Two great questions to ask yourself

I will never forget the day my mentor Jim Rohn asked me these two questions some three years ago.  He said it like this “The question to ask yourself is not what am I getting, the question to ask yourself is what am I becoming.”   

Two very powerful questions to ask your self.  How do you apply these questions:

What are you getting in your current relationships?  Are you getting what you need? Are you giving what the other person needs?  Then say: What am I becoming?  Is this relationship what I want.  Is it making me and us (since it is a relationship) what we want it to be, and taking us where we want to go.

On your job ask yourself the same questions.  What am I getting.  Is it a paycheck, is it security, is it fulfillment, etc.  Then again ask yourself “What am I becoming”.  Are you becoming what you want to become.

As human beings we tend to think about ourselves first, right?  Lets assume you said yes. So we do a pros and cons list and say, I am getting this, this ,this, this, this, this, this.  That is pretty good.  We can rationalize and justify that it is worth it.  But what if we ask ourselves the harder question and say, REALLY.  What am I becoming?

I have talked to many people over the years and when they make a decision to change it is usually because they didn’t like the person they were becoming.  This takes a self-awareness that is really objective.  I have talked to parents who have left jobs because they didn’t get a chance to spend time with their children.  So they were not the parents that they wanted to be. They were not happy with who they were becoming.

I have spoken with people in relationships that for the most part were getting everything they wanted out of the relationship, or what they thought they wanted.  But then they looked up one day and said “What have I become”.  I don’t like this person.  This is not where I expected to be.  I have talked to people who were athletic and active and got into relationships that were exactly the opposite.  They would usually justify and say that the relationship was great and that they love each other, but all the while they were unhappy that they were no longer as active in sports.  So they didn’t like the person they were becoming.

So let me add a third question for you.  What am I getting, What am I becoming, and the third question to ask yourself “Is this acceptable”, “Is this what I want”.

Do an assessment.  Think about all of your current relationships, your job, your friends, your colleagues, etc.  You become what you are around, you become what you are exposed to the most.  Ask your self the two questions and then the final question, “Are you good with what that is?”  The good thing about being human who can think and make decisions, is you have the ability to change your current situation and become anything you want to become.

Brian Willett


Who can explain good fortune?

What is good fortune.  Is it money?  Is it a situation? A person? A thing? Example? Technically it can be all of these things.  Does everything really happen for a reason?  Is GOD driving these things?  Was this the plan for me?  I have to say that I believe that all of these things to be true. Fortune is actually defined as luck or chance.  So good fortune would be defined as a situation or occurrence of good luck or you take a chance and win.  Kind of like a fortune cookie right?  Play these numbers and the chances you win are pretty good!  Yeah Right!

I had a friend whose wife fell down and broke her wrist.  When she went into the hospital and they did all of the tests, they found out that she had an aneurism.  They successfully  operated on her for the aneurism and she lived another 10 years.   Was the fall and the wrist breaking good fortune?  I would say that is a small price to pay for good fortune.  The check “low oil” light on your car that comes on and tells you that you may want to check your engine oil is good fortune as well.  What happens if you don’t check the oil.  Then your engine could lock up and cost you a lot of money to get it fixed.  That little light (signal) is pretty good fortune because it tells you something before it’s too late.

So recently I have had some good fortune come my way.  I don’t know if I would call it luck, because I honestly believe the better I prepare, the better I plan, the better I save, the better my good fortune gets.  But most recently I have had a great opportunity to be exposed to a few different things that have helped me predict my future some.  Predict my future if I decide to stay on the same path, that is.  Two defining moments in one week is probably unheard of, right?  But I had them.  I saw them, I felt them, I heard them, now I must take action on them.

