The one question that changed my life

When is the last time you bet on yourself?  I mean really bet on yourself.  Did something outside the norm.  Required you to do something that had a level of uncertainty. Did something that you weren’t too sure how it was going to actually turn out.

If you are like most people, the chances are you haven’t done this in a very long time.  Maybe the last time you did it was when you took your current job.  Or when you went on that date with that guy or girl.  Or attended the meeting that you weren’t too sure about.

Whatever it was, and whenever it was, the chances are it has been a very long time. So the question I have for you, is the exact same question I asked myself years ago.

Why not me?  Yep.  That is the simple question that changed my life forever. Why not me?

Let me give you some context around it.

Why not me?  To run this company.
Why not me?  To get a Masters degree.
Why not me? To quit this safe and secure job, and actually do better somewhere else.
Why not me?  Find someone who loves me for me and I want to marry.
Why not me?  To own as many houses as I want to own.
Why not me?  To run an 8 min. mile.
Why not me?  To have homes located in several parts of the country.
Why not me?  To make a millions dollars a year.
Why not me?  To run this department or division.
Why not me? To read over 35o books over a period of time.
Why not me?  To get paid for something I love to do.
Why not me? To own my own businesses.
Why not me? To save enough money to buy several houses.
Why not me? To leave a profession and go to another profession.
Why not me? To cash bigger checks.
Why not me? To make more in one day than I do the entire year.
Why not me? To get all of my debt paid off.
Why not me? To achieve all I have ever wanted.

My life changed forever, when I started asking myself this simple question.  It changed my thinking from.  “Its not for me”, to “Why not me?”  I changed that statement into a question.  That one question expanded my thinking to think 100 times bigger than I had ever thought before.  I have accomplished some of the things in that list and some of them I am still pursuing. And as I look back on the last ten years when I started asking myself that question, it is very simple on what I must do going forward.

And that is to keep thinking bigger, dreaming bigger, pursuing my current dreams and the ones that I would never even think about dreaming of.  If you aren’t embarrassed to tell others your goals and your dreams, the chances are they are not big enough.  Go big!

So the question I have for you is this “Why not you?”

To your success and your future.



The Bald Truth; Secrets of Success from the Locker Room to the boardroom was written by David Falk.  He was the agent for Michael Jordan.  He was also the agent for Alonzo Mourning. Which was the first 100 million dollar deal ever done in the NBA.  He was Patrick Ewing’s, John Thompson, and Mike Krzyzewski to name a few other of the other big names he represented.  The foreward in the book was written by Michael Jordan.

In my pursuit to excellence in 2015, I am attempting to read books from people, or about people who pursued, showed, and demonstrated excellence.  This book was a great read because it really gives the behind the scenes look into agents and how they create and get these major deals for sports athletes.  Mr. Falk puts it in simple terms and at the end of each chapter he has something called “Falk’s Fundamentals” that summarize the chapter.  I have included in this book summary the “Falk’s Fundamentals”.  Mr. Falk’s insights on business and people make this book relevant and a great read.

Don’t be a prisoner of your own reputation: Succesful people remain consistent in their value system but flexible in reaction to changing market conditions.

Don’t try to be a spiritual advisor: A leopard doesn’t change its spots.  People don’t change leopards.

Don’t try to run a democracy: Treat everyone fairly but don’t treat everyone equally.

Its better to have a good enemy than a neutral friend:  In crutch time you must know how the people around you will react.  The most dangerous enemy is an ally who deserts you.

A combination of creativity and preparation is essential: Practice make perfect as long as you don’t do it the same way everytime. preparing for major negotiation or representation develops confidence, but preparation without inspiration limits your ability to adapt your performance to unexpected challenges.

Sacrifice short-term benefits for long-term success: The Spurs have been the most successful franchise in the NBA the last few years.  The Spurs have learned how to lose games during the regular season in order to be well rested and primed mentally in the postseason. Don’t with the battle, win the war.

Long term success demands discipline and accountability:  Winning a marathon requires complete discipline mentally and physically.  If you alter the strategy in response to short-term bumps, you probably wont finish the race.

Be true to yourself: A jack of all trades and master of none is known as a dilettante. Play to your strengths and don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it.  Be authentic.

Know when the race is over: Great coaches learn to not run up the score. Whatever temporary satisfaction you might derive from a rout you will likely pay for the next time you face the opponent. Win the game and then walk alway gracefully.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say: If the truth is hard to find, players will run from the coach instead of running for the coach.

Business is not a popularity contest:  In the final analysis, it’s not what they want to hear. It’s what they need to hear.

The truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth: The truth is the most powerful medium of persuasion. “Actually sir, it’s not like a Xerox. It is a Xerox.”

Don’t just see what is happening; anticipate what will happen: Individual who can anticipate what will happen next can translate that opportunity into success.

Limitations are obstacles, not barriers: Even the most careful planning cannot preempt last-minute changes that challenge execution. Successful managers see these limitations, whether they be increased competition, regulatory changes, increased time constraints, or any number of business issues, as challenges not barriers. Their ability to shift on the fly enables them to navigate these limitations that act as total obstructions to less nimble operators.

Intuition and ingenuity define the road ahead: Since what lies ahead of us can’t be determined with certainty, successful managers will find their way paved only be creativity, feel, and ingenuity.

