Don’t continue to be a fool

It is time to count.  Yep.  It is black and white.  It is not gray, it is not up for debate, it is not  up to interpretation.

You have either made progress towards your goals or you haven’t.  Do you remember back in December, btw: it was only 12 weeks or so ago.  You made a decision to make changes in your life.  It could have been in a variety of different areas you wanted to make changes. The ones that are most common can be found in a previous blog post here: http://wp.me/p4eY1f-cX

How are you tracking towards your 2015 goals and dreams?  How much progress have you made?  The good thing is that quarter 1 of 2015 is in the books and you are still here and you have three more quarters to win the game in 2015.  So you can start today!

A fool is described as a person who acts unwisely or silly.  So a person who is wise would be a person that is aware of what they are doing and is alert.  If you haven’t made any progress towards your goals you set, be wise and decide today what changes you should have made but just haven’t for whatever reason.

When the Why gets stronger the How gets easier.  Is your why strong enough?  If you haven’t made any progress towards your goals your why must not be strong enough.

My advice for you is to go back to your goals?  Oh, if you didn’t write them down, then shame on you.  You have to write them down.  If you have them written down already or you are now taking my advice and writing them down.  Next to each one of them write down why this goal is important.  Ex:  I want to lose 10 pounds.  Losing 10 pounds because your clothes don’t fit, is probably not a strong enough WHY.  You can just buy new clothes. And guess what, most people will.  They would rather do that than put in the hard work and discipline required to lose 10 pounds.  Your Why should be centered around what it will mean for you personally when you lose 10 pounds.  Maybe it is your blood pressure will be lower, which means you are healthier and you can play with your children. Or by losing 10 pounds, you will be more confident in your appearance that it will give you the confidence to change jobs and pursue that big opportunity you have been thinking about.

The first day of April is April fools day.  My hope is you will look at today as the opportunity to be wise instead of being foolish.  Being foolish means doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, or maybe that is insanity.  Either way you have a choice to make today.  You have three more quarters in 2015 to accomplish your goals and your dreams.  Take inventory today and create a game place to ensure you accomplish those goals.

To your success and your future.

 

Your excuses are old

What is on your should do list today?  Is it exercising for 30 minutes, reading a periodical that can help your career, calling the school to finish your degree that you just haven’t got around to yet, signing up for the training class, etc.?

All of the above are things that you don’t have to do, but you should do.  But most of us (including myself at times) don’t make the time for the things we should do.  Why don’t we make the time?  I am not sure.  If I had to guess, I would say that we don’t make the time, because they are not have to do’s, like a lot of what we have to do everyday is.  So you have to quit it with the excuses, its go time.

Make your should do’s, a MUST do:  I am not sure how this can work for you, but I will tell you how it works for me.  Exercising for me use to be a should do, but it became a have to and must do (that I enjoy, most of the time) when I saw my mother in the hospital having a heart attack.  I talk about this experience in my book 7 Ways to More.  Go to this link and purchase the book, if you want to read the entire story.  http://www.amazon.com/Ways-More-Maximize-enjoy-reaching/dp/150257800X/     The reason it became a must do is because without health nothing else really matters.  And after seeing my mother and seeing what is in my genes, I said this has to be a priority.  This was the sign I needed to change my thinking from should to must.  So what signs do you have in your life right now that are flashing in front of you saying I must turn these should do’s into must do’s?

Do it early: Early to me isn’t a time necessarily.  It is when you are at your best and if you are like most people you are your best when you are well rested and focused.  For me this happens to be early in the morning.  The reason that is because after a long day of work I don’t have the willpower to do the things I should do.  Almost four years ago, I changed my should do’s to the morning. This is when I am the best and focused and it changed my life forever.  So when are you at your best? I know many people tell me that they are their best late at night or after they get off of work.  Maybe you are.  I say do it early, because that is what works for me, however, the key is to ensure you have it scheduled and planned.

What should do’s on your list are you going to make must do’s? We all have many excuses each and everyday why we didn’t get anything on our should do’s list accomplished. But those excuses aren’t getting you closer to better health, more educated, or a better life. Change your should do’s to must do’s and see how things change for you.

To your success and your future.