The only way you can see good fortune is you must be aware of it and on the look out or it.  You must be willing to see it when it presents itself.  Use it to your advantage.  Sure, you could look at the fortune cookie and say.  Here it is, I am taking these numbers into Thorntons and put $1000 dollars on these numbers.  Or you can say, I am in a good situation right now, the stuff I am being exposed to really has me heading in the right direction if I stay on this path who knows where I may end up.  The people I am around right now, the influences in my life right now is exactly what I need, the future looks bright.  Take a look at what and who you are around, what good fortune is in your life right now.

Who can really explain good fortune?  I don’t know that I can.  What I do know is that I must look out for it, I must realize it when I see it, and then take action on it immediately.

Brian Willett


If this is true, what do you do about it

As a trainer, leader, colleague, friend, mentor, subordinate, mentee, partner, business owner, etc. I have found the following to be so true in just about everything in life. I guess it really comes down to the law of averages and the law of large numbers. With anything that is repeated enough you will eventually see a pattern, so what do you do with it.

People will fall into one of the following categories in just about every situation in everything.

Some will be clueless: Meaning they won’t even know what the heck is going on.  They are not even in the same book, much less on the same page.  If you are attempting to make changes in your life or your career and they are not, they are clueless to the motivation that is pushing you.

Some will be perplexed:  Meaning they don’t understand.  The thing you have to figure out is “Are they capable” of understanding.  Sometimes you may have to spend valuable time to help them understand and it might not be worth it.  Some people just don’t know why things are the way things are.  You have to be willing to know this is true and either invest or eject.

Some will laugh:  How do you know they are laughing, well sometimes they are doing it in your face and most of the time they are doing it behind your back.  You can find them and identify them pretty easily.  Use the laugher as motivation to make it happen.

Some will mock: A mocker is a little bit different from a laugher in that they do it in your face with their questions and their sarcasm.  They attempt to challenge you and push you to engage with them.  Where does this come from?  Who knows, why even stay around and find out, just move on.  Let your results tell the story.

Some will have faith and believe:  These are the ones that say, “We should probably take a look at this”, “Why not give it a try”, “It beats what we have been doing”.  These are the ones you want to be around.

So if this is true and I have found it to be true.  What do you do about it?  Focus on finding the ones that believe and have faith. In leadership, you must find the ones that believe in your mission, believe that the way they are headed is the right way.  If they don’t then it is best to move on for you or for them.

Be around the believers and the ones who have faith, cut out everyone else. But remember the more people you attempt to influence the more you will see of all the above categories. You just have to know how to handle them and when to move on. Some people’s criticisms should be looked at as compliments.

Brian Willett

The biggest GAP

What is the biggest GAP?  If you put the word GAP in a google search, you would think that it is only a clothing store.  GAP has done a great job at owning the search engine to ensure they pop up first.  However, I am talking about the other gap:  definition:  a break or hole in an object or between two objects. an unfilled space or interval; a break in continuity.

So what is the biggest GAP?  The biggest GAP is between knowing and doing.  Yep that is it.  That is the biggest GAP.  How many times do we know what we should do, but we don’t do it?  I can speak for myself and say a lot.  Matter of fact, I am sure there will be something this weekend that I do that I know I shouldn’t.  Like eating a Mighty Meaty Wick from Wick’s pizza with a few beers.  However, I will put in a few miles of running right afterwards.  Still doesn’t make it right 🙂

Example:  Sorry smokers but its true.  How many years now have the surgeon generals been telling you that smoking causes cancer and other health related problems? Many. But people still smoke. How many of us know that texting while you drive is dangerous?  All of us, right.  Do we still do it?  Yep, because we are smarter, right?  How many of us know we should get the project done now instead of waiting until next week, when we will be pressed for time and it will be last minute?

So if this is the biggest GAP.  What do we do about it?   Well, I am a process guy.  I have to develop processes to protect me from myself at times.  Since we as human beings are habitual to a fault, we have to develop the disciplines and the processes that over time become habitual, just like the current habits you have established that you shouldn’t be doing.

1.  Pick something out that you know you should be doing and you are not. EX: Reading more, working out, stopping smoking, procrastination on something, etc.

