These two things are killing your self-esteem

What if I could promise you that you would always be the most confident person all of the time, in every single situation, no matter what the situation is?

You would probably call me a liar.  And for most people you would be right by calling me a liar.

So what is confidence and what is self-esteem.  The definitions of both are below.

Confidence: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

Self-Esteem: confidence in one’s own worth or abilities.

So which one comes first?  That’s easy.  You have to build up your self-esteem well before you can ever be confident in something.  Self-esteem is an inside job.  Let me repeat. Self-esteem is an inside job.

You have to become confident in your own worth and abilities, and in doing so you will become more confident in your abilities and qualities.

What prevents us from having more self-esteem?  There are two killers to self-esteem.  Procrastination and Easing up.

We’ll start with procrastination first.  This is more important than easing up, because if you don’t get started there is nothing to ease up on.

Procrastination, like self-esteem is an inside job as well. It begins with you.  I say it is deadly because in our heads we really don’t think it matters that much to delay.  We just keep putting things off until we are forced to do it by someone else. Or our situation becomes so bad that we have to make a change.

Here is an example: That little light that comes on in your car when your gas gets low.  When those were first created many Americans continued to drive and would, “surprise, surprise”, run out of gas.  Many of the automakers increased the amount of fuel, thus increasing the distance you could drive because of all the complaints they received.  To this day according to one study, some 827,000 people still run out of gas every year.

This example illustrates the point doesn’t it?  Even when people know the inevitable they will still procrastinate.  So why?  Here is a list of a few of the reasons why.

  1. We think we have more time: As the low fuel light indicates, many people think they have more time than they actually do.  This is many people’s approach to life as well.  We think we have more time than we actually do.  Not trying to be morbid, but our time is finite here on this earth.  We only have so much time.  There is only so much time in a day, in a week, and a year.  Many people go through life thinking they will have more time, when the only time we know we have is right now.
  2. It’s not the right time: Quick story:  I can remember when I was 18.  I had just graduated high school and I was working all of the time.  Since I worked so much, even though I was young, I just wasn’t as active as I had been and I was gaining weight.  I made the decision that I was going to start lifting weights and exercising. This is around November or so.  I was telling a good friend of mine about my decision and that I would start the first of the year.  I can still remember his response “Why are you going to wait, why not start now?”  As silly as it sounds, I didn’t have an answer for him.  So, I did what he asked. I started that day and I have never looked back.Now I know many of you are saying well I have this or that to do.  “Right now the kids are in a lot of sports”, “I have too much going on at work”, “I will once the winter gets here.”  All of these are excuses.  The time will never be right.  If it is that important to you there is no reason you can’t start now.
  3. We don’t find the time:  One of my favorite quotes is: “If it is important you will find the time, if it isn’t important you will find an excuse.” How important it is to you is where it all begins.  When the why is strong the how gets easier.  You have to find the time and the why.
  4. You waste your time: Once you burn a day that day is gone forever.  It will never be back.  Have you ever been driving home in the evening after work, totally exhausted, and you are thinking about the day and asking yourself, “What did I accomplish today?” and you can’t think of anything worthwhile that you accomplished. Now, I am sure you are saying, “Things come up that are out of my control”.  Yep, I am sure they do, and they always will.  We have to prioritize our time, or we will allow things to always come up and prevent us from doing the things we want to do.

There are other reasons that we procrastinate as well.  Things such as we are perfectionists, we don’t know how to do it, we don’t know what to do, the project seems too big to take it on.

All of these excuses lead to procrastination.  Every little thing we make a decision to procrastinate on it silently digs at our self-esteem. The problem with this little dig, is we don’t feel it.  If we got shocked as if we had a shock collar on every-time our self-esteem was diminished, we wouldn’t do it, but that isn’t the case, thankfully.

Why does procrastination hurt my self-esteem again?  Human beings innately are action oriented and are always seeking more. It is in our DNA, it is ingrained in our heads. We know we are capable of more. We know we can learn more. Do more. See more. Give more.

Because we know we are capable of more, when we do less than we know we are capable of doing, internally we know it.  Our brains know it. We know we could have and in many cases should have given more than we gave.

Let me say the opposite way. Think about a big accomplishment you have made. I mean a big one. Maybe you graduated from college, purchased your first home, bought your own car, lost a bunch of weight, ran your first marathon, etc. Pick one.

When you accomplished that milestone why was it such a big moment of celebration and enjoyment for you?

