This one thing is preventing you from success, and it is not what you think.

I was on the phone the other day with my good friend.  Who also is a coach and trainer.  We both have coached and trained hundred of individuals over the years.  We were talking about some of the challenges that hold people back from pursuing their dreams or realizing their full potential.  We asked each other this question?

What do you think the one thing that holds people back from being as successful as they could be?

We both thought for a minute.  I think we both said the word fear, and deep down, fear is part of it.  However, we both agreed that the one thing is Money. Yep money is holding people back from pursuing their dreams.  Or realizing their potential.  Or just getting them out of job or situation they hate.

I am not going to pretend that I am a money expert.  However, at the age of thirty-two, I started to figure some things out.

I had an income of six figures or so and I was single.  But I didn’t have any money. By the way.  I loved my job.  I wasn’t necessarily looking to leave my job.  Thankfully, I came to me senses then, while I loved my job.  Because the decisions I made then, eventually helped me to make the decisions I would make in my later thirties when I didn’t love my job.

So I didn’t have any money saved.  I had a nice car, two houses, some money in a Roth IRA.  One of my houses I lived in and the other I rented.  I bought anything I wanted.   I pretty much would eat out every single day. I was living the dream.

Keep in mind, everybody I grew up around and my family and my friends all considered me to be rich.  My parents combined had never made the kind of money that I was making by myself with no children.  And because of my lifestyle, it looked as if I was pretty well off. However, I had a car payment, a house payment, student loan payments, and lifestyle payments.

At thirty-two I started thinking about the future and how I wanted options, and I never wanted to be stuck or trapped.  Being stuck is something that has always scared me.  Whether being trapped in a closet as a kid because of my friends older brother. Or feeling like I was trapped in a situation that I didn’t like, because I had already committed to it.

I just don’t like the feeling of being trapped. So as I am having this awakening about my life. I knew I had to change.

I am not an expert on getting people out of debt or helping people save money.  However, I  have listened to hundreds of hours of people who are.  I read close to one hundred books on finances.  Here is the best advice I can give on money and finances.

  • Stay out of consumer debt (things that don’t appreciate)
  • Keep your income high
  • Keep your expenses low on the things you need
  • Invest into things that make you money.
  • Look at things and ask yourself “How long do I have to work to pay for this?” Then decide if it is worth it.
  • Pay cash for most things.

By age thirty-five I was out of all debt, and actually owned an additional two pieces of property that generated income.

I tell you my story to tell you this.  I made the decision at age thirty-two that I no longer wanted to be trapped in a job because I needed the money. And I loved my job.  That is the hard part, most people don’t make the hard decisions at the times when things are good, to prepare themselves for the future or for when times are bad.  This is why people never get where they want to go and achieve what they want to achieve.

After coaching hundreds of people myself, and my friend doing the same.  We both have come to the same conclusion, that money is the thing that holds people back.

However, you have a choice today.  You can decide to make better decisions and start to change your present and your future, by deciding today that you will no longer be trapped by money.  You just have to decide. It doesn’t matter how good things are today, one day, you will want something different. One day an opportunity will present itself, and you want to be ready to take advantage of the opportunity.  But you have to decide today.

If you are looking for coaching on your career, money, finances, success, etc. I am sure I can help you.  Someone like me who has done all of the research and lived it myself.  I have all of the best resources available to help you achieve your goals.  You just have to decide today.

Are you ready to make a decision today that your future will not only appreciate, but will need?  If so, reach out to me at

To your success and your future.



If it is that bad, just leave!

I am not sure what has brought us to this point in the current workforce and culture, but it seems to have permeated itself in both. And that is that people would rather stay and complain, instead of leave and be happier perhaps.

I can’t count the number of conversations I had with employees over the years, that complained about everything our current employer was doing that they disagreed with and even hated.  In my position, as a middle manager, it was my job to execute many of these initiatives that people disagreed with.  And many times, I may have even been the one creating the initiative.  Inevitably, the person that was upset about the situation, had their one-sided view-point and weren’t aware of the bigger issues at large that prompted many of the decisions.

The decisions or the reason for the decisions are not the point of this post though.  The point is that I have watched and continue to watch people think that they have to stay even when they vehemently disagree with the situation. And the solution to this problem is simple.  “Just leave”.

