What season are you in

You know the longer I am in business and in life, I find that this is more true.

  • The second mile, the third mile, and fourth miles are really not that crowded.  The crowd thins out the longer you run.
  • During the week at the office.  The one hour or the two hours before everyone is supposed to start work is really not the crowded either.
  • Saturday mornings at the office you don’t have to worry about the coffee pot getting emptied very quickly.
  • By February of a new year, you can usually get back to your favorite machine during the time you go to the gym.
  • There are usually not traffic jams past 6:30 pm during the workweek. Probably closer to six depending on where you live.
  • Most volunteer organizations struggle with attendance at events they hold.
  • Most diets fail within the first seven days.

I could probably create a more exhaustive list than this, but you get the point.  Most people aren’t willing to pay the price for success.  The natural gravitation pull is down.  I think we can all agree that down is usually associated with easier and less challenging.  If that is true, then we have to find ways to rise up and push up so we can realize the benefits of success.  Success has a price tag.  Are you willing to pay the price for success.

Remember life is full of seasons.  Seasons don’t last forever.  Summer is not 8 months out of the year.  Winter is only a few months.  So investing the time and resources for a season  has the potential to pay off big time.  What season are you in?

What are you willing to do this week to pay the price for success?


My Favorite thing to do

This morning I am doing something that is by far my most favorite thing to do.  I am going to sit down and talk to someone about their desires for growth and development.  This person has taken it upon themselves to become more educated on how to grow and develop a career and a life that they want.  I get to ask lots of questions and I will listen to their story.  I love listening to other people’s story, (it is more interesting than mine, I know mine already.)

What is interesting about this meeting, is it stemmed from a class that I recently conducted with a group of about 20 people.  What is really interesting about that, is they are 1 of 20 people who actually followed up and asked for a meeting.  Does that make them different?  Yes it does actually, a lot different considering they are 1 of 20.  Meaning 19 other people didn’t do it.   I want to be around people who are different, that are seeking to get better and go above and beyond to be successful.  I like different.

I don’t have all of the answers, I am just a seeker like they are.  I have a few things I do well, but I will be learning from them just as they are learning from me.

My mentor told me that inspiration begins with education.  I know this is true, because the more educated I have become the more inspired I have become.  I am just trying to figure it all out though.  So as a friend and a colleague, my plan is always to educate someone. We don’t know until we know.  And once we know that can change the whole trajectory of our entire life.  So maybe I will say something in a way that they haven’t heard it before, or through our conversation they will say something that I have never heard before.

Here is what I do know.  I like to be around inspired people.  They just have more fun and say things and add things of value to my life.  They are a lot more fun to talk to, than the uninspired.

So as I prepare my thoughts and goals for today, I know that I am truly blessed because I get to do one of my favorite things to start my day.

Brian Willett

My last 5 book summaries twitter style

Title: The Wisdom of Andrew Carnegie as told to Napoleon Hill; author Napoleon Hill

  • Having a definite purpose in life and pursuing that purpose with self-discipline and hardwork.  The best BOOK for Success I have ever read

Title: Early Rising; author Benjamin Franklin

  • Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. The habit of getting up early leads to more habits for success.

Title: Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success (Connect with customers to get results); author Colleen Stanley

  • Sale organizations should define who their customers are and only pursue those customers with the approach to serve first and sale second

Title: The Victorious Attitude; author Orison Swett Marden

  • You are what you think about, you think you can’t win, you won’t win. You think you can accomplish anything you will accomplish a lot.

Title: The Sales Advantage (How to Get it, Keep It, and sell more than ever); authors J Oliver Crom and Michael Crom (DC Associates)

  • Rapport, Interest, Solution, Motive, Commitment is the 5 step sales process for Sales Success. Processed selling is for sales professionals

These are all great reads and I have many notes, but the summaries are the gist of what I got from the books.

Brian Willett

10 Ideas on finding time for your Self-Development

John C. Maxwell suggested to me 5 years ago, that I should have an intentional plan for my growth and development.  Up until then, my development consisted of a lot of formal education and intermittent personal development.  I took his suggestion to heart. Since then I have had an intentional plan for my growth and self-development that has paid off time and time again. There is a time and place for focused and committed time for this development, but I have tried to find places and times that are not so conventional to increase my growth and development wherever I can.

Below is a list of everyday activities that I have weaved in personal education and self-development in my life. The tools I use to accomplish this can be books, audio books, purchased seminars, apps, church sermons, cd clubs, blogs, etc.

