Show up

Success in life really comes down to these two words:  Show up.  

There is nothing magical or hard about it.  When you show up good things will eventually happen.

When you show up you are keeping the commitment that you made to yourself.  This one thing alone is just as important as the showing up part.  Once you quit lying to yourself, you can take control over everything in your life.

Humans suck at commitments.  We don’t like to make them to ourselves and we definitely don’t like to make them to there people and be held accountable to them.  When we commit we are putting ourselves out there. We are taking the chance that we could fail.  Humans don’t like failure and we will avoid it all cost. Because of this we don’t go “all in” on commitments.

Work is a commitment that you keep because there is an incentive tied to it.   I am not talking about these commitments.  These are the easy ones.  I am talking about the commitments that you don’t have to make.  And you definitely don’t have to keep them. These are the hard ones and these are the ones that will impact your life the most positively.

When people aren’t getting the results they want.  When they are not accomplishing their goals.

It comes down to their lack of commitment to them.  If you haven’t fully committed, you won’t show up.

Take inventory of your life today and ask yourself the simple question.

Are you showing up to the things you said were important to you? If the answer is no.  Then I would challenge you to ask yourself how committed you really are to the thing.

My mentor said it best.  “action follows commitment.”  You won’t take action until you are committed.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

Why closing these Gap’s are vital to your life and success.

If you had to sum up life it could really be summed up in one sentence.

You spend most of your life trying to close the GAPs in the most important areas of your life.

The GAP between what you might be asking.  The GAP between you and everything you want out of your life and want in your life.

So what is a GAP?  Lets get a definition for this first.

A GAP is described as a break in continuity.  I also like the definition of an, unfilled space or interval.

So where are some GAPS in your life?

Here is a quick list of GAPS that may or may not pertain to you?  This list is by no means final and is up to each person to create their own.

A Success GAP:  The GAP between the expectations you have of yourself and where you currently are today.

The Health GAP: The GAP between your current health situation and the health situation you would like to have.

The Relationship Gap:  This could be a lot of different relationships in your life such as: with your wife, your boss, your children, your parents, your neighbor, etc.  The GAP between where your relationship is today and where you would like that relationship to be.

The Confidence GAP:  Where you stand today with your confidence in your own abilities and skills in an area of importance to you versus you pursuing that of which eludes you.

The Communication GAP: Most likely this GAP exists in a variety of different ways in your life. It could be the lack of communication from your boss, the lack of communication you and your spouse may have, and may more areas of your life that are important.

The Income GAP:  This is the GAP in between your current financial status and the status you want to have.

So how do we close the GAP?  That is really all we can seek to do.

Like everything in life.  The first thing you have to do is become aware that it exists.  In this case, you have a GAP in one of the above described areas, or another area in your life. Once you identify the GAP.  Then you can seek the information to help you close the GAP.

Lets use the Health GAP as an example.  What is the GAP? What is the current situation for you and secondly, what is the desired situation you want.

I’ll use myself as an example.  I have a GAP in between where I am today and where I would like to be ten months from now at age 40.  At age 40, I seek to be in the best shape of my life.  Which would require me to be at 195, my blood pressure being at 120/75, my BMI at 15-20, and have all of the major health tests conducted and show that I am a healthy forty year old man.  I would even love it if they said I was better than average.  I don’t want to be just average.

So where is the GAP?  I currently weight about 200 or so.  My BMI is closer to 24, my blood pressure is usually around the 120/80-83 mark.  And I haven’t had all of the major tests a forty-year old should get yet.  Although I know the surface level GAP’s of where I am and where I want to be, I have to go to the doctor to get all of the necessary facts to totally see the entire picture.

Once the GAP is identified, I can now learn and create an action plan to close the GAP.

For you to close any GAP in your life, you first have to go through the process of determining that a GAP exists.  The GAP is the space between where you are and where you want to be.

After the you identify the GAP, the big question becomes how bad do you want to close the GAP?  What is the intensity of your desire to make this GAP smaller and smaller.