Get back on track

Today has been a great day!  For some reason at the end of 2014, I had a lot going on and I had nibbled away from some things that were really important and really make a difference in my life.  Did you catch my excuse?  I did, #noexcuses2015

This morning I had a chance to get back in to the thing I had nibbled away from.  It was an awesome thing!  They welcomed me back with open arms, I don’t know if they missed me, per se, but I know I missed them.

We all nibble away from time to time don’t we?  At times we might take a few days off from eating well.  Or we might not be as diligent in cutting our expenses in our household.  You might not be as focused at work as you said you were going to be.  You might be complaining more, after deciding to complain less.  You don’t spend as much time with your kids as you said you would.  You aren’t finding the time to prospect as much as you committed to.  Whatever it is for you, you can get back on track starting today, right now!

25 days ago today, maybe you made some decisions.  And if you are like most people (if you are reading this blog you aren’t like most people) however, you may have already nibbled away from some of those decisions you made.  Did you establish some goals and commitments for 2015? Are you still on track?

Just like I decided on Friday that I would get back on track for something that is important to me, that I had nibbled away from.  You can decide as well.  You just have to decide and make it happen.  Nothing is stopping you, except for you.

To get back on track go back to the reason “why” you decided that the “thing” was important to you in the first place.  Once you remember that “why”, write it down again.  Then make the plan to hold yourself accountable to getting it done.  What do you have to change again to make it happen?  What do  you have to do differently than you have been doing?  Do it now!

I made the decision on Friday to get back on track and I managed that decision all weekend.

 

To your success and your future.

Sure it is uncomfortable, its new

Are you willing to give up the comfort that you know to get the life that you want?  This is a question that we all must ask ourselves.

  • It is uncomfortable to work all day or all night and then go to school.
  • It is uncomfortable to implement an exercise routine when you have never done one before.
  • It is uncomfortable to stop smoking when it is something you have done for 5, 10, 15, 20 years.
  • It is uncomfortable to meet someone new and get to know them and see if this is a person that could be a potential partner in your future.
  • It is uncomfortable to quit the job you have been doing for so long that you are not growing in, to pursue a totally different profession.
  • It is uncomfortable to cut out expenses in your budget for things that you have always had.
  • It is uncomfortable to tell your kids “no”, we can’t afford it.
  • It is uncomfortable to alter the life you have always known or have come to know and flip it around to fit in new people, new things, and new initiatives.

We all know we must get out of our comfort zones to grow, to take risks, to see something new, experience something new, to possibly find someone new. But the little voice in our head, the habit, the comfort, tells us that it isn’t the right time. I am scared, I am not sure I want to work that hard, I am not sure I can do it now, starts to take over and it is real.

I have some major goals in 2015 and in my life that I plan on accomplishing.  I am sure you do as well.  I am making the commitment to do things that make me uncomfortable starting today, are you?

To your success and your future.

 

Keeping AVERAGE away today

In a world where average is the norm and pretty much everyone you come across is pretty much average. I thought today would be a good day to discuss some ways that I plan on keeping the average away today.  Average is easy, Average doesn’t take much effort, Average well, is just average and nobody really wants to be average.  The tone that average comes off of my lips when I am saying the word just brings me down and makes me feel, average.

Here are six things I am doing today to ensure I keep average out of my life today.

1.  Don’t take advice from people who are average:  Everyone has an opinion, but I believe you must have earned the right to have an opinion. How do you earn the right?  That is a complex question with many answers, but it starts with competence and character first.  Secondly, Results.  Yep, I don’t take health and exercise advice from fat people (no offense) and I don’t take financial advice from broke people.

2.  When I don’t feel like doing the task, I am going to do it anyway with speed and efficiency:  It is 6:27 am as I am typing this blog.  There have been three things already today that I didn’t really want to do.  Meaning if they would have gotten done without me doing them, I would have been fine with that.  But that can’t happen.  I am the only one that can do those three things and I did them.  I am going to keep that my focus all day.

3.  Seek excellence in what I do: Since it is easy to beat most people’s expectations, again no offense, but most people have low expectations.  I am going to continue to set my own expectations, because they are much higher than anyone else’s.  I am going to pursue excellence in my personal life and career life. If you aren’t seeking excellence, get out of my way.

4.  Work towards my own personal goals first:  Sure I have a full-time job with goals and expectations.  I will complete them all today, without a doubt.  However, I will also ensure that my own personal goals for my health, my wealth, my education, my own personal interests are pursued and accomplished as well.   