Now many of the snowflakes that are reading this post disagree with the simple statement of “Just Leave”.  Look, if you are constantly looking at everything through the eyes that the company is out to get you.  Or that people are wanting to hold you down, or hold you back.   Then no matter what decisions are made you are going to look at the decisions through these eyes.

If you always see the bad in people, then it is going to be hard for me to convince you to see the good. Instead you and I will constantly go in circles on decisions that have been made, and initiatives that are being pursued.

Look no company is perfect.  No leader is perfect.  A lot of my training includes equipping executive leaders and managers with the soft skills and leadership skills to create an engaged workforce.  Most managers and leaders, and most people for that matter, want to treat people well, and treat people fairly.

Nobody who is reading this post now, can argue the fact that in general people are good, in general people want to treat others like themselves, and treat them well.

We all have to remember that businesses have to make a profit.  And the person who has taken the risk and created a business should be one of the people who make the most profit.  They took the risk, they did the work, they showed up, they should be fairly compensated for it.  If you disagree with that, then again, I would tell you to “Just Leave” and go and do your own thing.

No system will be perfect.  No situation will ever be totally and evenly distributed. All of life is made up on compromises and imperfections. If you are only looking for a perfect situation in an imperfect world, then you will always be disappointed.

To your success and your future.


6 absolutes you must remember as a manager of people

I am finishing up a great read on coaching from a managers perspective.  The book is titled Coaching For Improved Work Performance; Increase productive, raise quality, reduce absenteeism, get more creativity, increase sales.  The author is Ferdinand F. Fournies.  He has written several books around the this topic.

What is a management?

1. We can all agree that management is getting things done through others.  This is the basis of all management.  Which means you must equip the people you manage so they can do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Picture this:  It’s a Monday morning at 7:00 and you (the manager) can’t make it to work that day.  You are sick.  So you call in and don’t show up.  What happens that day at work while you are gone?  There is a high likelihood that if you manage sales people, sales will still be made that day by your team.  Outbound phone calls to potential customers will still be made.  If you manage a customer service office. Customers will still be serviced by your team.  If you are in manufacturing, whatever it is you manufacture will still be manufactured.

Now lets flip this scenario upside down.  Lets say its Monday.  You have a few people on your team that are sick. So they call in and are unable to show up.  What happens to the work that day?  Do the calls still get made to the people who want to buy?  Do the customers still get serviced at the level they expect with fewer people there?  If you are in manufacturing, do the things you manufacture still get manufactured?  The chances are, none of this happens.  Production is stalled because you are missing your team.

So lesson number #1 in management is this.  You need them more than they need you.

2.  Management is a series of interventions.  It is based on the things you do and the way you interact and behave as a manager.  Everything you do on the job is being interpreted by your team this way.  “Is this for me or against me.” So you must do things the right way every single time.

3.  Something I have been guilty of is trying to be an amateur psychologist.  We don’t have to be psychologists to be effective managers, nor should we.  There is no such thing as an amateur psychologist.  You either have your PH.d in it or you don’t, the chances are you don’t, so don’t try to be one.

4. In management, you are not buying people, or their minds, their values, you are only renting their behaviors.  Managers jobs are not to change people or their values.  Management is to change people’s behaviors and get them performing the behaviors you are renting from them.

5. Back to being an amateur psychologist which you aren’t.  If you are trying to determine why or why not people are doing the things they are doing, just stop it. Instead ask them why they chose to do this, instead of doing that.  Most of the time people don’t know what to do, because they only know what they know.  Your job as a manager is to make sure they have enough information to pursue alternatives in their decision-making process. If you want people to make better decisions on what they do, be sure they have as many choices as necessary to choose from.  Yes this requires training.  Training helps educate employees in the different choices they can choose from when making decisions and performing the behaviors you are paying them to perform.

6. In scientific management we use a term called behavior modification. Most managers are equipped to deal with behavior modification because we can look at a behavior and determine whether it was correct or incorrect. We can also measure it, and ask for them to correct it if necessary and we have the ability to see when it changes. People management is managing behaviors.

This book is a great read and these six absolutes can get you back on track as a manager if you have inadvertently gotten away from what your job is as a manager.

