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    Monday
    Oct292018

    Create Momentum

    Many do not understand the role that momentum plays in success, and failure. Put simply, successful people become more successful due to momentum, and those who are failing, continue to fail due to momentum. It’s why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer – they build on existing momentum, doing more of the same. To get going in the direction you desire, you must stop the momentum going in the wrong direction – and get it going in the right direction.

    Momentum is very important in business. Many entrepreneurs spend lots of time not recognizing momentum patterns they’re creating or extending. Business markets move so quickly, particularly powered by today’s technology, that in 18-24 months you can find yourself working on issues and in patterns that are no longer relevant. Even worse, your competitors may have been working on the right things and you appear irrelevant to the market. That’s where understanding the fundamentals of the business are important. Are revenues increasing? Are we increasing the number of customers? Do we have a sizable and growing pipeline or pool from which to grow revenues and profits? These and other metrics are key momentum indicators.

    If you’re wondering if you should make certain moves, where you should put your energy, the foundational question is: where do you want more momentum? Whether you are selling, managing people, engaged in product innovation or any other endeavor, what matters is that you deliberately take steps toward creating the momentum (which leads to results) that you desire. Then, the objective is to get those modest successes, which begin to create patterns of success.

    As you create successes, you’ll recognize how to get the next one, and the next one, and soon it becomes easier. Your apprehension goes away, you’re not self-conscious – or worried about mistakes and outside perceptions. Things that would have slowed others down, don’t slow you down. And in time, you develop a pattern of results.

    How can you get more energy into your business? How can you start to see a more successful pattern emerging? You must get deliberate about it. To improve your business, your organization, or your sales territory, work on creating momentum, now.

     

    Tuesday
    Oct022018

    Why Not Me?

    One thing that has kept me going over the years, continually reaching toward greater opportunities, achievement, and success is pondering this simple question: "Why not me?" It’s a question that forces you to consider why it is others can enjoy certain levels of success while you settle for less. Do you ever challenge your own thinking?

    One key to a great and prosperous life is consistently challenging yourself to ask for more from life. Why not be the one that succeeds in that role? (whatever it is.) Why not be the one who lands the deal? Why not be the one that figures out how to build a business? Why not be the one who attracts the big money, lives in the great place, or does any number of other things that are available to us in this world? If you have difficulty selecting yourself for great things, you are accepting far less from life than you can and should enjoy.

    If you’re willing to challenge yourself with this question and decide that you can be, do, and have what you want, then you can begin experiencing more. It begins with mentally challenging yourself, thinking differently about your potential, feeling and acting differently, holding the vision, and expecting it. While there are some people who never question their ability to have more in life, some are conditioned to see great possibilities as something that others have – not them.

    Begin today, challenging your assumptions. Challenge those irritations that occur day-to-day. Challenge the relevance of rejection and setbacks. Put statements on your wall to see, on your desk, in your phone. Expect more from your life each day. If there is ever a question whether you can be, do, or have what you want, say “Yes!” to your desires and keep moving toward them. It is what those who reach premier level performance in their endeavors demand of themselves.

    Wednesday
    Aug152018

    The Normalization of Profanity

    Profanity has always been used in our society, but in fifty plus years, I’ve not seen the casual acceptance of so many four-letter words in conversation, social media posts, media, and correspondence as exists today.

    Profanity used to be something we’d apologize for; words and phrases that “slipped out” in a mood of exasperation. The overt use of profanity used to be a sign of an unsophisticated class, a rawness, rudeness, or an unwillingness to conform.

    More commonly used by men, women would refrain from openly using profanity. Parents would refrain from profanity in front of their children. Parents used to threaten to wash their kids mouths with soap, if they caught them using profanity. Now they exchange profane remarks with their offspring.

    Profanity was spoken privately, behind-the-scenes among the most visible, prominent, and successful – not publicly used. We certainly would not write something for public consumption with profane words. Well, that world is long gone.

    Profanity is used assertively, loudly, and often today in casual conversation, and most do not apologize for doing so. In fact, a younger generation uses profanity like they’re merely picking another flower in the garden. It’s just another color to add to conversation. I think this practice has weakened our use of language, our discourse, and in an odd way, weakened the impact of profanity itself.

