Author Archives: Tim Mushey

Engaging People Is Not Only A “Work Thing”

Apple And Orange Happily Shaking Hands

The only way that you are going to get better at something is through practice. I read a quote in a hockey book once that really caught my attention:

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect” – Vince Lombardi

Even those with raw talent have to practice regularly. Engaging others in sales and other professional roles should not be limited to work relationships. You should practice engaging others when possible.

My dad was a teacher, and is still very engaging to this day – partially because of his personality, but it was also a necessity for his career. Could you imagine being in front of a class of kids and not holding their attention? Teachers who could captivate the crowd were always the ones that remained memorable to me.  This also meant that my dad and I could never quickly go to a mall because he was always running into people. Conversations would start, and time would pass by. My mom would always comment upon our return, “Where were you? I just sent you for a couple of things!”

There are so many opportunities to engage people outside of work:

  • In line at a store
  • At a social events with friends
  • Business or community events
  • Sporting events
  • On a walk or a run
  • Groups, associations or teams that you and/or your children are part of

I was thinking about this one day after a run, and I reflected on how many people I acknowledge in that 45 minute period. It was about twelve!

  • Some greetings were a simple hello or good morning as I passed by
    • With others I would make a quick comment on the weather, or about the degree of difficulty of a hill that I (or they) had just ran up
  • Some were a quick stop so our dogs could greet each other
    • It was common that I ask for information about their dog, and how the person’s day was going
  • I even complimented one guy who was actually attempting to train his new puppy

When I engage people in this setting, most people are pleasant back. It is common for people to jog with an iPod or Mp3 player, but I will still turn mine down to say something, or at least wave. I have done this for so long it is second nature now.

If I never practiced this skill, and instead just went through the day keeping to myself, it would be unreasonable to expect that I’d be very good at it in a short time period. Skills would develop eventually, but carrying that philosophy over to your personal life just means that you have more opportunity to practice. Then before you know it, the skill improves.

This was not always easy for me; because I was quite shy growing up due to my stutter. Speaking up and meeting people was very difficult well in to my teenage years. But with practice and patience, I consider myself very engaging now, and will always take time to speak with others.

  • Do you only engage new people in work situations?
  • Where can you begin to converse with people starting right away in your personal life?

The most practical business skill that has come out of this for me is keeping conversations going when there is a lot of dead air. I think most of us have experienced conversations that were very one-sided, and it was a struggle to keep it going, and interesting for the other person.

Good luck, and remember to always be in “engagement mode”!

The Five Star 5 – Your Brand Can Rock…

Rock Concert

If you want it to!

Seriously (my 7-year-old son loves to say that word now)!

Today more than ever, personal branding is incredibly important. The tools are there to stand out in very crowded niches and be game changers helping those who really need it.

I think many people undervalue their worth online in one, or multiple niches that they are working in.

Always remember that people love to work with like-minded people, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and build a kick-a** community of raving fans.

When I think of personal branding, 5 things really come to mind:

  1. Be Yourself – Don’t try to be somebody that you are not. It rarely works, and you just look silly
  2. Engage Others -Nothing worse than somebody putting out great content but never engaging their audience
  3. Be Consistent – One big red flag that stands out for me when I come across a new brand is if their social media content is inconsistent, with long breaks of nothing. If you are in, you are in – show up often with high quality content
  4. Be of Service – It is not about you, it is about your audience. Once you get the mindset of helping others, it will be a game changer. The money will be there, as long as you don’t focus on it
  5. Start a Blog or Website With Your Name – Even if you have an existing business, it is a great idea to be branded online with your name as well. What better way to get known online than people being able to stop by “Insert Name.com”!
  • What does personal branding mean to you?
  • What struggles have you had with your brand, and what steps have you taken to make yourself a “rock star” brand now?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Have a FANTASTIC day :-)

 

 

 

Happy 70th Birthday To My Mom!

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My mom Carolynn, who I affectionately call “Carrie” turns 70 years young today!

My family and I had the pleasure of celebrating this milestone event with my dad, sister and family a couple of weeks ago in her hometown of Gimli, Manitoba. She was thrilled to catch up with family and close friends.

She taught elementary school for many years before starting her “real job” of taking care of my sister and yours truly. She was a fixture over the years playing the piano at our schools and volunteering. I was always so proud to see her playing the piano at our assemblies. She returned to the workforce after we were “all growed up”.