2.  Now write down this commitment and take a picture of it with your smartphone and make it your wallpaper on your phone.  Studies show that most people check their phone 135 times a day.  So you will see that commitment a lot.  135 times a day at least and this is only if you are average and if you are reading my blog you are not average 🙂 you are above average.

3.  What other processes can you put into place to keep you from falling into the GAP between knowing and doing?

There are many things you can do to hold yourself accountable.  I am currently working with many people on developing processes to ensure they stay accountable to the goals they have set for themselves.  Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about these processes, also share with me some things you do to bridge the GAP between knowing and doing.




How Much and How Many?

About three years ago, I was listening to some guy who later became one of the most influential mentors I have had in my life.  I have never met him, I can’t, because he died about two years before I had ever even knew of him. Since then, I have read everything (I think) he ever wrote during his lifetime, I have listened to almost everything he has ever created on video or audio.  Jim Rohn forever changed my philosophy. This morning I am reading his book again just because I know there is one more idea in there that could change my life, my family, and my legacy forever.  If you seek, you will find.  Very rarely does a good idea just hit you, you must seek it out.

When I listened to him that first time he asked this simple question in several different ways, that changed my thinking forever.  It probably sounds more powerful in audio.

  • How many homes can you own?
  • How much money can you make?
  • How many books can you read?
  • How many places can you visit?
  • How generous can you be to others?
  • How many businesses can you own? 

The answer to all of these questions is the same.  As many as you want and as much as you want.  We live in America and this is true in America.  You can do just about whatever you want, it’s up to you.

Pretty simple questions and pretty simple answers. The question for you is what are you going to do with the information?  That is the question I ask myself everyday.

Brian Willett



Trump 101; The Way To Success; Donald Trump

I wouldn’t call this a book summary, because it isn’t.  What it is, are my highlights from the book as I read it.  Maybe it is a book summary, or maybe it is what I like.  Who knows!  maybe you will find some value in it as well.

  • Somewhere between childhood and the real world two things happen. Either you start to pursue the dreams of your parents or you get caught up in pursuing dollars or stature in a career field.  People who do this have their passion on the shelf collecting dust and end up being part of the 70 percent who don’t like what they do.
  • Lack of passion is often the difference between failure and success.
  • Set the bar high:  What is the standard you want to be known for. Don’t shortchange yourself.
  • Find innovations, approaches, and practices that you can adapt for your chosen field.
  • Explore how to make everything you tackle bigger, bolder, better and more exciting.
  • Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge. Without imagination and the ability to think big, knowledge alone won’t make you successful.
  • Most people are impatient and want quick results, but waiting is often the smart way to go.
  • Build a financial cushion that will allow you to avoid being squeezed when problems occur.
  • When you acquire knowledge, it makes you a more interesting and interested person.
  • Ket to success is experience not education. Experience comes from action, doing, taking risks.  Knowledge is essential but knowledge alone isn’t enough.
  • When you’re prepared there is no reason to be nervous.
  • The key to striking a deal os persuasion not power. Persuasion is diplomacy at its best.
  • He who has the gold makes the rules.
  • Few people are naturally gifted extemporaneous speakers, but most can learn.
  • It’s easy to take the conventional route and not make waves, but the easiest way can be the mediocre way, it may be a little more than just treading water.
  • When you begin feeling comfortable, it should be an alarm that alerts you that you may be falling in a trap.
  • Stress is usually focusing on the problems instead of the solutions.
  • Always build for tomorrow:  Think about your brand, your reputation, and your company.
  • Never think of learning as a burden or chore.  It may require discipline, but it can be a stimulating and exciting adventure.
  • Leadership is not a group effort.  If you’re in charge, then be in charge.
  • Don’t get secure in your comfort zone. When you get comfortable, you can become complacent and never grow.
  • Success is good.  Success with significance is even better.
  • If you can’t write your idea on the back of a calling card, then your idea is not clear.
  • Clarity and brevity arent incompatible.
  • Being satisfied can undermine you and keep you from reaching your full potential.
  • Don’t find fault, find a remedy.
  • When things go wrong, look at yourself first.
  • Experience build confidence.
  • Courage isn’t the absence of fear, It’s the conquering of fear.
  • Productive people accomplish more for a reason, they work long and hard.
  • Emerson said: Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.  You won’t be successful by following someone else’s route.
  • Identify your intrinsic values, what you really want and will work hard to get.

