New Year. New You. Or have you already quit?

New Year. New You.  Does this sound like you?  Hey, I hope so.  I think the beginning of the year is as good as any to start a new thing.  Whether it is your health, your money, a bad habit you want to quit, or anything else.

But do you want to know what is even better than a new start or a fresh start?  To never quit in the first place.

I have been looking at my Facebook feed since the beginning of 2018.  Which is exactly 31 days ago from the time I am writing this blog.  Today is February 1, 2018.  I see a lot of people on there pursuing these new things, and many of them said the same thing last year.  And most of them quit by this time last year, and many quit before the end of the year on whatever it was they were doing. They are now attempting it again.  I am proud of you.  Stay with it this time.

Hey, I have been there before.  I am no different from anyone else.  Working out is a discipline that I just do.  I don’t have to think about it. I just do it.  I have been doing it for so long that it is just past of who am I.

However, where my opportunity for a fresh start exists. Is eating better. Just like many of the people in my Facebook feed, I have made some changes to my diet this year.  When I was younger, I always thought I could just exercise my way through a bad diet.  And what I have found the older I have gotten, that this has become increasingly more difficult.  So I had to make a fresh start as well.

In this blog I want to suggest a few ideas that can keep you consistent versus always having to start over.

A new year is a great place to start a new thing.  However, it doesn’t only have to be at the beginning of a New Year though.  In Daniel Pinks new book “When: The Scientific Secrets to Perfect Timing” He actually provides a list of 86 different days, dates, events, etc. that could be a great time for you to make a fresh start.  The first year being one of them and here are just a few more from his book:

  • First day of the month
  • Mondays (52)
  • Seasons (4)
  • Your birthday
  • Your anniversary of whatever
  • First day back from vacation
  • A Holiday

His goal was to get us thinking about the different days that we could use other than the first of the year to provide us a fresh start.

If you made a commitment on January 1, 2018, and have already quit, today would be a great day to start over again. You don’t have to wait until next year.  The first of the month is as good or better day to start than others.

Here is the good news.  If you are someone who quits and has had to start again.  Don’t wait until another year goes by before you start again.  Use another date and start your commitment from that date.   Today would be a good day to do that.

How else can you keep going?  As a runner, I have had a few injuries along the way. And I am the opposite of my most people.  If I don’t workout or exercise, I get very irritable, because it is breaking my routine. And I hate to break my routine. Over the years, as I have had these injuries, I would just have to modify my workouts. If my leg or calf is bothering me, then I would just do an upper body workout.  If my upper body is sore, maybe I just do a leg workout or run.

The key is to not stop.  But you may have to make adjustments and modify. What is it that you are trying to accomplish?  If you have already quit.  Why did you quit?  Were you trying to go all-in too fast?  If that is the case, don’t quit, make adjustments.

I had someone tell me one time, that you only have to get in shape once.  And that is the hard part. Once you do, then you just have to maintain it. Since then, I have never quit. Are there times where I more focused and disciplined than others?  Absolutely, but I never quit and that is the key to success when it comes to health and fitness and most anything else in life.

Another way to keep your commitment and not quit.  Is to remember why you wanted this in the first place.  And when I say remember it, I highly demand that you write it down.  By writing it down you put it to memory.

If you want to become healthier?  Why?  Is it because you want to look good in a bikini or without a shirt on if you are a guy.  If it is to quit spending so much.  Why is this so important to you?  Is it because you want to have a more secure future?  Is your job situation uncertain?  Or is it because you hate your job and you need to be prepared for an exit?

I have written about goals a lot here.  And if you are interested in taking your goal setting and goal accomplishing to the next level, then I would encourage you to reach out to me.  I have some resources that could be beneficial to you.

But I want you to do this one thing to increase the likelihood that you don’t have to start all over again.  And that is write down your goal, why that goal is important to you, and when you will accomplish it by.  Once you do this, you will be well on your way to accomplishing the things you want to accomplish.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

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The two best measurements on determining what you think is important

Years ago when I was single I would eat out a lot, even more so than I do as a married man now, I think. Ha Ha.  I can remember one year I was looking at my bank account online.

My bank had one of those software systems that put all of my spending into categories, and it gave me a pie chart of how and where I spent my money. Under the food category it would actually break down by name the different restaurants where I spent my money.

I can remember looking at this chart and thinking to myself. WOW.  I spent a lot of money at this restaurant, and that restaurant, they should be giving me so free food. I did say that in my head, but what I really thought was, Oh my God, I can’t believe how much money I am spending just to eat out and then basically flush that money down the toilet, if you know what I mean.

At the point I made the decision to change my eating habits and only eat out a few times a month. At this time, I was in the process of making some investments and doing some other things that I needed to do to secure a better future for myself. I made those changes and about a year later, I was significantly better off.  That one little change in habit and discipline allowed me to make others changes as well.  These changes allowed me to have some success in several areas of my life.

