3 Things I learned last week… 2/15-21/2016

My mentor said “make a study” of everything in life.  My weekly “Three things I learned” is exactly that.  It allows me to study my life and my experiences, which gives me insight.

Moving from “Should I” to “How will I”:  There comes a time in all of our lives that we have to make a decision.  We have to fully commit. Can you think of something right now that you are still in the “Should I” phase of the commitment?  Meaning “Should I” really be doing this. “Should I” really try to only eat this or that”, “Should I” really try to show up to work earlier. “Should I” try to really cut my life down to nothing so I can pay off my debts. “Should I” really go above and beyond at work”.  The chances are, at this moment you are faced with a “Should I” question about something in your life.  Here is what we all have to do.  That is we must change our thinking from “Should I” to “How will I”.  When you make this shift in thinking you are now becoming fully present and fully committed to whatever it is.  When you say “How will I”, you are saying no matter how I feel, how I look, how I do it, I am committed to seeing this through.

Your problems should be changing all of the time: One of my mentors shared this with me a few years ago. He said if you are still dealing with the problems you were dealing with a year ago, it is your fault.  Duh!  Right!  We all know this don’t we?  I am sure we do.  But how many of us are aware of the problems that have been around for too long?  It could be one week or five years.  If I am growing.  If I am changing. If I am moving things forward, then be definition my problems should be changing as well.  Because when I grow.  When I develop.  When I expand my business. When I expand my investments. When I take on a new job. A new position.  I should also be presented with a new set of problems.  If my problems never change, it means I have not moved forward at all.

Trust: I have been in some kind of leadership position for the last twelve years of my career.  I have learned a lot about leadership and a lot about working with the people.  It could be people who are on my team, up the ladder from me, or my peers.  With all of these people the one thing that matters most is, trust.  If you have it, everything is fine.  When you don’t have trust, everything is bad.  A leader’s job is to establish trust with his team in everything they do.  It is also everyone’s responsibility on the team to do the same thing.  It is everyone’s job to foster a trusting environment.

To your success and your future.

 

Lessons Learned after 300 attempts!

Those of you who may have been following me since the beginning may realize this is a milestone for me.  This blog post is my 300th published blog post since I started writing in January 2014.  I started blogging for really a couple of reasons:

One: I am a Sales/Leadership/Personal Development trainer.  By writing about different thoughts and concepts, it has allowed me to be a better trainer in all of these areas.  Secondly, when I started I wanted to do it for a year and determine what I tended to write about and then take those writings and write my first book.  I accomplished that last year.  Self publishing my first book. (Yes I said first. Which means more to come)

As of the writing of this blog post, I don’t think much has changed for my reasons for blogging and writing other than my blogs are now really a source that I refer back to when I need material to reference when I am conducting trainings.  So it has become a really great asset for me that I never really thought about in the beginning.

So what have I learned:

  • That I must hit publish.  If you are not familiar with WordPress or blogging in general, there is a publish button.  For any of this to happen, I must hit publish.
  • There are 110 Blog Posts that I started and did not hit the publish button on.
  • I have accomplished the goals I set out when I started blogging.
  • Better trainer (yes). Better speaker (yes). Better thinker (yes). Write and publish a book (yes). Created a bank of resources that I can reference (yes).
  • Don’t be scared to put your thoughts out there.
  • Some people could care less about my writing. And who really cares.  It’s not for them.
  • I was a C student in English growing up and my guess is my writing shows that, but I have become better as I have done it.
  • You will learn who in your circles that actually read or pay attention to your social media posts.  In this case. Who has actually read my blog.
  • Those who say they can’t write are just saying that because they don’t have the focus and discipline to do it. If I can, anybody can.
  • For me to have something to write about I must have a thought or an opinion on something, which means I must constantly be feeding my mind with stuff.
  • I have become a more engaging speaker, because writing as allowed me to learn to tell better stories. (A lot of work still to do)
  • The people I am around give me the best material.
  • Although I have 110 blog posts I have never published.  I have 300 I have. Which means I know how to start and finish.  Most people never start, which means they never finish. And the ones who do start have a hard time finishing.
  • I am better leader.
  • A better sales person.
  • A better person.
  • I need an editor.
  • My words have influence.  I think it is something innate in all of us.  We all want to have influence. This blog has allowed me to do that. The countless stories I have heard. The people I have met because of the blog.  Who knows what is next and who I will meet.