My highlights and my notes and takeaways from TRUMP 101 (The way to success); author Donald Trump.

Which of the notes do you like and can apply today? Please share.

The Law of Diminishing Intent

This truly is a law.  It’s a law because it is true and without a doubt I have, and many of you have all broken this law many times in our life.

What does the law mean:  We have all had that moment when we get really excited about something, maybe it is dieting, getting out of debt, planning our day more effectively, redoing the kitchen, painting the bedroom, etc.  You name it.  At that moment we get excited about doing the “thing” but we don’t take any action to get the ball rolling on doing it.  So for every second, minute, hour, day, week, month that goes by, we lose that passion and excitement about accomplishing what we were so excited about accomplishing.

I can remember learning this lesson years ago.  It was around November or so, and I was telling a friend of mine that I was planning on starting to workout after the New Year.  Sound familiar?  He replied back “Why wait, why not start now, what is the difference between now and then?”  He was right.  I learned the Law of Diminishing intent almost 16 years ago.  He didn’t call it the law of diminishing intent, but that’s what it was.  I started that day.  Guess what?  It is a discipline that I practice still to this day.  My mentor Jim Rohn says it like this:  “The pain of discipline weighs ounces and the pain of regret weighs tons.”

The key is to set up the discipline while the emotion is at its highest.  Go buy the paint, clean the refrigerator out of all of the snacks, cut up your credit cards, go outside and run a mile or walk.  The goal here is to start down the path of setting up some disciplines in your life, some activities, that can then turn into habits that will allow you to accomplish the activity or goal that you are so excited about at that time.

Is there something in your life right now that you are excited about?  What are you doing to set the disciplines and activities in motion to ensure you keep the energy and actions moving forward? Please share with me, I would love to hear them.

Brian Willett


Your responsibility as a salesperson

Last night, I had one of those AHA moments.  If you don’t know what that is, it is when you say, wow I really didn’t understand or know that until just now.  The AHA moment for me when I was conducting my sales class.  I have had many AHA moments over the years, but this one was pretty profound.

Many times I have stated the quote:  “We as needy human beings love to buy, but we hate to be sold to.”  Most people would agree with that statement, myself included. But last night my AHA moment was when one of my class participants was telling me that they actually would refuse to give all of the information in a sales situation.  I couldn’t believe it.  They actually would attempt to give less information to a salesperson for some reason.

So I have been pondering that all night.  No wonder this person has a dislike towards sales people, because how can they effectively make a solid and informed purchase if they refuse to give all of the information necessary for a sales person to assist them in making the right decision for a particular purchase.

So whose fault is it?  Well, I have to blame the salesperson.  As a salesperson it is your job to make the buyer feel comfortable in making a purchase.  It is your job to create such a rapport that the buyer is willing to give you all of the information necessary so you can assist them in making the right purchase for them.  Then and only then, are you really effectively servicing your buyer and their needs.

I realize sales people have a certain stigma around what they do.  We must accept this, we have to own it and take responsibility for it and do whatever it takes to go the opposite way of that stigma.

As sales people we must:

  • Build rapport
  • Ask questions to understand the buyers needs
  • Educate the buyer on all of the options including ones you don’t offer. 
  • Provide solutions based on what they tell us. 
  • Make the buyer feel comfortable about telling us everything.
  • Dont rush a sale.  Let the sale take as long as it needs to. 

Are we going to sell them all?  Nope, but it is your responsibility as a sales person to create an environment where people will want to tell you everything and want to buy.