This GAP will exist as long as you want it to exist.

Now here is the GAP Closer.  Now that you have identified the GAP, and your desire to close the GAP is strong. What do you do?

You go and get the knowledge and education you are missing to close the GAP.  Now the chances are you may already have some of the knowledge and education, but you just aren’t applying it.  That is another blog for another day. But for you to close the GAP in anything you have to apply the necessary knowledge and education you already know, or go out and find the right information and knowledge and then apply it.

This is the only way to close the GAP.  Once you start this process, you can speed the process up, or you can take forever to close the GAP.  It is up to you.

The key to closing a GAP in any area of you life, is identifying you have a GAP.  Once you do this, you then have to identify your motive and desire to close this GAP. After that, you either must apply what you already know, or go out and get the information so you can apply it to closing the GAP.

Life is really a big GAP that you are costly managing and seeking to close.  If you don’t have any GAP’s in your life, then my guess is you don’t have any goals or dreams, which is probably the reason you don’t have any GAPs.

If you want to start closing some GAPS in your life, then reach out to me.  I coach leaders, sales people, and individuals who want to close the GAPs in their life.  I have found that without some help and accountability, closing GAP’s can be very difficult.  Everybody needs someone to push them to accomplish the things in their life that require them to change something in their life.

How big are the GAPs in your life?  How bad do you want close them?  The only way to closing the GAP is getting the knowledge and education you are missing, and then having someone hold you accountable to applying it.

To your success and you future.

 

 

How I set a goal to find my wife.

I talk to lots of people all of the time that tell me they are just not getting what they want in their life.  It could be a certain career, better children, more money, investments, relationships, health and fitness, etc.  You name it and I have heard it. I have been there myself many times.

About five years ago, I was one of those people who said I need to find a partner/woman who I want to spend the rest of my life with.  Someone who is aligned with the way I think, we want the same things in life, business, and everything else.

I challenged myself with this question:  “Am I the person, the person I am looking for is looking for?”

That is a big question isn’t it?  It required me to take a deep look at everything I was doing in my life at the time.  It challenged me to ask myself what do I need to change to find the person that I want in my life.

At the time I was thinking about this ideal person and ideal wife.  I had been in a long-term relationship off and on that was just never going to go anywhere.  We have all had one of those relationships.  There is nothing wrong with you, and as much as you may agree or disagree, there wasn’t anything wrong with the other person.

If the relationship you are in or was in, is just really jacked up, than shame on you.  Don’t be stupid.  But most of the time, relationships aren’t that jacked up.  If it is, get the heck out of it.  Mine wasn’t. It was just two people who had fun together, but were on two different pages in life and other things.

So I asked myself the question “Am I the person the person I am looking for, is looking for?”  I then got out of the current situation that I was in.  Then the next step was to put together a list of what it was that I wanted in a person.

This is the process for all change to occur in our life.  This is the process to setting goals, changing behaviors, and getting what you want out of life. You ask yourself the questions.

Where am I?  Is this where I want to be?  If the answer is no.  You get out of that situation, if it is a situation that you have to get out of it to move things forward.

And then you ask yourself the final question before you get to work finding it.  Which is “What do I want?”

I asked myself “What do I want?”  I am not going to give you my full list here, but if you have attended one of my workshops or seminars, then you have heard the list, or you can attend and get the list.

But here are a couple of things:

  • Goal Oriented
  • Doesn’t blame others for their problems
  • No Kids
  • Career Minded
  • No debt or very little debt
  • Certain income level
  • A good heart
  • Spiritual

I got even more specific in my list creation than what I have shared here, but you get the point.  You could say black hair, no hair, height, weight, etc.  Its your damn list and your life.  Put whatever list you want.  Whatever you do, don’t ever settle for less. Settle for more.

Now you can’t find out all of this stuff on one date or two dates, it takes some time. But here is the deal though.  If you actually go through the process of creating a list and doing the work in advance of what it is you want and don’t want, then you will know it when you see it.  That is the value of the list.