Understand the long-term impact of your actions: The most basic law of physics dictates that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  But like energy stored up in a volcano, the reactions sometimes takes place years in the future and with unexpected force.  Don’t expect that the only impact of your decisions will be then knee jerk variety.  It is more likely to be the ripple effect across the entire pool of your business.

Brand your product to differentiate it from the competition: Imitation is the highest form of flattery. We live in an age of brand names that competitors try to mimic, and often the lines between Bentley and Chrysler are blurred. Learn how to separate your company from the competition through creative branding so that the boundary between your products or services and the competition will be so distinct as to require a separate language and customs.

Stay true to who you are: Long term productivity requires that we operate within our strengths even if our critics find fault along the way. Changing your operating style to satisfy short-term criticisms threatens the long-term stability of your organization.

Don’t win the battle only to lose the war: In the history of NFL football league, only one team has every enjoyed a perfect season, the 1972 Miami Dolphins.  As recently as 2007, the New England Patriots didn’t lose a single game in the regular season, but the pressure mounted to eclipse the Dolphin’s record and the Patriots lost in the Super Bowl.  Success is generally defined by reaching specific goals but often we must sacrifice certain short-term success in order to arrive at our desired destination. Did chasing a perfect season interfere with the ultimate goal of winning a championship?

You must be willing to walk away: Negotiation 101: In order to attain the ultimate deal, you must be willing to walk away from intermediate opportunities.  The necessities an honest appraisal of the strength of your position. A mon on life support can very well afford to pull the plug.

Goodwill is the currency of relationships: In an age of instant information and access, competing parties will frequently find themselves in very comparable negotiating positions. What enables them to cross the divide is goodwill.

Goodwill is the lubricant that greases deals: Highly intelligent and successful people are unlikely to persuade colleagues and competitors of a similar bent through facts, figures, or even negotiating ability to do something they don’t feel comfortable doing.  What enables them to fuse two very powerful and competing forces is goodwill.

Goodwill can be your most valuable asset: Unlike cash, inventory, or other hard assets that can be measured with tradition metrics, goodwill frequently can be the ultimate determinant of success and failure in business.  Developing and maintaining a reservoir of goodwill among employees, collage agues, and even competitors is often more valuable than more tangible assets.

Goodwill must be earned before it can be employed:  Goodwill is most often earned by doing the right thing when there is no pressure to do it.  By going the extra mile to be supportive, respectful, generous, and loyal, and en executive earns the most valuable commodity.

Goodwill cuts both ways: By falling to recognize the small things that you can do to creat goodwill, executives often plant a negative seed that grows into reverse goodwill.  When the leader most needs to call upon his troops for support, a vote of confidence, or double duty mission, the obvious prior failure to do the right thing, to make the small gesture, rebounds with unexpected negative force.

Don’t be afraid to let the customer know when he’s wrong: In an age of increasing specialization, customers look to their dealers, brokers,a nd advisors for specialized advice. Often the customer has strong opinions about his purchasing options and just as frequently these opinions are based on a faulty set of assumptions. Never let your desire to please the customer interfere with your responsibility to give him candid advice about his decisions. Otherwise his next purchase will be his last purchase.

Short term pain often translates into a long-term gain: Most individuals steer a wide path to avoid confrontation.  But a trusted advisor is like a personal trainer, sometimes where there’s no pain there’s no gain. In order to avoid a result that would ultimately constitute an unacceptable level of risk or damage to the client, the advisor must be willing to deliver the hard facts up front.

Truth or consequences: While experience is sometimes the best teacher, there are situations when a bad experience can be fatal.  An individual facing such a critical decision must be informed in the strongest terms that a wrong turn will lead right over the cliff.

Remember the Golden Rule:  He who has the Gold Rules: Your ability to reach a successful conclusion is a direct result of the amount of leverage you have and your ability to communicate that leverage.

Know when to hold: A great point guard never gives up his dribble. Control of the ball gives him control of the game.  When you have the leverage you should never settle for second best.

Know when to fold: Modern fighter jet costs upwards to 100 million dollars.  Their pilots are trained to control the aircraft under all types of adverse conditions. However, when certain indicator lights come on they are taught to press the ejection seat.  The same is true in business.

Know when to walk away:  In Vegas the house always wins. A savvy gambler knows when to get up and leave so they keep their money.  When you’ve attained most of what you need to make a good deal, learn to walk away and be a good winner.

If you have the power you don’t need to use a hammer: In fashion it is said “If you’ve got it flaunt it”  But in business if you’ve really got it, then everyone knows you’ve got it and there is no need to flaunt it.

You control your own destiny in a negotiation: Almost every variable in a negotiation: where you meet, how you dress, how many people are in the meeting, has an impact on the final result.  Take control of the variables and you will take control of the deal.

Avoid unnecessary confrontations: Really successful negotiators show who smart they are, not how tough they are.

Both sides have to win:  In business even if you win the fight, it is important that your opponent wins some points in order for him to accept the deal.

You need a game plan for success:  A successful negotiation depends on a well thought out game plan that conceptualizes the path to a deal.

How do you spell success? The last player to hit .400 in Major League Baseball was Ted Williams more than sixty years ago. In other words, Williams failed to hit in 60 percent of his plate appearances.  Nevertheless, hitting .400 is considered iconic achievement in baseball.  Learn to define what success means in your business.