This one little measurement in my life had high gains for me.  By looking at my spending habits I could easily tell what it was that I valued.  And that was work, because I didn’t have time to cook.  Or at least that is what I told myself. And I enjoyed not having to cook. And my thinking in my head at that time was “I had the money to spend”, so why shouldn’t I do it?

I tell everyone today that if I look at your bank account and your transactions I can learn really quickly what it is you value and think is important.   And these important things could be good for you or bad for you, I don’t know.  The bottom line is, you and I both, spend our money on things we think are important.

The other area of people’s life that I can look at and take a measurement of, and know what it is they find important.  Is where they spend their time, inevitably I have people tell me all of the time in my workshops that they put their family above everything else as the most important, and the time they spend with them is sacred.

Then I ask them to complete a timelog (which is a log that you put what you do each day down on paper to the quarter-hour of every hour).  Now, most people never want to be totally honest with themselves and put exactly how, and how much time, they spend on certain things.  But those who do, can really learn a lot from this exercise.

What people typically find out is that they waste more time than they thought they did.  They also learn that what they say is most important, doesn’t always measure out to be as important. At least the amount of time, if any, given to that activity.

Are you willing to do an inventory of yourself or your household? Are you willing to look at these two measurements in your life and see if you are spending too much, or too little time and money in these areas?  Most people aren’t willing to be this critical with themselves, but you are different if you have read this far.

Take a look at how you spend your money.  What trends do you see?  Good or bad.  If you are interested in tracking your time on a timelog, reach out to me at bwillett555@gmail.com and I will give you the timelog sheet for free. Just shoot me an email with the subject line TimeLog and in the email put your email address.

Before you can decide where you want to go, you have to first know where you are.  You can do this by measuring these two areas of your life.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

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Personal responsibility. What happened to it?

Most of the time, I am writing about things that are on my mind at the moment. And after this weekend, the one thing that is on my mind, are the words Personal Responsibility.  I think the reason those words and what it means, is on my mind, because I just feel like there is a lack of it at every turn right now.

So what does Personal Responsibility mean?  If you google search the words, which I did. Four hundred and ninety-one million results will be returned.  But the first one provided by wikiquote, which I like.  Says this: It is the idea that human beings choose, instigate, or otherwise cause their own actions. A corollary idea is that because we cause our actions, we can be held morally accountable or legally liable.

If you are a believer in Personal Responsibility than you would agree that we as individuals choose what happens to us and not are circumstances, and we are not bystanders in our own lives. You either believe this or you don’t.

I think the word instigate is probably the one word that sticks out to me the most in the definition of personal responsibility.  I looked up that word as well.  By the way.  Most people don’t look up words anymore.  I know I didn’t until I became a writer and because of that I didn’t want to rely on my memory or what I thought a word meant until I looked it up. I would encourage you to look up words more, because you may not truly understand what the word means, but I digress.

Instigate means; to urge or provoke a certain action to occur. Meaning you personally did something that caused this action.  You may not have intended to do it, but because you took an action a result occurred.

Back to the word or idea of Personal Responsibility.  If you honestly believe this, you ether believe it or you don’t.  You can’t be half way into Personal Responsibility.  You either believe that individuals control their own destiny or they don’t.  You either believe that we all have the same opportunity because of our abilities, skills, and talents or you don’t.  You can’t believe that we have the ability to control this thing, but not this thing. You have to be all in or not.

Years ago, I was in a work situation that wasn’t ideal.  I wasn’t getting along with a few key people who I needed to get a long with.  I felt like they were assholes, didn’t listen, and only cared about what it was they were looking to do.  And they felt the same way about me. I whined about it constantly and ultimately interviewed and received job offers to leave that company and that situation.

I didn’t leave the company.  I ended up staying.  But I chose to take a different approach.  I changed my attitude, I changed the way I conducted business, and ultimately those relationships changed and I ended up becoming most of their bosses. In all of this, the one thing that I could control was me.  And that is what I did.

You could make the argument that I was at a disadvantage because of the people I was working with.  Most of them had more years of experience within that company and more experience in that industry. I could say that everyone was taking their side because of these conditions.  And I did make that argument at first, until I made the decision to change.

One of my favorite stories my mentor has shared with me over and over makes this point as well.  He tells the story that he was at a point in his life, where he needed to make more money and was complaining to his mentor about how much his company was paying him.

My mentor said that he told his mentor that he would be doing better financially and otherwise, if his company paid more.  His mentor replied and said.  “Are there other people in your company that get paid more than you do?”

My mentor replied to his with a “yes.” His mentor then told him that it wasn’t the company then, it must be him. He also said “What was it that he was not doing or doing that was preventing him from making more?”

My mentor took personal responsibility and changed his life for the better and now has impacted millions of others because of this one step in taking personal responsibility.

In today’s society everyone is looking to blame other people, companies, social media, parents, schools, etc. for the reasons they are where they are, or do what they do. If you believe in Personal Responsibility than you would also believe that we all have equal opportunity to have the life we want.

