Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Are You Lavish With Praise?

When criticism is minimized and praise emphasized, the good things people do will be reinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack of attention.

Praise is probably one of the most fundamental of all human desires.  Whether we admit it or not, we all crave attention and praise in some form or another.  It might not mean that your name is put up in lights for everyone to see, it may be as simple as someone saying, “Hey you did a great job!”, and genuinely meaning it.

Think about how it feels when someone recognizes you for something and offers you genuine praise.  You feel pretty good, right?  And you crave that feeling again, don’t you?  So why don’t you do that in return to others?

We are all leaders.  We all have the ability to spur change to help others achieve success and to live happier, more fulfilled lives.  It’s really not that hard – as long as you take the right approaches.  Whether you’re trying to raise your kids to behave better or trying to help a friend change their negative way of thinking or trying to spark initiative in one of your employees, start by praising the things they do well.  And do it genuinely.  From your heart.  Not only will it make them feel good about themselves, it will make them want to do more of it.  And there is where the change happens.

Might sound a little hokey, but try it.  Start praising your friends, family, significant other and co-workers on things that they do well.  If you can honestly tell me their facial expressions don’t show that your praises made them feel good and their attitudes towards you don’t change and they don’t start exhibiting more of these behaviors in the future, then you can ignore everything I’ve ever said.

If we can inspire all the people we come in contact with to a realization of their capabilities then we can do more than change people.  We can transform them.  Remember, we are all leaders.  And great leaders enable the people around them to do great things.  Start enabling others by giving genuine praise.

Happy Wednesday!



Do You Have The Characteristics Of Success?

Great article outlining skills that we should all have.  Salesperson or not, giving yourself a 10 in all of these categories will set you apart as a leader.  For the items in the list that are really sales oriented, use your brain for a minute and translate the point to your industry and your job.  It will translate.  Find out how.  Then start doing it.  These aren’t just characteristics of sales success, they’re characteristics of all success.  Period.


Do You Have The Character and Characteristics of Sales Success?

by Jeffrey Gitomer

NOTE WELL: If you want to succeed, you better be somewhere between 8 and 10 (on a 1-10 scale) on every one of these characteristics.

With that in mind, here’s a list of 12.5 individual characteristics that would make any person a “hire-able” and “succeed-able” salesperson (you included).

1. Smart.  Salespeople have to be smart enough to think on the spot and deal with every kind of situation as it happens.  CAUTION: Very experienced salespeople, who think they know everything, are most vulnerable to be beaten by a smart person with hustle.

2. Self-starting.  Great salespeople don’t need “motivation.”  They have a built-in fire that’s somewhere between a double espresso and a Red Bull.  Nobody has to tell them what to do.  They know what to do.  And they do it.  They make the first call of the day and the last call of the day.

3. Great Attitude.  Great salespeople believe they will make every sale.  Great salespeople take “no” as “not yet.”  Great salespeople accept every lemon thrown at them by management, customers, and accounting-and they use those lemons to open up a lemonade stand.  A great salesperson is able to take everybody else’s crap and somehow turn it into money.

4. Excellent Communication Skills.  Great salespeople are not “good” communicators.  They’re great communicators.  Their message is both compelling and transferable.  Their passion and their belief system are as contagious as their enthusiasm.  And they’re able to articulate in a way that gets customers to buy more often than not.

5. Physically and Mentally Fit.  The statement speaks for itself and implies that you work out on a regular basis by working your mind and your body.  You exercise your mind and body before you get to work (push-ups and brain-ups) so you feel good – and that good feeling is projected every time you interact with a customer.

6. Computer Literate.  There’s no excuse for a lack of computer literacy other than stubbornness and laziness.  The Internet will rule the economic world in less than a decade.  And those who ignore this fact will find themselves completely unemployable after they get fired from their present job.

7. Focused and Goal Driven.  Having a goal is a basic fundamental element.  Having a plan is a basic fundamental element.  Keeping your eye on the prize, and steadily working toward it, is what separates those who do and those who don’t.  “Goals without focus,” is like an automobile without gasoline.  It looks pretty, but it can’t get you anywhere.  Focus is the fuel that will take you from where you are to your goal: your destination to where you want to be.

8. Dedicated to Succeeding.  With great salespeople, it’s not just a matter of goals – it’s a matter of achievement.  Multiple achievements lead to success and a self-confidence that keeps the momentum going from sale to sale.

9. Past History of Success.  Every time a great salesperson makes a sale, it remains in their self-confidence memory bank and can be called upon for positive energy in any situation.  The more you succeed, the more your success is likely to continue.

10. Looking For a Career, Not a Job.  If a salesperson has a base salary and a commission, the person with a “job” wants a raise in base pay.  The person with a “career” wants a raise in commission.

11. More interested in personal success and personal development, than money.  Salespeople who work for money rarely achieve it.  Great salespeople work to be their best and dedicate themselves to that process every day.  And as a result, they earn tons.

12. A Constant Student: Willing to Learn and Adapt.  Great salespeople know there is always more to learn.  They dedicate themselves to being better, being best.  Great salespeople know that learning from their past allows them to adapt and be ready for new encounters and new challenges.  It’s the difference between “already knowing everything” and “lifelong learner.”

12.5 Taking Joy in Serving Others. This is the “master” quality. One of the best salespeople I’ve ever known is Mark McDonald. He signs his letters, “I love to serve.” And he does.

