August 30th, 2009
Everyone wants to be physically healthy. You want to be mentally healthy as well. The true measure of “mental fitness” is how optimistic you are about yourself and your life.
Below you will learn how to control your thinking in very specific ways so that you feel terrific about yourself and your situation, no matter what happens.
Control Your Reactions and Reponses
There are three basic differences in the reactions of optimists and pessimists. The first difference is that the optimist sees a setback as temporary, while the pessimist sees it as permanent. The optimist sees an unfortunate event, such as an order that falls through or a sales call that fails, as a temporary event, something that is limited in time and that has no real impact on the future. The pessimist, on the other hand, sees negative events as permanent, as part of life and destiny.
Isolate the Incident
The second difference between the optimist and the pessimist is that the optimist sees difficulties as specific, while the pessimist sees them as pervasive. This means that when things go wrong for the optimist, he looks at the event as an isolated incident largely disconnected from other things that are going on in his life.
See Setbacks as Temporary Events
For example, if something you were counting on failed to materialize and you interpreted it to yourself as being an unfortunate event, but something that happens in the course of life and business, you would be reacting like an optimist. The pessimist, on the other hand, sees disappointments as being pervasive. That is, to him they are indications of a problem or shortcoming that pervades every area of life.
Don’t Take Failure Personally
The third difference between optimists and pessimists is that optimists see events as external, while pessimists interpret events as personal. When things go wrong, the optimist will tend to see the setback as resulting from external factors over which one has little control.
If the optimist is cut off in traffic, for example, instead of getting angry or upset, he will simply downgrade the importance of the event by saying something like, “Oh, well, I guess that person is just having a bad day.”
The pessimist on the other hand, has a tendency to take everything personally. If the pessimist is cut off in traffic, he will react as though the other driver has deliberately acted to upset and frustrate him.
Remain Calm and Objective
The hallmark of the fully mature, fully functioning, self-actualizing personality is the ability to be objective and unemotional when caught up in the inevitable storms of daily life. The superior person has the ability to continue talking to himself in a positive and optimistic way, keeping his mind calm, clear and completely under control. The mature personality is more relaxed and aware and capable of interpreting events more realistically and less emotionally than is the immature personality. As a result, the mature person exerts a far greater sense of control and influence over his environment, and is far less likely to be angry, upset or distracted.
Take the Long View
Look upon the inevitable setbacks that you face as being temporary, specific and external. View the negative situation as a single event that is not connected to other potential events and that is caused largely by external factors over which you can have little control. Simply refuse to see the event as being in any way permanent, pervasive or indicative of personal incompetence or inability.
Resolve to think like an optimist, no matter what happens. You may not be able to control events, but you can control the way you react to them.
Now, here are three actions you can take immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, remind yourself continually that setbacks are only temporary, they will soon be past and nothing is as serious as you think it is.
Second, look upon each problem as a specific event, not connected to other events and not indicative of a pattern of any kind. Deal with it and get on with your life.
Third, recognize that when things go wrong, they are usually caused by a variety of external events. Say to yourself, “What can’t be cured must be endured,” and then get back to thinking about your goals.
August 30th, 2009
Fortunately, problems are an everyday part of our life. Consider this: If there were no problems, most of us would be unemployed. Realistically, the more problems we have and the larger they are, the greater our value to our employer.
Of course, some problems are small, like opening a ketchup bottle. Others are monumental like a seriously ill or injured child or mate, which present ongoing, daily complications. Successful living comes when we learn to handle those business and personal problems with as little fanfare as possible. The successful business executive can handle challenges and solve problems at a remarkable clip. He/she makes quick and final decisions as a result of years of experience. The homemaker with small children at home handles many “catastrophes” each hour with the same dispatch.
Many people use counter-productive methods to deal with problems: They refuse to recognize them, deny responsibility for them, pretend they will go away if they ignore them, or are just flat insensitive to them. The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist. Next, we determine whether the problem is our responsibility. If the answer is yes, we must determine how serious and/or urgent it is. When that last determination is made, we either take immediate action if the problem is simple and quickly solvable or develop a plan of action and prioritize it if the solution is more difficult and time-consuming.
Problem-solving becomes a very important part of our makeup as we grow into maturity or move up the corporate ladder. I encourage you to take the time to define the problem correctly, learn the skill of quick analysis and remember, if it weren’t for problems in your life, your position might not be necessary in the first place. Ironing out the wrinkles and solving the problems is what most jobs are about. Think about it, and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
August 27th, 2009
Making a profit has not changed, it is still and will always be about the relationships that fosters the opportunity to make a profit. To create a relationship, a company must be creditable and interested in their customer’s needs.