You know what it took to accomplish it.  It took hard work and dedication.  It took delayed gratification on your part. You had to scrimp and save.  You had to run lots of miles to give you the stamina to run a full marathon. You had to eat less and exercise more.  All of these little things you had to do to accomplish the milestone was you taking action and made them happen.  Procrastination does the opposite.

When you hit your milestone and accomplishment your confidence and self-esteem was at its highest.  You felt so good about yourself, because you know your worth.  You know you have the abilities to do it, and you know the qualities you possess within that allowed you to meet your goal.  These things build up your self-esteem, and procrastination does the opposite.

The other killer to self-esteem is easing up.  Although procrastination is responsible for a higher level of lack of self-esteem because you can’t build self-esteem if you never do anything. I think easing up causes more anxiety and disappointment than procrastination does.

I have this friend.  He has a shorter body type, you know the type, short and stocky.  Short and stocky people tend to add weight pretty quickly.  I am not a doctor, I am just an observer and that is what I have observed.  He has struggled with off and on weight gain for most of his life.  A few years ago he got really into health and fitness. He was working out all of the time, eating very healthy, and doing everything the right way. He really looked good and felt good.

Well, then he had an injury.  This injury was one of those injuries that is more of a nag than something that prevents you from not doing anything at all.

He had two choices. He could quit or he could modify. Like most people he chose to quit. Look I am not him and I don’t know his level of pain.  However, here is what I do know. Day after day, week after week, he is constantly talking about getting back to that same level of health fitness that he was at a few years ago.  While talking about getting back he has taken no actions to do so.  In his case he eased up and ultimately quit.  That is the worst case scenario under the easing up category. You ease up so much that you ultimately quit.

I personally believe easing up and ultimately quitting is worse for your self-esteem than never getting started.   The reason is simple: you have proven you can do it already.  You have been there, don’t that, and now you have squandered it all.  That takes a huge toll on your self-esteem. When you wake up everyday and say to yourself I know I can do this, because I have done it, but I have lost it all again.  All of my hard work, all of my commitments, all of my successes are now gone.  That loss is heart breaking and is a self-esteem killer.

Some of the other problems with easing up. We know that easing up can lead to quitting which is the worst case scenario, but here are few other issues and ways we ease up.

One of the ways I have “eased up” is this. At one time I made the commitment that I was going to write every single day. Now looking back on that decision, I should have modified that decision some at the beginning because it is hard to go from zero (no writing) to 100 (writing everyday).  I did ultimately modify that some. I went to three days a week. Its not the point though.  When I made that decision I stuck with my commitment pretty solidly for about a year and a half.  I was writing at least three days a week. But then something happened. I eased up some.

You know what easing up sounds like don’t you?  “I have already done a lot of writing”. “I wrote a book, and that was the ultimate goal, I don’t need to write as much.” “I am much further in my writing than I ever thought I would be.” “If you knew where I started from, you would be amazed on how far I have come.” You get the point with these phrases don’t you?  You go into justification mode. We all do it and have done it.

When we start using the justification phrases like I did, you know you are slowing down.  And when you start slowing down, you are one step closer to quitting. Which means you are one step closer to your self-esteem going back down to where it was and lower before you ever started.

Do you want to be more confident in everything you are doing?  Than you have to make commitments and see them through.  You have to fight off procrastination and easing up.  Literally, you have to fight it sometimes.  It is lurking around the edges all of the time, just waiting for an opportune time to sweep in and kill your hopes and your dreams and ultimately your self-esteem.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

The conduit between I can and I will

Discipline is the one word that can be associated with the success and failures of most people.  Discipline is the willingness to commit to something and see it through. Most people are willing to stand up and say “I commit”.  However, it is a different story altogether when it comes time to implement the necessary disciplines to see the commitment through.

How important is discipline?  It is the most important thing. Again, there are lots of people voicing commitments all day, everyday. But, many of those people never implement the right disciplines to accomplish what it is that they say they are committed to.

Discipline is the conduit that bridges the GAP between “I Can” and “I Will”.  Most of us can make a change.  Most of us can do more than we get paid to do.  Most of us can show up earlier.  Most of us can stay later.  Most of us can eat less, and workout more. Most of us can spend less and invest more. However that GAP between “Can” and “Will” can be as big and as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Discipline is the difference between the sales person that makes five phone calls a day when they should have made 20. The first day that they make 5 instead of 20, isn’t a big deal.  However, if they do it repeatedly over a month or two months, this one little lack of discipline adds up to be a significant problem for them.  By month three, their pipeline of sales have dipped and now they start to see the lack of phone calls showing up in their pay check.