    What used to be shocking and an extreme expression of feelings and would jolt us all to attention is now more routine. For me, hearing profanity out loud still makes me wince, and when the words come out of my mouth, it makes me wish I could pull them back.

    Not long ago I listened to a live speech by a prominent author laced with profanity, and my appreciation of him sank. I wondered why this was necessary, and why a person with such a wonderful platform would pollute his message with so many four-letter words. Despite my impression, the response to his talk among my colleagues was “He’s amazing!” Somehow his foul language seemed to make him more real and relatable.

    So, this is where we are. We often relate to the profane, much more than the profound. We’ve taken language that used to be off-putting and made it the norm. I’m convinced this doesn’t serve us well, and it’s something that I won’t be embracing. I know this is against the tide of our society, but I believe the use of profanity should be rare and not routine. Call me a square and out of step with the times, but that’s my position. Like Clark Gable’s character, Rhett Butler shockingly said in the 1939 classic, Gone with the Wind, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

    Wednesday
    Jul112018

    Summer Can Give Your Business the Lift It Needs

    In the summer, many people are inspired to look away from work, are eager to take days off, spend more time outside, and engage in leisure travel. However, this season could easily turn out to be among the most productive times of the year for your business. With broadly a slower pace, this is a good time to chip away at those things that take time, that you may have deferred, but when completed could have a profound effect on your career or business. Here are a few suggestions:

    Reading: Do you have books, magazines, and articles to catch up on? Devoting a little time while sitting on the deck or poolside to read material that will improve your knowledge and understanding of business matters or your industry is time well spent.

    Writing: If you have delayed writing thank you notes, or drafting letters or emails, the summer is a great season to think about what you’d like to say and use downtime to write those all important pieces of correspondence.

    Photographs: Summer is a great time to capture images of your various activities. Everyone around you expects many photographs to be captured at events and gatherings and these images can not only serve as memories but can be used as tools to connect with your business colleagues, to use in social media, and to connect with your audience.

    While it might seem that business interests are not advanced during summer months, savvy business people use this time to move forward decisively.

    Friday
    May182018

    What Does Excellence Mean TODAY?

    We all have a choice in how we look at our work strategically, and how we follow through. We have the freedom, typically, to approach our work, any way that we like.

    We can be pragmatic, tackling task after task, without focusing on a larger strategic vision. We can gravitate to a broad, or even philosophical view of what excellence means in our businesses.  Or, we can decide what the word excellence would mean in terms of results, this very day.

    I recommend the latter.

    Excellence, TODAY is the choice I’ve reminded myself of as an entrepreneur, for decades now, and I think it’s an important mindset for you to cultivate. This comes, perhaps, from my need as an entrepreneur to consistently be sure something meaningful is happening to keep up the momentum in the business.

    If you’re like me, you have plenty on your list to work on. But there’s nothing that clarifies the mind like aiming your thinking and effort at the one, two, or three things that could make the most difference in your business TODAY. Your focus might not always be on the biggest of ideas. In fact, it’s more likely to be small ideas, but it’s the cumulative effect of focusing on what would demonstrate excellence, TODAY, that truly makes excellent companies.

    If you’re running the company, creating excellence TODAY might mean giving your team an uplifting word. Or it might mean, a quick conversation asking your top people to define new ideas in market leadership. If you’re in marketing, you might spend a large part of the day, defining the five reasons clients should engage with your company, and buy your product – so that these are crisp and clear. If you’re in sales, you might define and assemble your A-list contacts and relationships, making sure you have compelling and engaging dialogue with them. In HR? You might casually reach out to company staff members, to see how they’re doing, shifting what is typically a reactive role, to a proactive role that strengthens company culture.

    I’ve found when you take a step back and ask yourself: “What would make us excellent?” And you apply that question to this very moment, it leads you to decisions and actions that cut through.

    The key point; Wherever you sit in a company, you have an opportunity, TODAY, to redefine excellence and make it something that happens, right here, right now. Excellence is not a lofty management concept, it’s a down-to-earth, daily effort.