1.  Mixing physical activity/health and fitness: They are a match made in heaven. Why not listen to a book or a seminar while working out. I feel that this is the ultimate time management activity in my life.  Killing two birds with one stone.

2.  In the shower:  Yes I said in the shower.  Why not, there have been many studies that show a HOT shower does something to stimulate the brain, and many people (myself included) have had great epiphanies in the shower.  Why not encourage that by listening to something of value.  My mentor Jim Rohn would disagree with me on this, he would say, wherever you are be there, but I am looking to maximize my time and my learning.

3.  The Car:  We all have heard turning your car into a mobile classroom.  One hour a day on any subject you can become an expert on this subject within five years.  How much do you drive?

4.  Lunch break:  Many people have an hour for lunch, but even if you don’t.  Why wouldn’t you invest in yourself why you have a sandwich.  Again, that 30 minutes or 1 hour, you may listen or read one great idea, that could change your life.

5.  Cleaning the house:  Yes.  Instead of jamming to Prince.  Listen to an audio book or something that could be motivational, inspirational, or educational.

6.  Yard work:  I hate yard work.  However, when I do yard work it does present me with a set amount of time that I can invest in my own personal development.

7.  Even though I have cut my cable off.  I still watch a few games that are on regular television.  Instead of listing to the commentators though, I turn on YouTube, or pop in one of my cd subscriptions that I have.  I don’t need the commentator telling me what is going on with the game, my eyes can tell me that.

8.  Shopping: If I am on a mission to go purchase something and I go alone.  I will attempt to listen to something that can add value to me.  I won’t be anti social, but if you are in a mall, or even worse at Wal-Mart or something, why wouldn’t you want to drown out the noise in these places (lol).

9.  On the computer:  Some of us probably spend a certain amount of time at our computers throughout the day.  Depending on what you have to do and how much thought you must put into it, have something on in the background.

10. When I am early: This may not make sense to some of you, because you are never early to anything, that is another blog for another day.  Anytime I am early to any kind of appointment or meeting which is most of the time, I squeeze it in.

Some are saying, you are crazy Brian you are ate up with personal development.  Yep, I guess you are right.  But I have a busy lifestyle as well, and I have to be intentional about my growth.  I am not suggesting that I do the above things all of the time, however, I do it wherever I can.  I just know I must be intentional about everything I do and personal development and growth are critical to my success and my career, so I must find a time and a place for it.

Brian Willett

Leadership Alert Here

You can’t teach what you don’t possess.

You can’t teach motivation when you don’t have motivation

You can’t teach a skill if you don’t practice that skill yourself.

You can’t teach discipline when you don’t have discipline.

You can’t tell me about life when you don’t live a life that others would want to live.

You can’t ask me to be better, when you don’t work on getting better yourself.

You can’t tell me to manage my time when you can’t manage your time.

Don’t ask me to to go to training when you haven’t gone to training.

Don’t ask me to take action when you haven’t taken action.

Dont promise me things and then don’t deliver, and then ask me why I don’t deliver.

Leadership is a great place to be, but it is a big responsibility.  It is the ultimate responsibility.  You must be the “leader” which means in all of the above areas, you must be the standard-bearer, you set the pace, you show how it should be done.  You have people’s lives in your hands, leadership is serious.

My challenge to any leader that reads this or parent for that matter.  Be the standard-bearer, set the pace, show the way today.




Yep I did it…

I did it…  Yep I finally did it.  I was inspired by a good friend of mine and something I heard in church to finally do it.  Yep, I cut my cable television off.  When I called in to cut it off, the cable company basically kept offering more and more discounts.  It is not about the money, unfortunately or fortunately, I spend that amount of money at the coffee shop in a given month.  They just kept on probing asking me what they could do.  Then they asked if it was a technical issue.  It isn’t that either, so after 20 minutes I finally got off the phone.  It was so funny.

Honestly, most people I know think I am crazy.  It’s not that I watch a lot of TV, however, on the weekends, I am prone to watch a few hours of sports and mindless television just like anyone else.  I understand we all need an escape in our life and you should spend a certain amount of your budget towards entertainment or you will go crazy.  However, we all go through different seasons in our life, and I am in a season where I need to be distraction free.

