Blog Archives

Is It Time To Do Some “Cleaning”?

Building on my theme from yesterday about participating in a “marathon” rather than “sprint” I thought some “cleaning” might be in order too! It was a nice reminder reading this old post today!

Our second child was due this past Monday. Every day that the baby does not arrive, allows my wife and I some extra time to do a few things around the house (even though we should be relaxing by now). Over the past few months we have:

  • cleaned the garage top to bottom
  • organized a basement crawl space in preparation for building a kids playroom
  • donated toys, clothes, and any other household items that we were not using anymore
  • And last but certainly not least, put our office back together two nights ago after 8 months of working in the dining room!

The incredible feeling of walking in to my office and finally using it again this week after a hard wood floor renovation made me smile from ear to ear. All of the other tasks that we completed have lifted a heavy weight off our shoulders as well.

It just made me think:

  • what are we all “carrying around” personally and professionally that is holding us back?
  • when is it a good time to “clear” these things out of our lives?

Perhaps today is finally the day to do something that will make you feel fantastic and help you only look forward.

Jeb Blount once said “a little bit every day” and I have stood by that motto since the day I heard it.

I’m just sayin’ 🙂

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The Story Of “The Grinder”!

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I heard the phrase “are you grinding it out” yesterday and it inspired this post!

The grinder was never a superstar at any sport as a kid, but what they lacked in talent, they more than made up for in heart and desire

The grinder had trouble maintaining their “A” and “B” grades from highschool in university, even failing one course!

The grinder, while firmly established in their career, was let go from a job

The grinder had several jobs over a few year period, struggling to find the right fit

The grinder was inspired one day, to pick up a pen and started to write

The grinder finally took a leap of faith after many months and started a blog

The grinder dove deep in to their profession and researched heavily in the internet marketing space

The grinder started to connect with incredible people online via social media one by one, day by day. They kept moving forward using the mantra “A Little Bit Every Day”

The grinder struggled with the demands of a day job, a busy family life and extra curricular activities; but still often made time to write and develop their network

The grinder like most people, has good days and bad days, but refuses to give up; keeps moving forward and constantly reminds themselves how close they are to their goals

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success” – Thomas Edison

The grinder is me, and I am proud to say that I refuse to give up or take steps backwards. Some days are better than others, but I constantly remind myself how badly I want it!

  • Are you a grinder, or do you need to start grinding it out?
  • Are you moving forward, or have you recently taken steps back further from your goals?
  • Do you have a “don’t quit” mentality, or are you sabotaging your thoughts with “well I guess this is all I am meant to do in life”?

Keep fighting, keep connecting with incredible people, keep being inspired and having fun!

YOU ARE closer than you think 🙂

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Are You Mentally Tough Enough?

Life can be tough..

Personal life, Business “life”. Things come out of nowhere that can knock you on your butt. But you gotta get back up. You just gotta! The more resilient you become early in your life, the more success will follow.

If you develop a tough mental mindset challenges can be overcome much easier.

Remember the old 80’s song by Matthew Wilder:

“Ain’t nothin’ gonna to break my stride
Nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on movin’
Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
I’m running and I won’t touch ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin'”

How ’bout some Chumbawamba:

“I get knocked down but I get up again You’re never going to keep me down”

  • What songs motivate you to keep moving forward?

I will never proclaim that crushing defeats in sports are more challenging than those in personal or professional lives, but there are still lessons to be learned. In May of this year, the Toronto Maple Leafs professional hockey team blew a 3 goal lead in the third period of game 7 during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The eventually lost to the Boston Bruins in overtime.

This was one of the most catastrophic game 7 losses in professional sports history, and I hope all the players on that team are mentally tough enough to get through it, and excel at the highest level again. Having a short memory and “erasing” setbacks is crucial. Just keep looking forward.

Life can be tough. Everyone knows that. The 64,000 dollar question is can you be tougher?

I hope the answer is a resounding YES!

Which “Version” of You Do You Want To Be?

If you have ever been in a funk during your career (especially now) you need to take a couple of minutes and read this.

Close your eyes and take several deep breaths. Think back to a time when everything was clicking with your current role. Reflect on why things were going so well, and what you were doing specifically (and how you were feeling) to make it all happen.

It is my experience that when people are confident, have a positive attitude and a bounce in their step, everything falls in to place over time. As I write this line, I think back to how great I feel when I am “on my game” while golfing! Dr. Bob Rotella has some incredible content on the mental side of golf. I see many parallels with the psychology of sales, and will continue to explore the similarities down the road.

I worked with a retailer in the past that put heavy emphasis on employees closing the sale with the first customer who walked through the door each morning. Why? Because that put them in a great mindset for the rest of the day. On a larger scale, if you make half of your sales quota in the first week of the month the pressure is off, and you can get to work and sell more comfortably for the next three weeks.

To be clear, relaxed does not mean taking it easy. More that you don’t feel the pressure of every sales call or every retail customer having to result in a sale immediately.