Commitment to customer service is key to customer retention. Commitment is not just stated, it is proven. From your receptionist to your company’s president, it is your job to instill confidence in your company. Do you live by your service commitment each day? Do you survey your customers to learn about opportunities to improve when there are failures? Do you think about your customers when making changes within your company that might affect customers?
In these times, more people looking for value and long term commitment perhaps more than ever before. They want to know that they made the right decision and that you will be there for them in a year from now.
How can you enhance business? Add to your services with a technique used in infomercials. When you turn on the T.V. early on Sunday mornings you will find infomercials selling everything from exercise machines to juicers. A back end offer is an extra product or service that is offered after the customer has decided to purchase from you. These after sale offers provide added value to the customer and re-enforces your interests in them. These add on value deals are so profitable that many take a slight loss on the front end to provide great deals on the back end. There is no question that deals like these are part of a company’s customer retention strategy. Everyone appreciates an added incentive with an added gift card for a future purchase or stay and plan vacation.
Follow up frequently and not just at holiday time. Use the slow summer months to communicate interesting information and offer incentives that you might normally only offer at Christmas time. Ask for referrals and demonstrate appreciation with a small gifts or opportunities for an online helpful seminars.
The back end of the sale can be more important than the front end when trying to retain and build your business.
August 27th, 2009
Here is a basic truth you must accept and believe if you are to achieve your dream:
Your dream can be a reality! That’s right; your future can actually see you living your dream. It doesn’t just have to be a big wish!
When we are young, we are dreamers. Nothing seems too big for us to accomplish. Nothing seems too outrageous. “The world is ours on a string,” as the old song goes. Until reality hits. Reality is what others want to box you into by saying:
“You can’t do that.”
“Nobody has ever done that before.”
“It will never work.”
“You’ve gone off the deep end now!”
All dreamers (who eventually become accomplishers) have heard these things. Yet, they overcome them. They refuse to accept someone else’s reality for their own life. They let the average people live their average lives, bound by fear, while they pursue their chosen future—their dream! So don’t believe the people who tell you that you can’t or that you won’t. Believe your dream. Believe that it can be your future!
Once you have determined that you can actually live your dream, I want you to memorize this acronym. I’ve shared it before, but I’ve found it to be tremendously helpful for reminding and motivating us toward our dreams.
D is for Dare: Dare to dream while others don’t.
R is for Relentless: Relentlessly pursue your dream, no matter what.
E is for Excellence: Strive for excellence in all you do.
A is for Abandon: Abandon any other alternative plans.
M is for Measure: Constantly measure where you are on your dream journey.
OK, that’s great and motivating, but what about the practical stuff? Well, there is certainly practical stuff. No matter how lofty your dream, no matter how spectacular, you will live most of your life in the mundane. Richard Nixon said of the presidency that you “campaign with poetry, but govern with prose.” The vision is beautiful; the actual is mundane—not bad but “everyday,” so to speak.
If you are to achieve your dream, you need to plan and work, and work and plan. Here are my thoughts on how to go about reaching your dream and securing it as your future: Decide that you will do it. This may seem elementary, but many people never decide and commit to their dream fully. They simply keep thinking about it. Tell others you are going to do it. This puts you on the record as to what you are dreaming about. It makes you accountable. It will help you do it, if for no other reason than to avoid embarrassment!
Develop a step-by-step plan. This is absolutely essential. You must sit down and write out a few things:
1. A timeline. How long will it take to the end?
2. Action steps. Point by point, what you will do and when you will do it.
3. Resources you will need to draw from. What will it take? Who will need to be involved for help or advice?
4. An evaluation tool. You need to evaluate from time to time whether you are progressing or not.
5. A celebration. Yep, when you are done, you should already have planned what you will do to celebrate. Make it big!
I have found that there is no better time than the present to start making your dream a reality. So, set aside some time today to get started on your dream. Follow the action plan and set your sights for the top of the mountain! You will be glad you did!
August 24th, 2009
When Steve Hamburg made the life-changing decision to launch his own business, he quickly realized it required more than business savvy and technical know-how.
In this economy, a product or service is only as good as your ability to sell it.
That was because, like so many professionals, Hamburg had given little consideration to an important aspect of the business process–selling smarts.
“I went through a harsh reality check,” says Hamburg, who had stepped away from a career at a major firm with an established and successful sales process.
Hamburg’s not alone: This light bulb moment may surprise many service professionals, specifically those who do not associate selling to their field. But the current recession means that now, more than ever, professionals–including doctors, lawyers and accountants–are being forced to pick up the phone and drum up sales.
