“The truth will set you free” as soon as you stop crying about it

Several years ago I was in a company where I had just been promoted to a director level position.  I had worked for the company for a several years and I was known as a hard worker and a forward thinker. At the time the company was in culture shift.  We had several new senior leaders that had come in from other companies, as well as people internally who had been promoted who thought differently. These two groups of new leaders were there to help transform the company.  At that time is was needed desperately.  Results had become stagnant and the culture was a mess to say the least.

My current supervisor at that time became a good friend of mine, and even during this growth phase we worked closely together and we learned a lot along the way.

Both mine, and my supervisors boss, who was a vice president and reported to the owners of the company, was a friend as well.  Several times a year the vice president had meetings with all of the directors within the organization.  We would all meet and go over the objectives and different strategies we were using in our divisions to get better results. You could say it was like a brainstorm session a lot of times.

Since, I am a new director and I am now attending these meetings, I made it a point to make sure my voice was heard.  Again, at this time, it was in my DNA to be this way.  I was aggressive, I was opinionated (meaning I had some suggestions), and I wanted to be the first to state my opinions. Again, this is what landed me in those meetings in the first place in my mind.

I am not quite sure how many meetings I participated in before this meeting with my boss occurred, but I can remember this meeting with my boss.

My boss sat me down and gave me some feedback.  It is probably one of the best pieces of advice I have received when it comes to navigating and managing political issues within the workplace.  Which up until that time I never even considered.

He said that some of my peers, as well as some of the other people in the organization feel like I am a “bulldozer”.  Which  means I am very aggressive in how I talk with my colleagues and how in meetings I want to be first to say what is on my mind, and that I don’t listen to others very well.

At the time, this feedback hit me really hard.  Again, this is who I am in.  This is what I do. I am aggressive, I want to get business done as quickly as possible.  I don’t want to over think anything. But this feedback he gave me was coming from several sources, even the owners of our company’s daughter who worked in the business as well.

After I got over the initial shock of this feedback, and I stated my thoughts on the situation.  Which means, I said they are just mad they are not like me.  They are passive, they don’t have good suggestions, and why aren’t they aggressive about what it is they think and want to do instead of criticizing me for what I do.

Once I got that off my chest.  The two of us talked and he provided me some suggestions on what it was I could do to help manage these perceptions. I ultimately did what he said, and I was promoted to the highest level in the company in my position, which means I was promoted over all of those people who had those opinions.

The reason I was able to win in the end, was because my boss at that time.  My mentor, provided me the feedback and the truth that I needed.  Sure, what I was doing was good for business, but we have to think about the people involved in the business as well…the people we have to work with on a daily basis.

If it wasn’t for that feedback at that time, I know for a fact I would have never been promoted, because I would had never changed.  So all of those people probably would have complained so much that my boss and his boss would had eventually fired me (maybe), but I know for sure I could have never been promoted to the level I was, because all of those people would have had a mutiny.

My boss at the time knew that the feedback he was giving me was going to be hard for me to swallow at first.  Because he knew the things everyone was complaining about is why he had promoted me in the first place.  But he also knew that if I didn’t fix those things I would never last in that position.  He cared enough about me and my career to tell me the hard things that would help me grow and develop.  And it did.

In todays culture, we need more of this direct truth and feedback in business as well as in our society as whole. Unfortunately, even when the people do get it, they respond like I did, and in many cases they don’t grow from it. I whined and cried and blamed at first, but then I used it as the opportunity to grow and learn from it.

Also, I didn’t blame the messenger, ever. It wasn’t his fault that people felt the way they did.  He didn’t create this issue.  But he was being a great leader and fixing it.  Because that is what leaders do.  They say the hard stuff, the stuff nobody wants to hear.  They do the things that have been neglected in doing for years and years.

So when this “real” leader shows up, the long history of avoidance and outright negligence, on major issues are finally being dealt with, people are even more entrenched and worried about how and what they are doing, versus the fact that they are finally doing something about it.

In my case, I ended up taking the truth and turning it into an advantage for me, and I ultimately won.  In today’s society, we need to hear the truth, no matter how hard and direct it is, so we can take it, learn from it, and improve things from it. The truth will set your free, if you listen to it.

The alternative to the truth is someone who never tells you anything and you end up some place you never wanted to be.  In my case it could have been losing my job, which wouldn’t have ended my life, but it would have sucked at that time.

If we don’t get the truth on some of the major issues affecting our society has a whole, there could be some big implications from this in our future. I am thankful that we have truth tellers in politics now, versus, liars, who either think you are too dumb to know everything and they never tell you, or instead just do things that they believe is best for your future.

Don’t kill the messenger, instead, listen to them, and hopefully we can fix the problem.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

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The power in one hour – 3 – Sales Calls

If you are in sales you have already heard this a million times I am sure, so here is the millionth and one time you are hearing this again. If you want to be successful in sales, you have to be willing to pick up the phone and call people who could potentially buy your products.

If that is not enough motivation then let me tell you the why behind this what.

Before I do that, I want to challenge you with this.  How much money do you need to make?  Yes.  I said need to make.  Not want to make.