Discipline can also show up or not show with the person who is doing all of the right things when it comes to their health and fitness.  They have the commitment to eat healthier and are making their way into the gym or some kind of physical exercise pretty regularly. However, because they have implemented a few really good disciplines, they allow some slack in their commitment of cutting out certain foods and other activities that are negating the benefits of the other disciplines. So they find themselves in this constant cycle of not getting the results they want.

There are a few steps to discipline. The first step is the awareness that we need to have more discipline in our lives.  Unfortunately, most people never have this awakening to the truth.  They go their entire life living an undisciplined train wreck and then wonder why they can never get the results they desire.

The second step goes back to what was stated earlier in the text.  And that is most people “Can” but the question is “Will” they. Will they make the commitment to a new routine, a new strategy, to bridge the GAP between “I Can” and “I Will” and do what is necessary to achieve what it is that I want to achieve.

The third and final step is your commitment to see it through.  “I can”, “I will”, and I will make sure I see it through all the way to the end, by implementing new disciplines in my life to achieve my goals.

It is without a doubt that one discipline leads to another. Once you make a commitment to a new discipline, the results that come from that new discipline are so motivating that it pushes you to create other ones in your life.  A disciplined life changes your attitude. It is fuel for all of your desires once you start seeing momentum, all it takes is the decision to make the change and implement a new discipline.

Most people get so focused on the destination that they don’t think about a new direction.  Sure, we all seek to get to a new destination, but to get there it requires us first to see and go down a new path, a new direction.

So what can you do now.  The first step is become aware of what it is in your life that needs some additional attention.  Become aware of the person you are and the person you want to be.   Then decide. Make the decision that today “I can” and “I will”.  I will do whatever it takes to accomplish the person I want to be. I will bridge the gap, between “I can” and “I will” and become what it is I was destined to be. And then lastly, I will commit to see it all the way through until the new me is accomplished.

Discipline bridges all gaps, when you are first starting out you may not know where and how to get there, by creating disciplines to seek and take action it will eventually lead to that place you are seeking to go.

To your success and your future.

Selling the Invisible notes and summary

There are times when I read a book that really changes the game. Either the information in the book does it, or the excitement I get from reading the book does it. In this case, it is both.

I have now read three books by Harry Beckwith. They are all very similar. The book Selling the Invisible which is a New York Times Business bestseller and rightfully so, is by far the best. I guess that is why it is a bestseller.

Like all of my quasi book summaries and notes. Below are my highlights from the book. My takeaways so to speak.

These notes are directly pulled from the book. Read the damn book though. If you want to change the game in sales and in marketing, read the book.

Almost three in four Americans work in service companies.

America is a service economy with a product marketing model. Services are not products, and service marketing is not product marketing.

When you buy a haircut you cannot see it before you buy it or try it out. It is a service.

Most prospects are shaking with worry. Your marketing must start; with a clear understanding of that worried soul.

Most doctors do not buy pacemakers; they buy that expert pacemaker salesperson who can go into the OR and advise on the device, procedure, and programming. Pacemaker buyers buy a service.

If you sell software, your core product is the software, but that critical part of your product is all the augmentations, the documentation, toll-free services, publications, upgrades, and support and other services. Your users are buying a service.

Faced with products just like their competitive products, today’s product marketers typically have two choices; reduce cost or add value.

This book is all for all those service marketers: the 80 percent of us who do not manufacture products and the other 20 percent who do.

In such a complex world there is nothing more powerful than simplicity.

This is a how to think book.

The core of service marketing is the service itself.

Get better reality.

Too often service, sucks.

Before you write an ad, rent a list, dash off a press release— FIX your service.

The Average American thinks he isn’t”, someone once said. Psychologists have proved it. We think we are better than we are. When researchers asked students to rate their ability to get along with others, 60 percent rated themselves in the top 10 percent. Ninety-four percent of university professors say they are doing a better job than their average colleague. Most men think they are good-looking.

Most companies think they offer great service. The chances are they are not.

Marketing is the brains of service marketing. If the brain fails, the heart soon will fail.

Stage 1 of business: meet acceptable standards

Stage 2 differentiation of your product because competitors have entered.

Stage 3 (few companies enter this stage) Go beyond what customers ever thought about. Disney. Apple. Lexus with heated seats and all of the other bells and whistles. Surprise the customer.

Create the possible service, don’t just create what the market needs and wants. Create what it could love.

