Why average sucks

When was the last time you looked up the definition of a word?
If you are like most people, probably not very often.
You either don’t read much, which means you don’t get exposed to a new words very often or you just ignore the word you don’t know.
I have made it a habit to not only look up words I don’t know the definitions of, but I also look up words I assume I know for sure.

It may sound silly to do, but I will tell you there have been many occasions where I looked up a word that I thought I knew for sure, but found that I was a little off exactly.

The word average isn’t one of those words I thought I knew and learned that I didn’t know.

Instead though, what I learned was there isn’t really anything good about being average.

Read some of the words in the definitions below.  Is that what you want?

  • having qualities that are seen as typical of a particular person or thing.
  • mediocre; not very good.
  • a typical amount, rate, degree, etc.; norm.
  • number expressing the central or typical value in a set of data, in particular the mode, median, or (most commonly) the mean, which is calculated by dividing the sum of the values in the set by their number.
  • an amount, standard, level, or rate regarded as usual or ordinary.
  • constituting the result obtained by adding together several quantities and then dividing this total by the number of quantities.
  • of the usual or ordinary standard, level, or quantity.
Three ways to stop being average:
1. To get out of the class of average you first have to stop comparing yourself to everyone else.  That’s the hard reality.  There is a lot of average out there.

2. Realize that it is going to take so much more effort and most likely time to accomplish a goal that you have. Sometimes you can increase the frequency you do things which can decrease the amount of time.  But regardless it is going to take a lot more of everything to accomplish your goals. Unless they are too easy.
3.  Nobody is going to do it for you. It’s up to you.  The calvary is not showing up.  You have to do the work.  It’s on you.Be great today!

To your success and your future.

Three things that I learned that was a total lie

As a kid growing up I am sure I was told by much smarter people, grown ups, of things that I should do or shouldn’t do.  And I didn’t listen.  Because I was young and dumb.  But the older I get the more I realize that those grown-ups knew more because of their experiences.  And nothing can replace experience to teach us lessons.

With all of those lessons that I may have missed along the way, I did pick up a few lessons that I did listen to that were completely wrong.  And these people didn’t intentionally lie to me.  It wasn’t their fault.  But I learned them, and as I have gotten older I now realize they didn’t know what the heck they were talking about.

Money isn’t as important as you think. 

If I had a dollar for every time someone said this to me, I wouldn’t have to worry about money.  I am sure it was told to me as a child at times as well.  But more importantly, and more critical, was the fact that money wasn’t discussed.  Look, I know my parents did all they can.  I didn’t go without food, water, shelter, and clothing.  And I know for a fact that my parents did whatever they could to provide us with everything they could.  I had a great childhood.

I also know that there were people around me that were better off.  Their parents had better paying jobs.  Which meant that they got the newer and nicer things. Kids are smart enough to look around and see the reality of situations, but instead of them only seeing the realities of the situation, I think parents can use that as a motivator to encourage their kids to understand the realities of the situation better by explaining to them the realities of the situation.

My parents didn’t talk about money which meant we didn’t think about money.  At an early age, I knew that money was important, because when I had it, I felt better, and I could go and buy all the damn candy I wanted.  And for me to be able to do that I had to have money.

I can remember poor person after poor person telling me that money wasn’t everything.  There are more important things in life. But just as I learned as a kid and I know it to be more true as an adult, money is necessary for everything.  I need money just to leave my house.  Gas is expensive, food is expensive, dry cleaning is expensive.  Everything requires money.  Not only do you need it to live, but if you have any desire to help other people, you will need money as well.  Never tell anybody that money isn’t that important, because it is.

Formal education is the most important education:

Do good in school, pick a great high school, and be sure to go to college.  I don’t want to discount any of these things.  We all need to understand the basics of which education teaches and provides.  I think most people get this.  Where it goes wrong though, is to only focus on this.

I never had a teacher, parent, counselor, etc. tell me that skills are more important than education.  Skills that I can use in the marketplace that can help me get what I want from the marketplace.

Here are just a few skills, that should be taught, instead of hoping students get them through the process of pursuing a formal education.