Culturally nowadays, people are given a pass on personal responsibility before they even had a chance to have it.  A few examples of this is in our school systems.  They say, because a person comes from a certain socioeconomic background that they are not able to perform at the same standards as others. It is a really sad state of affairs that we give a pass, and this by itself creates a lower ceiling and keeps these individuals from every reaching their full potential because they have never had to.

As I look back over my life. I went to the worst schools in the city and county I grew up in. My parents combined probably never made more than thirty or forty thousand dollars to support a family of five people.  I allowed these conditions to define who I was, early on into my adult life.

I said this is who I am, this is what I do.  I believed that I didn’t have the same opportunities because of who and where I came from.  When I made the change in my mind, to go out a do better for myself, I had a lot of opportunities present themselves to me. But I had to take Personal Responsibility.

Where in your life have you lacked Personal Responsibility? What areas in your life should you take more accountability for?  Are you enabling others to not realize their full potential, because you are not allowing them to take Personal Responsibility?

I would be curious to hear your thoughts on these questions.  Please share your thoughts in comments.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

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I can’t even argue about this…. anymore.

Like most of you, I have found myself, even more so recently, in very strong disagreements  with regards to politics.  And through these disagreements I have discovered a few things, but none as important as this one thing…

I cannot argue with someone who sees things totally opposite of the way I see it. And in many cases those individuals refuse to see the other side of an opinion because of their dislike of one politician or the other.  We will just agree to disagree and I can love those individuals for who they are.

To take it step further on one example where I have recently had this disagreement, which prompted this writing. Was on the topic of the bonuses that a lot of companies are paying their employees because of the recent tax cuts.

I personally believe that this is a very good thing. From everything I can tell, these businesses were not going to pay these bonuses out to their employees otherwise. Additionally, whether the tax cuts prompted them to do it or not.  The fact remains, employees of many organizations received additional compensation that they weren’t going to get before, because of the change in the tax structure.

Now, I see this as a very positive thing.  Since I am in business, I share a lot of business related articles and headlines frequently across my social media channels.  And I had someone who wanted to turn this positive situation into a negative one.

I believe their comment was something like this, I am paraphrasing, but this is the gist.

“Big deal, these billion dollar corporations, are giving a few thousand dollars away, this is nothing to these companies to give this money away.”  Basically they believe that this is some kind of publicity stunt, and secondly, that a few thousand dollars is not that much money to the company’s bottom line over all.  They had the money in the first place is their belief.

Two problems I have with this statement which prompted me to write this blog.

First:  These companies didn’t owe these employees this money. These employees made a decision to work for these companies at whatever wage they work at.  If they didn’t like what they were earning they wouldn’t be there.  Or they shouldn’t be there. So the fact that the company decides, because of economic conditions, we are going to give you more money. This is a positive thing.  I don’t know how in the hell anyone could see it any other way, unless you are just completely out of touch.

Secondly: The amount of money.  The amount of money shouldn’t matter either.  Anything more than zero should be considered a nice gesture. Period. Again, these companies were already in an agreement with these individuals. Now, the company was changing the game on them in a way that benefits the employees.  They should be happy about that.  And I am sure most were and most people would be.  Except for the people who are always thinking they deserve more.

And that brings me to my final point and why I can’t even argue anymore about these kinds of things.  Here is the fundamental issue. I grew up in a family of five where our household income growing up may have been $30-40K.  To some that is a lot.  But it didn’t feel like we had a lot. I chose to go to college and educate myself, and then after college I continued to educate myself. This has afforded me the ability to earn more than my parents could have ever dreamed of earning.  And they are both proud of me for it.

But I cannot argue with someone who fundamentally believes that just because one person, or one company, has accumulated more money and resources because of their hard work, diligence, and discipline.  That they should be required to share those resources and that money with others.  Or, to take it a step further and get really political, that because of their success that they should be required to give more of it to the people who haven’t had the same level of success. And honestly they do share in both of these scenarios, because of the taxes they do pay, but that is besides the point.

And sadly enough in this argument/discussion we are actually talking about a company who chose to share their resources voluntarily, but that still wasn’t enough.

I am sure I will find myself in future discussions about these topics.  Instead of getting upset and trying to prove my point.  I will just remind myself that I need to love these individuals for who they are.  And also remind myself that I cannot change a persons mind or opinion, who fundamentally believes something so opposite of my beliefs.  I will be respectful of their opinions and listen, but I will not waste my time to try and convince them.

To your success and your future.

 

 

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Bring on the criticism. I need it and so do you.

Are you open to criticism?  If you are like most people, the answer would be no. You might say you are, but who really likes it?

We all need to criticism in our life to have success. Without it, we wouldn’t know what is resonating or not resonating with people. We wouldn’t know what works or doesn’t work.  We wouldn’t know how to adapt and evolve.

Nothing of value in life, and especially the first versions of something, are never that good.  They are only as good as they can be, based on what we know at that time.  What version of iPhone are you currently using?  What version of your Android phone are you currently using?  Well, if you are using an Android, I am sorry.  But I have an iPhone 7 that is running I think, version 11.1 ios.