People won’t tell you what you are doing wrong. Your prospects won’t tell you. Clients wont tell you, Your spouse won’t tell you. So how do you improve? ASK

Phone surveys produce more revealing information than in person surveys. On the phone people are willing to open up and give their real opinion and the information you need.

Don’t ask someone what they don’t like. People don’t want to answer because they won’t want to admit that they made a mistake.

Everyone in your company is responsible for marketing your company.

So much of what passes for brilliant insight in helping a company is reporting what everyone in that company could see, if only they could still see clearly. It’s hard to see the real scope of your business. Ask for help.

The walls in a business do more than keep the cold air out. They seem to block out clear vision of the world.

Every act is a marketing act. Make every employee a marketing person.

In planning your marketing, don’t just think of your business. Think of your skills.

People don’t buy hamburgers from McDonald’s, they are buying an experience.

Find out what clients are really buying.

Clients are experts at knowing if they feel valued

In most professional services, you are not really selling expertise, because expertise is assumed, and because your prospect cannot intelligently evaluate your expertise anyway. Instead you are selling a relationship. And in most cases this is where you need the most work. If you’re selling a service, you’re selling a relationship.

All people crave one thing, and this is appreciation. Before you try to satisfy the client, understand and satisfy the person.

With a few exceptions, companies are not battling to share that market. They are battling to create it: to get prospects to want to use their service instead of doing NOTHING or performing the service THEMSELVES.

If you implicitly criticize your competitors, you aggravate your worst problem: the prospects doubt that anyone in your industry can provide the service and value the prospects needs. Your real competitor is often sitting across the table.

Go where the competition ain’t. It isn’t only location it could be in a vertical.

Every service company should have a director of technology who studies and regularly tells management how new technologies can be used for competitive advantage.

Be second to none in all of your technologies.

Service businesses are about relationships. Relationships are about feelings. In good ones, the feelings are good, and in bad ones, they are bad.

Work performs a social function, most people want to be in office for the social interaction.

Even if you can identify and predict people’s attitudes, it’s not that helpful, because behaviors don’t always follow attitudes.

There are two tragedies in life: One is to not get your hearts desire. The other is to get it.

Accept the limitation of planning.

Second: don’t value planning for its result. The greatest value of the plan is the process, the thinking that went in to it.

Third: don’t plan your future. Plan your people. Develop people and skills.

Tactics drive strategy.

Todays good idea almost always beat tomorrows better one.

It appears that organizations actually are subject to the law that governs sharks: If a shark does not move, it cannot breathe. And it dies.

Think dumb.

Too often the path to perfection leads to procrastination. Don’t let perfect ruin good.

Any ideal might fail. If you’re doing anything worthwhile at all, you’ll suffer a dozen failures.

Most organizations work like groups of apes which we evolved. The alphas dictate what the group does and thinks. Alphas are not better at making decisions, they are better at taking control.

Appeal only to a prospects reason, and you may have no appeal at all.

People choose what seems most familiar. We tend to choose the one we hear the most about. even though the truth is that more people die from stomach cancer than car accidents.

This is because of human trait called attribute for getting. You have to make yourself familiar to your clients.

People don’t look to make the superiors choice, they want to avoid making a bad choice. Forget looking like the superior choice. Make yourself an excellent choice. Then eliminate anything that might make you a bad choice.

People remember the first and last impressions, but forget the middle. The rule of last impressions is reflected in dozens of ways. Consider apologies and forgiveness, for example. The last impression a person makes, by apologizing, often obscures the persons memory of the event that led to the apology.

Build quality into your service but make it less risky too.

The best thing you can do for a prospect is eliminate their fear. Offer a trial period or a test project.

Rather than hide your weakness, admit them. Tell the truth event if it hurts, it will help.

The more similar the services, the more important the differences.

You must position yourself in your prospects mind.
Your position should be singular: one simple message.
Your position must set you apart from your competitors.
You must sacrifice. You cannot be all things to all people, you must focus on one thing.
Stand for one distinctive thing that will give you a competitive advantage.

Rather than sacrificing opportunities, a narrow focus creates opportunities. To broaden your appeal, narrow your position.

In your service, whats the hardest task? Position yourself as the expert at this task; and you’ll have lesser logic in your corner.

We as people associate and judge. We assume prettier people are smarter and more put together. But it isn’t always true. That is why it is important to say one thing you are good at, because people will associate with many.

If people see differences in products such as catsups, flour, pickles, and sugar which are all identical, then people will definitely see differences in your services.

No company can position its self as anything. You can focus on one thing, but ultimately the market and the customers put you in your position. Dont fight it.