“A year ago I never thought I’d be working with lawyers. Now, 60 percent of my clients are lawyers who need help bringing in new business. The challenge is in changing bad habits and trying new things,” says Steve Fretzin, president and creator of Sales Results, a coaching and business networking program. “It’s like taking up a new sport or learning to play a musical instrument. It takes commitment, time and practice to achieve the desired results.”
Hamburg spent four years struggling to learn effective sales techniques on his own before putting his IT and corporate security consulting firm, Eclipsecurity, and its sales process into Fretzin’s hands.
Hamburg quickly implemented Fretzin’s Sales Results program, beginning with what Fetzin described as a “rock solid plan.” From there the program focuses on the sales process, with an emphasis on relationship building and learning how to walk a customer through the buying decision in a conversational manner. Fretzin calls it, “The art of selling without selling.”
“It’s like a combination of two old friends talking, and sharing a painful experience with your psychiatrist,” Fretzin says of his sales process, which puts a sharp focus on befriending a potential customer. “This program is customized to each person we coach […] the process is a step-by-step plan to get to a predictable outcome.”
Within eight months, Hamburg achieved the target he and Fretzin had set for his company–a seven-figure sales goal.
Two years later, Hamburg is still using the system, a factor he says has been especially important to his success during the economic downturn.
“Even though the economy has been rough all around, most of our clients are doing very well today,” says Fretzin. “Mainly because they have internalized a prospecting and business development strategy their competition has not. When they go up against another attorney or accountant who is selling the old-fashioned way, there is no comparison.”
The old-school way of selling, Fretzin says, focuses on features and benefits. For example, an attorney would describe for a potential client the numerous benefits and features of working with his or her firm.
“Today we know this is a problem because professionals end up doing a lot of unpaid consulting,” says Fretzin. “Our program focuses on questioning and truly understanding the clients’ needs and their compelling reasons to do business with you. This allows us to present a more focused approach to solving their issues. Plus, we [advise clients] don’t give out free advice anymore.”
Fretzin’s friendly selling techniques are similar to those that Diedre Wachbrit Braverman employs when she networks. The creator of Strategic Attorney Mentoring calls her approach “warm calling.”
“I call on professional advisors with whom I have some relationship–no matter how slight–to ask for referrals and to tell them how I can help them,” says Braverman, who also credits her website and time spent on social media networks as effective tools behind her company’s success.
Braverman says one of the factors that initially makes selling difficult for service professionals is a certain bias steming from the idea it can be unprofessional.
“Even those who take a more modern and pragmatic view wrestle with how to ‘sell professionally,’” says Braverman, noting that while real estate planners may offer a gift certificate to clients, they will never distribute coupons. “Professionals have a fine line to walk,” says Braverman.
But she encourages her clients to recognize that the consumer looks to them for answers, and “they expect professionalism and expertise.”
Of course, some service professionals merely need a kick in the pants, says business development and consultant Thom Singer, author of The ABC’s of Networking.
“Just start,” says Singer. “The longer you wait to start building a network of professional contacts, the longer you will have to wait to see any results.”
Beyond sheer determination and modern networking forums, Hamburg says one of the most important principles he learned from Fetzin is pretty straightforward: “I ask myself, ‘what do they need?’”
“It’s such a simple concept, but what’s amazing is there are not really many people out there who get it,” says Hamburg. “That core approach has just had an amazing impact on my company.”
Fetzin says focusing on what the customer needs is essential to getting prospective clients to invest in what you have to offer them. “After all, people still have needs regardless of the economy being pretty abysmal,” says Hamburg. “It’s just a matter of approaching the organizations and letting them know you are the best one to do the job.”
August 24th, 2009
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries
—William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
So you walk a little today, get your heart rate up a bit, you lift a few weights, you eat a little differently, then tomorrow morning you wake up and look in the mirror… and see the same old flubber. You have to be pretty well along the path to see any significant results. What keeps you doing this simple thing, day after day?
Will power! It’s like my dad (mom, teacher, boss, older brother, minster, self) always told me… I just need more will power.
Really? I don’t think so. (A friend of mine used to say that people on diets who complain that they lack will power are usually suffering more from a lack of won’t power!) Will power is vastly overrated. For most people, will power ends up looking and feeling like some sort of grim self-tyranny, and involves creating an elaborate, artificial reward-and-punishment system.
Do you want to change? If so, I can show you how to tap into the most powerful force for change there is. Would you like to know what it is? Are you ready? Here it is: TIME.
Position your daily actions so time is working for instead of against you. Because time will either promote you or expose you.