In Silicon Valley, where a lot of software, social media channels, and other technologies that many of us use on a daily basis is created.  They have a philosophy they live by.  That is, they want to get the software, the social media channel, etc. to a point where they can release it to the market as quickly as possible.

They know the sooner they get it to the market, the quicker they can get feedback on it and start to make the necessary changes to make the product even better. They know when they release the product that it isn’t finished.  But they also know that as soon as they do, they will get the critiques they need to make the tweaks, and make more tweaks, to continue to evolve the product and make it better.

So I come back my question at the beginning.  Do you like criticism?  Or do you do everything you can to avoid it?  If you aren’t getting criticized, the chances are you are going with the flow. And let’s be honest, the flow is usually not that great. The flow usually has status quo ideas, with stagnant bank accounts, and stagnant careers, and stagnant family lives, and the flow wouldn’t be able to identify an opportunity if it hit them.

I know if you are reading my blog, then this is not you.  You want to have more in all aspects of your life.  You are willing to go against the crowd regardless of what every one else is saying. You are willing to state your opinion, even when it is opposite of the masses.  You are willing to do the hard things to get the things you want and your family wants.

If you are in leadership and you are afraid of criticism, then my guess is your team is today where you were yesterday and last year.  And most likely they will be at the same point a year from now. When you start to do things different and push new initiatives you are going to get criticism.

Here is the one thing I have learned in my life.  I have not, and am not currently, getting enough criticism in all areas of my life.  I am not stepping outside of my own comfort zone enough, which means I am not stepping out of the comfort zones of everyone that I know enough.

Whether we want to admit it or not. We are and become the people who we spend the most time with.  If you are overweight and don’t live a healthy lifestyle.  Then there is a 99% chance that the people you spend most of your time with are the same way.  If the people you spend 99% of your time with are in debt and are constantly negative, then the chances are very likely that you are in debt and constantly negative as well.

One of my mentor says this.  When you start doing something different from everyone else.  The first thing they do is laugh at you.  The second thing they will do is criticize you. Then the last thing they will do is admire you.  You cant skip to the third thing first.  You have to go through the first two steps.

Are you willing to do that?  I am.

To your success and your future.

 

 

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“The truth will set you free” as soon as you stop crying about it

Several years ago I was in a company where I had just been promoted to a director level position.  I had worked for the company for a several years and I was known as a hard worker and a forward thinker. At the time the company was in culture shift.  We had several new senior leaders that had come in from other companies, as well as people internally who had been promoted who thought differently. These two groups of new leaders were there to help transform the company.  At that time is was needed desperately.  Results had become stagnant and the culture was a mess to say the least.

My current supervisor at that time became a good friend of mine, and even during this growth phase we worked closely together and we learned a lot along the way.

Both mine, and my supervisors boss, who was a vice president and reported to the owners of the company, was a friend as well.  Several times a year the vice president had meetings with all of the directors within the organization.  We would all meet and go over the objectives and different strategies we were using in our divisions to get better results. You could say it was like a brainstorm session a lot of times.

Since, I am a new director and I am now attending these meetings, I made it a point to make sure my voice was heard.  Again, at this time, it was in my DNA to be this way.  I was aggressive, I was opinionated (meaning I had some suggestions), and I wanted to be the first to state my opinions. Again, this is what landed me in those meetings in the first place in my mind.

I am not quite sure how many meetings I participated in before this meeting with my boss occurred, but I can remember this meeting with my boss.

My boss sat me down and gave me some feedback.  It is probably one of the best pieces of advice I have received when it comes to navigating and managing political issues within the workplace.  Which up until that time I never even considered.

He said that some of my peers, as well as some of the other people in the organization feel like I am a “bulldozer”.  Which  means I am very aggressive in how I talk with my colleagues and how in meetings I want to be first to say what is on my mind, and that I don’t listen to others very well.

At the time, this feedback hit me really hard.  Again, this is who I am in.  This is what I do. I am aggressive, I want to get business done as quickly as possible.  I don’t want to over think anything. But this feedback he gave me was coming from several sources, even the owners of our company’s daughter who worked in the business as well.

After I got over the initial shock of this feedback, and I stated my thoughts on the situation.  Which means, I said they are just mad they are not like me.  They are passive, they don’t have good suggestions, and why aren’t they aggressive about what it is they think and want to do instead of criticizing me for what I do.

Once I got that off my chest.  The two of us talked and he provided me some suggestions on what it was I could do to help manage these perceptions. I ultimately did what he said, and I was promoted to the highest level in the company in my position, which means I was promoted over all of those people who had those opinions.

The reason I was able to win in the end, was because my boss at that time.  My mentor, provided me the feedback and the truth that I needed.  Sure, what I was doing was good for business, but we have to think about the people involved in the business as well…the people we have to work with on a daily basis.

If it wasn’t for that feedback at that time, I know for a fact I would have never been promoted, because I would had never changed.  So all of those people probably would have complained so much that my boss and his boss would had eventually fired me (maybe), but I know for sure I could have never been promoted to the level I was, because all of those people would have had a mutiny.