So where do I go from here. Well, I have a little over 2,000 followers of my blog.  My hope it that I will continue to expand on those numbers.  My hope is that I will continue to have influence. By continuing my writing I will become a better speaker, trainer, and a better person in general.  That is my goal.  I am looking forward to writing and sharing another 300.

To your success and your future.

 

Sometimes going first could leave a scar

When I was a kid my neighborhood was full of kids my same age.  We must have had twenty or so families on my street alone that we were all roughly the same age. My brother was eighteen months older than me and that was kind of the trend at that time, so needless to say there were lots of young boys and we had all kinds of games that we would play.

At that time BMX biking was really big.  All of us had your traditional bicycle that would be fast on the road, be durable enough to be off-road, as well as be able jump the occasional sidewalk.  We used to play a game called follow the leader on our bikes.

The way it worked was you would have a lead bike and then all of the other bikes would have to follow that lead bike and do whatever that person did on that bike.  Some of the things the lead person would do would be: jump off a driveway (nothing too crazy, but like a two or three-foot drop), we would ride through a yard and use the curb of the sidewalk to get lift and see if we could clear the sidewalk, we would ride through yards with hills, we would pop a wheely on our bike and see how long you could keep your bike on one wheel, we would ride our bikes with no hands, and there were some other things that were unique in our neighborhood that we would do as well. Then we would argue there or not the following bikes did it the same way as the lead bike. (but that is another story altogether)

The goals of the lead bike/person was to do something different or challenging that would make the other bikes scared and they would fall out of the line and not attempt the obstacle.  This was really the main motivation for the lead bike.  They wanted to scare the others bikes from doing what they did. (don’t attempt this at home)

There was one driveway that was much higher than all of the rest on our street.  It must have been like a 10 foot drop (just kidding, but as a kid it looked that big).  It was probably about a four-foot drop.  Nobody ever attempted to jump off that driveway at the time we started to play this game, because we were all scared to do it.  So instead of jumping off the middle of the driveway which is the peak of the jump, meaning you would land after falling the four or so feet.  Many of the bikes would just go to the side of the driveway, which really wasn’t a jump at all, it was like going down a hill.

I can remember the first time we were playing this game and I was the lead and I attempted the big jump off the driveway.  And after successfully making the leap, I turned and looked back to see who was still following. That is what you did as the lead bike, you were constantly looking back to see if the followers were actually doing what you just did.  So as I looked over my shoulder to see who was following me, everyone had stopped and were contemplating whether or not they were going to make the jump.  After a few minutes or so, one after another they all started to do it.  It was a big day for all of us.

As the lead bike that day I had to go first.  I wanted to be the first to take the leap and make the jump.  As kids my ego said I can do this. I can be first.  Thankfully it was successful and I didn’t flip over my handle bars on my bike, I only wish we would have had video of it.  I am sure we would nowadays.

Going first is hard.  Being first is really hard.  It sometimes requires you to take the leap, take the iniative, and be the first to try something.  It could fail.  It could cause you to get hurt.  It could be a scar on your body that you tell people the story how you got it for the rest of your life. It could be a lot of things.  But not going at all is even worse.

If you don’t go, then you never know what you could accomplish.  You may never reach your full potential.  You may never make a name for yourself.  Or in my case.  I was the king for that day on my street as the “biking king.”  That felt pretty good that day.  Showing up and being first is sometimes just that, you know in your mind you did it and you were first and that is all you need.  Show up first today.

To your success and your future.

3 Things I learned last week…2/8-14/2016

According to Leadership IQ: They studied 5,247 hiring managers from 312 public, private, business and healthcare organizations. Collectively these managers hired more than 20,000 employees during a three-year study period.  They found that 26% percent of these new hires were terminated due to their inability receive coaching.  This is most likely not a new statistic, it is one that has probably been around for quite some time, it just wasn’t studied in this detail.  I have found the same to be true.  The ability for a person to receive coaching and feedback tells me exactly who and what they are. Open mindedness to want to get better is one thing, receiving coaching and feedback and implementing it is another, but to really separate yourself from the pack, seeking coaching and feedback is what makes you in a class all alone.

