public at large, you get the opportunity to see people at their best and their worst.

Out of all the behaviors I have coached and trained on from listening better, to speaking less, to developing processes, to time management strategies, and any other behavior that can allow for a person to have success, I have come up with two that I believe and know can make the biggest difference for people.  They are living with intentionality and being self-aware. 

Living with intentionality means: the fact of being deliberate or purposive.  Now I know you are thinking that you already do this.  And maybe you are, but most people don’t. Most people instead get up every day and live their life as it happens.  For example:  If you are reading this right now, today is January 12, 2017. Which means it is a new year. All of the studies and facts say that since we are now two weeks into the new year, that most people who have set new years goals, also called resolutions, have already gotten off track and are no longer pursuing these goals and resolutions they have.

Some of you are thinking that you get up every single day and go to work, do your job, take care of your family, and all of the other daily activities that life requires of us.  And you think that is living with intentionality.  Certain aspects of it is. However, the chances are you have been doing those some things for years and maybe even decades. Which means you are most likely doing these activities on autopilot, which requires very little thought or different approaches from you to get these things accomplished.  It is not being intentional, it is just living.

They are habits and because they are habitual you don’t have to think about them. It’s like brushing your teeth.  You don’t have to think about brushing your teeth, you just do it.  You pick up the brush, put the toothpaste on it, brush, rinse, and your off to the next thing.

Living with intentionality means setting up a plan whether it is certain goals, milestones, or how you will go about your day and do things differently so you can get a different result. If you are reading this, and don’t care to have different results, then this blog is not for you. However, my guess is you are seeking to get a different result at work, or at home, maybe it is your bank account, your health, etc.

The other behavior that I have observed that makes people more successful is self-awareness. I believe when you start living with more intentionality you also become more self-aware.

Self awareness can be described as a conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires. Once you are aware of these attributes within yourself, you can then see how your interactions with the world around you impacts those attributes within you.

Lets look at each one of the attributes that make up self-awareness.

If you don’t understand yourself, it means you can’t understand someone else.  So when we use the word feelings.  It could be sadness, anger, excitement, enthusiasm, etc. or any other feeling humans have at any given time.  To be effective in life it requires us to have successful and sustainable relationships with other people. In almost any successful endeavor in life and especially in business, it will require a person to have successful interactions with other people.

The word motive is thrown around a lot. A motive is simply: something within that drives you to do something.  Motives are hidden under the surface and requires a person to really understand themselves, to be able to understand what is that motivates them to do something.

Again, as I stated earlier, when people are aware of their own motives, they can the help other people identify their motives.  Leadership, innovation, sales, are all positions within the marketplace that require people to understand other people. In leadership, you have to understand what the motives are of the people you lead may have to keep them within your company and excited to do their job.  In sales, you have to understand someones motives to purchase a product. And innovation requires people to understand what someone else may be willing to buy to solve a problem or appeal to a motive they have.  All three of these positions require a person to be self-aware of what they like, and to have impact with other people, to understand what it is that other people may like.

I believe motives are usually under the surface driving people, while desires are more surface.  I may have a desire to own a Ferrari because it looks pretty and is a fast car.  But the motive for me to own the car, would be deeper. It could be something like having a sense of “I made it” or more ego focused, like “I own a very exclusive car”.  These motives are deeper and more under the surface and people usually wouldn’t admit them, but a successful sales person or leader can identify these motives and then create an environment to appeal to those motives .

Self-awareness; understanding what it is that makes you tick and then how your interactions impact those around you.  I always say that a person must be able to read a room.  Meaning they should be able to go in and understand what the feelings are of the people in the room. which would allow that person to understand how they need to interact with the people in that room.

When you are aware of your own strengths and weaknesses you can develop strategies and methods to enhance your strengths.  Doing what you do best.  And minimizing your weaknesses.  Getting others to do what you don’t want to do, or aren’t very good at doing.

Self-awareness and living with intentionality are two behaviors that can change everything for you and your success.  It can change how the world receives you and how you receive the world.  Since none of us live in a vacuum, it will always require us to interact with the world around us.  In life there are positions that are more valuable, meaning they pay better, because it requires the people in those positions to understand other people.  The only way to be able to understand other people, is to first be able to understand yourself. And when you become more self-aware, and you start living your life with intentionality in everything you do, you can have the impact you want to have, and the success you want.

To your success and your future.

 

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The one book on thinking you must read

Years ago, my mentor turned me on to a little gem of a book. This little book had such an impact on my life, that since then I have read it no less than three to four times a year, because of the words that the author brilliantly put together in this masterpiece.

Like many of us, as you start out the new year, you have big goals and desires to make changes in your life.  These changes are all being driven by one thing, your thoughts.  What you think about is what controls you.  This books lays out how powerful your thoughts are.

The book itself is barely one hundred pages, but with words and concepts as powerful as they are, anything longer would have been just taking up space.

If I haven’t convinced you by now to read the book.  Maybe reading the following quotes and excerpts from the book may encourage to read the book.

Another one of my favorite authors and best-selling authors Napoleon Hill said “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  This quote says a lot in a few words.  However, the book by James Allen tells you exactly how and what to think.

James Allen: Born November 28, 1864 – January 24, 1912 was an author and philosopher. His philosophy on writing was very simple and it is one that I live by myself today.

“He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.”

As a Man Thinketh can be purchased online or at any bookstore.  There are usually several copies of the classic on the shelves.  You can also go online and type in the title and a free PDF will usually pop up.  I would encourage you to get the hard copy of the book.  The words are too powerful to read only online.  You will want a copy of this book in front of you that you can constantly go back to and highlight different words and concepts that strike you every time you read it.

