Two reasons why credit cards are the devil and it has nothing to do with interest rates.

Lets face it, you and I both have made purchases before on a credit card that we would later regret. It could  have been the steak dinner or the night out on the town.  If you haven’t, well good for you.  You are smarter than most.

This time of the year many people may have made a decision to get out of debt. I first want to commend you on deciding on that goal. I hope you have committed to it and are willing to do whatever is necessary to get out of that debt.  I am not a financial expert by any means, but I know some basics.  I would encourage you to go out and listen to Grant Cardone, Dave Ramsey, and Robert Kiyosaki to learn more about money, investing and debt.  To get out of debt though, I would encourage you to listen to Dave Ramsey.

There are two reasons why credit cards are the devil and it has nothing to do with interest rates.

#1.  Credit cards trick our emotions. 

The use of a credit card doesn’t actually cause us to feel any pain when we use it.  We don’t actually feel any loss at the time of purchase.  It isn’t the same as if we actually had to pull out cold hard cash and make the purchase.

It has been proven over and over again, that humans avoid loss more than they pursue a gain.  We will do whatever it takes to avoid a loss, that is why most people are risk averse. When we use a credit card, it doesn’t require us to actually lose anything.

Regardless if you need the product or thing you are purchasing or not.  The use of the credit card versus cash doesn’t create the feeling/emotion that you actually lost something.  Which means we don’t care if we do it.

#2:  The further away the consequences from a decision we make are, the less we worry about the consequences of that decision.

Another human condition that exists in all of us is the fact that we can justify most anything in our minds if we really want to.  When we use a credit card, we don’t associate the purchase we make with the payment that is required at a later date.  You wont get the bill from a purchase you make today until thirty days from now or whatever your billing cycle is.  Regardless of how long it takes for your bill to show up, your mind has already moved on from that purchase and in our heads we think we have already purchased the product.

Sounds weird doesn’t it?  In our heads we think we have already bought the product, the dinner, etc., and even though we put it on a credit card and didn’t actually pay for it, our minds tell is we have. So when that bill shows up, we aren’t even thinking about what it was we purchased, we just know we have to pay the bill.  We are divorced by that time from the actual product or thing we purchased.  It is kind of scary really.

Think about some purchases you have made on a credit card.  Did the above two conditions exist for you?  If you are human and are somewhat conscious of your finances, then I would guess you are saying yes to this question.

What do you do?  Well, I believe first and foremost that you should never use a credit card for anything.  I know that you are thinking in your head that you will pay it off at the end of the month or when you get your bill.  That is fine if you have been successful in doing so.  I just don’t encourage it with most people, because of the two reasons I mentioned above.

If you do have a credit card in your possession, I would suggest that you have some guard rails in your life to help keep you in check when using a credit card.  Things such as spending limits and certain requirements that would have to exist for you to use it.

As I stated above, I am not a financial expert by any stretch.  However, I have studied people and decision-making for many years.  And I know that anything that can trick our emotions where we don’t feel the emotions we should feel.  Or, when humans have a period of time between a decision and consequences of that decision. When either one of these conditions exist, we must do whatever we can to eliminate them or manage them appropriately.

If you want to learn how to make better decisions and stick to those decision this year.  Reach out to me and lets create a game plan. Email me at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

 

 

Your responsibility as a salesperson

Last night, I had one of those AHA moments.  If you don’t know what that is, it is when you say, wow I really didn’t understand or know that until just now.  The AHA moment for me when I was conducting my sales class.  I have had many AHA moments over the years, but this one was pretty profound.

Many times I have stated the quote:  “We as needy human beings love to buy, but we hate to be sold to.”  Most people would agree with that statement, myself included. But last night my AHA moment was when one of my class participants was telling me that they actually would refuse to give all of the information in a sales situation.  I couldn’t believe it.  They actually would attempt to give less information to a salesperson for some reason.

So I have been pondering that all night.  No wonder this person has a dislike towards sales people, because how can they effectively make a solid and informed purchase if they refuse to give all of the information necessary for a sales person to assist them in making the right decision for a particular purchase.

So whose fault is it?  Well, I have to blame the salesperson.  As a salesperson it is your job to make the buyer feel comfortable in making a purchase.  It is your job to create such a rapport that the buyer is willing to give you all of the information necessary so you can assist them in making the right purchase for them.  Then and only then, are you really effectively servicing your buyer and their needs.

I realize sales people have a certain stigma around what they do.  We must accept this, we have to own it and take responsibility for it and do whatever it takes to go the opposite way of that stigma.

As sales people we must:

  • Build rapport
  • Ask questions to understand the buyers needs
  • Educate the buyer on all of the options including ones you don’t offer. 
  • Provide solutions based on what they tell us. 
  • Make the buyer feel comfortable about telling us everything.
  • Dont rush a sale.  Let the sale take as long as it needs to. 

Are we going to sell them all?  Nope, but it is your responsibility as a sales person to create an environment where people will want to tell you everything and want to buy.

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 bwillett555@gmail.com or post in the comments section.

Brian Willett

But I did it anyway

  • I really didn’t feel like getting up this morning and putting 60 minutes on the bike, but I did it anyway.
  • I really didn’t feel like reading for 30 minutes this morning, but I did it anyway.
  • I really didn’t feel like sending out several emails just following up with people I am connecting with to see how we could assist each other, but I did it anyway.
  • I really didn’t feel like eating that protein bar for breakfast, that McDonald’s sausage egg biscuit sounded so much better, but I did it anyway.

We all have choices to make in life.  If we only made the right (your interpretation of right) choices in life when we felt like doing it, I don’t know about you, but I would probably have more days where I didn’t feel like it than I do feel like it.   What keeps me making the right choices, right in my mind, is the “WHY” associated with making the choices I made today and make each day.

I want to have a depth of knowledge that makes me more valuable, which in turn I can be of value to others. I want to live a healthy lifestyle so that I can live a prosperous long healthy life free from illness, so I can earn all I can and give away all I can.  These are some of my WHY’s, but the passage below paints the picture even more clearly for me and maybe it will for you as well.

  • There is no doubt that every human being comes to this earth with a mission.  We are not accidental puppets thrown off to be buffetted by luck or chance or cruel fate.  We are part of a great universal plan.  We were made to fit into this plan, to play a definite part of it.  We come here with a message for humanity which no one else but ourselves can deliver, and faith in our mission, the belief we are important factors in the great creative plan, that we are in fact, co-creators with God, will add wonderfully, to the dignity and effectiveness of our lives, will enable us to perform the impossible. —Author: Orison Swett Marden

I am just a seeker on a path and I really like and enjoy this path I am on.

To think you can, creates the force that can.

Brian Willett

 

Yep I did it…

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

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

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

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

 

Getting out of the pile..C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting out of the Pile…B

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

Continued Core principles of getting out of the pile.

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

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

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

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

More to come on getting out of the pile.

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