If you haven’t found the person you want yet, it is because you don’t know what you are looking for.  That is how goals work.  You have to set them in advance, because that is how you will know when you see the opportunity or in this case, the person, when you see it.

My wife sometimes reads my stuff and sometimes doesn’t have the time, so just in case she reads this.  My guess is she will since her title is in the subject line.  I am going to make sure I add this.

I got everything on my list and then some.  I settled for more.  She is amazing and beautiful and I definitely won.

I want you to win as well. I challenge you to go through this process.  Visualize the person you want, make the list, and then you will find it.  Until you do this you will never get what you want or deserve.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

This one change could increase your teams productivity by 32 percent!

I speak to many leaders and owners of companies that tell me projects are not getting completed as quickly as they should.  It could be a variety of different things that are slowing them down.  Things such as lack of communication, ego, no sense of urgency, to just having the wrong people on the team.

However, recently I started sharing another thing that could be preventing their teams from accomplishing the goal. And it doesn’t have to do anything with the personalities of the team.  It is instead the distance of the team from each other while working on the project.

At the height the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union both, had teams of engineers working on multiple projects trying to develop and create more more weapon systems and satellite systems.  Between the government projects and private enterprise projects, teams of engineers spent countless hours working trying to develop something that had never been done before.

And like in most organizations, there were teams that consistently outperformed other teams in developing and implementing new things and completing projects. The government commissioned a study to determine why some teams were just better at doing this than other teams.  So they called on Thomas Allen who was a MIT Professor.

Allen started off his research by locating what he called “twin projects”, which was when two or more organizations, either private firms and the government were both working on the same problem.  Or it could have been two groups with the government or two groups of private firms.  Allen then measured the quality of their solutions and came up with a list of success factors that two teams had in common for completed projects.

What Allen determine pretty quickly was that the most successful projects were driven by individuals in groups that were very good communicators. After determining this, he wanted to see where these good communicators learned the skill.  Did they all go to the same school?  Did they have more experience?  Were they better at basic leadership skills? Were they just smarter IQ? Did they know each other better?  Allen looked at all of these factors and none of them gave any significance to being the reason for their superior communication skills.

Then he discovered something unique about where and how the teams of engineers were placed in their working environment. At first Allen didn’t think proximity of these teams had anything to do with their ability to get the jobs completed. But after looking at it further he determined that the most successful teams worked closer together physically.

“The ability to see each other everyday” Allen said, “is more important than you think.”

After determining this Allen researched it further by looking at the frequency of the communication between the teams.  They started looking at this across all teams and determined something very interesting. The further away people worked from each other, the frequency of their communication rapidly decreased. Allen said “It is really a serious thing, if you’re on a different floor in some organizations, you may as well be in a different country.”

Allen plotted the frequency of interactions against distance, and he ended up with a line that resembled a steep hill.  It was almost vertical at the top and flat at the bottom.  This became known as the Allen Curve.

As you can see by the curve that the steepness starts right at the eight meter mark. At eight meters or less that communication rises off the charts.

In today’s world with digital communications research has also found that teams still obey the Allen Curve. One study found that workers who shared a location emailed one another four times as often as workers who did not, and as result they completed their projects 32 percent faster (Daniel Coyle; The Culture Code, Bantam Books 2018).

As a trainer I work with organizations daily on the importance of communication in the workplace and how do it more effectively. One of the biggest things I will now share with them is the importance of proximity amongst the team.

The fact is that if we see each other and we know we have to face each other, we will communicate more effectively and more often, these two things determine success on projects and in the workplace.

To your success and your future.

Notes:  I originally read about the Allen Curve in Daniel Coyles book The Culture Code.  I highly recommend this book to anybody who wants to create a better working team. Proximity matters.  Google has also understood the importance of this and have designed all of their facilities accordingly to create the most opportunities for teams to collaborate and work together. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

#1.  Credit cards trick our emotions. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To your success and your future.