When you have to tell someone: Have you ever noticed the people who have to tell you how busy they are?  Sure.  If someone asks me how things are going, I might respond by saying ” I am pretty busy”.  This is common.  What I am talking about are the people who have to actually tell you that they are busy, before you ask them.   It is a lot like the people who have to tell you how great of a “_______” they are.  You fill in the blank.  The chances they are that great at whatever the “_______” is, is most likely debatable.

The natural pull: Sir Isaac Newton was the mathematician that founded the theory of gravity. Sir Isaac Newton discovered that gravity depends on a few things; such as mass, distance and placement. The natural pull of gravity is downward.  If you throw an object off of a building it will be pulled down.  If you jump off of a building (don’t test this by the way) you will be pulled down as well.  Look around you and see what others are talking about.  The chances are what they are talking about are also things that can pull you down.  It could be the bad weather, the bad economy, the bad boss, the bad candidates in the upcoming election, the bad commercials, the bad press, the bad you name it.  All of this is pulling you down. Then you take what is easy.  Things that are easy to do are usually in the down movement as well.  It’s easy to run down hill.  It’s easy to show up late and leave early.  It’s easy to skip the gym and say I will go tomorrow.  Gravity is naturally existing, just like the object being thrown off the building it is easy for it to fall to the ground, because it is naturally going to be pulled that way.  No force, no assistance is needed for this to take place.  It is no different from most things in life. No effort or no discipline is really necessary to spend freely on whatever you want to spend your money on.  No effort or no discipline is needed to sleep-in.  No effort and or no discipline is needed to stay at work and push things forward.  My advice for myself is and my advice for you if you have read this far. Whenever you have a natural pull towards what is easy.  Do whatever you can and go the other way.

To your success and your future.

3 Things I learned last week…2/1-7/2016

Change is coming: I witnessed this first hand last week.  It can happen to any of us.  We are blinded by our own habits, our own ways of doing things, our own processes, our own opinions, our own solutions, our own “you name it.”  I am sure you currently have your “own” set of whatever that makes you who you are, and it definitely drives everything that you do.  So what happens when we don’t see change coming?  Sometimes it comes out of the blue, but that is very rare.  Usually there is a building up phase that occurs.  For whatever reason you are not seeing it during that building up phase.  There are clues, but for some reason you are not paying attention to it.  And then lastly, when it does happen, THE CHANGE occurs, you have to either scurry and adopt to the change or make a decision to do something else.  Either one is a good solution for you depending on how and where you are in your life and your situation. Years ago, I learned this little statement.  “Change before you have to”.  When you finally make the change because you have to, it is usually too late.

I did the Math: It may sound a little morbid, but I did it anyway.  At times I find myself lacking some urgency.  At times I think I have more time to do it.  At times I think I can do it tomorrow.  So last week.  Yes it was my birthday week as well.  I did the Math on how many Sundays I could potentially have left in my life.  I calculated by my average life span (whatever that really is, who really knows) by 52 Sundays a year for those amount of years.  I got the number.  It is now in my head.  So what do I do with the number?  Well, since calculating it I have already used it to challenge me in a few different areas. I have already used to lay out some goals and some longer term plans, but most importantly the fact that I did it and I know the number it has made me walk even faster and attempt to accomplish much more.  It created some urgency like I have never had before and I consider myself a very intentional and urgent person.

Ability and Willingness:  Some people have all of the ability. They have all of the talent, the education, the training, the right environment, the right mentors, the right guidance, the right everything.  But for whatever reason that don’t have the willingness.  Willingness is three things:  Confidence, Desire, Incentive.  A leader’s job is to some how find the right people who have the ability and the willingness. They can do this through incentives, but these rarely work long-term. Sometimes the leader has to help a person find their desire so they will be more willing to attempt the desired outcome. This is where willingness can really take shape.  It is when a person has the desire within them to accomplish the necessary tasks and goals. However, sometimes no matter what a leader does the people involved may not be willing.  At this point change is not going to happen.  Let me ask you: Do you have the ability and the willingness to change?