Skills such as influencing other people, selling their ideas, being a leader, communicating with tact and candor, taking initiative, problem solving, critical thinking, how to get attention for the things you want, marketing, etc.

Yes, you get some of these skills through the process of a regular classroom, but there wasn’t any course on how to get attention (marketing) in the marketplace.  And if there was, the people teaching the course, my teachers, didn’t know how to exactly do it themselves.  They were reading it to you out of a textbook, which meant their examples were weak and not very compelling.

Yes, a level of formal education is important, but skill development is what is even more important.  Children should learn how to make money, manage money, talk to people, take initiative, take risks, problem solve, etc. These are the skills that are more important.

Seek security:  

Everything I learned by watching everyone in my life was all about security. Find a good paying job with benefits. Go to college and get a good education so you can have opportunities.  Save your money. Don’t get noticed, stay under the radar. Do what you have to do.

Not once did I learn that everything in life that is worthwhile will be just out of reach of my comfort zone and my willingness to expand that zone is what will allow me to get whatever it is that I wanted.

Nobody taught me to seek discomfort.  To seek challenges.  To challenge myself to learn new skills and to be entrepreneurial.

Again, it wasn’t anybody’s fault that I learned these things.  This is what the people I was around the most were taught, and this is what was taught by everyone they knew.  We really are a product of our environment.

As the great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones says: “You will be the same person you are today, five years from now, except for the books your read and the people you meet.”

As a child growing up, I didn’t read very many books outside the ones I had to read.  And I only met people who were in my circle of friends and family.

My suggestion to parents is to look for unique ways to challenge your children and get them experiences with what they will eventually be exposed to in the marketplace.  Teach them the skills that will help them get ahead and stay ahead.

To your success and your future.

Transition Points: The undersold sale

Life is and should be a constant transition point for most people.  If you don’t have very many transition points, then I would highly encourage you to read further.  Also, as a sales person or a person who wants to influence others, understanding transition points of others can help you sell more and influence more.

So what is a transition point?

A transition point could really be described as any transition from one place in life to another, but there are a few very specific transition points that everyone will go through at some point in their life, especially if they live long enough.

  • Teen to Adult
  • High School to College
  • College grad to first employment (wage earner)
  • Single to Married
  • Non-parent to parent
  • Employed to Unemployed
  • Unemployed To Employed
  • Old job, old field to New Job, New Field
  • Old job, old field to Same Company, New Job
  • Spouse to Divorce
  • Family to Single
  • Promotion in a company
  • Change of Job to another company

Again, if you have lived long enough you can already see that you have been in one of the transition points already.

With a transition point each of us now have a new role or responsibility that has some certain identities that accompany it.  Some of these new identities are known to you and everyone else. And some of these new identities, may be a perception that you have that you must live up to.

When I was twenty-two I got married to my girlfriend at the time.  The marriage lasted about nine months.  But during that relationship and the marriage I had assumed many roles and identities that come along in a relationship and marriage.  Many of these identities are the ones that society is aware of and expects as well.

We had the new house, we had the dog, we had the two cars, we had the large yard, we had all of the yard equipment, and I had the pickup truck that made practical sense to me at the time.

After this lengthy five-year relationship that ended in divorce.  I had accumulated all of these assumed roles, responsibilities, and identity that I no longer wanted to be identified with.  I am at a transition point.

The very first thing I did, well after I took care of the major things.  Such as shelter, food, and clothing.

I moved on to the next big thing, which at 22, was “What the heck am I driving around in this old man pickup for!”

I can’t be seen on the dating scene with a pickup truck that married guys drive.  I was taking on a new identity.  And I didn’t want my identity to be associated with this truck.

At thirty-nine years old, it would be much more acceptable. But at twenty-two, it was in no way in my mind acceptable for me to be driving around in this pick up truck. I obviously bought a new vehicle pretty quickly after.

I was in a transition point.  And when people are at transition points in their life, they have new identities that they are attempting to live up to.  As a sales person, you can play to those new identities and help shape the one that a buyer wants.