Here are a few of my favorite excerpts from the book.

There can be no progress nor achievement without sacrifice, and a man’s worldly success will be by the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts, and fixes his mind on the development of his plans, and the strengthening of his resolution and self-reliance. The higher he lifts his thoughts, the greater will be his success, the more blessed and enduring will be his achievements.

In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results. The strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance is not. Gifts, powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort. They are thoughts completed, objectives accomplished, visions realized.

Every man is where he is by the law of his being; the thoughts which he has built into his character have brought him there, and in the arrangement of his life there is no element of chance, but all is the result of a law which cannot err.

Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.

The body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed. At the bidding of unlawful thoughts the body sinks rapidly into disease and decay; at the command of glad and beautiful thoughts it becomes clothed with youthfulness and beauty.

If you would perfect your body, guard your mind. If you would renew your body, beautify your mind.

As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking.

The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do. Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who encourages them, who does not slay them, thwarts himself at every step.

My hope is that one of these excerpts provoke a strong desire in your mind that you have more ability than you ever thought.  These words hopefully inspire you to take action towards your goals and make the changes you need to make to have the year you have always wanted to have.

To your success and your future.

James Allen: As a Man Thinketh, 1903

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Decisive; How To Make Better Choices in Life and Work; summary and notes

As a reader of lots of books, I sometimes find it difficult to remember everything that I want to remember from a book.  I am like most people in that I highlight or circle certain parts of text when I am reading an actual hard copy of a book.  Something I have done for years, is take those notes and put them in my journal.  Well, now instead of putting them in my journal for only me to see, I have put them here so you get the benefit of them.

This book summary is not really a summary.  It give you the gist of the book.  But this summary is really my highlights and my notes that I pulled from the book.  The information I thought was cool and important. I hope you find it to be useful as well.

Decisive (How to make better choices in life and work); by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.  Click here to purchase the book from Amazon.

This book is one that I have looked at many times over the last two years, but I always thought to myself.  I make good decisions, what could I possibly learn about decision-making?  So I never bought the book, until now.  I have to say, this book has taught me a lot, and my hope is that you read my notes and decide to buy the book.

Decisive:

Four Villains of Decision Making:

  • Should I do this or that?  Instead ask yourself, is there a way I can do this AND that?
  • Be aware of the conformation bias and do whatever you can to fight it off. Confirmation bias is when we think or know we believe a certain way, our minds immediately look for information to confirm what we already feel or believe.  It happens to us all more frequently than we would like to admit.
  • Short term emotion: When we make decisions based on emotions only and don’t seek out a different perspective.
  • Overconfidence: People think they know more than they actually do about how the future will unfold.
  • You encounter a choice. But narrow framing makes you miss options.
  • You analyze your options. But the conformation Bias leads you to gather self-serving information
  • You make a choice. But short-term emotion will often tempt you to make the wrong one.
  • Then you live with it. But you’ll be overconfident about how the future will unfold.
  • Then I personally would add a fifth: You become too attached to the decision from an ego perspective that you won’t change the decision. (not in the book)

Sometimes the hardest part of making a decision is knowing that there’s one to be made.

In the book the authors recommend this process:

WRAP:

W   Widen your options
R    Reality Test your assumptions
A    Attain distance before deciding
P    Prepare to be wrong

Opportunity Cost with decisions:  Everything comes down to opportunity cost.  What am I giving up when I make this decision.

EX:  If I chose to spend my money to go on a vacation for four days.  The cost is the money for sure.  So what else could I have done with that money instead of taking the vacation. You could have paid off debt, you could have saved for retirement, you could have purchased something that you really needed.

We make opportunity cost decisions all of the time. Some are not too costly, because you never actually feel them, but what if your budget truly is limited.  Your time is truly limited. Then weighing in opportunity cost is critical.

A study in the book shows that when presented with the actual opportunity cost of something, people make better decisions.

Example from the book:

Imagine that you have saved your money to purchase a video.  The video is $14.99. It has your favorite actresses and actors in it. You have always wanted to see the movie and you have actually been thinking of purchasing it for quite a while. 

The researchers asked people to check A or B.

A) Buy this entertaining video
B) Not by this video

Given the choice, 75% bought the video and only 25% passed on buying it.

Later the researchers asked a different group of people the same questions with the same scenario. Except they asked it this way.

A) Buy this entertaining video
B) Not buy this video. KEEP THE $14.99 FOR OTHER PURCHASES.

Do we really need to be reminded that if we don’t purchase we can do something else with the $14.99?  Apparently so, because the results were different. 45% decided not to buy the video.  Simple reminder helped twice as many people not buy the video.

How would these reminders impact your decision-making?

When making a decision force yourself to find other options, because it is very clear that we can find different options when we are forced to do so, and we make better decisions.

Ask yourself this question:  If all of the options I am currently looking at disappeared what would I do instead?

When pursuing a project a manager can ask for three different options.  Multi-tracking as it is called in the book. This does several different things for the employee when you multitrack.

1st. If you only have one option that you have put all of your eggs in to.  It makes it harder to get over your ego when you get feedback on that one option. Its harder to hear the truth.

2nd:  It does a way with politics. Because if you have several people working on a project pursuing different options, it helps keep egos open-minded.

Prevention mindset versus promotion mindset. In a study of 4,700 public companies decisions during recessions in 1980, 1982, 1990, 1991, 2000 to 2002.  A group of researchers studied the decisions the leaders made at these companies during these tough times. They found that the leaders who did a fair amount of prevention such as cut backs, layoffs, cutting expenses as needed coupled with investing in talent, training, new products, etc. fared better than the companies that just did one or the other.