Now her job as “Amma” (Icelandic for Grandma) to her four grandchildren keeps her smiling and having fun. My parents love coming to visit us in Edmonton, and enjoy the time they spend with their other two grand children, daughter and son-in-law in Winnipeg too.

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When my dad turned 70 last year, I mentioned that our family loves to have fun and laugh! My 3 favourite moments laughing with my mom are:

#1 I was explaining to my mom that I was really tired one day, and was going to watch a quick movie that night. It was called, “Back Of My Eyelids”. Her reply, “I don’t think I have seen that one dear.”

#2 She was shopping at the local mall, and either forgot where she parked the car, or it was actually moved. We may never know what actually happened. Word spread to a few of our neighbors, and the next time she went to visit our “adopted grandpa” next door, he just opened the front door a bit and very eloquently said, “I am sorry dear, but you don’t live here.”

#3 She is the best “backseat driver” I have ever seen! Her passenger seat shoulder checks are impeccable, and the “passenger side fake brake” always gets a workout when she is in a car.

We have laughed about these stories for years.

Her memory and commitment to family and friends is truly amazing. She seems to remember every person that she has ever met, and I have always been impressed by that. I recently quizzed her on our Icelandic family history, and her attention to detail as far back as 60+ years ago was incredible. I guess that is where I get it from! I have often looked at the calendar in her kitchen and asked, “Do you actually acknowledge all of those birthdays, anniversaries etc?” And the answer, of course, is “yes”.

You know our conversations would always be interesting when it started with “You remember that person from…..”

She is still sharp as a tack when it comes to the little details.

Always so selfless, I have only known her to think of others first. “No” has not been a very popular word in her vocabulary over the years. But “what can I do to help?” has been ringing in my ears since I was a kid. She has been there for so many family members and friends when they needed her; I lost count years ago.

My mom is very musical, and comes from a very musical family. I wish I was a bit older so I could have witnessed all the fun evenings at my grandparents place with the sounds of piano, violin and laughter resonating throughout the house. One of our family’s favourite traditions is to have the neighbors over after dinner on Christmas Eve. It is always fun when mom plays piano and we have a big old sing-song with everyone :-)

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Oh I almost forgot! My mom “taught me” to stay up late as a teenager. We watched “The Arsenio Hall Show” late together long before the days of time-sharing channels on TV. Those were also the early days of CNN. To this day her and dad stay up waaaaaayyyy too late and often I will text and say “go to bed” well after 12:30 am :-)

I said a few words during mom’s birthday celebration a few weeks ago, and did not have notes. It was a whirlwind event and what I said is all kind of a blur to me now.

What I hope I said was my dad, sister and myself, and all our family and friends love her very much.

I will never forget the time she asked me, “Why did dad and I get invited to one of your friends’ weddings and none of the other parents did?” My reply,” You guys are different mom, you are the best!”

She has been the backbone of our family for 45 years, and we love her to pieces. Her infectious smile, fantastic laugh and helpful nature have made her a fixture growing up in Icelandic communities of rural Manitoba (Gimli & Hnausa), and now in her local community (Transcona, a suburb of Winnipeg, Manitoba).

Here’s to many more years of health, happiness and laughter my dear!

Cheers!

Love Tim and family

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Have A Laugh Fridays – My Ice Bucket Challenge Vid!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Last night I completed the Ice Bucket Challenge! It was launched to raise money for ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease. One of my family member’s challenged my son and I, and we happily obliged.

This is a very serious disease and I challenge you all to take part, and invite others to participate as well to bring more exposure to the cause.

Why is this under my Have A Laugh Fridays?  Check out my video, and please share with others.

Have a great weekend.

Tim

Saturday Music Memories – Overjoyed!

I fell in love with Matchbox Twenty the first time I heard the hit single “Push” all those years ago. A couple of years later in 1998, I went to Australia and they were just MASSIVE there!

I have followed their career very closely ever since.

Here is a FANTASTIC version of “Overjoyed” from their latest release, North

Have a great weekend and enjoy this summer day!

Have A Laugh Fridays – Social Media Reflections In 2062!

This is so AWESOME! I wonder if we will be talking like this in 2062????

Please share with your network today.

Enjoy your summer weekend wherever you are in the world :-)

Is It Time To See “The Other Side Of The Fence?”