My boss at the time knew that the feedback he was giving me was going to be hard for me to swallow at first.  Because he knew the things everyone was complaining about is why he had promoted me in the first place.  But he also knew that if I didn’t fix those things I would never last in that position.  He cared enough about me and my career to tell me the hard things that would help me grow and develop.  And it did.

In todays culture, we need more of this direct truth and feedback in business as well as in our society as whole. Unfortunately, even when the people do get it, they respond like I did, and in many cases they don’t grow from it. I whined and cried and blamed at first, but then I used it as the opportunity to grow and learn from it.

Also, I didn’t blame the messenger, ever. It wasn’t his fault that people felt the way they did.  He didn’t create this issue.  But he was being a great leader and fixing it.  Because that is what leaders do.  They say the hard stuff, the stuff nobody wants to hear.  They do the things that have been neglected in doing for years and years.

So when this “real” leader shows up, the long history of avoidance and outright negligence, on major issues are finally being dealt with, people are even more entrenched and worried about how and what they are doing, versus the fact that they are finally doing something about it.

In my case, I ended up taking the truth and turning it into an advantage for me, and I ultimately won.  In today’s society, we need to hear the truth, no matter how hard and direct it is, so we can take it, learn from it, and improve things from it. The truth will set your free, if you listen to it.

The alternative to the truth is someone who never tells you anything and you end up some place you never wanted to be.  In my case it could have been losing my job, which wouldn’t have ended my life, but it would have sucked at that time.

If we don’t get the truth on some of the major issues affecting our society has a whole, there could be some big implications from this in our future. I am thankful that we have truth tellers in politics now, versus, liars, who either think you are too dumb to know everything and they never tell you, or instead just do things that they believe is best for your future.

Don’t kill the messenger, instead, listen to them, and hopefully we can fix the problem.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

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The power in one hour – 3 – Sales Calls

If you are in sales you have already heard this a million times I am sure, so here is the millionth and one time you are hearing this again. If you want to be successful in sales, you have to be willing to pick up the phone and call people who could potentially buy your products.

If that is not enough motivation then let me tell you the why behind this what.

Before I do that, I want to challenge you with this.  How much money do you need to make?  Yes.  I said need to make.  Not want to make.

Make a list of all of your debts and liabilities, and all of the monthly payments associated with those debts and liabilities.  Make a list of all of your payments for insurance, internet, gas and electric bill, water, dues of any kind, etc.  Make a list of any kind of outgoing money that you have ever month, every quarter, or every year.

I challenge you to make the list of need to make, because this list will get you thinking about the minimum amount of  money you need to make to maintain your current lifestyle.

Now make a list of all of the things you would like to have. Do it.  You wont regret it.

Now that you have done this.  How much money will it take over and above what you need “to make”, to have the things on this list of “would like to haves?”

The chances are there is a gap between what you are currently making and what you need to make to have the extra things you want. If not, good for you.  I would just challenge you to think big.  Start thinking about how you can invest into things that will eventually allow you to stop working.

Now that you have done this, you are probably like most of us and want to make, or need to make, more money than you are currently making.

This brings me to the topic of the power of one hour.  This is the third part of a series of writings that I am doing discussing the power that can be realized if you just focus your time and effort into that one hour.  You can read the first two on this topic here and here.

If you are in sales, you know that to be successful that you have to make phone calls to people who could potentially be a buyer of your products.  So how many calls can you make in an hour?  And what kind of impact could that have on your income and your ability to buy the things you need and want?  Let me give you an example.

I recently received a lead.  Yes, I received a lead.  This doesn’t happen very often, so when it does, I take full advantage of it.  But surprisingly enough, most people don’t take advantage of leads when they are given to them.  Don’t be this kind of stupid sales person.

I get a call from a colleague of mine.  They tell me that someone is looking to buy my products.  I immediately get off the phone with this colleague of mine, make the phone call to this prospect.  And one hour later, I have an accepted proposal of services for $5,000 dollars.

Is this typical?  Not really, but I didn’t let any time pass me by and I know many sales people who would never move things that quickly. But it is possible, if you are willing to move as fast as you can go to make a sale. The point here is this, don’t stop until the sale is made.

So back to phone calls. How many sales calls do you think you can make in one hour? Let me answer this for you.  A solid average would be 10-12 outbound phone calls an hour. But lets keep it simple for you and say, it is 10 for the sake of this blog post.

If you make 10 phone calls in one hour.  That means each call you make is around six minutes. Obviously, some of those calls you will reach people and some you will not.

If you make ten phone calls an hour.  Lets say you speak to one person that can buy your products every hour. So one person an hour, times eight hours in a day.  You would speak to eight people a day that could buy your products. If you are speaking to eight decision makers a day and getting one to two appointments a day from those efforts.  You will be a highly highly successful sales person.

Lets use my earlier example as an illustration of what could happen.  If my average sale is $5,000 dollars.  Which it is close to that.

Lets just say you are so busy that you can only spare one hour a day, every day of the week. So you would make only 50 calls a week.  10 calls an hour times five days a week.  On average you would make ten contacts a week with those efforts.  And lets says you only close one of those 10 contacts a week.  Yes.  I said one.