Most companies focus on too much of either prevention or promotion.  Both can be detrimental to decision-making and success. You have to combine both.

When faced with a problem another way to apply a decision-making process to making better decisions, is asking who else has faced this problem before?  Ask others. Secondly, researchers and scientists looked at analogies to find the answers to a lot of issues.  Analogies have a way to make the problem more clear and it proposes certain ways to address the problem or decision that needs to be made.

Ask yourself “What would have to be true” for this to work.  This question framed up this way allows people to dissent without sounding disagreeable.  When providing feedback just ask “What would have to be true for this option to be the very best choice?”

When we assess our choices we automatically take the inside track.  We have to condition ourselves to look at it differently.

We are really bad at predicting the future.  All of the so-called experts get it wrong most of the time.  Stop trying to predict the future an instead use other tools where possible.

The one they recommend is ooch when possible.  Meaning if you can ease into the situation without going all in, do so. For examples: all studies show that leaders are really bad at interviewing and a so-called “great interview” with a candidate usually ends up being a bad hire.  A better predictor is actual work or grades from school, more so than an interview. Instead of hiring someone can you offer them a short-term contract and see how they do? This is called ooching before making the full decision, test it out.

Researchers have discovered over and over that people act as though losses are from two to four times more painful than gains are pleasurable.

In one study researchers gave half a class on a college campus a coffee mug with the university’s log on it. The students who weren’t given a mug were asked, “How much would you pay for the one of those mugs?” On average they said $2.87.

The surprise came from the students who’d received the mugs.  Asked what price they’d sell the mugs for, they reported they couldn’t part with them for less than $7.12.

Five minutes earlier, all the students in the class would have presumably valued the mugs at $2.87. Yet the students who received the mugs grew attached to them in the span of a few minutes.  The perceived pain of giving up their new gift made it unthinkable to sell at $2.87.

Loss Aversion is a real thing.  Think about it.  As the research suggests a simple coffee mug causes people to want to charge two an a half times the price of what they would have said it was worth.  This makes the point that when it comes to decision-making that we all are more worried about what we lose versus what we could gain.  This causes us to not make a decision usually and stick with the status quo.  We have to find a way to fight this.

Researchers have confirmed over and over again that when we give advice to others that we think about the bigger picture pretty easily, but when we think of our own decisions we get stuck in the weeds.  That is why it is so important to get an outsiders perspective.

The authors suggest that when you have a decision to make ask yourself this question “What would I tell a friend in this same situation to do?”

When it comes to decision-making we all must make our priorities list.  By doing this it allows you to make decision better and quicker.  If you don’t know what your priorities are or values then when put in a situation you wont have any guard rails that can help guide your decisions.

Our calendars are great scoreboards for our priorities.  Jim Collins the author of “Good To Great” says this. When it comes to prioritization and managing your time, everyone needs a stop doing list.  What do you need to stop doing.

We can’t control the future, but with some forethought, we can shape it.

Prospective Hindsight: Is a term that the authors used when thinking about a decision.  Here is their example:

How likely is it that an Asian American will be elected president of the United States in November 2020? Jot dow some reasons why this might happen. 

Prospective Hindsight spin on this.

It is November 2020 and something historic just happened: The United States just elected its first Asian America president.  Think about some reasons why this might have happened. 

The second way it is asked gets you to think differently about the scenario.  It asks you in a way to make you feel different about it. The authors suggest that you approach situations like this.  Work backwards from the decision, this allows you to think about it more clearly.

Use trip wires to help you make a decision.  A trip wire is simple. It is built-in system that tells you when to act.  Example: A lot of people have heard the story about Divas in the music industry or in certain professions.  That they require certain items in their dressing rooms, certain food, etc.

One famous incident of this is Van Halen.  Van Halen was one of the biggest bands of all time.  When they were touring back in the early 1980’s their concerts were unbelievable. Their elaborate stage designs, pyrotechnics, and everything else that went with their performances made them legendary.  Traveling around the country setting these elaborate performances up required them to contract with various companies in a local market where they were playing a show to help them achieve this.  The contracts they had with all of the specifications of what was required to set these stages up, were like books.  But to ensure that it was done correctly every single time. Van Halen set a trip wire into the contract.  There was no way for the band to actually check to ensure everything was done like it was supposed to be done. So this trip wire helped them do this.

In all of the contracts Van Halen required a bowl of M&Ms’s on the stage with all of the browns M&M’s taken out of the bowl.  This was the trip wire.  Instead of checking every single thing with the stage and all of its production.  They could just walk over to the bowl of M&M’s, if the company actually read the contract.  No M&M’s, they really didn’t read the contract. M&M’s and brown ones included, means they didn’t read the contract either.

This trip wire that Van Halen used allowed them know when they needed to check closer or not.  This is what a trip wire can do for you.  It lets you know when you need to do something immediately.

Boundaries are necessary because of people’s tendency to escalate their commitment to their choices.

I highly recommend this book for people to read.  All of us our making major decisions on a daily basis in our work or in our personal lives.  How much thinking are we actually putting into those decisions?  The chances are not enough.  This book has equipped me with a few other things to do and be aware of when I am making decisions.  Most importantly conformation bias.

I hope you found this book summary to be helpful.  If so please share with someone you know.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Distance = Rate X Time, Which piece is missing from your equation?

When I was growing up I can remember playing outside for hours and hours with my friends.  Anything from riding bikes, playing basketball, or street football.  The school year always seemed to drag on forever and summer vacations flew by like a squirrel trying to get across the highway to avoid an oncoming car.

Regardless of how we spent the time, either in school or playing, it always felt like we would always have more than enough time to do what we wanted to do and we had our entire lives in front of us.

