Category Archives: Business

Neil Ducoff’s Take On Leadership!

I just loved Neil Ducoff’s take on leadership in this post. Take a few minutes to have a read. It is very inspiring…

No-Compromise Leadership Blog

One thing I’ve learned in my 62 years is that success never seeks you out. Success is about as indifferent and unemotional as it gets. It doesn’t give a hoot about your dreams and vision of what success means to you. It doesn’t care if you’re wildly successful today and lose it all tomorrow. Success is never in a rush. Success is just this extraordinary state that allows people, companies and organizations to bask in its glow and glory for as long or as little as they choose. There’s only one rule; show up and play to win. Otherwise, get out of the way.

I’ve been teaching, writing and coaching business and leadership for 40 years. I’ve had my share of successes and failures – but I keep showing up and keep trying to get better. When I look at my calendar and see keynotes, classes and consulting dates, I…

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I really enjoyed this short blog post from Broc Edwards. He makes some very valid points comparing a job and a career. Enjoy!

 

fool (with a plan)

[Today’s flashback is a short piece I originally posted on September 5, 2011. Enjoy!]

I was watching Chris Rock’s “Kill the Messenger” the other night and was really struck by one of his comments. I’m paraphrasing, but he basically said that you know you have a career when there’s never enough time. You look at your watch and it’s already after 5pm so you plan on coming in early the next day. With a job, there’s too much time. You look at your watch and it’s just after 9am and the day stretches out ahead.

Absolutely brilliant! It doesn’t matter if you’re overpaid or underpaid, hourly or salaried, educated or uneducated, or what field you’re in or company you work for: if there’s never enough time to accomplish all that you’re excited about getting done, you have a career; if time is your enemy, you have a job. There’s a lot of…

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How To Stand Out – The Beer Concession Worker Story

So, like  – there are lots of us on earth right?

Many of us are trying to stand out from the crowd and do “out of the ordinary stuff”. Heck many of us are trying to do ordinary stuff but still get noticed.

Like delivering beer to people’s seats at a baseball game.

There is no way to stand out from the crowd doing that right?

WRONG!

I had the pleasure of attending a Chicago Cubs exhibition game in April of 2011, and did not realize how much of a treat I was in for from watching a beer vendor work. His coverage of our section immediately caught my attention! He was more charismatic, more outgoing, more energetic, and more fun to watch than any other beer concession worker than I had ever seen before. I caught myself watching him work more than the game itself!

But that was not even the best part. When he left our section for a bit, I followed him and we had a bit of a conversation. I was captivated by his stories of working in the industry for many years. When I left with my drinks, he gave me his “business card”. It was a laminated baseball-like card with his picture on the front working at a game. On the back it had all of his “statistics”. By statistics I mean all the venues he had worked at during his career, and events that he attended.

I still have his “business card”, and look at it from time to time to remind me what it truly means to have a well-developed personal brand.

  • What do you do to stand out from the crowd?
  • Where do you know that you can improve to increase your exposure?

Developing your personal brand is not a “when I feel like it” thing. It should be ongoing. Daily if possible.

Be memorable, be engaging, be caring and for goodness sake have some fun!

My Quotes Week Day 3 – “Get To The Point!”

Some people just “sound” better on paper!” – Tim Mushey

I was on a webinar once, and after half an hour of the gentlemen saying how great the content was going to be, I thought of this quote.

At least if I was reading it, I could have skipped to the good stuff (if there was any)!

My Quotes Week Day 2 – Secret Satisfaction In Business

“The true excitement and sense of accomplishment is getting that order. The secret satisfaction is being planned, organized and ready to go to market each and every day” – Tim Mushey

My Quotes Week Day 1!

As I was reviewing some notes a while ago, I realized that I had compiled a few personal quotes. I want to share three of my favourites with you this week!

Hope you enjoy it, here is Day 1:

“When you are thrown a fastball in baseball (a good scenario) hit it out of the park. When you are thrown a curveball (some adversity), be patient and don’t swing at it. Take a breath and deal with it. When another fastball comes, hit it out of the park.”

“As you get more experienced with curveballs, you will be able to hit them out of the park too. But when you first see them, they will seem impossible to even make contact with. As you get more experienced, you will be able to succeed, in spite of whatever life and business throws your way.” – Tim Mushey

Job Search Day 1 – Don’t By Shy, Apply. You Never Know!

I had four hours to kill last week on an airplane, so I decided to revisit old content that I had archived. I was surprised by how much information I had on job searches; all the way from getting started on a search, culminating with evaluating offers. I will save most of it for the future. Perhaps release it in eBook format!

Until then, here are three of my favourite posts that I dug up and edited. Enjoy day 1!

I absolutely love being the dark horse in the interview process. If I was not expected to get a role, I took it as a personal challenge and stepped my game up to the highest level possible. It is always fun going through the process under those circumstances. There is no pressure on the underdog; just go in and do your best.  I would get this type of information by asking the recruiter who I was competing against for an opportunity. Sometimes it was better not to know, but on occasion I would ask and they would tell me.

I know for a fact that I was hired in at least one role that I had no business getting based on minimal experience in a technical field. It was down to four candidates, but I did not let the knowledge that the other candidates had solid industry experience affect my confidence in any way.

I had no pressure on me and did get the role which felt great. I impressed the toughest manager that I ever ended up working for in my career in that interview, and he gave me a shot. I have always told recruiters and/or hiring managers that all I need is the chance to impress during the interview process. Actions speak louder than words, and meeting people face to face confirms that I will shine, and am not just a bunch of credentials on paper.