Another example of this is a really good friend of mine.  Now since we are both in sales, we understand people pretty well.  We both understand that all consumers have needs and desires, but ultimately there is one reason why people buy.  And that is always the emotional reason they want something.

Like in my example, it was really image that was driving my purchasing decision, and not logic.  Especially since I bought a vehicle I couldn’t afford with money I didn’t really have at the time.

But back to my friend.  At age forty or so, they went through a transition point.  They took a new job as an executive in a company. This was really their first time being at that level in their career. With this new role there was a certain identity that comes with it. In their mind and in most people minds.  They felt like they needed to live in a different house.  An executive house.  An executive house has a lot of parameters, but to just name a few.

It must be in a very desirable location in the city they live.  Meaning it has to be some what exclusive and even hard to get and purchase.  The neighbors must be similar people as they are.  High income earners with very high-profile positions in the community and especially in their organization or they must own their own businesses.  The size of the house and the look and lure of the house all matter.

Although my friend had many reasons to buy a new house.  A growing family, a more desirable location based on their lifestyle, etc.  The real reason they purchased the home was because they felt like this new identity and role they were now in,  had certain expectations associated with it.  They spent more than they really wanted to at the time, but it didn’t matter to them.  And they ultimately sold that house and made a very nice return I am sure.

Again, as in my personal example, and in my friends example.  These transition points in our life forced us, and inspired us, to consider making different purchases than we were currently making at the time.  As practical buyers we both could have easily stayed in our current situations.  It made much more sense financially.  But I bought a new vehicle and my friend bought the house.

If you are hiring people for a new job, if you are trying to inspire people to stay motivated on the job, and if you are in sales or leadership.  Understanding these transition points can help you have the influence you want to have.  But you have to understand and know the situation better to actually appeal to the persons needs, desires and wants.

All of this is done through asking questions.  But most people don’t do a very good job at asking questions.  Leaders don’t spend the time with their employees enough to understand what it is they want and are seeking.

And as a sales trainer and a buyer of products for the last thirty years of my life, sales people definitely don’t do a good job at asking questions to understand the buyers desires and actually try to understand their situation.

When you understand where a person is at this point in their life you will be able to appeal to their motives and desires and sell them exactly what they want.

If you are interested in learning how to do this.  Shoot me an email at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti and Marshmallows and why kindergartners beat CEO’s in this task.

If you had to make a bet on which team could perform a certain task better between a group of kindergartners, or a group of business students amongst some of the top elite schools in the United States and abroad.  Who would you bet on?

Peter Skillman, an engineer, put together a competition to answer this question.  The task was simple.  He assembled groups of four people at several colleges and universities.  Their task was to see who which group could build the tallest possible structure using the following items:

  • twenty pieces of uncooked spaghetti
  • one yard of transparent tape
  • on yard of string
  • one standard size marshmallow

The contest had one rule.  The marshmallow had to be the final thing on top of the tower.

Who did you bet on?

The students took the approach of first tossing ideas back and forth.  They asked questions to each other.  They looked at several different options.  It was very strategic and professional.  They then decided on an approach.  Divided up the tasks and started building.

The kindergartners did something different.  They didnt strategize. They did not analyze anything or generate any ideas, or banter back and forth. Nope they stood amongst each other.  Grabbed the materials and started building.  No plan.  No strategy.  They started putting things together, and as they got in to it.  They would say to each other.  “Lets try this”.  “No, here”.  “Lets put that here.”

So who did you bet that would build the taller structure?

If you bet on the business school students, you are wrong. In dozens of trials, kindergartners built structures that average twenty-six inches tall, while the students from these universities average structure was about ten inches tall.

Teams of kindergartners not only consistently outperformed business school students, but they also conducted these same trials with lawyers and CEO’s.  The lawyers averaged fifteen inch structures and the CEO’s averaged twenty-two inches structures.

So how is it? and Why is it?  That kindergartners could outperform all of these highly educated and skilled groups of people?