One contact a week times 52 weeks.  At my average rate of sale of $5,000, that would equal  $260,000 dollars a year in revenue. 52 X $5,ooo = $260,000.  What if I am half wrong?  That would still equal $130,000 a year.

I think you see the point I am trying to make.  One hour a day devoted to any activity can have a significant impact on your life, career, your finances, and your health.

I don’t know your sales cycle, I don’t know your schedule.  However, I do know that there is a lot of power contained  in one hour of focused effort put into a task or activity. You just have to be willing to schedule that one hour and make the effort required to maximize that one hour.

I’ll leave you with this.  We as humans fill up our calendars and our schedules for the sake of being busy.  It is probably the most overused word in business right now. However, being busy doesn’t mean getting results.  And the name of the game is not “busy” it is getting “results”. That is the only thing that matters. Start focusing one hour a day to this simple activity and watch how your results change.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When sales people do this one thing it guarantees more closed deals.

In sales, and in my sales training workshops, I have always reminded people of this one simple fact of sales:  When a buyer seeks to buy something, they will make the purchase when the value of whatever the solution (thing, object, service, etc.) that they are buying, exceeds the cost.  Simply stated: When the perceived value of a product exceeds the cost, a buyer will make the purchase.

The challenge that sales people face is that they must help the buyer see that the value exceeds the cost.  Which means, that the buyer must be certain, and maybe not even fully certain, that the price of the product is justified in the pleasure or results they will get from the purchase.

Recently, I was in the market to buy a couch.  This couch purchase has been something that has been in the works for about a year now.  Which means, I told my wife that we would buy one, and she kept reminding me that I said that, but I kept putting it off.

Last weekend, we took the next steps to purchase the couch.  So, I actually found myself in the stores looking at couches and determining what we wanted.  My wife and I very rarely agree on things of this nature, but in this case, after three or four stores, we both laid our eyes on a couch that we both liked.

We went back and forth about it, and then we ultimately got the sales person over to discuss our options.  The couch we were looking to buy is not a regular couch.  We wanted a sectional.  A sectional comes in various shapes and we both liked one with a chaise at one end of it.  A chaise is a chair that is like a mini little lounge on one end of the couch.  I have never had one of these, and I was excited about getting this feature.

To get the couch the way we wanted cost $3,100 dollars out the door.  Personally, I have never paid more than four or five hundred dollars for a couch.  My wife had spent more than that in her past, but never as much as this couch cost.

For this purchase, we had already determined that we would spend $1,000 on a couch, but after looking at a few places and now understanding the market a little bit better, I learned that this dollar figure was way off.  To get a bigger sectional couch, with the features we liked and desired it would cost us at least double that.  And I knew this, but I always start low and once I find something I like, price goes out the door usually. As this couch purchase illustrates.

But now we found ourselves looking at a $3,100 dollar couch.  So after an hour or so, my wife and I decided that we were done couch shopping for the day, and that we really liked the $3,100 dollar couch, but we would look at a few more places before we made our purchase.

Fast forward to the next day.  My wife and I went into two more places and looked at other couches.  By now, we have been to about six to seven stores.  We decided to go back and look at the couch that we both liked the day before. The $3,100 dollar couch.

We spent another forty-five minutes or so looking at the couch.  My wife starts putting some pillows on the couch and was really trying to get a feel for the couch.  The sales person from the day before joined us once again.  And she wasn’t necessarily pressuring us, but was adding in some commentary to my wife and I’s conversation as necessary, hoping to push our decision forward.

Once again, we decided not to buy the couch and that we would look a few more places.  My wife really wanted to sleep on this buying decision again.

The next day we decided to go to the same store, but a different location. Lets be honest, I wasn’t expecting to see anything different in this store versus the other one that we have been going to the last two days, but I thought, why not give it a try. And guess what?  The couch that we had been looking at the previous two days, the $3,100 dollar coach was in there as well.  And we looked at it again.

We also walked around the show room and looked at other couches.  We found a few new ones that we liked as well. Now, I am not sure if we had looked at these exact same new couches at the other location.  The chances are we had, but one couch jumped out at us that we really liked, and by this time my wife wasn’t that interested in the $3,100 dollar couch anymore.

This new couch that we both liked was $2,000 or so dollars. And this Saturday that couch will be delivered to our home. We made the purchase in less than forty-five minutes or so.

I am in sales and have trained sales people for a very long time. Through any buying process I am constantly watching and listening to the sales person to see the techniques and processes they use to help me make a purchase.  I am also considering and thinking about the decision-making that I, or my wife, are using during this buying process.

So why was it that we couldn’t make the decision to purchase the $3,100 dollar couch for two days, but on the third day we bought the $2,000 dollar couch so quickly?

To me this was a classic example of something all sales people deal with.  As I mentioned before, my wife and I both had never purchased a couch for the amount of money that we were considering spending.  So this would have been a purchase that was against both of our buying patterns.  Since this was the case, there was a lot of uncertainty on whether the couch was worth it or not. Also, as I mentioned we looked at this couch three different times, so there was a lot of uncertainty on whether this couch would look the way my wife wanted it to.