What keeps you on the path is your Slight Edge philosophy, which includes your understanding of the secret of time. Knowing the secret of time, you say: If I stay on this road long enough, I’ll get the result I seek. It’s not a question of your mood, your feeling or your attitude. And it’s not a question of will power. It’s a question of simply knowing.
When you enter a darkened room, why does your hand reach out for the light switch? Because you know that when you hit the switch, the light will go on. You don’t have to give yourself positive self-talk about how you really ought to hit that light switch, or set up a system of rewards and punishments for yourself around whether you follow through or not with hitting the light switch. You don’t need any rigmarole; you just hit the switch. Why? Because you know what will happen.
It’s the exact same thing here; you walk a little every day, lift a few weights, eat a little better, and leave the penny in the purse (hit the light switch) because you know it will make you healthy and wealthy (the light will turn on).
It’s the exact same thing, no different—except for one thing, and that is time.
August 21st, 2009
Give me a simple pleasures! A free movie, an ice cream sundae, a piece of chocolate or dinner on you. Demonstrate to me that I made the right choice by doing business with you.
I am not only a looking for the ease of technology, I looking for traditional customer service and a warm greeting or two. I want options of online products and services along with face to face service. I like variety in my life with lots of options. As Gen Xer, I want to know you are interested in my family, friends and I. I want to know you are working on new online services that are easy to use with lots to offer. I also want rewards because they are at the top of my list when making my purchase decisions. I be interested in a credit or ATM card unless, I get a good deal and incentive rewards.
Point reward programs are interesting due to the variety of incentives that they offer. I can either earn points to buy my mom something, save up for a green vacation or donate to my favorite charity. I definitely do not want to stuff my closet with another t-shirt or put add to my coffee mug collection in my kitchen.
I am your employee and your customer, I am your best advertising. I will speak positively and energetically about my experience and believe in our relationship as an your employee and as your customer.
August 21st, 2009
Goals give you a purpose for taking life on. People who live without goals have no purpose and it is obvious even in their body language. They are on permanent idle, they slouch, they list from side to side. Their conversations dawdle. They telephone you: “Hey, I’m just calling. I wasn’t doing anything, so I thought I’d call you.” Well, don’t call ME. I’VE got things to do.
Many people just muddle through life. They don’t read informational material, they don’t even pay attention when they WATCH television. If you ask them what they are watching, they mumblemouth, “Nothin’, I’m just lookin’.”
What are your goals for your career? For your relationships? For your spiritual life? Develop a schedule for the next month, the next six months, the next year, five years and ten years. Write it all out.
Let’s take one of the most common goals: You want to make more money. If that is your goal, then take some practical steps toward realizing it.
First, determine specifically how much money you want to make. Then, double that amount and make THAT your goal. Even if you don’t reach the higher amount, you will probably still find yourself making more than your original goal.
Second, decide the amount of energy you are willing to expend to reach your goal. How many hours are you willing to work a day? How many jobs are you willing to hold down? What sort of work are you willing to do?
A third step in this process is to develop a practical plan of action and get started immediately. Chart out where you want to be in relation to your goal in the next month, six months, one year, five years and ten years. Get started today. Go apply for that second job NOW! Go enroll in that career training program NOW! Ask for that raise NOW!
And finally, make sure that you have all of this written down so that you can review it every morning and every night and envision yourself taking these steps, DOING THEM and SUCCEEDING!
August 18th, 2009
The eyes are the window to the soul. As far back as the statement’s orgin’s in the bible Matthew 6 22-23, the eyes export and import information that stimulates a reaction. A well postured man walks into a room using good eye contact, he immediately gains power and is clearly communicating to everyone in the room that he is there to communicate. He will either communicate interests, disinterests, gain feedback, express feelings or influence others. Similar to the animals in the jungle, the lion will quickly focus on his interests to satisfy his hunger.
The eyes have it and that is why eye gaze studies are becoming more and more important to companies with a large Internet presence. On a given website, visitors will view the search bar and menu options spending less than 30 seconds before deciding to continue or move awat from a website. Large marketing firms now are investing in research to learn more about eye gaze studies and the link between social and search as is used to advertise on Facebook.
In studies, regarding the difference between the sexes’ eye contact, women establish more frequent eye contact than their male counter parts. Men established more mutual eye contact while listening and speaking. Research also concluded that both sexes look more when speaking to a female than a male. This leaves some speculation that women are more attentive, demonstrative and participative.
Eye gaze studies are crucial to companies with a large Internet presence. On a given website, visitors will view the search bar and menu options spending less than 30 seconds before deciding to continue or move off a website. Business owners are continually challenged seeking ways to increase click throughs once their visitors arrive without visual overload.