Avis knew they couldn’t be number one. So instead they said they were number 2. And said “We try Harder”. This allowed their business to grow.

Positioning Statement:

Who are you:
What business are you in?
Whom do you serve?
What need? What are the special needs of the people you serve?
Against whom: With whom are you competing?
Whats different: What make you different from those competitors?
SO: Whats the benefit: What unique benefit does a client derive from your service?
Example: Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale’s
Fashion focused department stores.
trend conscious, upper middle class shoppers.
looking for high-end products
Unlike other department stores
Bloomingdale’s provides unique merchandise in a theatrical setting
make shopping entertaining
Choose a position that will reposition your competitors, then move a step back toward the middle to clinch the sale.

You are what you are.

If no prospect can describe your position, you don’t have one.

If you think you can afford not to focus, think of Sears.

No matter how skilled you are, you must focus your skills.

Timberland was struggling in the early 1980’s. The company made a good boat type shoe and priced it below the leader, Topsiders. A great product for the price, but not a good business. Then Timberland did something fairly simple. It increased its price to be well above Topsiders. Sales boomed. Dont assume logical pricing is smart pricing. Maybe your price, which makes you look like a good value, actually makes you look second-rate.

If no one complains about your price, it’s too low.

If almost everyone complains, it’s too high.

Fifteen to 20 percent of people will complain about any price. Some want a deal. Others are mistrustful and assume every price is overstated. Still others want to get the price they had in their mind when they approached you, because it’s the price they hoped for an already have budgeted in their mind. So throw out the group that will object no matter what price. Then ask: In the remaining cases how often do I encounter resistance. Resistance in 10 percent of the remaining cases for a total of 20 percent is about right. When it starts to exceed 25 percent, scale back.

Setting your price is like setting a screw. A little resistance is a good sign.

If you are the high-priced provider, most people assume you offer the best quality. If you are the low-cost provider, most people assume you deliver an acceptable product at the lowest cost, also a desirable position. But if your price in the middle, what you are saying is “We’re not the best, and neither is our price, but both our service and price are pretty good.” Not a very compelling message.

Cutting costs require little imagination.

There is nothing unique about pricing. Be unique.

What is talent worth and why is some worth so much? What can you reasonable charge?

Dont charge by the hour. Charge by the years. Pablo Picasso.

If your primary selling position is good value, you have no position. Value is not a competitive position. Value is why every service company promises. In services, value is a given. And given are not viable competitive positions.

If good value is the first thing you communicate, you won’t be effective.

if good value is your best position, improve your service.

A name like Creative Design contradicts itself. The name after all, could not be less creative.

Never choose a name that describes something that everyone expects from the service. The name will be generic, forgettable, and meaningless.

If you need a name for your service, start with your own.

A brand is more than a symbol. In the publics eye, a brand is a warranty.

Customers will buy brands sight unseen, so brand names are less expensive to sell.

As time shrinks, the importance of brands increases. And time in America is shrinking; companies have down sized their staffs and upsized the workloads of all the survivors. This people need shortcuts every waking minute. They turn to service and brand products.

Your greatest competition is not your competition. It is indifference.

Saying many things usually communicates nothing.

Give me one good reason to buy. Not Ten. You can’t sell a confused person.

People are interested in other people, and their stories.

Stereotypes: Accountants are humorless. Lawyers are greedy. Collections agencies are bullies. Doctors keep you waiting. Attack your first weakness, the thing you are known for.

37 percent of people say doctors lack a genuine interest in their patients. But patient view the relationship side as so critical, there’s even a name for it, bedside manner, they think medicine is failing as a service.

How often are you looking for the best service? The best baby sitter, the best dry cleaners, the best tax adviser? Not often. How often do you know the best when you find it? Never. How long are you willing to look for the best? (not long) Nobody is looking for the best. You aren’t. So convey that you are good and people will buy.

People notice marketing communications that refuse to strain the truth because people notice the unusual, and understatement is unusual.

People hear what they see. Let them see greatness.

People trust their eyes before they will every trust your words.

The industry that best understands the importance of visualizing the invisible offers the least visible service of all. insurance. Prudential has its Rock Of Gibraltar. Travelers as its Umbrella. Allstates has its good hands. Transamerica has its tower. Each uses a visual metaphor. Make sure people see who you are.

Restaurants are not in the food business, they are in the entrainment business. People go there for the experience.

If you are selling something complex, simplify it with a metaphor.

Of course you are committed to excellence. People don’t listen to clichés. Get rid of them.

Get to your point or you will never get to a close.