I am in an interesting season in my life right now.  Earlier this year, I heard the story of Nehemiah out of the bible.  I cannot quote scripture, however, I do remember this.  “I can’t come down, because I have great work to do.”  I am not a philosopher or theologian, but from a business perspective, I want to accomplish even greater things. This quote means don’t get distracted by little things, because you were put on this earth to accomplish so much more. So focus on your “Great Work” whatever that is.   So to do this, I have to make some sacrifices.  Because if I was able to do some of the things I want to do, I would have already done it.  So since I haven’t accomplished some of these things I want to accomplish, I must change for things to change.  TV is probably a small amount of time in my budget of time, but it is also the easiest to cut off so I can accomplish the great work I want to accomplish.

Is this forever?  Absolutely not, come on, I love watching Tiger Woods on the Golf Course or the Louisville Cardinals play basketball.  But right now, I have some things I am trying to accomplish and I have to eliminate all distractions.  However, if Tiger is in the hunt for a Masters in April, I will be in the local Sports Bar or somewhere watching.  Just saying.


Are you an Elite Olympic Athlete…

Right now everyone is watching the Winter Olympics.  It is pretty amazing watching these elite athletes do what they do.  The Olympic Athletes of their chosen sports are no different from the Professional Football Players of the NFL, or the NBA Basketball Players, or Major League Baseball.  The difference is that professional sports teams have a season every year that is highly televised whereas the Olympics only come every four years.

What is amazing to me are the stories of the Olympic Athletes.  Yes we see the highlights of what these Olympic Athletes accomplish in the Olympics, but the stories of triumph and obstacles and adversity is what I like the most.  We are just blessed to see the results of their effort and it is really cool.  They work for four years to do what they do.  They plan, they execute, they train, they work hard to be the very best in their sport. Mediocrity doesn’t even get them to the starting line, it is all about excellence and that takes training and constant development.

But I have a question for you.  What are you doing to be an elite athlete of your chosen sport?  When I say sport, I mean your career or your job, which ever you call it.  Either way, what are you doing to be the best, or the elite your chosen field.

As a Corporate Trainer, I recently reached out to several people who had an excellent opportunity to take advantage of some very beneficial training that most people have to spend thousands of dollars to get, but they can do it for free.  The people I invited I assumed since they have chosen the field they have chosen, they would want to be elite in their field and be the best (some call me naive, but I assume the best of people, until proven otherwise), but instead of taking advantage, they chose to not participate. If you are not training for your success, you are training for failure.  There is no in between.  You are either progressing or regressing.  When a car is in neutral, it will not go forwards or backwards unless you are on a hill.  I believe a career is that way as well.  You are either going forward or backwards.

I recently read that Elite Athletes will do whatever it takes to get an edge.  (Not a Lance Armstrong Edge), but a legit edge.  I believe this should be the same in a company as well.  Whether you are a bank teller, an engineer, a VP of Sales, a sales person, it doesn’t matter (all careers apply) you should do whatever it takes to be Elite in your chosen field.  Why wouldn’t you?  Some people say, “Well I don’t have time.”  Ok, the company doesn’t have time for you to be mediocre either.  Some people say, “This is not a job or career that I want to be in long-term”, then my advice is quit.  Life is too short to do something you don’t want to do.

I will never be an Olympic Athlete or a Professional Athlete.  However, I am working every day to be an Elite Athlete in my chosen field.  I encourage you to do the same, why wouldn’t you want to be the best!

Getting out of the pile..C

As you have read I have been discussing what I have determined, based on my experience are some of the most beneficial things you can do to separate yourself from the pack within a company or organization.  As I write this last blog on this topic, I quickly want to re-cap what I have stated are the principles for you to successfully get out of the pile.

  • Results
  • Ideas/Solutions
  • Set the pace
  • Candor/Diplomacy
  • Personal/Self Development
  • Give more than what is asked for
  • Never be satisfied
  • Choose well

Volunteer: I had a friend tell me that when he went into the Navy, a group of officers asked a group of these new seaman if they would like to volunteer for a special assignment.  He said that he volunteered.  He spent the next 4 years on a submarine.  He suggested to me to never volunteer for anything.  I obviously disagree.  I have volunteered for things even when I know I don’t want to do them.  But by putting myself out there over and over, it allowed me to separate myself from the pack and get out of the pile.  It has also exposed me to things that I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to.  This not only included experience, but people as well.