Make a list of all of your debts and liabilities, and all of the monthly payments associated with those debts and liabilities.  Make a list of all of your payments for insurance, internet, gas and electric bill, water, dues of any kind, etc.  Make a list of any kind of outgoing money that you have ever month, every quarter, or every year.

I challenge you to make the list of need to make, because this list will get you thinking about the minimum amount of  money you need to make to maintain your current lifestyle.

Now make a list of all of the things you would like to have. Do it.  You wont regret it.

Now that you have done this.  How much money will it take over and above what you need “to make”, to have the things on this list of “would like to haves?”

The chances are there is a gap between what you are currently making and what you need to make to have the extra things you want. If not, good for you.  I would just challenge you to think big.  Start thinking about how you can invest into things that will eventually allow you to stop working.

Now that you have done this, you are probably like most of us and want to make, or need to make, more money than you are currently making.

This brings me to the topic of the power of one hour.  This is the third part of a series of writings that I am doing discussing the power that can be realized if you just focus your time and effort into that one hour.  You can read the first two on this topic here and here.

If you are in sales, you know that to be successful that you have to make phone calls to people who could potentially be a buyer of your products.  So how many calls can you make in an hour?  And what kind of impact could that have on your income and your ability to buy the things you need and want?  Let me give you an example.

I recently received a lead.  Yes, I received a lead.  This doesn’t happen very often, so when it does, I take full advantage of it.  But surprisingly enough, most people don’t take advantage of leads when they are given to them.  Don’t be this kind of stupid sales person.

I get a call from a colleague of mine.  They tell me that someone is looking to buy my products.  I immediately get off the phone with this colleague of mine, make the phone call to this prospect.  And one hour later, I have an accepted proposal of services for $5,000 dollars.

Is this typical?  Not really, but I didn’t let any time pass me by and I know many sales people who would never move things that quickly. But it is possible, if you are willing to move as fast as you can go to make a sale. The point here is this, don’t stop until the sale is made.

So back to phone calls. How many sales calls do you think you can make in one hour? Let me answer this for you.  A solid average would be 10-12 outbound phone calls an hour. But lets keep it simple for you and say, it is 10 for the sake of this blog post.

If you make 10 phone calls in one hour.  That means each call you make is around six minutes. Obviously, some of those calls you will reach people and some you will not.

If you make ten phone calls an hour.  Lets say you speak to one person that can buy your products every hour. So one person an hour, times eight hours in a day.  You would speak to eight people a day that could buy your products. If you are speaking to eight decision makers a day and getting one to two appointments a day from those efforts.  You will be a highly highly successful sales person.

Lets use my earlier example as an illustration of what could happen.  If my average sale is $5,000 dollars.  Which it is close to that.

Lets just say you are so busy that you can only spare one hour a day, every day of the week. So you would make only 50 calls a week.  10 calls an hour times five days a week.  On average you would make ten contacts a week with those efforts.  And lets says you only close one of those 10 contacts a week.  Yes.  I said one.

One contact a week times 52 weeks.  At my average rate of sale of $5,000, that would equal  $260,000 dollars a year in revenue. 52 X $5,ooo = $260,000.  What if I am half wrong?  That would still equal $130,000 a year.

I think you see the point I am trying to make.  One hour a day devoted to any activity can have a significant impact on your life, career, your finances, and your health.

I don’t know your sales cycle, I don’t know your schedule.  However, I do know that there is a lot of power contained  in one hour of focused effort put into a task or activity. You just have to be willing to schedule that one hour and make the effort required to maximize that one hour.

I’ll leave you with this.  We as humans fill up our calendars and our schedules for the sake of being busy.  It is probably the most overused word in business right now. However, being busy doesn’t mean getting results.  And the name of the game is not “busy” it is getting “results”. That is the only thing that matters. Start focusing one hour a day to this simple activity and watch how your results change.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When sales people do this one thing it guarantees more closed deals.

In sales, and in my sales training workshops, I have always reminded people of this one simple fact of sales:  When a buyer seeks to buy something, they will make the purchase when the value of whatever the solution (thing, object, service, etc.) that they are buying, exceeds the cost.  Simply stated: When the perceived value of a product exceeds the cost, a buyer will make the purchase.

The challenge that sales people face is that they must help the buyer see that the value exceeds the cost.  Which means, that the buyer must be certain, and maybe not even fully certain, that the price of the product is justified in the pleasure or results they will get from the purchase.

Recently, I was in the market to buy a couch.  This couch purchase has been something that has been in the works for about a year now.  Which means, I told my wife that we would buy one, and she kept reminding me that I said that, but I kept putting it off.

Last weekend, we took the next steps to purchase the couch.  So, I actually found myself in the stores looking at couches and determining what we wanted.  My wife and I very rarely agree on things of this nature, but in this case, after three or four stores, we both laid our eyes on a couch that we both liked.

We went back and forth about it, and then we ultimately got the sales person over to discuss our options.  The couch we were looking to buy is not a regular couch.  We wanted a sectional.  A sectional comes in various shapes and we both liked one with a chaise at one end of it.  A chaise is a chair that is like a mini little lounge on one end of the couch.  I have never had one of these, and I was excited about getting this feature.

To get the couch the way we wanted cost $3,100 dollars out the door.  Personally, I have never paid more than four or five hundred dollars for a couch.  My wife had spent more than that in her past, but never as much as this couch cost.