5.  Take a few risks:  I have on the schedule today to take a few risks.  I know what a few of them are and I am still contemplating on the others.  Since one of my overriding themes for 2015 is NOEXCUSES, this will require me to take a some risks.  I may have to say something unpleasant to someone, I may have to invest some time in a new area, I may have to put some money up.  Whatever it is I know for me to get to the next level I have to take some risks. No risk, no reward, couldn’t be a more truer statement. 

6.  Help people who want the help and those who need the help:  Since my time is very valuable and yours is to, it is hard to allocate the time to necessary to everyone who wants it or needs it.  So today I am going to spend my time with those who really want it and I am going to find a way to provide some time for those who need the help and maybe cant get the help they need.

This blog is all about the success journey and I hope you see value in it.  Please share this blog with someone you know.

Also check out other resources I have at thebrianwillett.com

To your success and your future.

 

It’s a miracle

In my business I have a chance to talk to a lot of people about their career and their goals.  Many of these people are incredibly talented and work extremely hard.  What I have found is that most of these people do set goals and some of them even write them down. But the difference I have found in-goal setters that write them down versus the ones who don’t write them down is what is really interesting.  Here is an example of this difference:

Mark McCormick in his book What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School tells of a Harvard study conducted between 1979 and 1989.

In 1979, graduates of the MBA program were asked to set clear written goals for their future and their plans to accomplish them. It turned out only 3 percent of the graduates had written goals, 13 percent had goals but they were not in writing and 84 percent had no specific goals at all. 

Ten years later, in 1989, the researchers again interviewed the students of that same graduating class. They found that the 13 percent who had goals that were not in writing were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent of students who had no goals at all. Most surprisingly, they found that the 3 percent of graduates who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, 10 times more than 97 percent of their graduating class. The only difference between the groups was the clarity of goals they had set for themselves when they graduated. (research pulled from DarrenHardy.success.com)

As I mentioned earlier, I have been a goal setter for all of my life and did okay.  About four years ago, I became an intentional goal setter that actually wrote them down on paper (or electronic). About two years ago, I purchased a program (a very expensive one I might add) on goal setting.  The last two years, I have seen exponential growth.  The last two years I have spent no less than eight to ten hours in December on setting goals and writing them down for what I would like to accomplish the following year.  This is where the miracle occurs.  First of all taking the time to focus on doing this.  The time invested to plan out a game plan for the next year is valuable within itself.  Secondly, writing very clear and specific goals down. These two activities are truly miraculous in my opinion.  Something magical happens when you do these two things.

There are seven or eight key areas in everyone’s life.  They include career, financial, family, health, spiritual, relationships, social, business, etc.  Having very clear, written, specific goals in each of these areas is what separates the goal accomplishers versus the people who just get by.

Is this another article, blog, or Facebook post about goal setting at the end of the year.  Nope, I hope not.  Here is the difference when setting goals, what you want to accomplish next year is just as important as what you want to accomplish in the next 30 days, or 10 years.  The kind of goal setting I am talking about is “designing a life” not just setting some goals. My mentor told me this: he said don’t set your goals too low, set them high so you have to stretch to reach them.  In 2015,  I plan on accomplishing goals that require me to stretch and are a piece of my puzzle in the life I am designing.

Lastly, if you would like to schedule a one on one meeting with me to discuss some goal setting for you and your life.  I am meeting with people right now for a discounted rate of $100 an hour.  Please go the thebrianwillett.com   and contact me and I we will schedule a face to face meeting or over the phone.  Lets see what we can accomplish in 2015.

To your success and your future.

 

 

Create your own Blue Ocean

As we wrap up 2014 and shift our focus to 2015. I have already been thinking about what I plan on accomplishing and what I plan on not accomplishing next year.  I recently read the book Blue Ocean Strategy; How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant.  The book gives a playbook on four action steps a company can take towards making the competition irrelevant as it states in the title of the book.  The book uses the metaphor of oceans and explains that a red ocean is full of companies and products doing the same thing, selling the same things, and focused on the same customers.  A blue ocean strategy is where you are out in front, wading in the blue water all alone, because you have created a niche that no other company is competing with you.  A good example of companies that have done this would be Southwest Airlines, Apple did it with iTunes, and Google, to name a few.

