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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!

Down, Down But Not Out!

Happy Golf Ball Character Swinging A Golf Club

I LOVE golf, and I love following Mike Weir, one of Canada’s national sports treasures.

He accomplished the unthinkable in 2003 and won the Master’s Golf tournament, the most coveted championship in all of golf. He put in a few more good years, and then the wheels fell off. An elbow injury, swing changes, loss of confidence.

It went from bad to worse and then finally, he almost fell off the map. He had more money than he could ever dream of, and could have packed it in and lived happily ever after. But this was golf, this was all he knew, this was what he LOVED to do. Well it all paid off last weekend. He was one shot back in the final round of the Byron Nelson tournament with a chance to win. He  played a fantastic round, and came up two shots short. A bounce here and there and he would have won.

Check out these two articles about his exciting weekend and 2nd place cheque for $750,000.

 

http://golfdig.st/1jpLCLY

http://www.tsn.ca/golf/story/?id=452539

 

The best part of the story was seeing the smile on his face as he walked off the course and was interviewed after the round. The feeling of self-satisfaction must have been overwhelming.

Don’t quit… EVER

Things will get difficult along the way

But think about the FANTASTIC feeling you will have when you get where you want to go!

I don’t care if you are starting a business, growing an existing one, or making time in your life to do things that you really want to do.

This is your one shot, so you might as well make the most of it.

Mike Weir did and he is finally LOVING what he has always wanted to do in this lifetime again – play golf 🙂

The Story Of “The Grinder”!

bigstock-Construction-Worker-With-Angle-42154756

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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How Bad Do You Want It?

bigstock-Woman-with-question-mark-on-bl-45751951

I spoke at a local Toastmasters Conference over the weekend and had a tremendous time! My discussion focused on the basics of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and how to use the social website “MeetUp” to attract guests to local club meetings.

When my presentation was over, I continued to chat with several attendees.

A couple of people took particular interest in what I was doing online with social media to build my  brand. I recall comments like,

  • “You obviously don’t have kids. How could you do all this other stuff and work full-time?”
  • “What kind of day job do you have?”
  • “How much time do you spend on social media per day”?

They commented on their busy lives, and how utilizing social media to improve their future seemed nearly impossible.

I was getting nervous and was not sure what to say next. My instincts finally kicked in . I proceeded  to say one phrase in a very confident (but non-confrontational) tone,

“How badly do you want it?”

“Actually I do have kids; a seven-year old and a 13 month old. I work full-time out of the house. We are as busy like most families, seemingly running all the time. But I make it all work. I have blogged for two years, spent at least 15 minutes per day building my brand most days over the past 3 years.

I focus on doing my “social media brand building” before the family gets up in the morning, or late at night. If it is on a weekend, I sneak away from them for short periods of time. The only reason I can commit to the crazy hours is that I LOVE WHAT I AM DOING!”

I continued to discuss the “Little Bit Everyday” mantra that I learned from Jeb Blount over at Sales Gravy.

I love the gym analogy. People think that they have to buy a gym membership and workout at least one hour per day to get in shape.  Small chunks of time on a regular basis makes a difference as well. Some days I spend hours on my online presence, others only a few minutes. But I show up ALL THE TIME. You can’t start engaging with social media, get all excited, then disappear for weeks at a time. If I see profiles like that, I am gone!

When that conversation was done, one of the attendees said to me, “I never thought of it like that“!

I am happy the message resonated with them, once I explained balancing  family life, and moving my consulting opportunities forward.

  • How do you balance everything if you are working full-time with a regular “day job”?
  • How much time do you spend daily on social media, blogging and building your brand?
  • What struggles do you face as you try to move your business forward?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this very important topic. Most people are struggling just to get through the day, and it would be nice to share ideas how successful people are able to manage all of their commitments!

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?

Are You Squeezing the Toothpaste Tube Too Hard?