To your success and your future.

Be the First

In today’s society some people hate it when I or other says this, but “Oh well.” “Second place is the first loser.”  Nobody remembers who came in second in the Kentucky derby last year.  Nobody remembers who came in second at the Daytona 500 last year or the previous years.  Nobody remembers what team or individual came in second in almost anything in life.  Nope. The second place winner doesn’t have their name inscribed on any trophy or cup that sports or other competitive ventures use as a symbol of achievement for winning.

So why not be first in anything and everything you do?  Is it possible?  No, probably not.  I am not going to win the New York City marathon.  I am not going to win the Kentucky Derby.  I am not going to win the Daytona 500.  However there are lots of areas I can be the first in.

Here are a few:

  • Be the first to show up at work…
  • Be the first to get to the gym…
  • Be the first to greet the stranger…
  • Be the first to show appreciation to someone…
  • Be the first to say Happy Birthday to a friend or colleague…
  • Be the first to come back to the office after lunch…
  • Be the first one up in your company…
  • Be the first person at the coffee shop…
  • Be the first person to say yes to the project…
  • Be the first person to volunteer to stay late…
  • Be the first person to take on the task that nobody wants…
  • Be the first to congratulate someone on anything…
  • Be the first at the networking event…
  • Be the first to say yes to the new change…
  • Be the first to welcome the new leader of your department…
  • Be the first to ask someone what you can do for them…
  • Be the first one to sleep at night so you can get up early…
  • Be the first one in your family that buys their own home…
  • Be the first to provide a solution to a problem…
  • Be the first to save money for your retirement amongst your friends…
  • Be the first to read the book and share the knowledge with friends and colleagues…
  • Be the first to complete the required training at work…
  • Be the first to respond to the boss…
  • Be the first to speak up…
  • Be the first to say YES…

My list is not an exhaustive list, but it is a list of Firsts that you can control in your life. You don’t have to be the smartest, the fastest, the luckiest to do any of the above.  Nope you just have to be willing to take the iniative and say I want to be first.

To your success and your future.

Are you doing all you can?

My mentor shared this simple tip with me several years ago.  “Do more than you have to as an investment into your future.” What he meant by this little statement is this.  Doing what you said you would do is great, and you will have ordinary results.  However, if you give more than you have to in all interactions, you are not only meeting expectations but you are making an investment into your future and this will lead to extra-ordinary results  in everything you attempt to do in your life and your business.

I pride myself as being a hard worker.  I learned this from my parents.  They both worked hard their entire life.  No “sick days” and No “I just don’t want to go to work days.”  I have always showed up early and stayed late to get a job done.  I was, and am, a team player in all aspects.

Here is something that I have noticed about myself here recently and something I watch on a daily basis with most people as well.  Not everybody is willing to “do more than they can.”  No instead they go the other way and “do all they have to.”

Examples:

  • There are days when I am in the gym where I am working out really really hard.  But in my mind I know I am doing just what I have to, not all that can.
  • As I look at my budget.  I am managing it.  I am doing what I have to, but I know I can do more.
  • I work with a group of sales people. They are successful.  But I know they are doing all they have to, and not all that they can.

Today, I read a great quote by Grant Cardone.  “Work to your potential not your quota.”  I think this sums it up very well. Meeting quota is great, but reaching your potential is better and this is how you get extra-ordinary results.

As we look at the quote my mentor shared with me. What would be my results if I always did more than I had to (more than I have to) and did all that I can (could do) in every aspect of my life?  What would be my results?  What would be your results?

If I jumped on the floor right now and in my mind I said I wanted to do 10 push-ups.  So I get to 10, but I have more left inside me that I can still do.  If I stopped at 10.  Sure that is good, but I had more in me.  Why wouldn’t I just do more?  The “more”, above 10, would be that investment into my future that my mentor talked about.  The additional push-ups above 10 would give me confidence and strength that would allow me in the future to do more than 10 and many more.