The four action steps that companies can apply to business are also the same strategies that a person can apply in their own life.  These four action steps are the steps I am using in 2015 to create my own blue ocean and make the competition irrelevant.

The four action steps:

1.  Eliminate factors:  Some companies continue to keep certain features of their products because that is what they have always done and must keep doing. Additionally, the competition has these features so we must keep them as well is the thought process.

Just like a company there are certain things and activities that I have done the past few years that I think I must continue to do for my success, whether it is at work or my personal life.  In 2015, I plan on eliminating tasks, activities, and even people who I have thought I needed to continue my personal/professional success or advance my success.  I am going to do exactly what the book says that companies should do, I am going to eliminate certain factors that are no longer necessary to my future success.

2.  Reduce Factors: My mentor said that sometimes we spend major time on minor things.  Companies spend too much time and energy on factors that are well above the necessary requirements from the customer.  For example:  Having a top of the line break line when a less expensive break line that does the same thing is sufficient enough.

For me in 2015, I am reducing the amount of time I spend on tasks and activities that don’t matter as much.  There are many, I am not saying that they are not important tasks, but the amount of time I spend on them should be greatly reduced so I can spend more time on the areas in the next two action steps.

3.  Raise up factors:  There are some factors of a product that could add a lot of value to the product and the competitive advantage for the company producing the product, if the company would spend more time in raising up the standards in those areas.

In my personal and professional life there are activities that I will raise up and focus on more and raise the standard of which I have been allocating for them.  As I stated above, I will spend major time in these areas, because they have the potential to create the blue ocean opportunity for me personally and professionally.

4.  Create new factors:  In some product lines and industries there are factors that aren’t currently being offered by anybody.  This is where the greatest opportunities exist. What do customers want that they don’t even know they want?  If you create a product or highlight a feature of a product that is new, a blue ocean opportunity could be created.

This is the area that I am really excited about in 2015.  What are some new areas of growth and opportunity for me personally and professionally. What are some areas that I have never thought about focusing on that could bring great value to the marketplace and to my company.

The frameworks of eliminate, reduce, raise-up, and create is an easy process that any of us can apply in our jobs, our departments at work, and as I stated here,  in our lives  personally and professionally.

#noexcuses2015

To your success and your future.

 

The three C’s of decisions

Today and everyday you have an opportunity for greatness.  How do we get to greatness?  You have one of three decisions to make.  They are:

Chance:  The possibility of something happening.  Which means you are just sitting around waiting for something to happen.  Maybe it will happen maybe it wont. Sometimes chance can be a good thing as long as you are working to put yourself in places or situations where “chance” is more likely to occur.  But if you are hoping by chance that your next promotion will just happen because you have been on the job the longest, or your next in line, this is not a very good strategy.  Don’t wait for chance, prepare and decide.

Coercion: Out of the three C’s I would say this is the one that I worry about the most.  Which is why I try to stay in front of it.   Coercion is the act of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner.  How can coercion impact you?  It can come in two forms.  It can be Psychological or Physical.  Lets hope that nothing physical happens to you, but it could.

Sometimes things happen in our lives that force us to make decisions that we wouldn’t have made otherwise.  I do a lot of interviewing of people for jobs.  Some interviewees are looking for their next career path and an opportunity in the space I am in and some are just looking for a job because they lost their other job and need to pay the bills.  They have no desire to really do what we would require them to do, and they really don’t want to do it, but because of their current condition they have to take whatever they can get.  Don’t get caught up here.  Don’t allow external factors forced upon you to guide your decisions.  Be proactive and intentionally pursue your own decisions.

Choice: The last C is choice.  We all know what it means to make a choice and decide to do something.  It just means more and it will most likely lead to a desirable outcome that we envision for ourselves because we are controlling it.  However, you have to make a choice for your choices to make you.

What do you want to do, where do you want to be, how much do you want to make, where do you want to live, what do you want to do, who do you want to do it with? All of these are choices we can make, and we can make them every second, every hour, every day, and every year.  Make a choice and decide what is important to you and go after it.  If you don’t know how to do it, ask somebody that has done it before, if they can’t tell you how they did it, ask someone else.

As we wrap up 2014 and are thinking about our goals for 2015, what choices are you going to make?  What do you want to accomplish?  Don’t sit around and wait for a chance, don’t let some external factor coerce you in to making a decision, choose where you want to go and where you want to be, and go do it.