For this purchase, we had already determined that we would spend $1,000 on a couch, but after looking at a few places and now understanding the market a little bit better, I learned that this dollar figure was way off.  To get a bigger sectional couch, with the features we liked and desired it would cost us at least double that.  And I knew this, but I always start low and once I find something I like, price goes out the door usually. As this couch purchase illustrates.

But now we found ourselves looking at a $3,100 dollar couch.  So after an hour or so, my wife and I decided that we were done couch shopping for the day, and that we really liked the $3,100 dollar couch, but we would look at a few more places before we made our purchase.

Fast forward to the next day.  My wife and I went into two more places and looked at other couches.  By now, we have been to about six to seven stores.  We decided to go back and look at the couch that we both liked the day before. The $3,100 dollar couch.

We spent another forty-five minutes or so looking at the couch.  My wife starts putting some pillows on the couch and was really trying to get a feel for the couch.  The sales person from the day before joined us once again.  And she wasn’t necessarily pressuring us, but was adding in some commentary to my wife and I’s conversation as necessary, hoping to push our decision forward.

Once again, we decided not to buy the couch and that we would look a few more places.  My wife really wanted to sleep on this buying decision again.

The next day we decided to go to the same store, but a different location. Lets be honest, I wasn’t expecting to see anything different in this store versus the other one that we have been going to the last two days, but I thought, why not give it a try. And guess what?  The couch that we had been looking at the previous two days, the $3,100 dollar coach was in there as well.  And we looked at it again.

We also walked around the show room and looked at other couches.  We found a few new ones that we liked as well. Now, I am not sure if we had looked at these exact same new couches at the other location.  The chances are we had, but one couch jumped out at us that we really liked, and by this time my wife wasn’t that interested in the $3,100 dollar couch anymore.

This new couch that we both liked was $2,000 or so dollars. And this Saturday that couch will be delivered to our home. We made the purchase in less than forty-five minutes or so.

I am in sales and have trained sales people for a very long time. Through any buying process I am constantly watching and listening to the sales person to see the techniques and processes they use to help me make a purchase.  I am also considering and thinking about the decision-making that I, or my wife, are using during this buying process.

So why was it that we couldn’t make the decision to purchase the $3,100 dollar couch for two days, but on the third day we bought the $2,000 dollar couch so quickly?

To me this was a classic example of something all sales people deal with.  As I mentioned before, my wife and I both had never purchased a couch for the amount of money that we were considering spending.  So this would have been a purchase that was against both of our buying patterns.  Since this was the case, there was a lot of uncertainty on whether the couch was worth it or not. Also, as I mentioned we looked at this couch three different times, so there was a lot of uncertainty on whether this couch would look the way my wife wanted it to.

Both times we looked at the couch at the first store, my wife couldn’t get an idea on what it would look like in our house.  No matter how many pillows she put on the couch or pictures she took, it was just really difficult to see how it would look at our place.

When we moved on to the other couch, and the one we ultimately purchased.  My wife was able to get a feel for what this couch would look like in our place. She was able to more clearly see how it would fit in the decor that she was looking to have in our home.

The lesson here for sales people is this.  In any sales situation, or a lot of sales situations, especially when someone is buying a product for the first time, or spending more on a product than they have before, your number one challenge will always be to figure how to eliminate the buyers uncertainty.

If it is a first time purchase for a buyer of this product.  They are usually uncertain if it will work for them.  Since they don’t know how it works, they are uncertain if it will work, and will they use it and get the benefits out of it. It doesn’t matter if it is a couch or a new software system for a business.

When it is spending more money than they usually pay for similar products, then it is the uncertainty of whether or not the additional money they are spending on this product is worth it.

In my case of the $3,100 dollar couch versus the $2,000 dollar couch. If the sales person could have provided us a guarantee that if the couch didn’t look the way we wanted it to.  Lets be honest here. The way my wife wanted it to look.   Then we could return the couch.  We would have even been willing to pay a fee of some kind if we returned the couch,  because the fear of uncertainty would have been eliminated. Unfortunately, no such option was available.  Once the couch was purchased and delivered it was yours.

The fear of uncertainty is real in all buying situations. A sales person must create ways to over come and eliminate that fear of uncertainty. In our case, a simple guarantee that we could return it, could have increased their sales by $1,100 dollars.

Why do you think car lots allow you to take the car home overnight and think about it?  How many more cars do you think they sell because of this one little easy thing to do?  A lot. Because those buyers get a feel for what that car feels and looks like when they are driving it.   They get to see it in their driveway.  And since it is a new car, or new to them, it feels and looks good and those emotions are usually confirmed by others in their life during those 24 hours that they have the car.

Eliminate the uncertainty and you will make more sales.  Use return guarantees, let them try the product out, or whatever else you can do to eliminate that fear of uncertainty and you will make more sales.

To your success and your future.

 

 

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The Power in one hour-2; This one is too good to miss.

This morning I started my morning off like I do most mornings.  I got my workout in and completed.  Then I set aside an hour for reading a few chapters from a book.

This is my second entry of an ongoing series of writings on the power contained in one hour. One hour is not a lot of time in your day, but if you can harness the power in one hour and put all of your efforts and focus into an hour, you can accomplish some amazing things.