Many little things can throw us off and put us in to a funk for long periods of time. Remember when you did poorly on an exam or test in school? Did that make you a bad student? Of course not. I drew a total blank during one exam and failed the course.

That one blemish did not make me a bad student, but it certainly toughened me up, and I made darn sure that it did not happen again! The key is to shrug off those setbacks as soon as possible, and get back to your reality of success.

I wanted you to reflect on being in an awesome place with your role because you deserve to “return there” as soon as possible. I have wrestled with “self-doubt” demons several times during my career and felt that my current existence was just the way that things were going to be forever. Thankfully I would always snap out of it.

I am very respectful that the economy and other things out of our control can certainly affect our mindset and general demeanor for extended periods of time. But when every setback moves you further and further from your goals, job satisfaction and ultimately overall happiness, the negative spiral can be catastrophic!

If you need to hit “reset” with your current role …..

Splash some cold water on your face, take a good look in the mirror, and become that “you” that you really want to be again. You deserve it!

  • Are you at the top of your game with your current role?
  • Like a golf swing, are you “feeling it” now?
  • If not, what changes can you make as soon as possible to get back to the best “version” of yourself?

So You’re Saying There’s A Chance…

Typically November is the time of year when sales reps decide if they can make a push to reach their goals (if they are not there yet), or “pack it in” until January 1st.

One year in the mattress business, I was lagging behind as mid-November hit. I was frustrated that the results were not there, and I was not “feeling it” anymore. Shortly after the “pity party”, my boss gave me a wake up call –  and said that I could still do this. A trip for two including airfare and hotel to an exotic location was on the line for my wife and I. Giving up was not an option. We were able to qualify for awesome trips if annual goals were achieved.

I fully revised my account strategies. I went to the extremes as part of the plan. I evaluated how to get added business from the highest growth accounts, and the ones that were struggling too. I remember thinking to myself,

“I have to call that guy”?

Yep even the accounts that I did not like, I reached out.

I planned promotions, strategized with other reps, and squeezed every ounce of potential business out of the territory, without over stocking customers unnecessarily. My plan worked to perfection.

On December 30, I remember returning from holidays and going in to my home office for the best “fax of my life”. That was about 10 years ago – faxing was still cool -:)

My boss sent me the monthly goal update early, because I had achieved – I achieved by .5%!!!!!

I was so excited. I performed when the chips were down, when I could have easily “taken the rest of the year off”. Sorry Managers, it does happen.

I won’t end this with some big rah-rah you can do it pep talk!

Instead, just 4 words!

Believe, Plan, Implement, Smile (like crazy when you hit your numbers)!

ps. If you knew that question “So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?” was from the movie “Dumb and Dumber” staring Jim Carrey, you were right!

The Five Star 5 – Your Life Can Change In A Split Second!

I was thinking about the Canadian Olympic sprinters the other day, and hoped that they were doing well. Here is a post from last August that really meant something to me. Life can change at a moment’s notice. Are you able to handle the ups and downs?

I love sports, always have, always will. Sometimes I get too emotionally involved in the outcomes. One of those times occurred last Saturday when Canada participated in the 4X100 meter men’s relay final at the London Olympics. I had not heard of one Canadian sprinter since Donovan Bailey and company won gold in the relay 16 years ago in Atlanta! But I heard these guys were young, confident and ready to make some noise behind the Americans and Jamaicans.

The Jamaicans killed it again led by Usain Bolt, and the US finished second. But on an incredible last 100 meters, the anchor sprinter for Canada moved up from 5th place to 3rd, and they finished with a bronze medal. OR SO THEY THOUGHT.

Shivers ran over all over my body as I watched the boys celebrate with true elation on the track. Memories rushed back to me off the great wins Canada had in the past on the track. But in a cruel twist of fate only minutes later, they looked up at the scoreboard to see that they were disqualified. One of the runners had stepped on his inside lane line which is illegal. Those smiled quickly turned to tears, and the same people that they had been celebrating with on the sidelines only minutes before, were now consoling them. Shame on the officials for posting them in the bronze position before all the video was reviewed.

Life can change for you at a moment’s notice (literally) and you have to be ready for anything. In this case, unfortunately for our incredible track athletes, it was a game of less than inches. The outpouring of support for the guys and their coach from Canada has been incredible. When they start competing again they WILL be on the podium, and I fully expect them to get a medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Here is a link to a newspaper article on their story:

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/08/11/canadian-4×100-team-disqualified-following-third-place-finish

5 things that I learned from this experience:

  1. You can be incredibly close to massive success and still have it ripped away from you. How you respond is the key.
  2. You win as a team, and you lose as a team. Support each other unconditionally.
  3. Never discount the benefits that come from an experience, no matter how negative it is perceived at the time.
  4. As much as it hurts, the sting always goes away.
  5. Keep smiling, have fun doing what you love, believe in yourself, and visualize the massive success that you will achieve in the future

A great message this morning about never giving up! Have a great day…