Do not be afraid to apply for roles that need previous sales or industry experience. What do you have to lose? If they don’t want to meet with you, that is their choice, but at least you are giving them something to think about.

Remember, it is not uncommon for sales reps to work for several different organizations in a specific industry during their career because they have product knowledge and many business contacts. But bad habits can creep in to their day-to-day activities, and I am hearing from mangers recently that they will give more consideration to new reps entering an industry and/or sales all together. It is a breath of fresh air to bring new blood in and not “recycle” the same reps over and over.

Why is that?

New sales reps have a clean slate. They have no preconceived notions about the industry or particular customers. They are excited to have the opportunity to start in a sales role and grow with an organization. Many managers realize that they can train new employees, and teach them product knowledge, as long as they have the skill set to succeed long-term.

My most successful sales role started without industry experience or product knowledge. I was very nervous at first taking the role, but once I learned the product line and account base, it was smooth sailing from there. My tried and tested systems worked once again. I just had to “insert” the new products!

Can Business Really Be That Easy?

My wife is pregnant, and I figured that she might need a late night snack a couple of weeks ago. Truth be told, she was not that hungry, but I was up for some take out food! I convinced her to order something with me, and off I went. This was not a fast food restaurant, and had an above average menu.

I placed my order at the counter, and proceeded to sit down at one of the booths. It was half an hour before close, and I was the only patron left in the restaurant. There was a cook preparing my food, and one Manager/Owner.

The Manager caught my attention for the wrong reasons. He had a frown stapled to his face, and looked like he would rather have been anywhere else but there. This was not a young adult, it was somebody in their late 40’s/early 50’s who had probably been in business for some time. He seemed to be hovering behind the counter, watching the cook’s every more.

He walked right past me on two or three occasions as well, and never said one word.

I received my order a few minutes later and left.

I described my observations of what happened with the manager with my wife, and noted that he did not even say one word to me in an empty restaurant.

Her reply (grin included),

“Maybe you are expecting too much.”

Here is how I would have approached “myself” if I was the manager in that situation.

  • “Hey, how are you today?”
  • “Oh great! Have you been to our restaurant before? How was the food/service?”
  • “Fantastic! Just to let you know that we are under new management, and are appreciative of your continued support.”
  • “I will tell you what. Here are a few $5 off coupons for you and your friends to come by later. I would love if you help us spread the word! Thanks so much!”

Truth be told, I would have probably settled for,

“Hello, how are you today?”

But I am always trying to take things to the next level, and expect more than a simple hello!”

  • What type of interaction (if any) would you have expected from the manager in that situation?
  • How would you have interpreted his constant frown, hovering over the cook, and lack of interaction with me?
  • The million dollar question…. was I expecting too much?

Is Sales Management Still Broken? “Hands-On” vs. “Hands-Off”

I recently posted a question on Paul Castain’s Sales Playbook LinkedIn discussion group about the “Ideal Sales Management Style”. The responses varied, with the majority concluding that a combination of  “hands-on” vs. “hands-off” was the best solution. I agreed with that analysis. I am with my 7th company in 16 years of corporate life, so I have a very good idea how I like to be managed, and how I manage now.

I had no intention of discussing this thread on my blog until I saw the comment below. I received this startling entry from Kevin Dankosky about two weeks ago, and it has really stuck with me. I will abstain from my opinion, rather eagerly anticipating your take on his incredible story!

“Funny this question comes up. I went to visit an old childhood friend for lunch last week and we were talking about his career in health care sales. He is about 15 years my junior. Let me predicate this by saying that I’ve always more of hand-off type of sales manager who is very selective about his hires, trains them well and then treats them like gold – 99% of the time they do a great job.

So we are having a nice lunch and he gets a text message from his boss reminding him (and the other regional sales people) of the daily conference call at 1:00 (it was 12:30 at the time). We are having such a good discussion at lunch we run a little late so at 12:58, while taking me back to the airport, he has to put the conference call on in the car through the radio.

I was shocked, the sales manager has everyone check in .. Joe here, Mary here, Larry here, Curly here .. then the meeting begins. Details on all the main target accounts, timelines on closing deals, number of sales calls made today, number of cold calls made, etc. Fortunately I got to the airport (20 minutes later) before the end of the call.

I was shocked. If I were a sales rep and that occurred on a daily basis, I’d go nuts. In addition to having been a sales manager and sales person, I’m also a coach and teacher. I think it’s up to you as a sales manager to know each person on your sales team and find out what makes them “click”. Some will need more hands on attention while others need just a nudge.

Regardless, if you feel the need to “ride” them each day, you either don’t have confidence in them or you have a power obsession. Again, if you hire the right person, train them well, support them and treat them well, the rest will fall into place. I guess that’s a long way of saying I’m more “hands-off”. – Kevin Dankosky

Oh yeah, if you love sales and business and you are not a member of Paul Castain’s Sales Playbook Linkedin Group, what are you waiting for? Here is the link:

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Sales-Playbook-1832739/about

No spam, no personal promotion, 30,000+ members. It is the best place to hang out that I have found and it has changed the way I sell and manage.

My Guest Post – Confidence Means Everything

Kevin and Leanna over at the blog “The League of Champions” reached out to me a few weeks ago, and I am so glad that they did.

They did a guest post on my blog, and now I have done the same on theirs. I really enjoy their content, and highly recommend that you check them out if you have not already.

Here is the link to my post on confidence. I hope you like it!

http://theleagueofchampions.com/2012/08/09/confidence-means-everything-guest-post-by-tim-mushey/