I planned a Saturday golf game with my friends last spring. I was very excited because it was my first game of the year, and I really needed some time to unwind with the guys.

I ended up shooting one of the top 10 games of my life. I reflected that evening on why I had done so well, and there was a very simple answer. I was relaxed. I had only played two rounds of golf all winter, so my expectations were low. I just wanted to have fun, and did not think about scoring.

I started well, and kept the momentum going throughout the entire round. Typically (due to my infrequent  play) I will have a great front nine, then a rough back nine, or vice versa. But this game was consistent throughout. I still had some bad shots, but was able to recover quickly.

With my golf game, relaxation and good shots breed confidence. I heard a humorous golf analogy many years ago and I often think of it when I am struggling.

  • Pretend the golf club is a tube of toothpaste. What happens when you squeeze the tube of toothpaste too hard?
  • Well of course too much toothpaste comes out!
  • If you are squeezing the golf club too hard, inevitably you are going to make more bad shots than normal.

What happens if you have a bad day of sales calls, or perhaps a bad week or month in general? We all have confidence and feel great when things are going well; that is the easy part. The true test of character is how we respond when things don’t go our way.

Sales people and golfers need to have short memories. If you are “squeezing the tube of toothpaste” too hard on your sales calls and during the sales process, things may not go according to plan. If you feel under pressure to close more sales, you may “squeeze the entire tube of toothpaste” out on each call! You press, you are not yourself, your presentations and discussions have no flow, and you are off your game in general.

I asked my friends about their golf game that day last spring, and they said that it was not uncommon to have 10-15 stroke swings from one nine-hole round to the next. It proves that we have the ability to bounce back if we stay focused and regain confidence.

As usual, I watched the Master’s Golf tournament in April of 2011, and it was more exciting than normal. There were 7-8 golfers in the hunt until the last few holes. I am always amazed how golfers can keep outside distractions to a minimum and just focus on the next shot. Their focus is superhero-like, and they handle pressure remarkably well.

Rory Mcllroy was in first place after three rounds, the proceeded to shoot the worst final round in Master’s history. After the last round he said that he will learn from the experience and knows that he will be in the running for many more major championships down the road. His positive attitude was impressive.

To show his resilience, he came back at the next major tournament (US Open) and destroyed the competition by nearly 10 shots. That is an incredible example of putting a negative experience in the past, learning from it, and moving on quickly.

Sales and golf have many similarities which I look forward to exploring more in the future. Relaxation, confidence and a general sense that you will excel are all keys factors while “working” on the golf course and in a sales territory.

  • Do you find that you are squeezing the tube of toothpaste too hard in your sales or business role?
  • What factors contribute to these feelings “invading your body”, and making things more difficult in the field than they should?

If you are struggling right now, reflect back to when things were going very well, and you were full of confidence. Make some notes about those times, and do more of that!

Raw Talent vs. Passion – And The Winner Is…

I went to a Van Halen concert last spring.  It was a huge letdown after waiting 28 years to see the first incarnation of the band, and I won’t be seeing them again, EVER! If you are not a Van Halen fan that is ok, this is a broader message than just about their music. I have wanted to see The Van Halen brothers with David Lee Roth since I first heard of them as an eleven year old in 1984. I am still not sure how I was able to convince my parents to buy me a cassette tape with a baby smoking on the cover!

The show did not come close to meeting my expectations. Would they have been incredible if I had seen them in late 1984 or early 1985 before they broke up? I have a hunch it would have been amazing. But this is 2012, and it seemed like a job to them, and they “had to be there”. There was no chemistry between David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen, and they seemed to be going through the motions.

The hastily introduced “Jump” as the last song and did not even come out for an encore! News broke a week later that they had cancelled their summer tour. “Allegedly” there is serious infighting within the band. Other reports are now saying that fatigue has been an issue for band members, and the tour will take up to two years.  They are taking precautions not to burn out.