Then something happened. I turned 30 years old.  Maybe it was a little bit sooner, but at 30 years of age or around 30 years of age, I figured out that we don’t, I don’t,  have some endless trove of time, our time on this earth is truly finite.

This is not a typical time management post.  Nope, I can do that as well. See some of my other blogs.

No, this is a time realization post.  Meaning you have to realize that everything in life revolves around time.  And you are either trading time for money, trading time for nothing, or trading your life away thinking you have more time than you actually do.

I had a vision at 30 years of age.  I said, I would work really hard and be able to retire at age 50.  Pretty simple right.  The problem though wasn’t the vision. It is a pretty solid vision.  Nope, the problem was I didn’t understand the equation.

Let me get a little wonkish with you here:

Rate = Distance/Time
Distance = Rate x Time
Time = Distance/Rate

Example:  If you want to run two miles in 20 minutes, find rate:  2 miles (distance) / 2o minutes (time) = .10 move the decimal two spots and you get 10 mins. Rate equals 10 mins per mile.

Example: Find distance: Car doing 50 mph for 3 hours, goes how many miles?
50 mph (rate) x  3 hours (time) = 150 miles (distance)

So lets look at my situation.  I have 20 years.  Age 30-50.  Simple enough. So we know what the time is don’t we.  So what is the rate?  And what is the distance?  These are the two missing variables from my situation.  I didn’t have either one of these in my vision.

So around 35, I got a little bit wiser and I said.  Okay, I need to have 10 paid for houses by the time I am 50.  So that makes it a little easier doesn’t it?  Throw dollars out of the equation and just use the amount of houses for the numbers.

We now have Time = 20 years.  We have distance = 10 houses. But, I need to solve for rate.  10 houses / 20 years = Rate of  .50.  Which means I would have to buy a half a house a year, for 20 years.  Now we all know that I can’t buy a half a house. So what if I only bought 1 house a year for 20 years. Than I would exceed my goal by a lot right?  I would double my rate, which would allow me to get there sooner.

To get to 10 houses, paid for, by age 50, means I would have to add in some dollar figures. What would I spend on the house? How much would it cost me to maintain? and how much revenue can I generate by renting them out during this period?  These numbers would allow me to make the target even more concrete on how I would achieve it.

Why does any of this matter?  And why should it matter to you or me?  Many of us are walking around with the time in our head, but we don’t have the other two pieces of the equation.  We don’t know what the distance is, meaning we haven’t set a target.  We don’t know where the hell we are going.  And since we don’t have a target, we don’t know what rate of speed we should be going.  We are aimlessly walking around thinking we are traveling well, but we really don’t have a clue.

As you wrap up 2016 and are thinking about 2017, what are your targets?  If you have some targets, good for you, you are better off than most. However, the second and most important question is, “Do you know what your rate is and the amount of time it will take to get there?”  Just like I pointed out before.  I had a target, but it wasn’t clear, once I made it clear, I knew that I needed to buy a half a house a year (1 at least) to get where I wanted to go.

Rate and speed is one of the most important pieces of most decisions we have to make.  The reason I say that is this:

If you have a good thought, or are motivated to take action.  The amount of time that passes between the thought and your first step towards action will determine your success in pursuit of this new motivation or thought.

Example:  Lets pretend that its Saturday (which it is as I am typing) and I have gotten up early and I decide that I am going to clean the house before we have this party to go to this afternoon and the basketball games that I want to watch start.

Instead of taking action and starting the cleaning, I decide to cook some breakfast, go for a run, and do some work that I wasn’t able to get to during the week.  I had the thought at 8:00 am to clean the house, and by the time I do all of the other things I decided to do instead, it is now 12:30 and we have to be at the party at 3:00. It will take me an hour to get ready and an hour to get there.  So that means, I only have 30 minutes to actually do the cleaning.  Well, we all know that is not enough time to clean, so I put it off.

Sound familiar?  This happens to everybody, everyday. It is that vicious cycle that we all have fallen victim to at one time or another.  We plan on doing something very good for us and very rewarding.  Which I think, having a clean house fits for both.  Instead of doing it, we allow others things to get in the way and we never get it accomplished.  Now cleaning the house isn’t going to kill us is it?

But what if we don’t act quickly on cutting some unnecessary spending in our budget, what if we don’t start on that assignment for work, what if the doctor tells us that if we don’t change our diet that we are going to be in trouble with our health, etc.  You can input your own scenario here if you wish.  If our rate of speed to action on any of these are too slow, they could have some very negative consequences.

This is what happens every day for most people though.  They don’t act quick enough. When too much distance gets between a decision and the first step towards taking action on that decision, your chances of doing something around that decision goes down significantly.

My favorite speakers and authors of all time Jim Rohn calls it “The Law of Diminishing Intent”; the longer you delay something, the less probability you have of actually doing it.

Rate and speed are very important pieces of the equation and we also know that having the right target, or in the equation Rate (x) Time = distance.  Which means you must know your distance (target) to know how fast and how much time it will take to get there.

So what about time.  In this blog we started off by talking about time and how we all think we have more of it, especially when we are young, than we actually do.

I read somewhere that the late great Steve Jobs believed that he was going to die young. He didnt know when, obviously, none of us do, but he felt like whatever it was that he was going to accomplish, that he needed to do it quickly because he felt like he only had so much time.

Now whether or not he felt like he was really going to die early, or he felt like an avaerage lifetime wasn’t long enough. Either way, he believed that time is our most precious commodity and that we must use it wisely and only do things we are passionate and excited about.