To your success and your future.

 

 

Making payments

This weekend I have the fortunate opportunity to be in Atlanta, GA participating in the Dale Carnegie Training Leadership Certification process.  I have been a leadership trainer for years.  The process to become certified (official, with a credential) requires me to attend a four-day training event that is conducted by the company to see if I understand their material enough to represent them and deliver it.  I have my own material personally, however the certification with a 100-year-old training company gives me a pretty high level of credibility in the marketplace.

This four-day training is just one piece in the certification process. The process actually began over five years ago when I took the course the very first time.  It is a seven week course where you attend once a week for 3.5 hours.  Once you attend the course, you must be a course coach (graduate assistant twice), yep another 14 weeks.  I did all of that the last three years or so.  This weekend is the next step, and after this weekend, I will have to conduct another two classes (7 weeks a piece.)

This weekend as a trainer it is pretty challenging. The master trainer basically gives you a reality check.  They coach you on every single word you use in front of a live audience.  They provide you feedback and coach you on the spot in front of class participants and several other trainers.  The process is very humbling to stay the least.

As challenging as this process has been, is now, and will be in the future. I know it is necessary for me to get to the next level.  This weekend one of my colleagues and I when ever we get coached hard and are challenged, after it is over we just will look at each other and whisper (Making payments).  Yep, that is what we are doing,  We are paying the price, making the payments, investing.

1st thing about paying the price:  You have to do it.  There are no free rides.  You have to go through the process.  They just can’t say come up to me and say “You are now a trainer.”

2nd thing about paying the price:  If you didn’t pay the price you wouldn’t learn anything.  The process is what makes you better.  The credential is cool and I need it, but more importantly is the skills I am learning.

If you are reading this congratulations.  My challenge for you is this.  If you are looking for a magic pill that will help you lose weight, playing the lottery thinking that you will become wealthy, in your mind you deserve that promotion, ask yourself “Am I paying the price?”  If you don’t pay the price none of it matters, the skills you learn, the processes you develop, the initiatives you take, the sacrifices you make is what makes the process what it is, and it also makes them stick.

I’ll close on this.  Are you willing to do what others had to do, so you can do what they do.  If you are looking at a promotion or increased sales, what do you have to do. You want to be skinnier and healthier, are you willing to do what it takes and pay the price.  If you are, start making the payments. You have to pay first.  There is no way around it.

To your success and your future.

 

#NOEXCUSES2015

I have decided that #noexcuses2015 will be the motto for me in the year 2015.  I think for the most part I try to live my life that way, however there are times and places where I allow the excuses to creep in as well.

I recently conducted a survey with about 100 Sales Professionals.  The question I asked of the group was “List out all of the excuses you made this past year that prevented you from making your goal.”  I gave some additional context around this question, but I think the question is pretty clear.  The responses I received were telling as well:

I gave the group about 5 minutes to work together and come up with as many excuses as they possibly could.   Then I asked the audience to share with all of us what excuses they used.

My guess is that we were about 15 excuses into the exercise before I heard an excuse that was self-inflicted versus external factors.  Meaning the sales people blamed all external forces and variables as the reason they were unsuccessful in accomplishing their goals versus their own performance having anything to do with them missing their goal.

If you are reading this blog my guess is that you are already a very accountable and self-responsible person.   You hold yourself to the highest standards and will not accept anything but the best from yourself.  I would put myself in that same category as well.

However, I know there are many times this year that I used some excuses that prevented me from being the best I could be.  Like you, I don’t allow excuses to creep in on the things that matter the most.  Such as family obligations, work obligations, etc.  However, I have allowed excuses to creep in on some personal goals that I have set for myself.  Some accountability goals that I may have set for the people who I work with.  Or allowed some things that can help me move the ball forward in work as well as personal.

I am prepping for 2015 to be the best year for me.  The only way that this can be accomplished is with a #noexcuses mentality.  So every time that little voice in my head says, “you have already worked out 4 times this week, do you really need a fifth” or “You blogged 3 times, this week, you don’t need to do another one”  “You burned 1000 calories this morning, you deserve a bottle of wine (come on you know this is easy to do:)).

Take the challenge with me this next year.  Lets not allow any excuses to creep in and prevent us from being all that we can be. Please share with me your #noexcuses2015 goals.

To your success and your future.