Brian Willett

The Goal Setting plan that changed my life

This one little exercise allowed me to set goals that I would have never even considered, thanks to my mentor Jim Rohn. And guess what!!! I have accomplished a lot of the little ones already.

Here is your challenge today.  Write down 50-100 things that you want.  ALERT:  WHAT YOU WANT, not what you think you can get.


  • I want a lake house that is paid for.
  • I want a promotion to….
  • Pay off my car
  • Pay off my student loans
  • Be Vice President of Sales
  • Make $100,000 dollars a year
  • Have X amount of money in my childs college fund
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Have 5 paid for rental properties
  • Complete my Masters degree
  • Go on a cruise

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good start.  Now take your list and put a 1, 3, 5, 10 next to it.  These numbers represent how long you think it will take to accomplish these goals.  Be realistic with your self, but also put a number next to it that will stretch you some.


  • I want a lake house that is paid for.  (10)
  • I want a promotion to…. (3)
  • Pay off my car (1)
  • Pay off my student loans (1)
  • Be Vice President of Sales (5)
  • Make $100,000 dollars a year (3)
  • Have X amount of money in my childs college fund (5)
  • Lose 20 pounds (1)
  • Have 5 paid for rental properties (5)
  • Complete my Masters degree (3)
  • Take a cruise (1)

Does this make sense to you?  Again I reiterate write down things you want, NOT what you think you can get.  The purpose of this is to expand your thinking, I WANT YOU TO THINK BIG here.  What will happen if you come up a little short?  NOT much.  You will accomplish something.  80% of something is better than 0% of nothing.

Also, use numbers that you think make sense to you.  I used the 1,3,5,10.  But maybe you want to use 6 months, 1 year, 3 year.  However, I challenge you think longterm. Many studies show that the ability to think longterm is a path to success.

Now that you have these goals established, what do you do?  If you are interested in the next step, email me and I will send you the next steps in the process.



Are you a LinchPin? My notes from this book

I read LinchPin (Are you indispensable) from Seth Godin a month or so a go.  In my weird filing and ranking system that I have created, I ranked this book 8 Stars out of 10.  It is a book that gets you thinking about how you can do more and be more, because as humans we have the ability to do whatever we want to do, if we choose to do it. So I thought I would blog my highlights from this book. My highlights are the takeaways for me from the book.  I put those notes in my journals and read through them once a month.

Here are my takeaways.  BTW, This is a nice summary of the book, however, I would encourage you to still read it.

Also, an artist as he refers to it in this book, is your unique talent and how and what you do to expand on your art and truly become a linchpin.