 

 

How one word changed my life and how it could change yours too

Each year I pick one to three words that I plan on living by and using to guide my decisions for that year.  The reason for this is, I believe each year is a new season for your life. Sure, it could be a continuation from the previous year, or previous several years.

However, if you want to grow, accomplish new things, change the status quo, modify your behaviors, etc. Creating a theme or a mantra to live by, allows you to challenge yourself, because you have already identified the changes you want to make.

About five years ago I decided to take the leap.  No, not get married, but something just as close. A friend and I decided to go in to business for ourselves.  So we started a business and ultimately left are good paying jobs to pursue this new business venture. If you want to read more about that venture and what I learned click here

The bottom line is, we ultimately both went back to working full-time jobs and our business has grown since that time.  But when I went back to work then, I was on a mission.  I wanted to make sure that when I decided to leave again that I would be ready. I knew I would eventually leave that full-time job, working for someone else. Again.

So I called the next year, and really that next stage of my life “Preparation”. That was the theme that I lived by for the next couple of years.  Even though our little business is still running today, I wasn’t prepared as much as I thought I was.  I knew that for me to eventually leap again, I would have to have better skills, more money, and be better prepared.

By declaring that my mission in my life at that time it helped me make decisions.  It helped me to have a patience.  It helped me to know where to spend my time.  I knew in the back of my mind, that I would eventually do something other than what I was doing at that time and I wanted to make sure I was prepared for it when that opportunity presented itself again.

Company’s and businesses do it all of the time. You can call it core values, or a creed that they live by.  Regardless of what it is called, when a company or business decides what it is and why it is important for them, it allows everyone in the organization to be able to make better and quicker decisions. Because what is important has already been decided.  Now they just have to make decisions accordingly.  And companies change these core values or creed as time goes on.  What may have been important five years ago, may not be that important now.

As an individual person, the CEO of me.  I have to do the same thing.  I have to decide today what is going to be important for my business and my company this year and maybe even the next few years.  They all go together. By making the decision today, you wont have to think about what is important tomorrow, you’ve already decided.

A few years ago, after the business venture. I decided that real estate and investing was the theme for a few years.  It still is today, but a little different.  When I decided that real estate investing was the theme, I set a goal.  I had already owned real estate. But I wanted to increase my portfolio by ten over the next few years.  That is what I did.  For the next two years, I increased my portfolio by five.  I saved all my money, I cut out all of the wasteful spending, because at that time the theme of my life was to invest in real estate.

Again, by making that decision, that theme for my life, prior to the next year, allowed me to decide and execute much easier, because I had already decided what was most important.  Keep in mind, the real estate investments went right along with me eventually making a decision to do something different in my career.  I knew if I had income coming in from real estate it would make my decision to do something different that much easier in the future.

You can now start to see how these themes come together and work with each other as you progress through each year. This evolution is how growth, change, and success accumulate.

Fast forward to last year.  I knew 2017 was a going to be the year of change for me.  Because of my commitments that I made and executed that I described above, it was now time to make that leap again. In addition to making that leap again, I decided to get married, move to a new state, 1000 miles away from where I currently lived.  Also, buy a new business and leave a six figure plus good paying job and career to start making zero dollars in a new career.

The words I chose to make for my theme for 2017, were simple, but I needed them to help guide me each and every day as I was now doing something that I hadn’t done before.

The words were disrupt and interrupt (this was a theme by itself), cashflow, and relentless.   The most important asset to any business, especially small businesses is cash flow.  It is really the most important asset to you as an individual as well, but that is another blog for another day.

To get the business I was going to buy off the ground and producing, my focus was how can I generate cash flow daily.  From that theme I created very specific goals around it. Just like I did before with real estate.

Also, the other words, disrupt and interrupt was the mantra that I would have to live by every single day to go out and generate the cash flow that I needed for the business.  So as you can see these two themes go together.

The result I wanted was cash flow, but the mentality I had to have was disrupt and interrupt people to buy my services and pay me money. And lastly, the behavior that I had to demonstrate was to be relentless.  Which means never stop until you achieve the goal.