Both times we looked at the couch at the first store, my wife couldn’t get an idea on what it would look like in our house.  No matter how many pillows she put on the couch or pictures she took, it was just really difficult to see how it would look at our place.

When we moved on to the other couch, and the one we ultimately purchased.  My wife was able to get a feel for what this couch would look like in our place. She was able to more clearly see how it would fit in the decor that she was looking to have in our home.

The lesson here for sales people is this.  In any sales situation, or a lot of sales situations, especially when someone is buying a product for the first time, or spending more on a product than they have before, your number one challenge will always be to figure how to eliminate the buyers uncertainty.

If it is a first time purchase for a buyer of this product.  They are usually uncertain if it will work for them.  Since they don’t know how it works, they are uncertain if it will work, and will they use it and get the benefits out of it. It doesn’t matter if it is a couch or a new software system for a business.

When it is spending more money than they usually pay for similar products, then it is the uncertainty of whether or not the additional money they are spending on this product is worth it.

In my case of the $3,100 dollar couch versus the $2,000 dollar couch. If the sales person could have provided us a guarantee that if the couch didn’t look the way we wanted it to.  Lets be honest here. The way my wife wanted it to look.   Then we could return the couch.  We would have even been willing to pay a fee of some kind if we returned the couch,  because the fear of uncertainty would have been eliminated. Unfortunately, no such option was available.  Once the couch was purchased and delivered it was yours.

The fear of uncertainty is real in all buying situations. A sales person must create ways to over come and eliminate that fear of uncertainty. In our case, a simple guarantee that we could return it, could have increased their sales by $1,100 dollars.

Why do you think car lots allow you to take the car home overnight and think about it?  How many more cars do you think they sell because of this one little easy thing to do?  A lot. Because those buyers get a feel for what that car feels and looks like when they are driving it.   They get to see it in their driveway.  And since it is a new car, or new to them, it feels and looks good and those emotions are usually confirmed by others in their life during those 24 hours that they have the car.

Eliminate the uncertainty and you will make more sales.  Use return guarantees, let them try the product out, or whatever else you can do to eliminate that fear of uncertainty and you will make more sales.

To your success and your future.

 

 

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The Power in one hour-2; This one is too good to miss.

This morning I started my morning off like I do most mornings.  I got my workout in and completed.  Then I set aside an hour for reading a few chapters from a book.

This is my second entry of an ongoing series of writings on the power contained in one hour. One hour is not a lot of time in your day, but if you can harness the power in one hour and put all of your efforts and focus into an hour, you can accomplish some amazing things.

In my first entry, you can read it here.  I talked about how many calories I burn, and you could burn as well, if you ran or walked for at least an hour a day.

Today, I want to talk about the power of setting aside one hour of reading time a day, or at least several times a week, and how much this one hour invested in reading could benefit you.

Over the last seven years I have invested one hour a reading time, on most days, to a book on a particular topic that I have an interest in.  The books I have usually read are business books, self-improvement books, motivational books, biographies, etc.  During that time, I have read about 384 books.  On average that is about 54 books a year.

Most books that I read are roughly around 200 pages.  If you read 30 to 40 pages a day you can finish a book in a week or so, just like I have averaged the last seven years.  Do I read everyday?  No.  But I read most days. And if I am really into the book, I may read a whole book in one sitting if time permits. But I think you see the point here.

In one hour, you can usually read about two chapters, at least for most books, unless you get into a novel or something.  The fonts are usually much smaller on those kinds of books, which make the chapters longer and harder to read for me at least. I think you get the point here.

How has it benefited me to set aside one hour on most days to read a book.  Before I started this habit of reading.  My income a year was around $53,000 dollars.  My best year of my career was in 2016.  Where my total income was $175,000 dollars. You can do the math yourself, but that is an increase of $122,000 dollars or a 230% increase in my income.

Sure, I would have had some raises along the way and after several years in a career, you should be making more money.  But I would not have had the significant increase in my income if I hadn’t become a reader.  If I hadn’t invested that one hour a day into my personal development during that time.

Let me tell you what is behind the numbers that you don’t see.  By reading the fifty something books a year:

  • My confidence increased.  Because I was smarter.
  • My thinking ability was expanded.
  • The fear of certain unknowns were dissipated.
  • I learned how to work with people more effectively.
  • I sought out new opportunities.
  • I expanded my knowledge into more areas.
  • I had additional skills.
  • I appreciated people more.
  • I was more interesting because people knew I was well read.
  • I shared certain nuggets of wisdom with others.

I could go on and on about all of the benefits I have received or earned because of reading, but I will stop here.  I think you get the point.  All of this is possible because of one hour a day, or most days.  See you don’t even have to do it everyday.  If you do it every other day, you will still get substantial benefits from it.