  • Stop asking whats in it for you and start giving gifts that change people. Then, and only then, you will have achieved your potential.
  • The attendance based compensation process if over in America.  There are fewer and fewer good jobs where you can get paid for merely showing up.  Instead successful organizations are paying people for who make a difference and are shredding everyone else.
  • The web has made kicking ass easier to achieve, and mediocrity harder to sustain.
  • The hierarchy of value:  There are always more people at the bottom of the stairs, doing hard work thats easy to learn.  As you travel up the hierarchy, the work gets easier, the pay gets better, and the number of people available to dot he work gets smaller.  Lots of people can lift.  Thats not paying off anymore. A few people can sell, Almost no one puts in the work to create or invent. Up to you.
  1. Lift
  2. Hunt
  3. Grow
  4. Produce
  5. Sell
  6. Connect
  7. Create/Invent 
  • Exceptional performers are starting to realize that it doesn’t pay to do factory work (Any job) at factory wages only to subsidize the boss.
  • Markets are crying out.  We need you to stand up and be remarkable.  Be human. Contribute. Interact.
  • Consumers say that all they want are cheap commodities.  Given the choice though, most of us, most of the time, seek out art.  And we will pay for that art.
  • I am good at school:  Being good t school is fine, if you intend to do school forever. For the rest of us, being good at school is like being good at frisbee.  Its nice, but its not relevant unless your career involves homework assignments, looking through textbooks for answers that are already known by your supervisors, complying with instructions and then, in high pressure settings, complying with instructions with limited processing on your part. 
  • What should they teach in school:  2 THINGS ONLY:
  1. Solve Interesting problems
  2. Lead
  • The law of linchpin leverage: The more value you recreate in your job, the fewer clock minutes of labor you actually spend creating that value. In other words, most of the time, you’re not being brilliant.  Most of the time, you do stuff that ordinary people can do.
  • The problem with mediocrity, you spend a little more time trying to be less mediocre than the guy next to you. This will wear you out.
  • Real leaders Solves problems that people haven’t predicted, see things people haven’t seen, and connects people who need to be connected.
  • The linchpin feels fear, acknowledges it, then proceeds.
  • The problem with meeting expectations is that its not remarkable. 
  • The linchpin says “I don’t want a job that a non linchpin could get.
  • Emotional labor is the task of doing important work, even when it isn’t easy. 
  • Emotional labor is difficult and easy to avoid. But when we avoid it, we don’t do much worth seeking out. 
  • An artist is an individual who creates art.  The more people you change, the more you change them, the more effective your art is.  WHAT IS YOUR ART?
  • Art is the product of emotional labor. If its easy and risk free, its unlikely that its art.
  • The moment your willing to seek your time for money is the moment you cease to be the artist you’re capable of being.
  • The passion isn’t in money, it is making a difference, solving a problem, creating change that could help millions.
  • The act of being generous makes your rich beyond measure, and as the goods or services spread through the community, everyone benefits. 
  • When its time for layoffs, the safest job belongs to the artist, the linchpin, the one who can’t be easily outsourced or replaced.
  • The combination of passion and art is what makes someone a linchpin.
  • An artists job is to change us.  When you have a boss, your job is to please the boss, not change them.  But the mount you treat a person like a boss, like someone in charge of your movements and your output, you are a cog, not an artist.
  • Emotional labor is more valuable than physical labor, emotional labor changes the recipient, and we care about that. 
  • The future of your organization depends on motivated human beings selflessly contributing unasked for gifts of emotional labor.
  • Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ides, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow. 
  • Shipping:  This means create art and ship it.  Don’t wait around for it to be perfect because it never will be.
  • Any project worth doing involves invention, inspiration, and at least a little but of making stuff up. 
  • Successful people are successful for one simple reason, they think about failure differently. 
  • One way to become creative is to discipline yourself to generate bad ideas. The worse the better. Do it a lot and magically you’ll discover that some good ones will slip through.
  • The race to make average stuff for average people in huge quantities is almost over.
  • Becoming more average, more quick, and more cheap is not as productive as it used to be.
  • Fear is the most important emotion we have.  It is what keeps you alive.  
  • Accept that everything in life is a draft.  Which means you can keep perfecting it.
  • You can’t sprint everyday, but it’s probably a good idea to sprint regularly.  It keeps the resistance at bay.
  • Generosity generates income.
  • The market doesn’t care about your defense. It cares about working with someone who can accurately see what was, what is, an where things are headed. 
  • Perhaps the biggest shift in the new economy is self-determination. Access to capital and appropriate connections aren’t nearly as essential as they were.  Linchpins are made not born.
  • Linchpins don’t need authority.  Authority only matters in a factory.
  • Real change occurs when someone who cares steps up and takes a risk.  People will follow because they want to.
  • Dignity is more important than wealth.
  • The only thing that separates great artists from mediocre ones is their ability push through the dip.
  • Understanding your only job is to make something happen changes what you all day.
  • If you actually work for an organization that insists you be medicare, that enforce conformity in all of its employees, why stay? What are you building? The work can’t possibly be enjoyable or challenging, your skills aren’t increasing, and your value is the market decreases each day you stay there. 
  • We can’t profitably get more average.

Are you a  linchpin?  Please share with me your thoughts on this book summary.  Did you find it valuable?  Would you be willing to read more of them?


Brian Willett