Most presenters don’t know what their point is. Tell people one thing. Why they should buy from you instead of someone else.

There is no such thing as an uninteresting subject, only an uninteresting person.

Find out what they want.

Find out what they need.

Find out who they are.

Missions statements are for you. Keep them private.

Revlon founder said this: In the factories we make perfume. In the Stores we sell hope.

People are buying happiness or the hope for it.

Dont make a client think you can do more than you can actually do.

A customers expectation is the GAP between what the customer expects and what the customer gets.

There is no such thing as too often, too grateful, too warm, or too appreciative.

Say PM and deliver AM.

To fix sales people, fix your message. If they don’t believe, it is your fault that your marketing doesn’t make them believe.

Sales is risking yourself. Nobody likes to risk themselves, but that is what sales people do daily. Rejection.

Services are human. Their successes depend on the relationships of people. People are human, frustrating, unpredictable, temperamental, often irrational, and occasionally half mad. But you can spot patterns in people. The more you can see the patterns and better understand people, the more you will succeed.

REMINDER: BUY THE BOOK.

To your success and your future.

A million dollar conversation

Yesterday, I had one of those aha moments. You know, one of this moments where you either see something more clearly, or you get some additional information you didn’t have before, or you get smacked across the face because you thought you were doing the right things, but you weren’t.

My aha moment falls into the smacked across the face moment.

I am a Real Estate investor. I have learned a lot of things in my last ten years of real estate. The normal stuff, what to do, what not to do. What I prefer to own for my investments and what I don’t like owning and messing with. The value of a property manager, and how I am really not good at finding people to rent my properties.

This week, I am attending a conference. In my group is a guy that is a real estate investor. He has purchased a lot of properties throughout his lifetime. He has purchased big apartment complexes all the way to single family homes. He also just happens to be a former NBA basketball player as well, so that is cool.

As we are talking, I asked him a few questions that I have asked a lot of people. How do I buy bigger properties? Not just a duplex, four-plex, or single family homes. I am talking about 16 unit places, 40 unit places, etc. Much bigger properties that I am used to buying.

His advice was simple. He said it isn’t hard to find the money to buy these places, what is hard to find is the right deal. You have to find the right deal when purchasing these places. And finding the right deal is the hardest part.

The million dollar advice: He said, I made it a point to go around town and find the properties that I would like to own. Once I identified those places, I reached out to the owners and asked them if they would be willing to sell. He said, in many cases the owners weren’t wanting to sell. He didn’t stop there though, he then made it a point to cultivate a relationship with those owners and stay in front of them.

He said in a lot of cases that some of these deals would take two years, but he would eventually get a call from an owner of a property that said they were interested in selling now, and that he had the first right of refusal.

Now if you have read this far, you are wondering why this advice is worth a million dollars?

A couple of reasons. I haven’t been doing this. I do it the traditional way. I call up my agent, tell them what I am looking for, and then they go and see if it exists. I need to be more intentional about it like he is.

Secondly: I have been asking the wrong people for advice. Sure I have asked people who own real estate how to make these purchases. But in many cases, the people I have asked are very similar buyers to me.

What is the point. The two lessons are extremely profound. By cultivating relationships with owners of properties I would like to own, will set me up in the future if they decide to sell. Real Estate can be emotional. It is the old saying “one mans garbage is another mans treasure.” After a while, owners get rid of properties for a variety of different reasons. By having a relationship with these owners, I may get first right of refusal to purchase their property.

The other reason is this. I have not been getting my advice from the right people. I must ask the people who are at, or have been to the places I want to go. Period. I can’t ask a person who has never been a millionaire, on how to become a millionaire. I can’t ask a person who has never successfully run their own business, how to successfully run and operate my own business. I have to become more strategic in picking who I seek advice from and who I look to for mentorship.

To your success and your future.

50 Reasons on why I want to be Rich!

If I have heard it once, I have heard it a million times.

“Brian, you work too hard, slow down.”

“Brian, money isn’t everything.”

“Brian, your work shouldn’t be your identity.”

“Brian, be careful or you will burn out.”

The same people who say the above statements are also the same people, who probably don’t have any money, or think consumer debt is a good thing, or just don’t know what else to say.

Over the last couple of years I have become a writer, ( I can call myself that now).  I have told my readers that one of the main reasons I write is because it gives me clarity and ultimately holds me accountable to my words and my actions.

Here are 50 clarifying thoughts, things, and concepts that I am going to hold myself accountable to.