In my first entry, you can read it here.  I talked about how many calories I burn, and you could burn as well, if you ran or walked for at least an hour a day.

Today, I want to talk about the power of setting aside one hour of reading time a day, or at least several times a week, and how much this one hour invested in reading could benefit you.

Over the last seven years I have invested one hour a reading time, on most days, to a book on a particular topic that I have an interest in.  The books I have usually read are business books, self-improvement books, motivational books, biographies, etc.  During that time, I have read about 384 books.  On average that is about 54 books a year.

Most books that I read are roughly around 200 pages.  If you read 30 to 40 pages a day you can finish a book in a week or so, just like I have averaged the last seven years.  Do I read everyday?  No.  But I read most days. And if I am really into the book, I may read a whole book in one sitting if time permits. But I think you see the point here.

In one hour, you can usually read about two chapters, at least for most books, unless you get into a novel or something.  The fonts are usually much smaller on those kinds of books, which make the chapters longer and harder to read for me at least. I think you get the point here.

How has it benefited me to set aside one hour on most days to read a book.  Before I started this habit of reading.  My income a year was around $53,000 dollars.  My best year of my career was in 2016.  Where my total income was $175,000 dollars. You can do the math yourself, but that is an increase of $122,000 dollars or a 230% increase in my income.

Sure, I would have had some raises along the way and after several years in a career, you should be making more money.  But I would not have had the significant increase in my income if I hadn’t become a reader.  If I hadn’t invested that one hour a day into my personal development during that time.

Let me tell you what is behind the numbers that you don’t see.  By reading the fifty something books a year:

  • My confidence increased.  Because I was smarter.
  • My thinking ability was expanded.
  • The fear of certain unknowns were dissipated.
  • I learned how to work with people more effectively.
  • I sought out new opportunities.
  • I expanded my knowledge into more areas.
  • I had additional skills.
  • I appreciated people more.
  • I was more interesting because people knew I was well read.
  • I shared certain nuggets of wisdom with others.

I could go on and on about all of the benefits I have received or earned because of reading, but I will stop here.  I think you get the point.  All of this is possible because of one hour a day, or most days.  See you don’t even have to do it everyday.  If you do it every other day, you will still get substantial benefits from it.

I had a mentor tell me one time that one hour a day, devoted to a certain topic or skill, will make you an expert in that field or topic within five years.  I agree, it will make you an expert, but it wont take that long.

Let me ask you?  How much reading do you think you can do in an hour?  I would be curious to learn.

If you fond some value in the post, please share it with others. I am just like you, I am trying to figure it all out.

To your success and your future.

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The Power in one hour–1

It is the start of a New Year. Many of us are thinking about how we will do things differently than we have done them in the past.  Hopefully, you have set some meaningful goals for yourself and are looking to have your best year ever.

Last year, I thought about how much I can actually do or accomplish in one hour.  And over the next few months, or maybe throughout the year, I am going to write about my experiences with what I can successfully do in one hour.  I am going to use a lot of examples to make the point along the way, but I plan on speaking about my own experiences, and I will also use events and topics, to make the point of how powerful an hour really can be when we use it to our advantage.

How many hours a year do we waste?  I know some of the things below are necessary, however, I want to get you thinking about how many hours we actually do have to do certain things.   Here are some random statistics of how many hours we use to do certain things throughout the year.

  • According to Adobe and some research they conducted with more than 1,000 white collared workers.  They estimated that on average a person was spending 4.1 hours day checking email.  Which adds up to  20.5 hours a week.
  • Data Company Inrix studied traffic in 240 US cities and found that on average all commuters spend about 42 hours a year in traffic.
  • People spend almost 1,000 hours year online, according to figures from the Oxford Internet Survey. For the average Facebook user, more than 70 hours of that is spent on the social networking site. Combining TV, computer, smart phone and tablet use, we spend an average nine hours a day staring at screens.
  • The average household spends 1,460 hours a year watching television. An average of four hours a day.
  • The average person spends just 50 minutes a week (43 hours a year) on exercising and working out according to figures from WeightWatchers.
  • We spend 39 minutes a day, which is 237 hours a year. Each day we spend seven minutes 20 seconds on breakfast, 12 minutes 49 seconds at lunch and 19 minutes having dinner.
  • O2 found we spend 119 minutes a day – that’s 724 hours a year – making calls, browsing the internet, texting and listening to music, but just 97 minutes with our partners.
  • We spend 208 hours each year making sure our homes our clean.

Statistics above pulled from an article by the Daily Mirror.  Check this article out here 

I am not here to tell you what to do with your hours.  Many of you are already justifying how you spend your hours and after reading the above stats, you are now justifying them even more.

Now that we have laid out some ground work of how we spend some of our hours.  How do we take the hours we have and get the most out of them.  And what can we actually accomplish in one hour?

Here is my first example.

I have been a runner for many years now.  I run close to five days a week, and sometimes even six or seven.  It just depends on how my other workouts go. Some days I have long runs that require me to be out longer than one hour, but for the most part I like to stay within that one hour timeframe when I workout.