To your success and your future.

The Forgetting Curve

A question I hear all of the time in business is this.  How do I get ahead in my career and grow within my company?  I talk to professionals everyday that have all of the credentials, education, the pedigree, and the persistence to be successful, so what is it that they are missing to get ahead?

The best career advice I got for you, is to READ a lot.  Yes, that is all.  Read a lot.  What should you read? Anything you can get your hands on.  Read biographies, read the books on your industry.  Read the books on the industry you would like to be in.  Bill Gates reads a book a week.  Peter Drucker picked one subject and would read everything he could on that subject until he felt like he was very knowledgeable on it. Anything from management to birds and plants. Benjamin Franklin read everything he could.

I have done a study.  Not a comprehensive study with focus groups and people in a room taking a survey, nope, my study has consisted of spending lots of time with people who train other people for a living and who are around people a lot in settings to help develop them.

Here is what I have found to be true with people who read a lot:

  • Influence is leadership, reading provides you increased influence.
  • They tend to be more positive about all situations.
  • They have lots of ideas backed up with evidence, instead of opinions based off of opinions.
  • They bring something to the table.
  • They become experts in their chosen field.
  • They are able lead up in their organizations because of their knowledge and skills.
  • The reading discipline usually leads to other disciplines in their life that help them in their career.
  • They add value to conversations at the water cooler.
  • They are more credible
  • They are more confident
  • They either grow within their company or they take their skills to another company.
  • Are they smarter? Yes, they have data to support their opinions.
  • They are more interesting
  • You cant give what you don’t have, period. (Biggest lesson in life) the good thing is you can go out and get anything you want (Isn’t America great)

Most people don’t read so you will see the benefits really quickly, I can promise you.  Remember this, the first mile is where it is crowded, the extra mile is where there are no crowds.

This morning I was reading a marketing book on Hot Buttons. I don’t think I have read anything that I haven’t heard before in some form.  However, I have at least one page of notes already.  That is what inspired me to write this blog today.

As I said, most of the stuff I have probably heard at one time or the other, but unless you use it and apply it everyday you forget it.  Hermann Ebbinghaus did extensive research on this topic in 1885 and is most famous for the FORGETTING CURVE.  His findings and research are still relevant today. A typical graph of the forgetting curve purports to show that humans tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless they consciously review the learned material.  This is kind of scary.  So why wouldn’t you continue to put information into your mind, especially the same information. 

To get ahead read as often as you can and share that information with as many people as you can.


Spare Time

We have discussed this before on selfdevelopmentaddict.   What you do in your spare time will determine your success or non-success.  Keep in mind, success to me is defined as the constant pursuit of worthwhile goals and dreams.  So you must establish what those worthwhile goals and dreams of yours are and then lay down the action steps and plan to achieve them.

For some reason I wanted to sleep in this morning.  It happens to all of us.  The difference for me this morning was that I had a good friend of mine texting me on what he was working on.  This wasn’t extremely early, but it was before I was motivated to get out of bed.  His texts inspired me to get out of my bed and quickly get on with the day and ultimately inspired me to write on this topic today. It is good to be surrounded by people who push you to be better.

Most of us have three parts to our day.  We have work, sleep, and then spare time.  It is Sunday afternoon as I am typing this, so I will classify the weekends as spare time. If you work on the weekends (As I do), then you work a lot in your spare time and that is good, but what are you working on is the key?

Depending on your work and sleep schedule, it determines how much spare time you have.  Also, I realize many of you may have families and children, lets just go ahead and say it now.  It is up to you to determine what you will get out of your life. If your life is not where you want it to be, then what you do in your spare time will determine your success.  Maybe your life is where you want it to be, for you to continue to have success and achieve more success it will require you to continue to grow and develop.  Things just don’t happen, you must make them happen. So spending time with children and family needs to be budgeted in as well.  I heard a great quote yesterday, while I was spending my spare time in a meeting with other trainers (on a Saturday) learning how we can get better.  The quote was:  “The world we went to sleep in last night, is not the same world we woke up in today”.  WOW, isn’t that true, the world changes so fast.