  1. I don’t want to be the opposite.
  2. I can use my time to do what I want to do.
  3. I can buy my soon to be wife whatever she wants.
  4. I can have flexibility in my day.
  5. I can become even more generous with my giving to others.
  6. I can give more of my time to people and things that I care about.
  7. I can protect myself from a major disaster wrecking my finances.
  8. I can buy the best that can be got.
  9. I can buy whatever I want.
  10. I can buy more time.
  11. I can tell a customer, I don’t need your business.
  12. I can provide opportunities to those less fortunate.
  13. I can travel wherever I want.
  14. I hate cooking, I want someone else to do it for me.
  15. I want to make more time to read the books I want to read.
  16. I want to leave a legacy.
  17. Lack of money causes stress, believe me I know. I want to eliminate that stress out of my life.
  18. The people with the money have the power, and some of those people are idiots.
  19. I want to give my friends and family nice stuff.
  20. I want to pay for my nephews college educations.
  21. If I get rich, I can help others get rich.
  22. I can write more.
  23. I can be wherever I want, whenever I want.
  24. Freedom is the number one objective of all human beings.
  25. I like nice stuff.
  26. I really like fine shoes.
  27. My soon to be wife likes nice stuff.
  28. Waterfront property costs more money.
  29. When I get there, I know I did it myself. (no head-starts here)
  30. My brother died way too early in his life. I owe it to him to live for the both of us.
  31. The last time I looked, they don’t just give those $5 dollar coffees away.
  32. I want to say how much, not how much do I have to put down.
  33. When my final day is here, I want to say I did all I can with what I had.
  34. Because I live in America, and we have the opportunity.
  35. My Lexus is a 2006.
  36. My mom.
  37. My dad.
  38. I buy a lot of running shoes.
  39. I actually waste a lot more money than I should.
  40. Because it is the right thing to do.
  41. I want to prove to myself that I can do it.
  42. Because I don’t want to rely on anybody but myself.
  43. I don’t want to have to do things I don’t want to do.
  44. I will pay more taxes.
  45. I like to have fun.
  46. On days that I am sad, I can buy myself something that makes me happy.
  47. I am tired of driving, I want a driver.
  48. You will always have a seat at the table.
  49. Investments take money.
  50. Organic and health foods are more expensive.

I am not sure my list included every reason, but it is a start and it is from my heart.

A goal properly set is 50% percent complete. Now I have to do the other 50%.

I just set 50 goals. I encourage you to do the same.

To your success and your future.

5 Steps to Behavior Change

In the world of behavior change there are many models out the that show a way, a process, to make behavior changes.  My advice is pick one that works for you.  My goal is to share the information with you, and my hope is that it finds a way to help you in your growth and development.

In the 1980’s, alcoholism researchers James O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente developed and tested transtheoretical model (TTM), the one most widely applied and tested in health settings.  TTM presumes that at any given time, a person is in one of five stages of change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, or maintenance.

The idea is that people move from one stage to the next. Each stage is a preparation for the following one, so hurrying through or skipping stages is likely to result in setbacks.

Most of the evidence for this model comes from studies of alcohol, drug abuse, and smoking cessation, but it’s also been applied to various health behaviors, including exercise and dieting.  Anyone motivated to change can use it to assess their situation and formulate strategies.

Stage 1: Pre-contemplation: At this stage you are not aware that a change needs to be made and have no intentions of doing so. You may lack the necessary information or you may have failed in the past to make a change. To move past this stage you have to become aware of new information that points out that this behavior is preventing you from accomplishing what you want to accomplish.

Stage 2: Contemplation: In this stage you are aware of the behavior and know that you need to change it.  However, most people tend to stay in this stage for months at a time before actually doing something about it. You will actually start thinking about adverse effects of making a change.  For example:  If I start working out, then I won’t have time to work as much and I could lose my job, because I won’t get certain things done like a should.  I know this seems like an extreme example, but people do it.  Another example: If I stop smoking, I will gain weight.  So in our minds we think the current behavior is better than the negative effects of changing the behavior.

Stage 3: Preparation: At this stage, you know you must make a change and you also believe you can.  You start making plans to make the change quickly, maybe in the next week or so.  At this stage it is important to make measurable goals that you can hold yourself accountable to.  For example:  I will make sure I get up at 5:00 am at least 3 times this week.  I will work out at least 4 times this week for no less than 30 minutes.  It is critical that you create measurable goals that you can track.  Like the ones I give here.