Conventional wisdom is just an element of the status quo:  Successful people continually challenge the status quo:  Some people see things as they are and ask why?  Others dream things that never were and ask Why not?  Dare to be great.

You must know the difference between talent and value:  Talent is a constant, value is a variable. Being cognizant of market forces and trends enables is to differentiate our product.  The textbook case is Starbucks selling a 20 cent cup of coffee for $3.

Artificial constraints don’t work:  In a free market economy, external regulation distorts the natural equilibrium of the market. The distortion creates opportunity. Look for pressure points in the system.

Preparation, instinct, and confidence are the keys to success:  The most instinctive hitter in baseball still studies the pitcher.  His intense preparation enhances his confidence on his own abilities and bolsters his performance.

Print yourself a coy of the Falk’s Fundamentals and put them on your office or on your refrigerator, or some other place where you can look at them everyday.  What if you implemented some of these in your life, what would be the results.  Please share this summary with a friend.

Check out other summaries at

To your success and your future.

The book that changed my life

2014 was an awesome year.  I accomplished many things and my book was one of those things.  As I held my book in my hands this past week.  I just stared at it and said, WOW.  I would have never guessed that I would write a book.  I would have never guessed that the words and concepts in the book would have even come from me five years ago.  It is amazing how quickly any of us can change who we are and become whoever we want to be.   I read a quote recently that said “the book that you write is the book that will change your life the most”, I couldn’t agree more.

In 7 ways to more, I outline seven areas that I have committed to in my life that have given me exceptional results.  What is exceptional results? For me exceptional results in these seven areas serve me in all areas in my life. Dedication to my health, a commitment to personal and self-development, a strategic goal setter, becoming a more intentional thinker, a conscientious effort on who, where, and how I spend my time, intentional about establishing and maintaining good habits, and lastly creating a foundation in faith with a positive attitude and hope towards an awesome future.

The book takes a deeper dive into all seven areas where I illustrate my personal stories that helped me identify these key areas.  We all have influences in our lives, I highlight and acknowledge the influencers I had in my life.

What happens now.  Well like my book states in the chapter in goal setting.  Once you start setting goals and accomplishing them, the momentum you get will motivate you to set more and bigger goals.  I am currently working on the next.  I cant wait to see what it is.

To get a free download of the introduction of my book go to  On this page you can also click the link that will take you to my createspace url that will allow you to purchase the book online.

I want to leave you with this.  You are an awesome person, you can accomplish anything you choose to, you can do things that you never thought you could do, you can do whatever you want, but you just have to start doing.  Today, start doing something towards a better future and a better you.

To your success and your future.

Influence the Eager by leading with Swagger (free download)

Many years ago I started out on a leadership journey.  At that time I didn’t know what leadership really was other than I knew it required me to work harder than everyone else. Which I did this pretty easily.  This is a good place to start I might add.  However, I didn’t have a playbook on how to lead, how to pick the people I should lead, and lastly a major piece that I didn’t see or understand at that time was how to lead yourself.  So after 10 years of grinding it out, learning from my failures, being blessed with some awesome opportunities, and then lastly taking really good notes, I have now created a playbook on what I call the fundamentals of leadership.

I have managed baby boomers, generations X, Y, and now even generation Z.  Here is what I have found about each of those generations in leading them.  They are all just people.  And people are the same today as they were since the beginning of time.  They want to be treated with respect and dignity, they want to be included, and they like to have relationships with others.  What they want from a leader is a vision that they can get excited about, they want their leader to ask their opinion, they want their leader to model the behavior that they are being asked to model.

This blook (a series of blogs turned into a mini-book) hits on exactly the things I mention above.   I call this blook the playbook on how to INFLUENCE people.  There are nine letters in the word INFLUENCE, by following the nine principles I outline, you will no doubt have more influence as a leader, mentor, friend, colleague, and parent.  As a leader it is your job to get people to do the things you want them to do, and you can only do this when you are influential.  This second part of the blook is about hiring people.  Which is a critical function of all leaders.  Leading and managing is one thing, but I outline what you should look for in a team member.  Lastly, and what I think is probably the most important part of the blook, and that is leading yourself.  I call it Swagger.  If you want to have influence and lead people you must have some swagger yourself.  I outline a solid game plan on how you can get more swagger.  Believe me, in leading in today’s business world swagger is not only needed, but it is required and is a must for you to be effective as a leader.

If this blog post has you interested in reading the blook.  You should be able to read the blook in 15 or 20 minutes or less.

Go to, click on the selfdevelopmentaddict blog and you will see the same blog title in this page.  Click the blog title and it will take you to the page. Input your name and email.  (I don’t sell your names to anybody, it’s just me.)

It is not required, but I would be curious if you could put in the message field what prompted you to download the file. 

Or can you just put the link below in your browser and it will take you there.  If you have any issues with the download let me know.

To your success and your future.

I’ll take a 7 and 7, but hold the second seven

I was reading this morning some of my notes from a book that I have read and that I suggest you read as well, if you have time.  Or you can shoot me an email and I can send you some notes.  I will be posting a book summary on my website  in the next few days.  The book is Napoleon Hill’s famous “Think and Grow Rich.”

The book was first published during the Great Depression. At the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold more than 20 million copies and by 2011 over 70 million copies had been sold worldwide. It remains the biggest seller of Napoleon Hill’s books. BusinessWeek Magazine’s Best-Seller List ranked it the sixth best-selling paperback business book 70 years after it was published.Think and Grow Rich is listed in John C. Maxwell’s A Lifetime “Must Read” Books List.