In our previous discussion around my vision to have purchased 10 houses between the ages 30-5o, and have them paid for.  One of the realizations I had recently, thankfully, is that I don’t want to wait that long.  I don’t want to wait until I am 50 years of age. I want it sooner. I want these houses now. I want the money theses house bring now.  I want to be free now.

What if I don’t make it to 50. I hate to be morbid, but that can happen. I changed my target to 40. How can I get to 10 houses paid for by age 40? That is the new goal.  That is the one I am working towards.

Time is the unknown and I can’t control time.  I can control what I do with my time, but I don’t know how much of it I have and I can’t stop it or slow it down.  I can only work within the 24 hours a day that I have until I can no longer do it.

I go into each day knowing that I have the time, the key question I ask myself is “What am I doing with that time?” I want to increase my rate and speed on everything I am doing.  I can control my rate.  I can control the speed of which I pursue everything.

Remember the equation above, to get to the target sooner, I must increase my rate, which in turn decreases the amount of time I have to invest in it.

Watch:  1,000,000 million dollars (target) So what is time and rate.

4 years (time) X 250,000 (Rate) =  1,000,000
3 years (time) X 333,000 (Rate) = 1,000,000

When I increase my rate, I decrease my time to get to my target.  That is the goal.  And that should be your goal.

My mission in 2017 is to speed everything up.  It is going to be a challenge in some cases, because I can’t do everything. It will require me to spend money, it will require me to make sacrifices, it will require me to rely on others, and it will require me to give up somethings for the sake of other things. And all of this is okay.  I have finally figured it out that if I want to truly speed things up, it is going to require a different approach.

One of my mentors said it this way.  The rich buy time and the poor spend time. What they meant by this is:  Rich people have the money to hire others to do things that they dont want to do and get others to expand their influence by paying someone to go out and do more of what it is they are attempting to do.

Example:  If I am a plumber.  And a really good plumber and I work on my own.  I can only service and do so much plumbing.  Plus I have to do marketing, Have to manage my books and accounting, I have to do business development, I have to do ordering of materials and supplies, etc.  You get the point.

If I am desirous to grow my business, there is no way I can do it when I have to do all of these things.  I have to hire others to help me do it.  This allows me to buy some of my time back and it also allows me to focus on the things I am really good at.  It would also allow me to get really good at the things I need to get really good at, which is finding more customers.

In order to speed things up, I have to find and seek out ways to increase everything.  I have to increase my spending to get others working on things, I have to increase the rate of my thought leadership posts, I have to get more quantity of everything out quicker than I have ever done before.

I started this post talking about a more simple time in my life.  It was such a simple time because that is all I knew at the time.  All I knew was riding bikes and having fun.

However, I now know that my potential us unlimited, my options on this earth are unlimited, the amount of houses I can own, the amount of money I can earn, the amount of influence I can have, all are unlimited.  The only thing that is limited is my time, but it is only limited in what I can do within my time.  The amount of time I can buy, the speed I can create by getting others involved, and the target I will hit are all up in the air and I can get them all, when I understand the equation of distance=rate X time.

I will close the gap on the amount of time something takes by increasing the rate at which I do it, and I will always know what the target is, you should do the same.

To your success and your future

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Moving others; Why everyone, including you, are in sales.

According the Bureau of Labor statistics in 2012, 1 out of every 9 people were in a job classification that was considered sales.  So what about the other eight jobs?  Well, according to a study conducted by Daniel Pink (author) in his book To Sell is Human, the other 8 people are in sales as well, just not the traditional sense of the word.

In his best-selling book, Daniel conducted a study titled “What do you do at work.”  They gathered 9,057 respondents around the world. Of the 9,057 respondents they paired down the results to a sample size of over 7,000 adult full-time workers in the United States.

The research had two major findings:

  1. People are spending about 40 percent of their time at work engaged in non-sales selling. Meaning they were spending that time persuading, influencing, and convincing others do get something done, not purchasing a product. That means 24 minutes out of every hour, they are trying to get someone else to do something.
  2. People considered this time critical to their success.

The findings come from people in various types of roles. The research also showed some other interesting findings.

  • 37% of the respondents said they devoted a significant time to teaching, coaching, or instructing others.
  • 39% said they devoted significant time to serving clients or customers.
  • 70% reported that they spent at least some of their time “persuading or convincing others.”

Later in the survey to probe the respondents further. The survey asked respondents to rank 0-100 on a slider scale.  “What percentage of your work involves convincing or persuading people to give up something they value for something you have?”  The average reply among respondents was 41 percent.

It is now fairly obvious that we are all in the business of sales, or as I like to call it influence.  We all have to influence other people or convince other people to listen to us.  Without the ability to do that it is very difficult to get anything accomplished.

The more important thing I want to point out here, is that if 1 out of 9 jobs in a company are traditional sales roles.  Meaning you are paid to go out and generate business by acquiring customers.  It means the other 8 out of 9 remaining jobs spend at least 40% of their time connecting with customers. Then why is sales training, or any kind of training for that matter, only conducted with the sales team?

Since you are reading this, the chances are you are not in a traditional sales role based on the data.  However, my hope is that I at least got you thinking about the fact you do spend a lot of your day trying to persuade and convince others in some form. So the question is how do you do it?

Here are three simple ways to influence, persuade, and maybe even convince others to your way of thinking.