One hour a day is 4% of your day.  Lets do the math here: 60 minutes in an hour.  There are 24 hours in a day.  So 60 mins X 24 = 1,440 minutes a day.  You with me.  Now take the 60 mins. and divide it by 1,440.  And it equals .041666667.  Move the decimal over two spots and you are roughly at 4%.

Lets just assume that most days I spend the one hour running.  I may do several combinations of different runs that look like this.

  • A really fast run would include all out sprint: I would do roughly 7.30 miles in one hour, which is a about an 8 min per mile pace.  During that run I would burn about 1,175 calories or so.
  • A run/walk would consist of a 3 mile run for about 27 minutes and then walk for 2 miles (15 min pace) and I would burn about 840 calories or so.
  • Walk only (15 min pace) I would do about 4 miles and burn about 560 calories or so.

If I just did the walk five days a week for one hour.  Which by the way is a very slow pace, most people can do this pretty easily.

I would burn 2,800 calories a week and 145,600 a year.  They say that a pound is equal to about 3500 calories. Who says?  The experts.  Just go with it for now.

If you were looking to maintain your weight or even lose weight, if you just did this exercise, and only ate the amount of calories you need to stay healthy, you would lose 41.6 pounds a year.  145,600/3500 = 41.6.

A lot of math here but I think you get the point.  And the point I want to make and that I will be making with my future blog posts with similar titles is this:

One hour a day towards something is not a lot a sacrifice, but it can have a great impact on your life.  

In my case, when I really workout and sprint for one hour and push the 7 mile or more mark, and burn 1,100 hundred calories, I feel so good for the rest of that day.  And the benefits to my overall health is so beneficial as well.

Here is my challenge for you today?  What is one area of your life where you could cut one hour a day from?  Maybe it is in one of the categories above where I described how much time the average person is spending in one of those areas.  Maybe that category is necessary for your life.  If it is, how can you do something else while you do whatever that task is.  I will be writing more about this in the future.

One hour a day is only 4% of your day. If you subtract sleep (8 hours) and work (8 hours) and you just say you have eight hours of free time a day.  Then this one hour is only 12% of your free time.  What I do in one hour of time for my health and well-being is probably one of the most important things I do all day, and it only takes 4% of my day or at the most, 12% of my free time.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The real reason why the Cincinnati Bengals decided to retain Marvin Lewis.

I talk about a lot of different concepts, ideas, and pretty much, you name it here on my blog.  But more specifically, I usually try to invoke a thought or an idea with my readers based on something that is on my mind.  Also, I love to write about goal setting, marketing, sales, leadership, management, decision-making, staying motivated, etc.

From time to time you will see me post specifically about sports, but I will always tie it back to the central theme of what it is that I am passionate about and what I typically write about through my blog.

Today, I want to talk about the Cincinnati Bengals renewing Marvin Lewis’s contract for another two years. This topic will be discussed at length today and for the most part everyone will be on the same side of the argument.  Which is, “Why are the Cincinnati Bengals retaining this coach for another two years?”

In case you don’t know who he is.  Marvin Lewis is the head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals NFL football team.  Here is his record in the last 15 years as the head coach.

Click here to see more about his statistics as a head coach. 

  • Wins: 125 Losses: 112  Ties: 3, Winning Percentage: .527%
  • He has made the playoffs 7 times in those 15 years:  Which is 46% of the time he has made the playoffs.
  • He has never won any of the seven games they have made it to the playoffs.
  • His best season was 12-4 and his worse was 4-12.
  • The last two seasons both have been losing seasons with a win/loss record of more losses than wins.

I am not a football expert by any stretch of the imagination. My dad was a casual Cincinnati Bengals fan for all of his life, which meant on Sundays he would sometimes watch the games.  He chose this team, because of where we lived in Louisville, Ky.

We can all look at the record above for this coach.  I don’t know him and I don’t know anything about him as the man.  I hear he is a great guy, he cares about his players, and does the right thing.  I don’t think anybody can dislike a person that does all of these things. However, in the NFL, in leadership, in business, etc., the head person in charge is responsible for getting results and regardless if he is a good man and person, he is not getting results.

To tie this in with what this blog is typically discussing. Which is thought patterns of human beings. This example from the ownership from the Cincinnati Bengals is a perfect illustration of how human beings typically think and make decisions.

Very simply, the ownership is more comfortable getting what they are getting, instead of going through the pain of trying to find something else. And this is the human condition.

I don’t know what it takes to find another head coach. I am sure it requires a lot of effort, money, time, resources, etc.  And then you run the risk of getting something worse even. Additionally I don’t know the contractual agreement either.

What I do know is that the ownership of the team is unwilling to go through the hard work and effort that it takes to get a better result than what they have been getting.  They are unwilling to try something new with the hopes of getting a better result.

This the human condition.  We are more comfortable with getting what we have always gotten, with the hopes we may get more, if we keep things the same.  And we all know that in today’s world, if we do what we have always done, we will not only get the same results we have always gotten, but there is a bigger chance, we will get less in todays marketplace.

So today, if you are an NFL fan and are discussing how dumb of a move this is by the Cincinnati Bengals;  I would challenge you with this.

Have you been willing to do what is hard in your own life to get a better result?  Are you willing to go through the pain that it requires to become a better ________.  If not, then I wouldn’t cast stones at the ownership of Cincinnati Bengals, if you yourself aren’t willing to do the same things you are criticizing them for.