Young Businessman Thinking and Wondering While Writing a Paper

I looked at many notebooks of my writing one day and …

Thought nobody would care what I had to say

Did not feel confident in my abilities

Was apprehensive and nervous

Realized nobody else I knew was doing this

Did not feel I was creative enough

Something inside of me finally clicked and I took action!

I started a blog

I was still scared

What if nobody viewed it?

What if I did not make any new connections?

What if I faded away in to “Google anonymity”?

To my surprise, posts …

Were viewed

Attained “likes”

Lead to followers

Were shared via social media

Acquired comments

But you have to …

Commit to do the work

Put yourself out there

Engage your community

Care

Show up regularly

The game changer for me occurred early on after I received a personal email from a reader.

It was simple and to the point, but it meant so much.

“Thanks for the post Tim. It really resonated with me. Keep up the great work!”

Validation!

If you are on the fence, I understand (more than you know). Been there done that! Why not jump over? You might like what you find on the other side :-)

  • How has your writing experience been?
  • Better than expected?
  • More struggles than you bargained for?

Would love if you shared your thoughts in the comments section!

Saturday Music Memories – Rockin’ Live DOA!

I have not been running as much as I should this spring, but I finally got out this week for the first time in a while.

I make sure to have FANTASTIC rock music on my iPod to keep me motivated.

This wicked track by Foo Fighters came on, and I hit repeat three times!

Have a great day and embrace the first day of summer!

 

 

To Give Or Not To Give…

Playing Cards In Hand

That is the question :-)

Ever see people handing out business cards like they are dealing a deck of cards?

“Come one, come all, everyone gets a card!”

The important question is…

 

did you get a card from the prospect, or the networking event connection?

 

When you get a card, you are in control. You control your own destiny.

When all you do is hand out cards, and often forget to get their card, you wait – hoping one day that they reach out to you.

Uh-oh! Your card may end up in the garbage but you still can connect if you have theirs!

Real Connections Matter!

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I have known the one-of-a-kind Paul Castain for over three years, and had the pleasure to speak with him on several occasions.

Long ago when I started writing, did not have a blog yet, and was “stuck”, I started to research the sales profession and stumbled across a website. They had a blogroll (list of blogs that they followed) and Paul’s blog – “Your Sales Playbook” was one of them.

I had clicked on many of the other blogs and moved on shortly after, but something made me dive deeper in to Paul’s content. He even had a link to a music playlist to help pump everyone up! Any sales website that has content on music (one of my passions) is going to get more of a look than the others.

From that moment, I made a point of supporting him on my “regular run” of the social media circles. I commented on his posts, listened to podcasts, shared content and interacted with him on a more personal level. I really connected with him, and at any moment felt like we could go grab a drink and shoot the breeze.

Over a year and a half passed and I was finally ready to launch my blog in January of 2012. It was a honour early on to have Paul stop by and comment to wish me well. Like many bloggers, my first two or three posts had limited traffic beyond family and friends. I did not totally understand “the blogging thing” yet, and was not driving traffic to my content.

Then came February 13, 2012 –  the day I will never forget.

I walked in to my office like any other morning to check email. I was stunned to see so many new emails related to my blog. My first thought was “What did Castain do”?

http://yoursalesplaybook.com/2-newnewer-sales-blogs-worthy-of-your-attention/

I share this not to be cocky or arrogant, it was just the first thought that came to my mind. I had a feeling that Paul was responsible.

I still remember my heart racing as I realized what had happened.

To this day, no matter how hard I try, I cannot surpass the number of daily page views that I received when Paul gave Bruce Zimmerman and I a “shout out” on his blog. I am forever grateful for the gesture, and what he has done for me and my business.

I never expected anything in return from Paul. I just wanted to help because of his incredibly content, passion to make others be better and his love for life.

Our relationship has now developed to where I help run his music group on LinkedIn (a subgroup of the highly successful Sales Playbook) called the Daily Music Sanctuary http://linkd.in/1g45rW0 .We try to talk at least 2-3 times per year. I was invited to attend one of his webinars free of charge, and had the distinct pleasure of doing a testimonial for his awesome Ebook “Paul Castain’s Social Networking Playbook” http://bit.ly/Mw7YOI 

If you reach out to others and build relationships you never know what might happen. If your intentions are not self-fulfilling, you might get an incredible surprise like I did that day!

Paul has become my mentor and motivates me to move my consulting business forward every day! As great as the mention was on Paul’s blog, the best part is I now have an incredible friend who will be there when I need him, and that means the world to me!