In my budget, what would happen at the end of the month after all bills are paid and everything is taken care of including saving and investing and I have some money leftover. In this case, I have already did what I have to, right?  But I can do more, can’t I?  Should I blow the rest of the money?  Or should I save it as well?  If I save it, I am making an investment in my future.

If at the end of the day of work I don’t complete the project that I was working on.  What if I stayed a little later and was able to finish the project?  Would it matter?  Where is the investment here?  Well, a couple of ways.  If I get the job done today, I can start on a new project tomorrow and this is where I am now pushing things forward for me and the organization.  If I just stop and say, I can finish it tomorrow.  I come in to work and finish it up, easy enough.  But did I gain anything?  Did my inner strength and endurance and commitment change by doing this?

If none of this interests you, you wouldn’t be reading this blog first of all, and second of all you wouldn’t have made it this far into the blog.

So what do we do now?  Here is what I am going to do.

When I am in the middle of something that I have already committed to doing, I am going to be sure I do all that can the whole way. I am going to create my mindset to be of abundance rather than of scarcity.  Abundance means I know I can do more, because there is so much more out there to do.  Scarcity mindset is there is only so much, and I will only do what I have to.

That is my challenge for you today!  Do all that you can in anything and everything.

To your success and your future.

 

3 Things I learned last week…1/25-31/2016

Experience alone doesn’t teach us anything.  Only when we evaluate our experiences do we actually learn from them.  My weekly blog post “3 Things I learned…” is exactly that.  It is my opportunity to evaluate the week before and say “What did I learn” or “What can I learn.”  I suggest you do the same, that is how we get wiser and learn from our experiences.  In some cases my lessons learned are from others and then a lot of time they are from my own actions.

Don’t second guess so much: Have you ever second guessed yourself?  You know what I mean.  You just keep questioning yourself.  You kind of have a feeling in your gut that this is the right way. Then you start saying to yourself “Is this the right way”, “What should I do”, “If I do this, what will the consequences be”.  As humans I think it is natural for all of us to do this.  And guess wha,  sometimes it can be good, depending on the situation and what the risks associated are with the decision and the people involved.  However, I believe that there are many times where we second guess too much and we don’t get anything accomplished.  Instead it stays the same and nothing happens.  At one time I will admit I would “shoot” and then “aim”.  Now I have gone the other way in some cases, and I “aim”, “aim”, “aim”, “aim”, “aim” and I never pull the trigger or when I do pull the trigger and shoot, it is too late, the opportunity is missed. Timing does matter, ask Napster founders.  I am not going to do anything crazy here, but I am going to go with my gut, and if my gut says shoot, I am going to shoot and shoot more often.

Am I the best I can be: There is something we all suffer from as humans.  That is, we give ourselves more credit than we deserve.  For example:  We think we are better drivers than we are, we think we are smarter than we are, we think we are better employees than we are, we think our jokes are funnier than they are, we think we are better leaders than we are, we think we are better communicators than we are.  I could keep going, but I won’t.  I know you don’t feel this way, haha.  But it is a reality that we are all faced with.  This is the value of having someone come in to our lives and give us a different perspective.  We all need coaching in our lives, but very few of us seek out coaching and rarely do we appreciate it when we get it unsolicited.

Systems work: I am in a new position as a leader.  This is fun and challenging at the same time.  It’s fun, because there are lots of new stuff that I haven’t done before.  It is challenging, because I inherited a team of people who have done it a certain way for so long.   Years ago, I was put in to this situation as well.  I was the person who had been around for a while and a new leader came on board.  And we had done it a certain way for so long. The new leader had a system that they had followed and it worked in those previous situations.  I could either trust the new system or not.  Either way it was my choice to make.  I chose to adopt the new system, because I knew the old system didn’t work.  I had the results to prove it.  So as I fast forward to my new position.  I am in the process of implementing the system I have developed throughout my career and my life. This system has been proven to work.  We have the results to validate it. So the chances are this system will work again because that is what good systems do, they work.  Develop a system and follow it.

To your success and your future.