The simple answer is that kindergartners:

  • Don’t have any egos.
  • They are not trying to prove their intelligence
  • They are not trying to be in charge.
  • They aren’t scared to speak up because they may be wrong.
  • They are not afraid to say no to each other.
  • They are not trying to adapt to any social norms.

Nope.  The kindergarteners are just looking at a task that they have been asked to do and just doing it.  Although the research doesn’t mention this, but maybe the kindgartners also have a better imagination.  They are not trying to put limits on themselves and say what can’t be done. Instead, they just try to do things.  This by itself leads to better outcomes, because if you aren’t willing to fail, which it doesn’t even cross the minds of these kindergartners, than you will never know what truly could be done.

In today’s world, probably as you are reading this.  You are on your way to work where either you, or someone you will work with today, will be trying to solve a problem.  Instead of trying to decide who is boss.  Or who should be doing this or that.  I would encourage you to instead take the same approach as the kindergartners did in this research and determine what is the best way to do this and forget everything else.

I know this is a hard ask.  But if we would all approach issues at work, or in our own personal lives this way, we would accomplish a lot more.  There would be less tension and conflict amongst our peers and in our own personal relationships.  And we would just be happier altogether.

See if you can approach life-like a kindergartner today and see how it works out for you.

To your success and your future.

You can watch the TED talk on this research here as well.

My top 10 books out of the last 100 I’ve read!

I recently hit another milestone in my learning journey.  I just finished book number four hundred in seven years.  For some of you, that may seem like a small number.  But to me, from where I started, to where I am today, this is a an amazing accomplishment for me.

I have written countless times about the power, the confidence, and the joy that I get from reading.  But if you have not read any of that up until now.  I will say it again.  There is not one other thing that I have decided to do in my life and in my career, that has been more beneficial to my success financially, mentally, and relational, than making the decision to become an avid reader of books.  This one discipline has provided me with so much more in my life.

Become a reader and your life will change.  You can start with the list I have for you here.

Its funny, as I look back over books 300 to 400.  It was really easy to compile this list. Well, the fact that I have a grading and scoring system that I manage and track for all of the books I read makes it pretty easy.  But that alone, isn’t the only reason.

This list came together so easily, because the books on this list were by far and away, just really that good.  I am not sure how many of them were actually best sellers, but all of them had a profound impact on me which is why they made the list.

These books, aren’t necessarily the best written, most sold, most known (which I guess would also mean most sold), the longest, etc. No.  These books, had a profound impact on the way I thought, or provided me some new insight that I could apply that could make me more successful.  That is how they make the list.  They had an impact on me.

Maybe they will have an impact on you. Remember, click the title of the book and the link will take you right to Amazon so you can purchase the audio version or the hardcopy of the book. These books are in no particular order.

  1.  9 Things You simply Must do to Succeed in Love and Life; author Dr. Henry Cloud.
    Dr. Cloud is a phenomenal writer and speaker.  He has several best-selling books.  This book I picked up at a discount rack somewhere.  The reason I put it on the list is because he has two chapters in the book that really were amazing.  One chapter on playing fair and the other chapter on hate.In the hate chapter he discusses the practice of hating in a way that solves problems instead of creating them. Cloud suggests that hating well preserves life and hating poorly destroys life. An integral component of hating well is objectivity, which hates the issue without hating the person.

    In the chapter on Don’t Play Fair he discusses the practice of loving unconditionally. Loving without conditions is unfair and incredibly powerful. Further, the author suggests that loving without conditions is possible only when healthy detachment exists. In summary, undeserved love transforms lives.

  2. The Business of the 21st Century; author Robert Kiyosaki
    If you have lived under a rock the last twenty years or so, you may not be familiar with Robert Kiyosaki.  He is the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, and created a massive training company around that title as well.  I received this book from someone who was trying to sell me on joining their MLM (Multi Level Marketing) company.  If you don’t know what MLM is, I again, want to tell you to get out from under the rock.Some people call it Direct Marketing.  But it is selling products through a specific brand like a Herbalife, Amway, Beachbody, etc. to name a few of the bigger ones.  The process for MLM is where a person sells the products to people they know in their circles, and then from there they build a team of people doing it.  As you build a team within their organization you earn money from all of the sales the people on your team make, in addition to your own. I digress.