In the book, Hill discusses the 14 emotions that we all have.  Seven of the 14 are considered positive emotions and we should embrace and allow them to push us.  The other seven are considered negative and we should avoid them.  I have included some commentary in each below.  The commentary is my thoughts and although I believe most of what Mr. Hill writes, I have added my thoughts on each emotion as well.

Desire: The emotion of desire is where it all begins.  We should embrace and look for this.   Without it we will accomplish nothing, but with it we can accomplish anything.

Enthusiasm:  What is more contagious that enthusiasm?  With an enthusiastic desire, nothing can stop a person from anything they put their mind to.  Think about the things that you get enthusiastic about.  Now, how can you do that all day, everyday.

Faith:  What is faith?  Faith is belief in something that you have no evidence that exists.  All you have is your experiences with or without faith and you allow that to control your attitude towards believing that it can or could exist.

Love:  We all seek to be loved and want to provide love to someone or something else.  This is the strongest emotion we all have.  We should embrace it and love often.

Sex:  It is one of the most potent emotions we have.  It can drive us to do some of the most positive things in our lives or it can drive us to do some of the dumbest things in our lives.

Romance:  What a great emotion we all have the opportunity to experience in our life.  To have that emotion with another person, it is such an emotion that can drive us to be something better than we would be without that person or that feeling in our presence.

Hope:  In my upcoming book 7 Ways to More.  I use the words faith and hope interchangeably.  Hope is the belief that something can or could exist when you don’t have any evidence that it does.  It is an attitude and a powerful one that can change your life.

Fear:  Although Mr. Hill states fear as being a negative emotion and I agree with him: Only if you allow fear to control your life.  Prevent you from getting out of your comfort zone or not doing something you should do.  However, fear can be positive in these ways.  Being fearful of going broke if you keep spending everything you make, or being fearful that you have to find a way to make more time to spend with your children so they have the mentoring necessary to become successful in life. These are fears that can drive you to desire. The key is to not allow fear to drive you to not do something, but let it drive you to do something.

Jealousy:  I can’t think of a better (better in this context) waste of time: than time spent on being jealous of another person.  If you just took the time you were spending on being jealous and put it towards accomplishing something for yourself, who knows what could happen.

Hatred: I really try to not use the word hate.  Although, it has crept into my vocabulary at times.  When we allow hatred of another person to be all-consuming is where we get into trouble.  It can push us to be someone we are not, or to do something we wouldn’t typically do.  So we can hate something, but we shouldn’t hate the person, but the thing the person is doing.   

Revenge:  A person cuts you off in the middle of the expressway.  You take off chasing after them in a high rate of speed, and before you catch up with them, a cop pulls you over.  Sound familiar?  Maybe not to you, but this is a story that is repeated over and over everyday on the roadways.  Seeking revenge is can cause this, but what if you actually caught up to the person?  How have we seen these stories end?  

Greed: We all have met greedy people haven’t we?  They are usually not very enjoyable people to be around.  They only care about themselves and how they can benefit from a situation or another person.

Superstition:  When you read this definition, it becomes very clear why this is a negative emotion, don’t allow this kind of thinking to creep into your thoughts.

Anger:  I have seen people lose the love of others, their life, and many other things just because of this strong emotion of anger.  Although we can use it to fuel us at times, we must be cautious of its power and not use it very often. 

These are 14 emotions we all have at times.  The key to all of the above emotions is to be aware of your emotions and how you use them.  Self-Awareness is always the first step to managing emotions.

For those of your who don’t know a 7 and 7 is a drink.  Click the link below to learn more about it.  Just like the drink, it is important to manage your emotions like you do the two liquids that make up the drink.

To your success and your future. 



Book Summary: Unlocking Potential 7 Coaching Skills

I have been a leader/coach for many years now.  I have had a lot of training in this area, and have read a lot of books on the topic as well. I decided to take a deeper dive into the topic and focus on coaching books versus leadership books to really understand the art of coaching and become an expert in it.

This book summary is from the author Michael K. Simpson.  The title of the book is Unlocking Potential 7 Coaching Skills that Transform individuals, Teams, and Organizations.  Michael is part of the Franklin Covey organization.

The following are the seven skills that he focuses on in his book. (the authors comments are in italics)

1.  Build Trust:  This is foundational competency and skill of all great coaching, without it, individuals will suspect you, question your agenda, slow you down, and possibility reject you as a coach.  Thats why it is the first skill that Simpson recommends.

I agree with the author.  To coach more effectively and to be able to have the participant take the advice from the coach, you must have established a relationship and a foundation with the individual and they must feel that you have their best interest in mind.

2.  Challenge Paradigms:  A paradigm is the way we think.  An individual who believe they can’t improve is not coachable and until that paradigm changes, you’ll go nowhere.  Your individuals paradigms might become barriers to achievement, and as a coach, your task is to challenge them firmly and gently.

I think this is an area for many coaches to improve upon.  I think a lot of times, a coach may feel like the person the are trying to coach may know more than them, so the coach may be hesitant to challenge their thinking.  This is where a coach must challenge the coachee’s thinking and ask them where they could possible give more and do more.