So what do you do in your spare time.  Well since it is Sunday, most people I know make time for their spiritual thirst and need.  Maybe you attend church on Sunday mornings or Sunday afternoons.  Then you spend time with the people at your church at dinner or lunch.  I am not here to judge right or wrong in what anyone does in their spare time, however, I would say that this kind of activity leads to other good activities and feeds a person spiritually and mentally and allows them to develop and ultimately positions them to achieve their goals and dreams, I know.

What else are you doing in you spare time.  Are you recharging?  Well, that is something we all should do.  You gotta do it for your own health and well-being.  Are you investing in yourself?  That is the question. A portion of you spare time should be devoted and invested in developing your self. Maybe it is reading non-fiction book, maybe it is listening to a webinar, maybe it is working on a small business, etc.  All of these investments are opportunities that will allow you to get closer to your goals and dreams.

What are you doing today, to invest in yourself?  Is it recharging?  Is it spiritual?  Is it learning a new skill or developing a skill?  Please share with me what you are doing.

If this is true, what do you do about it

As a trainer, leader, colleague, friend, mentor, subordinate, mentee, partner, business owner, etc. I have found the following to be so true in just about everything in life. I guess it really comes down to the law of averages and the law of large numbers. With anything that is repeated enough you will eventually see a pattern, so what do you do with it.

People will fall into one of the following categories in just about every situation in everything.

Some will be clueless: Meaning they won’t even know what the heck is going on.  They are not even in the same book, much less on the same page.  If you are attempting to make changes in your life or your career and they are not, they are clueless to the motivation that is pushing you.

Some will be perplexed:  Meaning they don’t understand.  The thing you have to figure out is “Are they capable” of understanding.  Sometimes you may have to spend valuable time to help them understand and it might not be worth it.  Some people just don’t know why things are the way things are.  You have to be willing to know this is true and either invest or eject.

Some will laugh:  How do you know they are laughing, well sometimes they are doing it in your face and most of the time they are doing it behind your back.  You can find them and identify them pretty easily.  Use the laugher as motivation to make it happen.

Some will mock: A mocker is a little bit different from a laugher in that they do it in your face with their questions and their sarcasm.  They attempt to challenge you and push you to engage with them.  Where does this come from?  Who knows, why even stay around and find out, just move on.  Let your results tell the story.

Some will have faith and believe:  These are the ones that say, “We should probably take a look at this”, “Why not give it a try”, “It beats what we have been doing”.  These are the ones you want to be around.

So if this is true and I have found it to be true.  What do you do about it?  Focus on finding the ones that believe and have faith. In leadership, you must find the ones that believe in your mission, believe that the way they are headed is the right way.  If they don’t then it is best to move on for you or for them.

Be around the believers and the ones who have faith, cut out everyone else. But remember the more people you attempt to influence the more you will see of all the above categories. You just have to know how to handle them and when to move on. Some people’s criticisms should be looked at as compliments.

Brian Willett

Are these 7 things holding your business back?

In 2012, Dale Carnegie and associates conducted a study in over 80 countries and across businesses large and small.  This study was conducted to see what the needs were in all of these organizations across the world. The most valuable asset in any company are the people who make up the organization.  A company can only be as good as their weakest link.

Here are the 7 things that the research concluded were the biggest driving opportunities for these companies.

1.  Change Readiness:  People driving change and people willing to change.

2.  Living in Silos:  Collaboration between departments.

3.  Virtual Teams:  Engagement for the team members who work virtually.

4.  Non-Traditional Selling: Team members that don’t traditionally sell, changing their mindset to realize that everyone is in a sales role.

5.  Mid-Level Leadership: Leadership development for mid-level leaders.

6.  Sales Force: Changing the sales force mentality to engage with the client more and challenge their clients with a new thinking style. This requires better questions, observations, and analysis from the sales person. Is your sales force equipped to do this?

7.  Partnerships:  Leveraging relationships in the marketplace and building stronger partners that can assist you in serving your customers.

Each one of these areas are around developing people.  What is your development plan for the people?

As you look at the list above which areas do you believe your company is dealing with the most?  What is your plan to develop in this area?  Individuals who read this blog.  How can you start shifting your mindset to become better equipped to help your company develop in the above areas?  I would love to hear your feedback.  Please email me directly at or post in the comments section.

Brian Willett