Research has demonstrated that the eye tends to navigate to the middle of the top of the page and top of far left panel on the Facebook. Most immediately look at wall updates and announcements then navigate to the far right for highlights then venture upwards viewing any personally interesting advertisements. Facebook members tend to find great value in the ability to communicate quickly and easily to family, friends and use it as a networking too. Because of this friendly relationship with Facebook, advertisements are not seen as intrusive as they were on Myspace causing a decrease in membership.
It has been found that 25% of females between the ages are Facebook members. Below is a listing of visitors by website:
Facebook Twitter You Tube
Monthly Traffic 91.2 21.9 71.3
% of People 18 – 49 62% 75% 59%
% of Men/Women 44/56 45/55 50/50
The intensity of visual interests provides valuable information to all those with interests in development. The eyes of the buyer and those we wish to influence. The story is told and absorbed by our eyes. The passionate communication the provide an incentive to react or walk away.
Some researchers into consciousness believe that fixational points of interests are placed where important cognition thinking takes place. Marketing researchers, use eye-gaze systems while conducting marketing research on consumers, similar to those used to develop technology for those that are physically challenged allowing them to turn on lights, talk via a specialized computer or move. They learn about the power of influence on the brain and the motivation for the brain to react.
Like a great hunter, the eye lines up the animal of interest to the center of the retina creating a target of interest. Consumer research concentrates on (1) the scanning pattern across a scene indicating what features are noticed first and second (2) the amount of time on the item of interest (3) the time that it takes before first seeing the item and focus on detail, and (4) fixations measuring the amount of time that the individual’s eye moves from one specific location to another.
Maintaining the visitor’s interests requires a careful balance answering the “what’s in it for me” question, providing intriquing information and an incentive to do business with you in 30 seconds or less. If you have ask yourself what motivates you when you visit a website or when you find yourself captivated by an advertisement, you will learn more about how to capture the eye of your visitors.
August 18th, 2009
After having struggled for so long, it took a shift in attitude for my family and me when success started to happen. When I started making a little extra money at age 25, Schoaff taught me to also let it serve as a new inspiration for lifestyle. Take my family to dinner after I’d had two or three pretty good weeks and it looked like it was going to continue. I would say, “Today we get to order from only the left-hand side of the menu, we don’t have to look at the right-hand side”. Didn’t cost much, just a little extra. But you can’t believe the effect on the family, wow, that these are new days.
It’s called changing your life as well as changing your skills and earning more money. It’s best to invest some of that early money in lifestyle. Go to the movies. Take two vacations instead of one. Just some little extra things that now the family gets inspired by this new commitment to earning more and becoming more and learning more, taking some night classes, whatever you have to do. Now you make it more worthwhile for the family by thinking of lifestyle changes that now become very exciting. Go to the concerts. My parents said don’t miss anything. Don’t miss the play, the music, the songs, the performances, the movie—whatever is happening.
When I started making some extra money, I opened up an account for my wife and I called it the “No Questions Asked Account.” I said, “Here is the checkbook for a new account and it’s called no questions asked. I’ll just keep putting money in there and you spend it for whatever you wish.” It was life-changing. It wasn’t a fortune. But she didn’t have to ask for money anymore. I could sense that it was a little embarrassing at times when she had to ask me for money. I thought, that’s not good, so the first time I get a chance, here’s what I’m going to do. And sure enough, I did it. The “No Questions Asked Account.” You can’t believe what that did. It was absolutely amazing.
With that little extra money, work at creating lifestyle. Social friendships, church, community, country. All those things that make a composite of our overall life. Start furnishing that with new vigor, vitality, money, whatever it takes to expand your life into what I call the good life as well as economics.
And it doesn’t always take a lot of money. How much is a movie? Even for a person of modest means. $8 or $10? It might cost $60 million to make it and it only costs $8 to see it.
When I discovered those kinds of concepts at age 25 you can imagine it was hard for me to sleep nights that first year. I got so excited about changing everything. And one discipline leads to another. One change leads to another. Feeling good about yourself and starting to make the turn to do something you’ve never done before, then it starts to work, wow, and then you get excited about changing other areas of your life as well.
Now after you have made your fortune, the money and extravagance might not seem as big a deal. And fortunately you can then create even more powerful opportunities, in particular, opportunities for benevolence, philanthropy and giving.
Now I’m certainly not saying to focus only on external pleasures and rewards. Your relationships, health and spirituality are all of more consequence.
But in the beginning, when the rewards of your hard work begin paying off, make sure and treat yourself and those closest to you to a new world of lifestyle and celebrations.