As I wrap up 2017 and I am planning 2018.  I am working on what the themes will be for next year.  They will be somewhat similar to this past year, but they will help me get to the next level.

I don’t know where you are in your life and your career.  But what I do know about human nature is that we focus on whatever it is that is most important. By choosing a theme for your life for next year and the years after, it will allow you to start focusing on those areas of your life.

I can only speak from my experience that when I started focusing on preparing, real estate, and being relentless in creating cash flow.  These words were at the top of mind every single day.  They guided every decision I made.  They got me up in the morning and helped me go to bed at night.

Make the decision for your life and your next season of life today.

If you want to learn more about how to do this.  Hit me up at bwillett555@gmail.com or just put something in comments wherever you read this.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

Why betting on yourself is the best bet, unless…

As a kid growing up in the suburbs of Louisville, Ky we were lucky enough to spend lots of time in the woods playing, or on the streets playing pickup basketball games and football games, or just riding our bicycles around.

Being young and be an adventurous boy, hanging out with other boys. We were always doing dumb things.  Whether it was building a ramp out of plywood and cinder blocks and riding our bikes off the ramps.  To swinging across a creek on a tree vine. Grabbing the backs of cars, while on our skateboards and letting the cars pull us.  You know, kind of like Michael J. Fox did in the movie Back to the Future.  Yes.  I know this was really stupid and dangerous.

In all of these scenarios, as dangerous and innocent as they were.  What we were really doing was betting on ourselves to accomplish whatever it was we set out to do.

Why were we willing to do all of these dumb things?  It wasn’t just the testosterone. It wasn’t because we were young and dumb.  It was because we were fearless. We didn’t lack fear.  We just believed in ourselves enough to overcome the fear or any doubt that we had to have the nerve to attempt what ever dumb thing it was we were attempting to do.

When you’re young you weren’t afraid to take risks.  You weren’t afraid to do things that you didn’t know how it would turn out.  You were willing to bet on yourself.  You were confident in your abilities and your skills, or lack of, to take a risk and do something that wasn’t certain and wasn’t guaranteed to work.  And in most cases, when you attempted these things, there is a big chance of you looking foolish in the process.  It didn’t matter though.  You were willing to look foolish because you were willing to take that kind of risk to prove that you could do it, to yourself and to others.

Most people aren’t willing to invest in themselves.  They are scared to make an investment in to something that might not work out the way it should.  They don’t take the new job, because they might not have it the same way they have it now.  They don’t attend the meeting that could change their life, because they are afraid to be uncountable getting around people they don’t know.

In the last few years I have invested more money in to my personal development than I did the previous ten years.  I sold a house to move to an apartment that I didn’t know if I would like living in.  I got married. I moved from my hometown.  I went from a very lucrative and stable six-figure plus position to a job that paid zero, unless I produced. I put thousands of dollars and lots of time into a potential business opportunity, that ultimately didn’t work out the way I planned for it to.  I met countless numbers of people who I would have never met before.  I made thousands of phone calls to people who didn’t have a clue on what I did or what I could do for them.  All of this was because I was willing to bet on myself to make whatever I wanted to happen to happen.

I have to be honest though, sometime between the days as a kid growing up in my neighborhood to becoming an adult, I lost that willingness to bet on myself.  As I look at the last two years of my life.  I believe I have finally found it again.  I am willing and ready to continue to bet on myself that things will happen because I will make them happen.

I heard a lyric in a song recently that really jumped out at me.  I don’t know who sings it or I would give them credit.  They said “The grass is always greener where I am standing”.

I firmly believe that as well.  Conditions don’t make me.  I make the conditions.  I choose what conditions will exist and so do you.  Betting on yourself is your best bet.  Nobody cares as much as you do about you.  Nobody can impact your future more than you.  Betting and investing in yourself is the best way to ensure your future is the future you want and not the future you get.  Or as my mentor told me “You get what you deserve.”    If you do less, invest less, contribute less, work less, then you deserve less.