Rewind to 2004 when Van Halen was touring with Sammy Hagar once again, and Michael Anthony was still playing bass. It was my birthday, and I had an incredible time. The band was in synch, they were having a great time, and Sammy was signing autographs for the fans in the front row. There were already rumours surfacing that Sammy and Ed were not getting along, but I did not get that sense that fall evening in Edmonton, Canada.

Eddie Van Halen is one of the greatest guitarists ever, but I have never gotten a warm and fuzzy off him. Sammy is not a guitar playing or singing virtuoso, but is an above average musician and vocalist. What he lacks in raw talent, he more than makes up for with passion and love for his “career”, and the fans that have supported him for over 40 years.

Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have formed a new band named Chickenfoot with Joe Satriani and Chad Smith (from the Red Hot Chili Peppers), and their shows are electric. They are having the time of their lives, and care deeply for those they are performing for.

I had a chance to see the band in Vancouver when my friend was working for them, and I did not go. I am still kicking myself. I hope to see them again in the future. If I had a choice to see Sammy Hagar/Michael Anthony or Eddie Van Halen/David Lee Roth perform one more time in my life, hands down it would be Sammy and Mike. Eddie may play the guitar like no other, but raw talent is not the only criteria where I will spend my hard-earned dollars on. It is on my bucket list to go see Sammy Hagar play in Cabo in Mexico at his birthday bash one year. And that WILL happen. I can’t wait!

How does this all relate to business? You don’t need an “off-the-charts” IQ, or raw talent to achieve massive success. You need to show up regularly though. You have to care about those paying for your products and/or services, and be willing to go “that extra mile” when they need you the most.

The passion that you exude for your audience/customers, the depth that you are willing to go to help them get to where they want, will pay dividends in the long run. I needed Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth to “knock it out of the park”, and they let me down.

  •  What band’s concert have you attended, or company have you “dealt with” that just  blew you away?
  •  On the flip side, what band let you down at their live show, or company disappointed you, and you will never “deal” with them again?

 

The Truth Does’t Have To Hurt!

For the first time in 18 months, I am having a bit of trouble keeping up with my blog. I still love writing, I still love corresponding with my network, and I still love influencing people’s lives in positive ways.

But the truth is…..

I am having more trouble committing the time to it.

  • The demands of my new job working out of an office (and not at home) are much greater
  • We have a new little one at home which takes up more of my time
  • I am exercising more now than I did over the winter. Ok I did not exercise at all over the winter!
  • Our short summer has started

But you know what? I am still moving forward.

  • I am still doing a little bit every day (I still write or do social media every day)
  • I still respond to every person that corresponds with me via social media and my blog
  • I still love the feeling of people taking something positive from one of my blog posts
  • I still love the feeling of putting myself out there and seeing what people think

If you are thinking of giving up whatever your blogging and online goals are …. DON’T

Life is not easy, and living day-to-day can certainly get in the way of other “fun stuff”. But giving up will certainly not put more “fun stuff” in your life.

When I first got online in a big way over three years ago, I was certain that I had to have the next big idea to be successful. What I soon realized after following some of the biggest names in internet marketing, sales & leadership is it does not have to be that way at all.

The truth is…..

It is all about showing up on a regular basis! And corresponding with your network. It is not about you. Make it all about them.

If you are thinking about packing it in today, and going back to your “regular life” take a deep breath and keep plugging away.

Remember how much fun you had when you first started your online journey?

Exactly… now go get ’em!

Fantastic TEDx Talk – “Got Grit?”

I can’t stop thinking about this video, and have watched it several times over the last week. I love Angela’s take on this important topic.

Her analysis reminds me of how I played sports in my youth – never the most talented, but what I lacked in raw skill I more than made up for in effort, determination and heart. Those attributes brought me success at times when otherwise it would not have.

Thankfully I have carried “grit” in to my business career and created a “never give up” and “keep moving forward” mindset, no matter what the odds against me were.

Enjoy!