3.  Seek Strategic Clarity: With the coaches help, the individual should choose personal goals and be completely clear about them with measurable endpoints.  Without strategic clarity, coaching becomes aimless and endless.

Again, a major opportunity for many coaches.  They think that having a conversation about performance is good enough.  It’s not.  A coach must challenge the coachee with goals and then specific targets with deadlines when those goals should be met.

4.  Execute Flawlessly:  Execution might be the toughest challenge of all, the coach can help individuals actually to set, prioritize, and achieve their goals and help to hold them accountable.

What I have seen many times, is the coach assumes that they have helped the individual set the goal and that should be sufficient.  It’s not.  If the individual was able to set goals and execute them to get them accomplished they would already be doing it.  As a coach you must equip them with the strategy to execute the goals so they can be accomplished.

5.  Give effective Feedback:  All coaches give feedback.  Some of it is effective. The feedback should consist of things that help create awareness for the individual, focus on actions they need to take.

Some coaches never provide any feedback, much less feedback that creates awareness.  As a coach you must ask questions of the individuals performance.  Click on this link for a playbook on concepts a coach should use to create awareness for the individual.

6.  Tap into Talent: Most people underestimate their own talents. As Dr. Stephen Covey would often say “most people have far more talent than they ever use.”  As a coach you need to know how to help people tap into the unique and vast reserve of talents they already have.

As a coach you must point out things for people that they can’t see in themselves. A leader/coach is someone who challenges and inspires someone.  Helping individuals get into their areas of strength and then pointing out those strengths is what a good coach does.  If you look back on all of the good coaches you have had in your life you will most likely discover the reason they were a good coach is they helped you see talents that you didn’t see in your self, or they helped you maximize those talents.

7.  Move the middle:  Coaches are usually focused on helping high performers get even better. It is essential to reward and promote top talent. However, the biggest opportunity for performance improvement in any organization is to help “move the middle”, among those performers who are good, but not yet great.

I agree with the author.  Your biggest challenge as a coach and where you can have the most significant impact on your organization is on the middle 60% of the team members.  The top 20% are going to do what they do, and you just need to encourage them.  The bottom 20% you should be coaching up or coaching out.

In life, as in work, one of our key leadership responsibilities is to help people gain vision and strategic clarity in their jobs, careers, and in their business.

A global survey on topics of strategy and goal execution called the Execution Quotient (xQ) Survey, was gathered from data from more than 500,000 leaders across 18 global industries and 20 languages.  The xQ survey results showed the common challenges with strategy and goal execution.  The dat validates four key root causes for breakdowns with flawless execution.  These challenges dont vary much across industry or culture.

  • Goal Clarity: Eight five respondents don’t know the goals of the organization they work for; 44 percent of the people say they know, but when asked to identify the goals, only 15 percent can actually do it.
  • Leveraged behaviors: Eighty-five percent of the respondents don’t know what to do to achieve the organizations goals. They often don’t know the strategic reasons for doing the work they are doing.
  • Compelling Scoreboards:  Eighty-seven percent of the respondents don’t know whether their company is winning or losing in relation to its most important goals.  They simply don’t know the score. Or if they do, they are almost always looking at historical “lag measures” results that appear only after it is too late to do anything about them.
  • Weekly Accountability: Seventy-nine percent of the respondents are not held accountable for lack of progress made towards critically important goals. Only 21 percent meet with their bosses even as often as monthly to assess achievement of their most important goals. Usually accountability, is top down, punitive, or intimidating, or it is soft, permissive, and infrequent at best.

Most often the strategy is fine it is the execution and communication that lacks, as the above research suggests.

All in all this was a great book on coaching.  What I liked most was the series of questions the author includes to ask individuals to improve their performance.

To your success and your future.

Book Announcement: 7 ways to more

Subtitle:  Maximize and enjoy what you have while reaching for the next. 

Yes the subject of this blog is my book title and above is the subtitle.

This is technically my first announcement on my soon to be released book.                            7 Ways to More.   I am getting excited.  I met with my design team yesterday on the book cover and book layout for my upcoming book.  We are about 12 weeks away.

A lot of people hear or see the word more and they instantly think, “do I really need more of anything?”  “I already have more than enough on my plate.”  “I have more responsibilities at work”, “I have more deadlines”, “my children need and require more than ever”, “there is more of just about anything and everything that is constantly pulling at me, I am not sure I can handle more of anything else.”

This book is about “What If” and “Why Not”.   “What if” you had more of these 7 things in your life.  “Why Not” me to enjoy all I have while I pursue all I want.  In this book I discuss 7 concepts for you to consider having more of.  I want you thinking about what could be the results of having more of these 7 concepts in your life.  I will also challenge you as the reader at the end of every chapter with 7 questions to get you thinking about “What If” and “Why Not”.

This book weaves in personal stories from my background and my pursuit that is probably not any different from yours, I am sure.  I want to challenge the reader to say “I am happy where I am”, “But I am just getting started.”  I feel like the future is bright and gets brighter everyday. As the author I personally feel that I just got started and my goal is to convey to you as the reader the same message.

I look forward to sharing this book with everyone.  I will be sharing more information as we get closer.

To your success and your future.


Hot Button Marketing “Push the Emotional Buttons that get People to Buy.”  This is the ninth book I have read this year on sales and marketing.  What I liked most about this book is that it really gave a lot of examples of how effective marketing works.  Also, as a trainer I have been training people on finding the dominant reason a person wants to purchase something, and this book really expands on this concept and fleshes out a lot of great information regarding this subject.