Take some risks, be that fearless kid again.  I am.  The only time you should be worried to bet on yourself is if you are not prepared. That is why you must continue to prepare yourself daily.

To your success and your future.

Three essentials to your success arsenal

There are many things that we can add to our tool box that can help us be even more successful than we are today.  However, many times, those things can come across cumbersome and may not even be realistic.

I want to keep your success arsenal simple by giving you three things to think about for your success toolkit.  When you focus on these three things, success will no doubt be yours to grab and to keep.  However, for you to grab and keep success, you must constantly work on these three areas.  Learning, refining, and experimenting is always the key to success in anything.

Mindset: Yes.  Everything begins and ends with your mindset.  If your mindset is not right, success can never be yours.  I am not saying that there won’t be hard days, challenging days, or days that you want to quit.  That would be unrealistic. However, your mindset can determine how you deal with those things when they do come up.  Because they will.  And they always do.

Tool Kit:  Have you ever worked on a home project and didn’t have the right tools.  If you are like me, you have that old toolbox with a wrench, a few screwdrivers, a hammer, and maybe some miscellaneous tools that got handed down to you from your father or grandfather.  And they probably had it handed down to them by theirs.

What inevitably always happens is you start a project around the house and you think you have all the right tools.  As you get in to the project you find that the tools you do have just aren’t working as well.  So you get in the car and drive to your local Home Depot or Lowes and buy a few tools and come back to the house.  You might make some progress on the project and then run in to another snag.  You look it up a possible solution on YouTube and you find out that if you had this one tool it would make it all easy for you.  So again, you get in your car and head to Lowes or Home Depot and buy that tool.  You then head back home, and now hopefully you are able to finish the project.

I don’t know about you, but this has happened to me many times.  So much so, that I now just refuse to do home projects.  But that is another story for another day.

It is important for all of us to constantly feed our brains with new tools that can help us be successful in life, in business, in our professions, in our budgeting, our planning, our marriage, etc.  You name it.  In today’s world, there are always new things coming out that can help us be more efficient, more effective, and better equipped to handle whatever it is that comes our way.

If you are in sales.  Developing new prospecting techniques is always a must.  If you just think about how social media has impacted this process.  Are you equipped with the tool kit to be successful in your business now because of all of the changes and utilizing social media to prospect more effectively? Or for that matter, successfully make sales in today’s business landscape?

If you are in leadership. Are you constantly learning and refining your leadership style. As the generations in the workforce are changing.  And people as whole are changing. People want different things from their jobs and their supervisors.  Do you as a leader have enough tools in your tool kit to successfully lead in today’s world?

Sales and leadership are just two easy examples of professions that need constant attention on developing new tools to execute in these professions successfully.  However, there are many.  Marketing, Accounting, Social Media, etc. to name a few more.  Let me ask you: Is your took kit equipped with the right tools?

Skillset:  If your mind is right and we have the right tools in our tool kit, we can now develop new skills. And this should be the goal for everyone. Well, two goals: Develop new skills and refine and enhance our current skills.  Both of these are important to success.

Look around and ask yourself who in your profession (maybe it is you) is the Michael Jordan (if you don’t know who that is, look him up, #GOAT) of your profession?  Who is the best?  And why do you consider them the best?

The chances are they have developed, refined, and continued to work on developing their skillset in your profession.  They didn’t get to a point and stop learning.  They didn’t get as successful as they wanted to be and stop trying to become better.  If they truly are the best in the profession, the chances are they have continued to evolve and develop their skillset to where it is today. Which has allowed them to be the best.

If you want to be the best. You will have to constantly work on the three areas we defined here. Our mindset determines a lot of what we get or don’t get out of life.  Your ability to seek, find, and develop new tools that can help you be successful is going to always be required. Things are constantly changing, and we must change with them. Lastly, to become the best in anything we are doing, or just becoming better than average if that is your goal.  It will require you to develop a skill set in whatever it is you do that is exceptional and constantly being refined and tweaked.

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.