I had a mentor tell me one time that one hour a day, devoted to a certain topic or skill, will make you an expert in that field or topic within five years.  I agree, it will make you an expert, but it wont take that long.

Let me ask you?  How much reading do you think you can do in an hour?  I would be curious to learn.

If you fond some value in the post, please share it with others. I am just like you, I am trying to figure it all out.

To your success and your future.

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The Power in one hour–1

It is the start of a New Year. Many of us are thinking about how we will do things differently than we have done them in the past.  Hopefully, you have set some meaningful goals for yourself and are looking to have your best year ever.

Last year, I thought about how much I can actually do or accomplish in one hour.  And over the next few months, or maybe throughout the year, I am going to write about my experiences with what I can successfully do in one hour.  I am going to use a lot of examples to make the point along the way, but I plan on speaking about my own experiences, and I will also use events and topics, to make the point of how powerful an hour really can be when we use it to our advantage.

How many hours a year do we waste?  I know some of the things below are necessary, however, I want to get you thinking about how many hours we actually do have to do certain things.   Here are some random statistics of how many hours we use to do certain things throughout the year.

  • According to Adobe and some research they conducted with more than 1,000 white collared workers.  They estimated that on average a person was spending 4.1 hours day checking email.  Which adds up to  20.5 hours a week.
  • Data Company Inrix studied traffic in 240 US cities and found that on average all commuters spend about 42 hours a year in traffic.
  • People spend almost 1,000 hours year online, according to figures from the Oxford Internet Survey. For the average Facebook user, more than 70 hours of that is spent on the social networking site. Combining TV, computer, smart phone and tablet use, we spend an average nine hours a day staring at screens.
  • The average household spends 1,460 hours a year watching television. An average of four hours a day.
  • The average person spends just 50 minutes a week (43 hours a year) on exercising and working out according to figures from WeightWatchers.
  • We spend 39 minutes a day, which is 237 hours a year. Each day we spend seven minutes 20 seconds on breakfast, 12 minutes 49 seconds at lunch and 19 minutes having dinner.
  • O2 found we spend 119 minutes a day – that’s 724 hours a year – making calls, browsing the internet, texting and listening to music, but just 97 minutes with our partners.
  • We spend 208 hours each year making sure our homes our clean.

Statistics above pulled from an article by the Daily Mirror.  Check this article out here 

I am not here to tell you what to do with your hours.  Many of you are already justifying how you spend your hours and after reading the above stats, you are now justifying them even more.

Now that we have laid out some ground work of how we spend some of our hours.  How do we take the hours we have and get the most out of them.  And what can we actually accomplish in one hour?

Here is my first example.

I have been a runner for many years now.  I run close to five days a week, and sometimes even six or seven.  It just depends on how my other workouts go. Some days I have long runs that require me to be out longer than one hour, but for the most part I like to stay within that one hour timeframe when I workout.

One hour a day is 4% of your day.  Lets do the math here: 60 minutes in an hour.  There are 24 hours in a day.  So 60 mins X 24 = 1,440 minutes a day.  You with me.  Now take the 60 mins. and divide it by 1,440.  And it equals .041666667.  Move the decimal over two spots and you are roughly at 4%.

Lets just assume that most days I spend the one hour running.  I may do several combinations of different runs that look like this.

  • A really fast run would include all out sprint: I would do roughly 7.30 miles in one hour, which is a about an 8 min per mile pace.  During that run I would burn about 1,175 calories or so.
  • A run/walk would consist of a 3 mile run for about 27 minutes and then walk for 2 miles (15 min pace) and I would burn about 840 calories or so.
  • Walk only (15 min pace) I would do about 4 miles and burn about 560 calories or so.

If I just did the walk five days a week for one hour.  Which by the way is a very slow pace, most people can do this pretty easily.

I would burn 2,800 calories a week and 145,600 a year.  They say that a pound is equal to about 3500 calories. Who says?  The experts.  Just go with it for now.

If you were looking to maintain your weight or even lose weight, if you just did this exercise, and only ate the amount of calories you need to stay healthy, you would lose 41.6 pounds a year.  145,600/3500 = 41.6.

A lot of math here but I think you get the point.  And the point I want to make and that I will be making with my future blog posts with similar titles is this:

One hour a day towards something is not a lot a sacrifice, but it can have a great impact on your life.  

In my case, when I really workout and sprint for one hour and push the 7 mile or more mark, and burn 1,100 hundred calories, I feel so good for the rest of that day.  And the benefits to my overall health is so beneficial as well.

Here is my challenge for you today?  What is one area of your life where you could cut one hour a day from?  Maybe it is in one of the categories above where I described how much time the average person is spending in one of those areas.  Maybe that category is necessary for your life.  If it is, how can you do something else while you do whatever that task is.  I will be writing more about this in the future.

One hour a day is only 4% of your day. If you subtract sleep (8 hours) and work (8 hours) and you just say you have eight hours of free time a day.  Then this one hour is only 12% of your free time.  What I do in one hour of time for my health and well-being is probably one of the most important things I do all day, and it only takes 4% of my day or at the most, 12% of my free time.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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