Notice one characteristic missing?  Sales skills.  I’d rather have attitude and brains than selling skills any day.  I can teach someone to sell.  I can’t teach them to be smart or happy.


Happy Wednesday!


What Your Professors Didn’t Teach You About Choosing A Career

In an age where lifestyle design is possible, the most important questions to ask yourself is what, when and how?  We can live anywhere, do anything, be with anyone…

Start thinking differently.  Gain a different perspective.

Creating the life that you want can often be a tough task.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Having a happier and more fulfilling life can be achieved by changing the way you approach your lifestyle design.  Lifestyle design methods of the past are outdated and flawed.  Unfortunately, they have become accepted as the only way – primarily out of routine.  For some people this way still works.  But, for most, I don’t think it does.  Instead, it has bred generations of unfulfilled people.  Things have changed, our way of thinking needs to as well.

So what is the problem?

The problem is that the way we design our lives is backwards – we find a job, then we build a career then we figure out based on the resources we have (read: time and money) what type of lifestyle can we lead.

What is the cause of this problem?

The cause is rooted in the way we are brought through our education system.  We are all taught to go to school, to get good grades so we can get into a good college, to get a college degree so when we graduate we can get a good paying job.  Once we get that job, what’s next?  We grind at that job so we get promotions and 3% raises every year, so that in 40 years we can retire.  That is how our system is designed.  I won’t say this is wrong – I’m just challenging it.  In many ways it has to be this way because you can’t have 300 million people doing their own thing.  There needs to be a system and there needs to be cohesiveness.  But the real question is this: is that the lifestyle you want?  Is falling in line what’s best for you?  It depends.  What lifestyle do you want?

What is a viable solution to the lifestyle design problem?

The underlying issue is in the order we design our lives.  As outlined above we think – job > career > lifestyle.  What we need to do is flip that around and think – lifestyle > career > job.  What lifestyle do you want to lead?  What career would support this?  What job can you get now that will get you there?  Think of the labor system as a resource, which will help you to create the lifestyle you want.

This may not seem like a big deal, but give this a try.  I mean really think about what life you want to lead.  What does a perfect day in your life look like?  Get specific.  What time do you want to wake up?  What do you want to eat for breakfast?  How many hours a day do you want to work?  How many vacations do you want to take?  Where do you want to live?  The questions can be endless but when you really start answering them honestly you may find that what you’re doing doesn’t support your desired lifestyle at all.  If it doesn’t, it then becomes a matter of finding (or creating) the job that does support your desired lifestyle.

Viewing your life in this manner can be one of the most powerful mindset shifts you can make.  The important part of this is that you are taking control.  Demand from your job and career what your lifestyle needs and like water carving out a path down a hill your career (the hill) will eventually conform to your lifestyle (the water).

You have nothing to lose by demanding from life what you want of it.

Happy Wednesday!


Part One: How To Stop Worrying And Start Living

Fear and worry often limit us in our ability to make decisions and live long, healthy and happy lives.  Nobel prize winner, Dr. Alexis Carrel, once said, “Businessmen who do not know how to fight worry die young.”  I think it may be safe to say that this doesn’t just go for businessmen but for every man and woman alive.

Worry is rooted in fear.  And fear is a terrible emotion to be making decisions based off.  Not to mention all the negative health effects worry and fear can bestow upon you.  So how do you deal with this?

Glad you asked.  This is a great piece of advice from William H. Carrier, the engineer who launched the air conditioning industry and headed the Carrier Corporation, explaining the steps he took to deal with, and overcome, his own worries.  These are the steps:

Step 1: Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can possibly happen if I can’t solve my problem?”

Step 2: Prepare yourself mentally to accept the worst – if necessary.

Step 3: Calmly try to improve upon the worst possible case – which you have already mentally agreed to accept.

Pick one thing that you are worried about.  Anything.  Life.  Love.  Work.  Family.  Kids.  Money.  Success.  And then ask those three questions in the context of that issue.

This may seem a little hokey but it works.  It’s not going to instantly solve everything that you worry about, but if you do this enough times you begin to realize that the things you’re worrying about are not as overwhelming as you’re making them out to be.  You have the capacity to overcome any obstacles.  It really just boils down to asking yourself the right questions and putting yourself in the right frame of mind to let go of undue stress, which frees up a lot of energy to improve your disposition.

So next time you’re worried about something ask yourself these three questions so you can put yourself on track to a long, worry-free life.

Happy Wednesday!


* Hat tip to Dale Carnegie and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

You Should Be Doing This, But You’re Probably Not

“Let’s say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me.  And that genie said, ‘Warren, I’m going to give you the car of your choice.  It’ll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it.  Brand-new.  And it’s all yours.’

Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, ‘What’s the catch?’  And the genie would answer, ‘There’s only one catch.  This is the last car you’re ever going to get in your life.  So it has to last a lifetime.’

If that had happened, I would have picked out that car.  But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it?  I would read the manual about five times.  I would always keep it garaged.  If there was the least little dent or scratch, I’d have it fixed right away because I wouldn’t want it rusting.  I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime.

That’s exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body.  You only get one mind and one body.  And it’s got to last a lifetime.  Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years.  But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later, just like the car would be.

It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.”


These investments are the most important ones you will ever make, so choose them wisely!  If you don’t know where to begin, start simple, invest in one of these BOOKS and do something active that allows your body to do what it was designed to do, move!

Happy Wednesday!


* Hat tip to The Snowball: Warren Buffett and The Business of Life

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