These are my notes from this book (which are my highlights) I attempt not to highlight the entire book, I sometimes do it seems like.

  • People don’t buy products and services.  They buy satisfactions of unmet needs.
  • People buy for the desire to look good for a boss, the desire for achievement, the desire for power and dominance.
  • People rarely buy products, they are buying fulfillment.
  • People buy for two reasons. 1. The rational Reason  2.  The real reason
  • Hit the heart and the head will follow. Rocky Marciano  This works in business to.
  • If you can’t sell your products in a single sentence, you really don’t have an effective selling proposition.
  • Consumers are usually not aware of their needs unless you show them a stimulus, that is: they aren’t aware of a need for a product unless you show them the product and how its going to affect their lives emotionally.
  • How does your product improve the consumers life emotionally?
  • You’re not marketing against consumers.  You’re helping them fulfill a need.
  • The frustrating part is that consumers don’t need or want anything until you hit the right sales note.
  • People didn’t know they wanted a machine that baked bread.  Why?  because the store-bought stuff was pretty good.  But then a bread maker was sold.  People latent need for self achievement (hot button) rose to the surface. The bread makers loved the need that people have to create something.
  • It’s not how a consumer see him or herself in reality.  Its how they see themselves as they aspire to be.
  • A CEO has two hot buttons.  A family and a need for approval from stockholders or a board.
  • Nice to have —-Want to have.  turn these in to must to haves.
  • Consumers use products to achieve the characteristics they envision for themselves.
  • In all countries wealth is a symbol of status. It doesn’t matter that wealth is measured in dollars, the number of cows you have, real-estate, car,.  This hot button depends on age, ethnicity and background.
  • Values systems may differ, but the hot buttons remain the same.
  • Needs are nonnegotiable.  You want them now. No ifs, ands, or buts.  Needs are who we are or what we aspire to be. They are fundamental and necessary to all human satisfaction.
  • Interests are roadmaps for our needs.
  • Starbucks is selling community and companionship and prestige.
  • People who are lower on the social ladder often prefer tangible goods rather than services that only have abstract benefits.  Their hot buttons are often about being smarter and getting the most that one can get for the money.
  • Hot button selling is all about selling to the consumers aspirations.  It’s about selling to the way consumers want to be, rather that the way they are.
  • As a hot button marketer, you are an enabler selling products and services that enable consumers to be what they aspire to be.
  • Hot button research seeks to thoroughly understand the unspoken motives and beliefs held by a customers and prospects in regard to a brand, product, or service.
  • Here is where we go wrong:  We think we know why customers want what they do.  Customers usually don’t know, so how can we.
  • Ninety percent of a sales pitch should be you asking questions.
  • Engage the five senses as much as you can in any sell.

#1:  Hot Button,  The desire for control:

  • Control is one of the strongest Hot buttons.  People want to make their life better. Loss of control is synonymous with a  fear of the unknown.
  • People want control over finances, health, safety and health over loved ones, our own acquisitions, our jobs, our self-respect and the respect of others.
  • The longer people wait of for something, the less control they have (or perceive they have) over it.
  • Control over ones destiny is what drives the at home business phenomenon.
  • How many times have you heard this:  Would you bu willing to cut out a pack of cigarettes or s ingle dinner out each week to be able to afford this home or car.  Reducing a financial picture to the lowest denominator is a great sales technique.  People want to feel like they can control their finances.  This makes it seem like they can.
  • Companies like control as well.  They prefer to stay with suppliers they can trust rather than shopping around.  They feel like they are in control.

#2 Hot Button,  I’m better than you:

  • It is a reflection of your consumers desire to belong or fit in.
  • The desire for higher status is universal across all people and cultures.
  • People are willing to pay dearly to enhance themselves in the eye of their peers.
  • Vodka is neutral and tasteless. Yet research sows that consumers–especially in lower-income areas will go for the name brand in spite of high price.
  • Cost is an essential part of the prestige factor.  The more expensive the better.
  • People wont admit that they buy a product on status appeal.  As with most hot buttons, consumers aren’t aware that they are buying products based on snob appeal.

#3 Hot button,  The excitement of discovery

  • Discovery is something learn or found–it includes both the new and unexpected.

#4  Hot button,  Revaluers

  • Revaluers are a segment of the market that is self motivated, self-directed, and self focused.
  • Don’t sell to them, Allow revaluers to make their own purchasing decisions.
  • Revaluers are a mixture of regret and anticipation.
  • Revaluing hot button is responsible for the rise in health and beauty care products.
  • Revaluers are more into self enjoyment rather than self achievement.
  • Theres a new kind of store in town.  A health food store.  Where you get to pay twice as much for the same products they can find in a super market.
  • Revaluers focus more on the experience of buying a product rather than the products.  Whole Foods is an experience.

#5 Hot button, Family Values:

  • The hottest of hot buttons
  • Disney World and the entire Disney brand sells family values
  • according to the book Why they Buy, by Robert Settle and Pamela Alreck, only one in twenty families fits the bill of a single marriage, two parent, two children household.
  • Family Values are the key to selling houses.
  • Children affect over 60 percent of the families market purchases. The trick is to find which 60 percent they do impact.
  • Kids look up to older kids.  To be like the big kids is an essential kid like desire.
  • Smoking cessation programs sometimes include kids at introductory meetings because research has shown that kids are the biggest motivators to get prints to stop smoking.