  1.  Ask questions:  This is the number one way.  People like to solve problems on their own.  Especially since you are most likely in a peer-to-peer situation and you can’t just tell them exactly how you feel about something and this is the way we are going to do it.  Nope instead you have to get buy-in from the other person.When you become more skilled at asking the right questions, at the right time, to a person that you are trying to influence, you can win them to your way of thinking.  They start to convince themselves through their own words by answering your questions, that what you are suggesting is the better way.  If, your way is truly the better way.
  2. Listen: Seems pretty easy doesn’t it?  Come on, we all think we are better listeners than we actually are.  But the facts states the opposite.  That we truly aren’t very good at listening.  Nope. We listen long enough so we can respond.  Well, if you are trying to convince or influence someone else to get them to move, then we have to become better at listening to their perspective and then tailoring our response around that to ask a good follow-up question to nudge them in the direction we want them to go.
  3. The best way to win an argument is to avoid it.–Dale Carnegie.  Yep Mr. Carnegie couldn’t have said it any better than that.  You might be thinking, “Does that mean, I don’t stand up for what I think is right.”  Read the quote again.  No.  That is not what Mr. Carnegie meant, nor do I.  Instead of arguing about whatever it is you are trying to get someone else to do.  You instead use basic human relations to get them thinking differently.

Obviously, this blog isn’t long enough to equip you with the skills necessary for you to always get others to do what you want them to do.  The skills required to move others require constant attention and constant reinforcement and development.

Do you have the skills?  As a leader or manager, do your people who are working with your customers have the skills necessary and required to move customers into loyal customers? We know your cost of acquisition is high for a customer in most cases. Then you turn those high value clients over to people you have invested very little, if any time or money into, to persuade and convince those clients to stay loyal to your company and your product.

My unsolicited advice. If it is not obvious.  As you move into 2017, you must increase the amount of money you spend on the people who have to either work with your customers (which is everyone) and everyone who has to work with their peers and colleagues (which is everyone).  So this is the 9 out 9 employees within your company.

How much money are you willing to lose because of lost clients, lost production because people can’t get others to move, or lost employees because managers aren’t equipped with the skills to get others to move?

To your success and your future.

References:  To Sell is Human;The surprising truth about moving others.  Author: Daniel Pink.  Published by Penguin Group (2012) 

 

 

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Just admit it, You are wrong

Dale Carnegie and Associates recently conducted a global survey of 3,300 full-time employees across the globe.  The research was centered around leadership and the impact leadership has on the employees motivation to work and to stay with the company.

One of the staggering statistics that came from the research was that 4 out of 10 employees surveyed are looking for a job now and would like to be in a different company and position in 2017.

One of the topics they asked the respondents was:  Comparative Importance and Performance of Supervisors of Effective Leadership Behaviors.  This means what is an important leadership behavior that you want your leader to have; and do they.

84% of the respondents said that having a supervisor who has the humility to admit when they are wrong or when they make mistakes is a very important leadership behavior they want in their leaders. And 51% of the respondents said that they have supervisors that admit it consistently.

I don’t think we have to discuss why 84% of the respondents believe it is important.  We all have been around someone who we knew was wrong before.  And that person, most likely even knew they were wrong, but they wouldn’t admit it. How did those situations sit with you?

The chances are you were furious.  You were annoyed.  You were perplexed that this person was wrong, and you knew it, they knew it, and everyone else knew it, but they were unwilling to admit it.

In our personal lives when this scenario plays out we are more likely to call the person out.  You might say something like “Come on man, you know you are wrong”.  “Are you serious, do you really not see that you are wrong on this”.  “Admit it you are wrong”.  Growing up with two brothers I know I have said this many of times, and they said it to me as well.

However, on the job people are not as casual about it, especially to their supervisor, and definitely not to senior leadership.  Most employees would not call out the leadership this way.

So instead what happens, the employee goes back to work.  And like I said in the scenario above.  They are frustrated, annoyed, furious, and perplexed that the supervisor or other leaders was wrong and everybody knows it, but they wouldn’t admit it.

I am not a psychologist, but I understand that we as humans have an innate desire to not be wrong. We like to believe that we don’t make mistakes.  That we do the right things. That we do what we say we are going to do. That we are always on top of things.  But if you are reading this, it means you are a human and as a human you know that this is just not the case.

We are not always on top of things and we are definitely not always right.  We are going to make mistakes.  If you are in leadership you are going to make them a lot, because you are making lots of decisions everyday.  That is really your job.  To make decisions.  And you aren’t always going to make the right decisions, because you won’t always have all of the information.  Which is okay.  It is impossible to have all of the information.  You take what you have at the time, decide, and move on.

Because the nature of leadership is making decisions.  If you are a leader you have to become better, I mean really good at admitting mistakes.  Just admit it.  Own up to it.  Once you do this it shows your team that you are genuine, that you are transparent, and this makes them trust you.  And this is what it all comes down to.  TRUST.

The statistic of 4 out of 10 employees surveyed are looking to find another job.  Why do you think that is?  Well, if they can’t trust their supervisor or the leadership, then why work at the company. Trust is a fundamental requirement to all relationships.  Without trust nothing can exist in my opinion. Trust is the foundation.

If you aren’t willing to admit when you wrong then you are technically a liar, or you are stupid, which is worse.  People don’t want to work for a liar, and they definitely don’t want to work for an idiot, which is another blog for another day.

To your success and your future.

 

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6 Things Sales People can Learn from Donald Trump

If you are a republican you might really like this post.  If you are a democrat the chances are you aren’t going to like this post or what is in it.  I want to challenge you regardless of which way you lean politically to read the post and learn something from it.  I am not writing this from a political perspective.  I am writing this from a how can I learn from what Donald Trump did and apply it to what I do perspective.

We all now know that Donald Trump won the presidential race.  He won it pretty easily. Causing massive disruption in the political arena.  He did it with out the support of most of the news media, he did it without the support of the establishment republicans, he did it really without the support of most of the career political people making up the news media, pundits, long time politicians, print news, etc.