In 2018, and in any year for that matter, be willing to do whatever it takes to get a better result in your life.  It is going to take time, but never settle for mediocrity in anything in your life that you should and want to have success in.  Whatever your definition is for winning is in your life, you should be willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how much it costs to get the best results for your life and in your business.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

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Two reasons why credit cards are the devil and it has nothing to do with interest rates.

Lets face it, you and I both have made purchases before on a credit card that we would later regret. It could  have been the steak dinner or the night out on the town.  If you haven’t, well good for you.  You are smarter than most.

This time of the year many people may have made a decision to get out of debt. I first want to commend you on deciding on that goal. I hope you have committed to it and are willing to do whatever is necessary to get out of that debt.  I am not a financial expert by any means, but I know some basics.  I would encourage you to go out and listen to Grant Cardone, Dave Ramsey, and Robert Kiyosaki to learn more about money, investing and debt.  To get out of debt though, I would encourage you to listen to Dave Ramsey.

There are two reasons why credit cards are the devil and it has nothing to do with interest rates.

#1.  Credit cards trick our emotions. 

The use of a credit card doesn’t actually cause us to feel any pain when we use it.  We don’t actually feel any loss at the time of purchase.  It isn’t the same as if we actually had to pull out cold hard cash and make the purchase.

It has been proven over and over again, that humans avoid loss more than they pursue a gain.  We will do whatever it takes to avoid a loss, that is why most people are risk averse. When we use a credit card, it doesn’t require us to actually lose anything.

Regardless if you need the product or thing you are purchasing or not.  The use of the credit card versus cash doesn’t create the feeling/emotion that you actually lost something.  Which means we don’t care if we do it.

#2:  The further away the consequences from a decision we make are, the less we worry about the consequences of that decision.

Another human condition that exists in all of us is the fact that we can justify most anything in our minds if we really want to.  When we use a credit card, we don’t associate the purchase we make with the payment that is required at a later date.  You wont get the bill from a purchase you make today until thirty days from now or whatever your billing cycle is.  Regardless of how long it takes for your bill to show up, your mind has already moved on from that purchase and in our heads we think we have already purchased the product.

Sounds weird doesn’t it?  In our heads we think we have already bought the product, the dinner, etc., and even though we put it on a credit card and didn’t actually pay for it, our minds tell is we have. So when that bill shows up, we aren’t even thinking about what it was we purchased, we just know we have to pay the bill.  We are divorced by that time from the actual product or thing we purchased.  It is kind of scary really.

Think about some purchases you have made on a credit card.  Did the above two conditions exist for you?  If you are human and are somewhat conscious of your finances, then I would guess you are saying yes to this question.

What do you do?  Well, I believe first and foremost that you should never use a credit card for anything.  I know that you are thinking in your head that you will pay it off at the end of the month or when you get your bill.  That is fine if you have been successful in doing so.  I just don’t encourage it with most people, because of the two reasons I mentioned above.

If you do have a credit card in your possession, I would suggest that you have some guard rails in your life to help keep you in check when using a credit card.  Things such as spending limits and certain requirements that would have to exist for you to use it.

As I stated above, I am not a financial expert by any stretch.  However, I have studied people and decision-making for many years.  And I know that anything that can trick our emotions where we don’t feel the emotions we should feel.  Or, when humans have a period of time between a decision and consequences of that decision. When either one of these conditions exist, we must do whatever we can to eliminate them or manage them appropriately.

If you want to learn how to make better decisions and stick to those decision this year.  Reach out to me and lets create a game plan. Email me at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

 

 

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My broken down car on the side of the road reminded me of how good “people” really are

Imagine this, you have been driving on the road for eleven hours.  You are traveling south back home from your hometown where you visited your family for the holidays.  The trip should take about fourteen hours, but because of traffic, and a two-hour delay, you are still five hours from your house. When things start to go a little crazy.

In addition to bringing a few christmas presents back with you from Louisville, you and your wife are also bringing back a cold, the flu, or something in between.  You also have your dog with you, who is just there for the ride.

How do things go crazy?

Well, at this point your battery alert light comes on the dash of your car.  You say lets not stop the car, (stupid me) and lets push it and see how far we can get.  It is now dark, it is starting to rain, and your lights on the speedometer and GPS all go out, and your car starts to sputter a long.  You pull over to the side of the road driving and hoping to push it to the next exit off the highway.  And you don’t make it.

It is now completely dark, the rain is coming down even more, your car doesn’t have any power, and you are sitting on the side of the road about five or so hours from home.

This is the situation my wife and I were in last night. Not a very fun situation. Luckily we had roadside assistance with our insurance provider, who we immediately called and was able to get a car towing service scheduled to pick us up.

Then as luck would have it, my wife called about six or seven hotels in the area to see what their availability was at this late hour.  It is around 8:30 pm at this time.  A few had rooms available, but would not allow pets.  Ugh.  She eventually found one that would accept pets.

We now have the towing service on its way, a hotel room secured, and I knew where I was going to have the car towed to.

Now we just sit for the next hour.  The car is cold, the cars are flying by at 80 and 90 miles per hour less than 10 feet or so away from our car.  The rain is coming down harder, and our dog is going a little wacky in the backseat at this point.