    This book is somewhat of a promotion of this type of business. A business that I personally have no desire to be in.  I don’t have a problem with the business model, I just don’t want to be in it. However, I am thankful for the book.Robert Kiyosaki is really successful and in the book he is promoting the MLM business, but this book has a whole lot of practical advice on why it is important for everybody to start some kind of business.  Whether it is real estate, selling products, or something else. Everyone should be involved in their full time job and a part-time job doing something that could eventually grow into something bigger.

  3. Be Obsessed or Be Average; author Grant Cardone
    Grant Cardone is a best-selling author and one of the top influencers on all social media platforms.  He is everywhere.  He has two primary goals.  First he is a sales trainer and his company sells sales training.  Secondly, he has built a huge company where he owns over 5,000 apartments around the country. The reason this book was so impactful is Grant is probably the best motivator I have ever listened to or read.  He will make you think bigger and differently than you have ever thought before.This book, is somewhat of  continuation of his 10X book. However, you don’t need to have read the 10X book before you read this one. Although I read the hard copy version, I would encourage you to buy the audible or audio version of this book.  Grant has a way of reading his books like no other person can.  He will get you motivated.
  4. Rejection Proof: How to Beat Fear and Become Invincible, author: Jia Jiang
    After I read this book, I immediately was more motivated to go out and do some of the things I was most fearful of.  I picked up the phone and called a CEO that had been putting me off.  I wasn’t scared of the CEO, or at least, I would have told you I wasn’t.  However, what is the worst that can happen.  There is no growth without a little fear, hesitation, and some discomfort, but that is also where the growth and success exists as well.  Read this book and you will learn how to overcome your fear.  This was one of the best books I have read in a long time about sales and it isn’t even a sales book, but it is.
  5. Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter, author: Scott Adams (Dilbert creator).  Scott Adams is the creator of the world-famous comic strip Dilbert. But Adams is not only a cartoonist, but he is a great writer.  Most of his books are around this topic of persuasion and how we can have more influence.  In this book, he talks about why he was one of the first to predict that Donald Trump would win the Presidential election in 2016.  He made this prediction because of Donald Trump’s ability to persuade and convince people.  This book is well written and is truly a lesson on how you can be more persuasive and convincing and grab attention in todays complex and noisy world.
  6. Nudge: Improving Decision about Health, Wealth, and Happiness; Author: Richard Thaler.  This book is about how every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones. The authors show that no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way, and that we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions. The author’s research show us that when things are presented in a certain way, we can change the buying patterns for people.  These little nuances can help everyone become healthier and even wealthier.  Richard Thaler also won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2017 for his work around behavioral economics.
  7. Anti Cancer; A new Way of Life; author: David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph. This book chronicles the story about how the author was diagnosed with brain cancer and the steps he took to fight and ultimately beat cancer.  He tells us his story, but also provides the readers his playbook, based on his success and his research, on what we can all do to not only fight cancer, but prevent it.  The biggest thing I learned was that a few changes in my diet could prevent me from ever having to deal with this.
  8. Made to Stick; Why Some Ideas Survive and others Die; authors: Chip and Dan Heath. In typical Heath brothers fashion, this book is peppered with lots of great research and support to back up their claims and the processes they suggest.  Through this process they outline several steps we can all take to come up with and deliver messages that stick with our audience. Whether you are a parent trying to get a message to stick with your child, to a manager trying to get adoption of a new process. This book tells you how to communicate in a way that gets things to stick.
  9. The Thomas Sowell Reader; Author Thomas Sowell.  Sowell is an American economist, turned social theorist, political philosopher, and author. He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. This book is a collection of the authors columns that have been syndicated in Newspapers for the last forty years, and our still being distributed.  Sowell’s opinions on everything from race, religion, politics, to every other hot button topic you hear about everyday is refreshing.  The way he breaks down and communicates in his writings his arguments on all of these topics will challenge you to think about the topic differently, regardless of what side of the argument you are on.  He believes in personal responsibility and that government should not be in our lives as much as they are.  Yes, he would be labeled as a conservative on many of his views.  However, I consider most of his arguments to be just very practical and straightforward.
  10. Steal Like an Artist; 10 Things Nobody Told you about Being Creative; author: Austin Kleon.  This book is the shortest read on the list.  The book is actually really tiny, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t impactful.  The information in the book, the quotes, the ideas the author throws out will really get you thinking about how you can get your creative juices flowing.  In addition, the author reminds you that everything we create is some form of a copy of something else.  Nothing is original.  We all have to start from something.  And he makes you feel good about how you go about creating and developing your material in whatever it is that you do.  This book isn’t only for people who currently do work that must be created, this is for someone who would like to be more creative.  This book will show you how to do it.