So how did he do it with all of these people against him?  He did it his way.  He did it in a way that was unconventional and caused massive disruption to the political establishment.

Here are the six things Donald Trump applied to winning the 2016 presidential campaign that you can apply to your sales approach to win every day:

Social Media:  Donald got criticized all of the time about being angry and unfit to be president because of his rants on twitter.  I am not talking about his messages in his posts. I don’t even remember what half of them were.  Here is what I remember:  The news media talking about his posts.  They talked about it all of the time.  That is all they talked about.  By applying some of the following things that I outline below through his social media platform, he was able to get attention all of the time to the people who wanted to hear his message.

Lesson:  Embrace Social media to get your message out to your audience.  It is a great platform to target and pinpoint the people you want to reach.

Lead with an Opinion: Not everyone is going to like to what you have to say.  However, nobody likes a person that says nothing. Also, nobody likes it when you are a fence rider, meaning you wont take a stand either way.  You have to make a stand and have a strong opinion for people to notice you.

Lesson: Whatever it is you believe, state it, stand behind it, and when you get push back don’t back down. Your opinion is yours lead with it.

Make big claims: This is the one that drives people crazy more than anything.  When Donald would make big bold statements about what he was going to do.  Half the people said he could never make that happen.  And the other half of the people were excited that he said it.  That is just the reality of the world we live in today.

If I told you today, that you could spend eight hours with me working and you would earn $500 dollars.  Depending on your current financial situation you may or may not take me up on the offer.  However, if I said you could make $10,000 dollars for the same amount of time, the chances are you would listen.  And that is all Donald Trump was doing when he was making big claims, getting people to listen.

Lesson:  If you want to get the attention of people today, you have to give them a BIG reason to listen.

Get Attention:  The world is as noisy as it ever has been.  With the news media 24/7, Sports of some kind on 24/7, twitter, Facebook, advertising, current events, the holidays, etc., you name it, you have to do be bold and do something to get attention.  Attention is what we all need for our prospects to get to know us.

Lesson: Your biggest challenge in sales is nobody knows you or your product.  If you want to become known, get massive attention by applying some of the ways I outline here.

Talk to your prospects: We all know that America is divided pretty evenly when it comes to politics.  I am sure it probably has always been that way.  Especially in today’s world, where there is more transparency than ever before.  Between twitter, videos, print news, and anything else you can think of, there is always a record of what you have said.  The key today is to define your prospect with clear pinpoint accuracy and then create messages to speak to them.  Again, love him or hate him.  Donald knew what message his prospects wanted to hear.  He was able to create specific messaging to them.  Which fired them up and got them out to vote.  You have to fire your prospects up about your product and then get them to spend money on it.

Lesson: Figure out who you want to reach, and then create a message stating what they want to hear.

Embrace your haters:  As I said earlier.  We live in a country where it is pretty evenly split politically.  So the bottom line is if you are going to win, you have to get fifty percent of the people fired up and hope that the other side doesn’t fire theirs up as much. When you embrace your haters and take them head on as Donald did, it again creates more attention which is what we all want.

Lesson:  Your haters can fuel your desire.  Your haters provide you content to feed the people who love you. Use your haters to define your message to the other half of the people who want to hear your message.

The main thing is that we all our seeking attention in this 24/7 world.  In sales, it is the easiest it ever has been to get your message out.  In most cases it is free to do so.  However, because it is so easy and everyone is doing it, it is harder than ever to get people to hear your message. To go from obscurity to at least being known to people you have to do things unconventionally and be ready to handle the response.

To your success and your future.

 

 

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5 Signs Your Company is about to fail

Many companies have a huge problem right now. Some realize they have this problem, while others are clueless. They are trying to fix symptoms of the problems instead of the problem itself.

You can read poll after poll about the disengagement that exists in many companies right now. Dale Carnegie Training and MSW research partnered in 2012 and discovered that out of 1,500 employees polled that close to 70% of these employees are disengaged from their current employer and in their job.

So what does disengagement mean?

There are three classifications for workers in these studies.

Engaged: Employees who are committed and actively involved in contributing to the company.

Not engaged: Employees that show up everyday, but will not go the extra mile for the company.  Are really looking for a reason to leave.

Disengaged: Are really seeking to hurt the company.  These employees have negative attitudes and do more harm than good.

As the chart below by Gallup shows , millennial’s have the least amount of engagement in the workforce compared to their peers.

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The research conducted by Dale Carnegie and Associates found that there are three major contributors that determine engagement by employees in the workforce.

  1. The employees relationship with their immediate manager
  2. Belief in Senior Leadership
  3. Belief in the organization

For years I have heard this saying “People don’t quit companies, they quit people” (managers).  They quit bosses or so-called leaders.  I know this is true first hand, and you most likely do as well.  The research by Dale Carnegie and Associates confirmed this is true from the respondents, by discovering that the number one reason for engagement at work is the relationship a person has with their immediate manager.

Managers, Directors, Supervisors, etc. are the ones managing the day-to-day operations of a business. These leaders are the ones that are required to keep the employees engaged in getting the job done.  Unfortunately, many of these leaders are not fully engaged themselves.

These day-to-day leaders are instead dealing with the problems amongst themselves from the decisions that are being made at the Senior Leadership level.

Here are five reasons that lead to disengagement that I have been a part of my self, and witnessed in many companies.  These five things are driving disengagement at the manager and director level.  Which is trickling down to the rest of the organization as well.