The towing service guy gets there, his name is Kenny.  Kenny was coming from a wreck that required his services before he could get to us.  He gets there, and says to me, “This is a dangerous place to be.”  I said “You think”.  No, I didn’t say that, I am not an ass.  But I wanted to.

He immediately started hooking my car up, and asked for my wife and the dog to get out of the car and get in to his truck.  His truck was so warm.

We get the car on the back of the tow truck and we are now on our way.

Kenny asked us what we were going to do that night.  And were we able to find a hotel room.  We told him yes and he said that he would drop our car off and then take us there.

He didn’t have to do that, but he insisted.  When we got to the dealership to drop the car off, my wife knew exactly what we needed to do, because she had talked to DJ already, and he was expecting us. We dropped the car off and headed to the hotel with Kenny.

Kenny dropped us off at the hotel, and my wife and I both slept like babies last night.

This morning I got up and in this small town, Uber is a new thing.  I was a little blown away by that, but nonetheless, because of that, there aren’t very many cars in the area and the hotel doesn’t have a shuttle service.

As I am talking to the service person at the hotel front desk, the assistant manager, was eavesdropping on our conversation where I was asking her to call me a cab. Yuck a cab.  But that is all I had.

He said “Where do you need to go?”.  I told him, and he said “I am about to get off of work and I can take you over there.”  I said that would be awesome.

Zack and I get into his Jeep and made our way over to the dealership where we dropped the car last night.  I meet with DJ, who my wife had talked with the night before.

DJ and I talk and as of right now we are waiting to determine what is the problem with the car.

So often we hear that people are not as nice as they used to be. Or in my case, I was complaining about customer service at a fast food restaurant just yesterday.

Between last night and this morning, my wife and I ran in to three very friendly people who were willing to help us out in a time of need.

The cynics out there are saying, “That is what they are supposed to do aren’t they?”,  I agree.  However, how you do it and the way you help people matter.  They put themselves out a little, to help us even though they didn’t have to.

Most people aren’t willing to inconvenience themselves for themselves, or the their own family most of the time.  And they definitely wont inconvenience themselves for someone else.

Kenny, DJ, and Zack did exactly that.  They were willing to inconvenience themselves to help out complete strangers a little more than they had to.

I am not sure how this little unwanted adventure will end.  They way it sounds, is that our car needs a new alternator and one has been ordered and will be here sometime this afternoon.  So our fourteen hour drive will turn into a 48 hour drive, that included a few twists and turns, but those twists and turns reminded me that I need to be willing to inconvenience myself at times for others, just like Kenny, Zack, and DJ did.

To your success and your future.

 

 

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My favorite quotes from 2017…don’t miss number #5, it is a game changer.

A quote or anecdote can be one of those things that can change your attitude and your demeanor.  It is a little nugget of wisdom or insight that can open your mind up to a new thought, a new way, a new anything that can make your life better.

These are the quotes, the sayings, the anecdotes that struck a chord with me.  I either read them online or in the books that I read.  Please read them and share them.  I hope they inspire you to be everything you want to be.

  • It doesn’t take money to make money.  It takes courage. —Grant Cardone. 
  • When the pressure is on you don’t rise to the occasion.  You fall to the lowest level of your preparation for the situation.–Chris Voss 
  • Being safe and in control go together, but for you to have the success you want you have to be willing to let go of both.–Brian Willett
  • There are always at least five or six things that are more important than price. –Grant Cardone.
  • Self justification is more powerful and more dangerous than the explicit lie. It allows people to convince themselves that what they did was the best thing they could have done.–From the book Mistakes were Made but not by me. 
  • Blindspots enhance our pride and activate our prejudices. —Mistakes were made but not me book. 
  • Memories create our stories, bit our stories also create our memories.
  • Talent definition: Where you are gifted, doing what you love, and are somewhat skilled at doing it.– Ryan Holliday.
  • Dont try to inspire someone with the fear fo dying, you instead of attempt to inspire them with the Joy Of Living. Change or Die book. 
  • People don’t resist change, the resist being changed. Change or Die book.
  • Consequences are a part of the learning process, without consequences we don’t learn as well or as fast.
  • Nothing so conclusively proves a mans ability to lead others as what he does on a day-to-day basis to lead himself.
  • The greatest remedy for anger is delay.
  • Remember that you need to put your attention on what you can raise or lower the most. Ex: In business, you can only cut expenses by so much.  But how much revenue can you generate?  As much as you can.  Focus on generating revenue more than you do on cutting.
  • Create systems in your life to have success.  Systems help determine your success.
  • Every skill you develop doubles your chances of success. —Scott Adams
  • The way we rate our experiences is at the peak of enjoyment and at the end of an experience.–Barry Schwartz.
  • The longer the back story, the worse the deal. —Mark Cuban
  • We gossip because we are too afraid to confront.–Kary Oberbrunner 
  • I am not comparing myself to you, I am comparing myself to me and what my potential is.–Brian Willett
  • The market rewards execution, not ideas.
  • Life is too short to be living someone else’s dream—Hugh Hefner
  • If you think the past impacts your present, you will never have a future.
  • If you want better results or even some results. Get comfortable with discomfort. That is the path to growth.
  • Nowadays, people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. –Oscar Wilde Value always trumps price.
  • The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge–Stephen Hawking
  • The hard part is not the dream or the idea, it is the doing. This is where most people fall short. Long on the ideas, but short on the doing.
  • Opportunities are never lost, they are just taken by others.
  • The difference between try and triumph, is a little UMPH.
  • Two kinds of people you should never listen to: The ones who quit and the ones who never started
  • Fear is a great indicator that you are moving in the right direction.
  • Success doesn’t come from 8-5 Mon-Fri. It comes from pursuing it all of the time. It needs your total commitment. Not 1/3 of it.
  • Few people actually know what they are capable of and even less want to find out.
  • Remember wherever you are today was a choice. If you like it. Great. If you don’t. Make another choice. It is up to you.
  • 88% of the wealthy spend 30+ minutes reading per day; 2% of the poor do.
  • Quit watching the news and make your own news.
  • Laziness is the root to all evil.
  • Some people: “I don’t like to read” My response: “Do you like to be stupid?” Nobody will force you to learn, you have to do it yourself.
  • Direction, not intention, determines destination.-Andy Stanley
  • If you want to be a leader of people, you have to be a master of words. Robert Kiyosaki