I hope you pick up a few of the books that I have recommended here.  When it comes to reading, I have learned that I must seek out other people’s opinions on books and get recommendations.  Most people won’t recommend a bad book.  I won’t, unless I think it will help someone based on whatever it is they are dealing with and working through.

But that is the point, many of the books I recommend and say are my best.  May only have been the best, because of what I was doing at the time I read them.  Of the four hundred books I have read, some of them, if I read them again today, I might be looking at them through a whole different set of eyes based on my perspective now.  And this list could be a totally different list.

My only advice to you is this. Become a reader.  Start finding books or even listening to books.  It will change your life. It has mine.

To your success and your future.

 

Unrealized Potential, do you have some?

I recently read a quote or statement that said that the graveyard is full of unrealized goals, un-lived dreams and untapped-into potential.

I am not sure if it is just me, but this statement just resonates with me.  It does sound a little morbid, but it paints such a clear picture of what I don’ want.  Who wants to wake up one day and say to themselves:

  • “I wish I would have done more”.
  • “I wish I could have done that.”
  • “I wish I would have pursued that”
  • ” I wish I didn’t spend so much time on that”

All of these statements are things that I can change now.  I have control over all of these things.

My mentor said it this way.

He said that the pain of regret weighs tons, and the pain of discipline weighs ounces.

If it is not obvious to you. This statement means that it is much easier to do the things today and everyday, that is necessary for you to realize your potential and live your life to the fullest, by just implementing the right daily disciplines in your life.  The work is hard, but when you are consistent it gets easier.

But if you don’t do the things you are supposed to do.  And you allow neglect in certain areas of your life to creep in.  Whether it is your health, your wealth, or your education and knowledge, then one day you will wake up and have regret.  Because when you don’t focus on these important things in your life, and you neglect them consistently for a long period of time.  You will eventually wake up one day, and because of it, you will have regrets.

You will wake up one day at age 50 and know that you don’t have enough, or any money, saved for retirement.  You will go into work one day at 52 and learn that your company is not doing so well, and so they will be letting you go.  And because all you have every done at the company was one thing for many years, your skill set isn’t transferable to another job very easily.

And as I have learned from first hand experience in my personal life.  If you neglect your health for years and years it will eventually catch up to you.  As I am typing this, I can still see my fathers face as he was sitting in the emergency room that day.  I didn’t know and he didn’t know what was going on, but I know that it was the last time I saw him alive.

My dad was the best dad anybody could have.  I loved my dad.  He would do anything for anybody.  I had a great child hood.  But when it came to health and wellness, my dad was just not that interested in it.  I hate to say that he didn’t think about it, but he was old school. If he wasn’t bleeding or hurting, than nothing was wrong.

He would occasionally go on diets to lose a few pounds.  Or cut out certain foods here and there.  But it just wasn’t his top priority.  He was too busy doing work and life.

I am not sure about you, but I know for me that I never want to wake up one day and say any of the above statements.  I want to reach my potential in every aspect of my life.  I want to be the best husband that I can be.  I want to be the best I can be in my community and church.  I want to make the most money that I can make.  I want to be in the best shape and health I can be in.  I want to buy and own as many rental properties that I can buy.