#6 Hot button,   The desire to Belong

  • People are social animals.  Emotional connections are critical.
  • We all long to be accepted.  This need to belong is all wrapped up in our sense of personal and physiological well-being and our sense of personal worth.
  • Athletes when they retire never talk about their accolades that they will miss.  It is always about the camaraderie in the locker room that they will miss.  Being with the others.
  • The strongest affinity associations is based on age.
  • People will belong to clubs or organizations to fill this need.  They will wear certain decals or logos for this reason.  To belong.

#7 Hot Button,  Fun is its own reward

  • We all have a desire to laugh and have fun, it is universal.
  • Newspapers offer comic strips because people have a desire to laugh and to be entertained.
  • People have a fear of boredom.  People want to be stimulated.
  • Most sales are made when the sales people take the clients out.  The feeling people get when they have fun is more important than the product.  People want to have fun.
  • More deal are done on the golf course than in the boardroom.

#8 Hot button,   Poverty of Time

  • Consumers have more time than ever before, but they tend to use all the time they have.
  • Geicos commercial give us 15 minutes and we can save you money was huge for them.  All you need is 15 minutes to save cash.  People will spend 15 minutes to save money.
  • Saving time is one of the biggest motivators for men and women ages 25-45.  Especially women of child-bearing years.
  • Humans are the only animals that will procrastinate.  A cat won’t look at a mouse and say I’ll annoy you later”  They do things as they come up.

#9 Hot button,  The need to get the best that can be got

  • This is not only luxury, it is as people move up their tastes change as well.
  • Coveting the goods of your neighbors used to be hot.  Now with reality television and marketing, people covet what the rich and famous have.
  • Harley Davidson motorcycles have a tendency to breakdown, but people still covet them.  Same as jaguars.
  • People get an emotional high out of buying the quintessential product.  Sometimes the product itself is not that great, they enjoy the buying of it though.
  • Self satisfaction is most important to this person since it fulfills a private dream and the reward is inner gratification.
  • The best that can be got is beyond money, beyond power, it is a feel good thing.

#10 Hot Button,  Self Achievement

  • Self achievement is a major goal for people.  Find out what the deepest desire for your product is.
  • Business psychologists know that as adults we seek praises from our bosses as much as we seek a good paycheck.
  • People always want to become better.
  • Feeling good is the heart of success.  It’s the ultimate in self achievement and success.
  • Feeling Good is the ultimate psychological need of any human being.
  • The strongest word in the human language is a personas name.  The second strongest is you.
  • Personal growth is important to everyone. You just have to find out what that is.

#11 Hot Button,  Sex, Love, And Romance

  • Ads focused on primal instincts works faster especially for men.
  • The desire to love and to be loved is a strong hot button
  • Sexual interest and romantic interest are two of the most basic emotions.
  • Sex can be explicit or implied.  Men want explicit and women want more subtle images.

#12 Hot button, The nurturing response

  • Make Mom and Dad the hero not the product
  • This hot button is about the need to give care, comfort, growth, and support to others.
  • Nurturing is an innate, instinctive emotional response in most of us.
  • Good will industries is a great example.  People want to feel like they are giving back to poor people.  However, Goodwill industries is a for profit company.  But they use the nurturing appeal well in their marketing.
  • Girl Scout cookies plays to this hot button.
  • Michelin tires and the baby sitting in a tire.  Why wouldn’t you buy a Michelin tire to protect your child.

#13 Hot button, Reinventing Oneself

  • Reinvention can happen at almost any age.
  • Most often people don’t change unless thy are uncomfortable.
  • Dissatisfaction with who people think they are, their role in life, or economic dissatisfaction forces people to take inventory of themselves. They want to fix it.

#14 Hot Button, Make me smarter

  • Half of knowledge is knowing where to find it.
  • Knowledge is an innate desire for humans.
  • People want to think they are smart
  • People want to know more than their peers, neighbors, and friends,
  • Knowledge brings a feeling of empowerment and enables consumers to make better buying decisions.

Does your product do one of these things for people?  How many of these does your product do for your customer? 

  • Entertain
  • To make better choices
  • To improve ones life
  • To keep ones mind occupied
  • To learn something new
  • To keep ones mind sharp
  • To improve mental efficiency
  • To hope
  • To build self-confidence
  • To find out something new
  • To discover alternate plans that can be followed when Plan A doesn’t work.

#15 Hot button,  Power, dominance, and influence

  • Personal Power and positional power
  • Wealth is equated with power.
  • In middle management you sell by whats in it for the middle manager (secondarily the company).  It could be a promotion, more money, or an in to more power. It’s up to the sales person to make the middle managers look good
  • Middle managers tend to buy things that increase their personal dominance and may help them look good to higher-ups.  Upper management usually wants products that are good for the company, because in their minds they are the company.

#16 Hot Button,  Wish Fulfillment

  • Find out what your prospects want and how to fit that into their dreams.  Help them get what attainable.
  • The advertising industry exploits wish-fulfillment by suggesting an association of their product with a specific desire (good health, attractiveness, or power)
  • Sell the results of the dream not the dream itself.