Stage 4: Action: At this stage you have made the behavior change.  You have had some obstacles of making the change and worked through them.  You’ll need to continue to work through these obstacles because they will continue to challenge your new lifestyle and well-being. It is also important that you stay very clear about your motivation to change and constantly remind yourself of your reasons for the change.  This will keep you pushing through to make this change a permanent change.

Stage 5: Maintenance: At this point you have been practicing this new behavior, this change, for at least six months. Now you’re working to prevent yourself from falling back into the old way of you. It is critical to also continue to put in safeguards that protect you from yourself, I always say.  For example: I don’t buy sweet foods and put them in my house.  Items such as cookies, ice cream, snacks, etc.  I know on a late night, it is easy for me to eat those things, so I just protect myself from them by not buying them.

I have been studying people for most of my life, however, in the last 10 years I have had the front seat to watch people and their actions and reactions to life, leadership, personal growth, career advancement, and other facets of life. My conclusion is this. Change is hard and it is extremely hard if you don’t have a process and someone holding you accountable.

Applying the process above can get you headed down the road to make a change, but the chances are you will need a good coach or mentor that can help you identify the behaviors that need doc change and coach you through the changes.

Lastly: 

Here is the sad thing: Most people are good at making decisions.  I can make a decision to lose weight, eat healthier, not be an ass to my coworkers, budget better, be a better husband, spend more time with my kids.  Most of us can state this and make the decision to do one of these things.  Here is the challenge though, we typically aren’t very good at managing these decisions. A coach can help you manage these decisions.  Make a decision and then manage those decisions until the change is made. The easier part is making the decision and the hard part and the real work is managing the decision.

To your success and your future.

 

 

How to live a mediocre life

After reading this scientific study, I now know why it is easy for any of us to live a mediocre or average life.

Researchers Michael Ross and Anne Wilson out of Waterloo Ontario, Canada, studied the links between, self assessment and autobiographical memory.

Self assessment is an assessment or evaluation of oneself or one’s actions and attitudes, in particular, of one’s performance at a job or learning task considered in relation to an objective standard.

Autobiographical memory contains knowledge of the self, used to provide information on what the self is, what the self was, and what the self can be. This information is categorized into three broad areas: lifetime periods, general events, and event-specific knowledge.

Ross and Wilson validated that people generally view themselves as improving over time, relative to their peers and colleagues. The research suggests that this sense of improvement is delusional.  This false sense of improvement is driven by, and motivated by, the desire for an individual to enhance themselves.

This sense of improvement comes from the subjective feeling of temporal distance.  Or also called Temporal Self appraisal theory.  Which states that uplifting events of individuals often seem quite recent in time. Therefore, individuals, tend to perceive these positive moments as more relevant or representative of their current life. While upsetting events seem further back in time.

Depending how close a situation is to the present, if the situation was a positive experience, the research shows that people tend to praise themselves accordingly. If a situation is negative, the research shows that the people will criticize themselves and believe that the event was further in the past. Depending on the implications of the situation on the current self.

Layman’s terms: 

The research confirms that we will do whatever we can to show that our current self is a better version than our past self.  Even when nothing quantifiable and verifiable has been done to improve our current self.

But Brian, we should always want to be positive and give ourselves credit that we are moving forward.

Hey, I agree! I want to be positive as well. But the problem with delusion is you start to believe it after a while.

In all of the research, participants evaluated themselves as being better than the past self and better against their peers, when they had done nothing to become better. Wilson and Ross suppose that by contrasting our present selves to a lesser earlier self enhances how the present self looks.

Application: 

Reading the above facts. And they are facts, based on research.  It is easy to see how we can go through life being average and never get ahead. So what are the implications and what can we do about it?

The implications: First, if we didn’t like ourselves before, the chances are we haven’t done anything quantifiable that says we have made any progress to get any better.  So we need to create some goals and measurements for ourselves that can prove that we are getting better in whatever it is we are engaged in.  Work, Health, Life, Money, friends, relationships, etc.  To ensure we aren’t delusional or comparing our current self to a past self that is marginally better or the same, clearly stated measurement and goals can verify your growth.

What can we do about it: Become a student of yourself.  Sounds kind of selfish, but it is true.  When you learn to study yourself: your actions, your tendencies, your commitments, your weaknesses, your strengths, etc. You become better in all areas of your life and you might stop comparing yourself to a past that is similar or worse than your present.

References:

http://www.weber.edu/wsuimages/psychology/Research/ResearchArticles/AutobiographicalMemory.pdf

To your success and your future.

For more resources and information on how to start changing your habits and behaviors to fulfill your true mission and live the life you have always wanted, contact me and let’s have a conversation.