You name it, and I want to achieve it.  But it isn’t going to happen unless: I choose to realize and fulfill my full potential.  My potential isn’t going to be realized doing things I shouldn’t be doing.  It isn’t going to be realized and fulfilled by spending hours and hours doing things that should only take one hour.  It isn’t going to realized and fulfilled by listening to people who don’t even know or care about what I am trying to accomplish.

Nope none of this will happen unless I decide and go all in.

I have to make the decision today and everyday, that I will do nothing and I will do everything that it takes to realize and fulfill my full potential.

Are you with me?

I didn’t hear you!

Are you with me?

If you are with me.  Drop me note in the comments section wherever you read this and let’s make it happen.

To your success and your future.

 

The secret to accomplishing everything you have ever wanted is here.

Perhaps by now you have heard about the research study that was conducted at Harvard or Yale University on written goals?  You know the one.  Where so many people of a certain graduating class had written goals, and a certain percentage of the class didn’t have any written goals.  And after several years, they followed back up with those graduates to see what they had achieved.

What they found was that the 3% of students who had written goals, clearly defined, accomplished 10 times more than the students who didn’t have written goals.

Well, just so you know, that research was never substantiated.  Because it never existed.

As a person who has studied goals and speaks on goals a lot to others. I have to admit, I had actually referenced this fictional research myself.

Luckily, a professor of Research by Dominican University of California psychology, Dr. Gail Matthews actually conducted some research that supported this urban legend.

A total of 267 participants were recruited from businesses, organizations, and business networking groups. However, only 149 participants completed the study. The final participants ranged in age from 23 to 72, with 37 males and 112 females.

Participants came from the United States, Belgium, England, India, Australia and Japan and included a variety of entrepreneurs, educators, healthcare professionals, artists, attorneys, bankers, marketers, human services providers, managers, vice presidents, directors of non-profits, etc.

Participants were randomly assigned to one of 5 conditions (groups):

  • Group 1- Unwritten Goal;
  • Group 2- Written Goal;
  • Group 3- Written Goal & Action Commitments;
  • Group 4- Written Goal, Action Commitments to a Friend;
  • Group 5- Written Goal, Action Commitments & Progress Reports to a Friend.

Participants in Group 1 were simply asked to think about their goals (what they wanted to accomplish over the next 4 weeks) and then asked to rate that goal on the following dimensions: Difficulty, Importance, the extent to which they had the Skills & Resources to accomplish the goal, their Commitment and Motivation to the goal, whether or not they had Pursued this goal before and if so their Prior Success.

Participants in Groups 2-5 were asked to write (type into the online survey) their goals and then to rate their goals on the same dimensions.

Group 3 was also asked to formulate action commitments.

Group 4 was asked to formulate action commitments and send their goals and action commitments to a supportive friend.

Group 5 was asked to formulate action commitments and send their goals, action commitments and weekly progress reports to a supportive friend.

At the end of four weeks the participant were asked to rate their performance.

The results showed:

Types of goals: Participants pursued a variety of goals (in order of frequency reported) completing a project, increasing income, increasing productivity, getting organized, enhancing performance/achievement, enhancing life balance, reducing work anxiety and learning a new skill. Examples of “completing a project” included writing a chapter of a book, updating a website, listing and selling a house, completing a strategic plan, securing a contract, hiring employees and preventing a hostile take-over.

Which Group achieved the most?  Group 5 achieved significantly more than all the other groups; Group 4 achieved significantly more than Groups 3 and 1; Group 2 achieved significantly more than Group 1.

76% of the participants in group 5 achieved their stated goals and only 43% of the participants in Group 1.

And groups 2-5 had a 50% higher chance of accomplishing their stated goals than did group 1.

So what do you need to do to achieve more in your life?  Very simply, do what the participants did in Group 5.  Write down your goals, and create an accountability system with someone other than yourself.

If you want to learn more about how to do this.  Please contact me at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

Pieces of this blog pulled from this link 

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.

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Please share and inspire someone else today.

To your success and your future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To your success and your future.