Attitude: I personally believe that many of the things I have already talked about illustrates what an attitude is. However, I guess I probably have to put this on the list as being a principle.  I don’t consider myself a naturally optimistic person.  I honestly feel like pound for pound I am like most people, I am kind of neutral most days.  But I spend the first 2 hours every day getting my attitude in a place that has allowed me to be successful.  I think to do many of the things I have suggested in this series is an attitude and your attitude is what will determine your willingness to adhere to the principles.

Gratitude:  3 years ago, this would not have been on my list.  I didn’t think this way.  I always thought of more, and what can I do to get more, I didn’t appreciate what I had enough.  I never had an attitude that I deserve more, because life has a funny way of giving you exactly what you deserve (another blog by itself).  But I never took the time to actually acknowledge and appreciate what I do have.  I now do this everyday.  Some of this things are pretty basic as well.  Like a home, a great family, close friends, a great career, and health.  These things are easily forgotten. So be grateful for what you have within your company.  Your manager will notice this and again will help you get out of the pile.

Don’t wait:  I honestly didn’t know what else to call it, but this encompasses a lot.  Don’t wait for your boss to tell you what to do, Don’t wait for your boss to ask you what you are doing for self-development, Don’t wait for your boss to suggest for you to go to training, Don’t wait to tell your boss about a good suggestion, Don’t wait for anything.  Be pro-active. I tell most people that we all have to “Lead Up”.  Leading up means you are helping yourself by setting the agenda with your boss.  I can tell you that when you are doing the 11 above things very well, you will be leading up (meaning your boss will be following the agenda you are setting, because you are out in front).

I hope this has helped some of you.  Again, any suggestions on principles you would add to the list, I would love to hear them.

  • Results
  • Ideas/Solutions
  • Set the pace
  • Candor/Diplomacy
  • Personal/Self Development
  • Give more than what is asked for
  • Never be satisfied
  • Choose well
  • Volunteer
  • Attitude
  • Gratitude
  • Don’t wait

Getting out of the Pile…B

Getting out of the pile part B.  As mentioned in Part A.  In every organization and company there are many people trying to work their way up, but may not know what to do and how to do it.  How do you separate yourself from the pile (the pack).  In my previous blog, I wrote about four ways that helped me get out of the pile, and on a career progression track that has exceeded my expectations beyond my belief.

Continued Core principles of getting out of the pile.

Personal/Self Development:  If I were to number these principles, and I may one day.  I would put personal/self-development number two, right behind results.  If you are reading this blog, it is very evident that this is where my passion lies. Regardless of my passion for self-development, I have seen so many case studies in the business world.  I have witnessed person after person, that is basically where they were 1,2,5,10, 20 years ago, in their career, because their education and their self-development stopped those amount of years ago.  For things to get better, you must get better, that is a fact.  One of my mentors and friends used to say all of the time.  There are people who have 20 years of experience and there are people who have 1 year or experience 20 times.  Who do you want on your team.  As a leader now, I know the answer to that.

Candor/Diplomacy: This is hard one. I honestly feel that telling how it is, is what actually got me on the path. Being candid with people and processes, and providing solutions to problems and telling leadership what they don’t expect to hear is so beneficial. Through out the years though I have learned to “tell it how it is” with a little more diplomacy thinking about the receivers opinion in the feedback I am providing.  The bottom line is things only happen with and through people, and having their best interest in mind when pushing your agenda and getting results is crucial for your ability to influence and get out of the pile. If you are able to push things forward and influence from where you are, your growth potential is huge.

Set the pace:  To put it a different way, work harder than everyone else.  Be the first person to show up, set in the front of the room, contribute to everything, as mentioned earlier, show results.  No manager wants to constantly have to push people, and when you are an employee that is constantly in front of them (your manager and colleagues), you are setting the pace and they will recognize it.  I have noticed that in most organizations, it is really easy to set the pace.  Working longer hours, volunteering for everything, being a contributor, being early, staying late, being around when no one else is around. Most people don’t want to do these things, so if you just do them, it will set you apart and it will help you get out of the pile.

Ideas/Solutions:  Be the one who has something to say.  Be the one, that is more educated on a related topic on the business or industry that everybody listens, because you have the credibility to contribute.  No manager likes the people who never have any opinions, however don’t always have an opinion on the obvious, be unique, bring something different to the table.  If you bring the same ideas and solutions, tell them how you will do it different this time.  Be a solutions finder and a problem solver.  As Zig Ziglar says, some people find fault like there is a prize for it, don’t be that person, if you do, bring solutions.

More to come on getting out of the pile.

Leave me your comments, I would love to hear your feedback.