  1. The leaders who are making the decisions about the business are the ones furthest away from the actual day-to-day business.
  • I understand that most companies are one step away from being sued for any reason a slighted employee can think of. However, in an effort to keep everything consistent, many great employees are being prevented from earning more or getting more perks.  Which causes great employees to be less enthusiastic about the work. These decisions are usually made by senior leadership or a department that knows very little about the day-to-day jobs of the employees.

2. When people are more concerned about protecting their territory than making the best business decisions.

  • It is a blood bath sometimes at the different levels of leadership within an organization.     I have watched senior leadership make decisions strictly to go against the best interest of the company, all in an effort to make themselves look better and to show they have control over another leader.

3. When decisions are based on emotions instead of facts.

  • Often times we as humans make decisions strictly on our emotions.  If you think for a few seconds you can come up with a recent decision you made strictly on feelings and emotions.  If this is the case for most individuals, why would we be any different at work?  The answer is we are not.
  • Unfortunately, the people who have the ability to make many of the decisions are not making the decisions on facts, instead they are making them on emotions.  Those emotions could be nostalgia, the decision could go against a previous decision that they made, it could be ego, or insecurity.  All of these are emotional reasons.  And guess who is not that emotionally tied to the decision?  The manager or employee that is looking at the issues objectively.  Which then creates more discontent with the individual that has to live with the emotionally determined decision.

4. When leaders make decisions, but don’t implement strategies to manage the decisions.

  • I can remember many times in my career where a major initiative was decided upon by senior leadership.  The initiative might have been a decision to serve the employees better through some kind of perk or incentive.  Or it could have been a major process or policy change that could alleviate a lot of frustration or extra work among a certain department or group within an organization.  These decisions were made and communicated to everyone that needed to know about it.  Then after a few months or a in as short as a few weeks, everyone could tell that this decision wasn’t actually that important, because no measurement or management was implemented to ensure that the decision was carried out.

5. Everyone wants to be a gangster until its time to do gangster shit. (Tony Soprano)

  • I have found that most leaders just want the title.  Especially at the Senior Leadership level. They get the title, but they don’t want the responsibility.  Unfortunately, by the time they get the title it is too late.  Poor executives/senior leadership will hire a manager or director and hope that this new hire or promoted internal candidate will fix everything.  This is rarely the case.  Senior leaders are relying on managers and directors to carry out the hard stuff while they sit back and dictate what needs to be done.  Unfortunately, the managers and directors are watching senior leaders who aren’t willing to do the hard stuff themselves.  This is their example.  Guess who gets hurt in all of this lack of decision-making and accountability?  The employees and the company.

So what do you do about this?  What can you do if you have this in your organization?

It starts with candid feedback for everyone within the organization.  It requires a senior level leader to take a hard look at what is going on within their company and then having the desire and the nuts to fix it.

The other way to get a grip on it.  Is to hire a company or an individual to come in and do an assessment and get a feel for what is going on within the organization.

In either case, leadership has to be willing to take the necessary steps to change the culture and organization around. This is where the hard stuff begins.

Senior level leaders can’t expect managers and directors who are running the day-to-day operations to be engaged in the business and get others to be engaged in the business if they are not doing what they can to ensure the managers and directors are engaged first.

To your success and your future.

Research: Dale Carnegie and Associates Employee Engagement study (2012)

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An underdog story!

We all love the underdog story.  The story of the team, the person, the company, that was not given a chance to win.  All of the odds were against them.  Their backs were against the wall.  Nobody believed in them. Everybody said they couldn’t.

While all of the naysayers, their so called friends, their colleagues, their supporters, and their haters were telling them to give up. To quit.  That it couldn’t be done.

They instead didn’t listen to the people.  You know who those people are.

They are typically the ones who never got into the game to begin with.  They are the ones that didn’t care to win as much as the underdog wanted to win.  They are the ones who have never taken a risk.  They are the ones who said, “Hey, if you go first, I will follow you!”  They are the ones that don’t know what passion is.  They are the ones that at the first sight of a challenge, they are saying we have to stop.

So what does the underdog do.  They do go first.  They lead. They do take a risk.  They do lay it all on the line.  They say you know what, our backs are against the wall.  We are out of money, we are out support, but you know what?

I believe.  I believe in this cause.  I believe we are winners.  I believe we have what everyone needs and wants.  The market needs our product.  The people need to hear our voice.

You might be thinking right now that the author is talking about Donald Trump.  And you would be right.  But the author is also talking about Hillary Clinton, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, William Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Apple, Ford Motor Company, Kentucky Fried Chicken, IBM, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Cavaliers, and countless other people, teams, and businesses.

I don’t know where you are in your life right now.  Maybe you are in a good place and doing well.  If so, congratulations.

However, maybe you are not in a great place, now that this election is over, you are tired, scared, and worried about your future. Maybe you don’t know what the next step is for you. Maybe your back is against the wall. Your money is running low, your self-esteem is low, your friends aren’t supportive, and you just want to quit.

My advice is simple.  We are all underdogs at one point or another.  Most of us have some highs and lows, hopefully never too low.  But life truly is a rollercoaster.  Rollercoasters are supposed to be fun, but they aren’t when you are riding one every single day of your life.

What you need to do now is remember that your story is waiting to be written. You might be an underdog today, but you can be a champion tomorrow.  You might be broke today, but you can be rich soon.  You might be lonely right now, but you can have all the friends you want if you just try.

Today, take the next steps to becoming the person you want to be.  You can be anything you want.  Donald Trump is now the president-elect.  Hillary Clinton was the first female to be a presidential candidate for one of the two major parties. Neither one of them earned those credentials overnight.  Nope. It took years and years of fighting back and being an underdog time and time again, to finally become an underdog story that we now look to for inspiration.

To your success and your future.

 

 

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