The most common wishes are for friends, happiness, health, marriage, money, success, self-improvement, and to help other people.  More men than women wanted sex and power.  More women wanted happiness, a better appearance, and greater health.

Some of the hot buttons, like status, nurturing, and dominance, are primal and are shared with our cousins in the animal world.  Some are distinctly human, such as control and self achievement.  Most of our physical needs are met, but not our psychological needs.  As humans our minds and emotions are the most difficult to discern.  Good sales people get past the facades and break down the psychological wants and needs.

If you are in sales or marketing I would encourage you to read this book.

Hot Button Marketing (Push the emotional buttons that get people to buy); author Barry Feig


Why I do it

I have been in the trenches this year working on an e-book.  I have actually written almost two books in the process of trying to write one.  But nonetheless my goal is to have one of them complete soon.

This morning I am reading the book by author Simon Sinek titled “Start With Why” (How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action).  I have written on the subject of “Why” many times and I actually have a seminar around this topic.  But this morning as I am reading this book, it has me thinking about “WHY” I write this blog, why I am trying to position myself as an authority in the self-development world, and why I do the things I do.

As Simon says in his book when things are emotional and in the heart, it is difficult for us to articulate why we feel the way we do.  In my presentations, I like to give a short pre-amble and tell people when I speak from the heart that my words will be “clumsy”, it is because I am speaking from the heart and when we speak from the heart it is hard to say what we want to say.  Simon has revealed to me why my words are clumsy, it is because our heart is controlled by the limbic part of the brain.  That is why we use the words feeling sometimes when we describe something or someone.  Have you ever heard someone say, it just felt right?  I just knew it was the right person, because there was a feeling I had.  These emotions are controlled in the heart, but it all transpires in the limbic part of the brain.

So what does all of this have to do with “WHY” I do what I do.  Warning, my words might not make sense as I mentioned above.

I just feel like this is what I am supposed to do.  I have had my life transformed by some of the things I have been exposed to.  I have been blessed without measure and I want to share these blessings with others.  Not to show them what I know, but to inspire them to take action in their own life.  Maybe I can blog something or tweet something that will change a persons day or maybe even their life.  My mentor said something to me that changed my life.  What if I could do the same thing. Secondly, I continue to pursue self-development because it keeps me on course, it keeps me doing the things I challenge others to do.  Leadership is helping someone see themselves in a way they don’t or can’t see themselves. Once you change a person that way, you are making a difference and have significance.  When the world comes to end for Brian Willett, I want to be remembered for significance.

So a question for you.  Why do you do what you do?


Trump 101; The Way To Success; Donald Trump

I wouldn’t call this a book summary, because it isn’t.  What it is, are my highlights from the book as I read it.  Maybe it is a book summary, or maybe it is what I like.  Who knows!  maybe you will find some value in it as well.

  • Somewhere between childhood and the real world two things happen. Either you start to pursue the dreams of your parents or you get caught up in pursuing dollars or stature in a career field.  People who do this have their passion on the shelf collecting dust and end up being part of the 70 percent who don’t like what they do.
  • Lack of passion is often the difference between failure and success.
  • Set the bar high:  What is the standard you want to be known for. Don’t shortchange yourself.
  • Find innovations, approaches, and practices that you can adapt for your chosen field.
  • Explore how to make everything you tackle bigger, bolder, better and more exciting.
  • Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge. Without imagination and the ability to think big, knowledge alone won’t make you successful.
  • Most people are impatient and want quick results, but waiting is often the smart way to go.
  • Build a financial cushion that will allow you to avoid being squeezed when problems occur.
  • When you acquire knowledge, it makes you a more interesting and interested person.
  • Ket to success is experience not education. Experience comes from action, doing, taking risks.  Knowledge is essential but knowledge alone isn’t enough.
  • When you’re prepared there is no reason to be nervous.
  • The key to striking a deal os persuasion not power. Persuasion is diplomacy at its best.
  • He who has the gold makes the rules.
  • Few people are naturally gifted extemporaneous speakers, but most can learn.
  • It’s easy to take the conventional route and not make waves, but the easiest way can be the mediocre way, it may be a little more than just treading water.
  • When you begin feeling comfortable, it should be an alarm that alerts you that you may be falling in a trap.
  • Stress is usually focusing on the problems instead of the solutions.
  • Always build for tomorrow:  Think about your brand, your reputation, and your company.
  • Never think of learning as a burden or chore.  It may require discipline, but it can be a stimulating and exciting adventure.
  • Leadership is not a group effort.  If you’re in charge, then be in charge.
  • Don’t get secure in your comfort zone. When you get comfortable, you can become complacent and never grow.
  • Success is good.  Success with significance is even better.
  • If you can’t write your idea on the back of a calling card, then your idea is not clear.
  • Clarity and brevity arent incompatible.
  • Being satisfied can undermine you and keep you from reaching your full potential.
  • Don’t find fault, find a remedy.
  • When things go wrong, look at yourself first.
  • Experience build confidence.
  • Courage isn’t the absence of fear, It’s the conquering of fear.
  • Productive people accomplish more for a reason, they work long and hard.
  • Emerson said: Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.  You won’t be successful by following someone else’s route.
  • Identify your intrinsic values, what you really want and will work hard to get.

My highlights and my notes and takeaways from TRUMP 101 (The way to success); author Donald Trump.

Which of the notes do you like and can apply today? Please share.