Please share and inspire someone else today.

To your success and your future.

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The #1 reason most people don’t hit their goals, and it is not what you think.

This morning my wife and I started our day off in one of our favorite coffee shops in the world, located in our hometown of Louisville, Ky. We are here visiting family for the holidays and we will stop there every morning while we are here.  It not only has the best coffee and mochas on the planet, but it is also owned and operated by the best people.

As we are sitting there this morning we were doing something that I have done in the coffee shop for years before we were married.  That is taking inventory of how I did with my current year goals, and start writing and planning what I would like to accomplish in  the next year.  This year was different, because when I was single, I just did it by myself.  And now that I am married it is very important to do this activity with my wife as well.  We still have our own individual goals, but we also set goals as a couple for our life.

The first thing my wife and I discussed, was the definition of a goal.  This is par for the course, because even though we have a great marriage and we have been together for a couple of years, it can still be difficult for me to think as a couple versus as an individual.   However, I continue to get better and better at this, and sitting down and doing this yearly ritual that I have always done by myself, with her, is a great example of my growth in this area.

Once we settled on a definition of a goal, meaning we agree to disagree.  I think hers is the typical definition of a goal: an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envisions, plans and commits to achieve.   I don’t disagree with that definition, I just add another piece to it.  I add that a goal is something that you weren’t going to do otherwise.  Meaning you had to do something different, ie. change a behavior, invest money or time.  Cut out something or add something to achieve.

Some people say, I am going to show up to work everyday at least fifteen minutes early.  Well, the chances are, you were going to do that anyway.  What did you have to change?  Or they say, I am going to go to the gym 100 times this year.  Well, last year you went 100 times, what are you having to change?   Once you hit a goal, I believe you have proven that you can hit it.  Which means you did whatever was necessary to demonstrate the behaviors  or invest the time and money, you cut out or added the necessary resources to accomplish the goal. So you must change the objective to have growth in that area.

So there we are setting our goals.  We worked on this for about an hour or so, and we got about seven to ten very solid goals for 2018 written down. To some, that may seem like a lot. To others, you might be saying that seems like a little.  I agree with both of you.

The reason I agree with both of you, because setting good goals is hard.  A good goal is something that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive. Also, known as SMART goals.  They also have to be worthwhile towards your life.

Setting goals is hard work.  And as I have learned, it is even more difficult to do it with someone else and have to agree on what they are.  This is why most people never set very specific and targeted goals.  It is hard to sit down by yourself, and even harder with someone else, and lay out specifically what it is you would like to accomplish for the next year and your life.

This is why most people don’t usually accomplish much.  They don’t do the hard work on the front end. Which is sit down, think about what it is you want out of your life, career, marriage, relationships, finances, church, God, health, etc. And then write out specifically what you want in those areas of your life to look and feel like a year from now or ten years from now.  And that is why I believe this is the number one reason people don hit their goals.  They never set them to begin with. You can’t achieve what you don’t know you want to achieve.

Before I became a very strategic and successful goal accomplisher.  I did what most people do.  I would say I want to grow in my career.  I want to make more money.  I want to have a partner in life.  I want a better relationship with this person or that person.  I would say all of this in my head, and in many cases, I would be successful in accomplishing those things, over time.

I got most of these things, but I didn’t get them in the amount of time that it should have.  It took way more time than I even care to share.  When I started to sit down and said I want to be a VP by this year.  I want to make X amount of dollars by x date.  When I said I want a wife that has these characteristics by this date.

Once I started setting goals this way, I have since achieved a lot more in my life, my career and in so many other areas of my life, that I would have never accomplished if I didn’t do the hard work on the front end and decide what it is I wanted to accomplish.

If you want to accomplish more this year than you did last year, do the hard work now and decide what it is you want to accomplish and then write it down.  This is another blog for another day, but writing your goals down is one of the major contributors to the success of you accomplishing your goals as well.

If you need help to do this reach out to me at bwillett555@gmail.com and I can help you achieve everything you want to achieve in 2018.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

Posted in business, goals, personal development, self development, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment