Three Questions

What is it that you or your company does really well?  I’m talking about that one thing that brings forth your absolute passion and where your God-given talents are obvious.

Next question: what do you or your company need to do to get more of that work?  If this is your passion and your calling in life, then you need to focus your energy on using this talent – more!

And the final question: what is it that you or your company needs to stop doing or chasing right now?

You have a limited budget, limited hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a year, and years in a lifetime.  Use them all wisely.


Why Do You Do What You Do?

Do you really still need that form to be completed by every employee each time there is a request?  Is that report still necessary and does anyone read it?  Are the third and fourth level of review helping your product or hindering your response?

What is it that you are doing today that is not necessary or is simply a waste of limited time and resources? This is not an insignificant question because the new competitor down the road, who has just opened shop, has not yet developed these habits.  They are doing business in the most efficient and profitable manner possible. They are set up to maximize the customers’ experience and minimize the hassle.

This brings us back to the mirror. Why do we do what we do and does it still make sense?

Pride needs to be set aside;  maybe that “thing” you do and that “thing” I love to do, just doesn’t need to be done anymore, it’s nothing more than busy work, and it doesn’t help our bottom line or our client.

Take a fresh look and be willing to change.

Big “Buts” Get No Respect

I really messed up this time.

I should have listened, but decided to do it on my own.

I acted hastily.

I got caught up in the emotions of the moment and was not rational.

I pulled the trigger on the assignment when I clearly should not have.

There were other people in the organization far more qualified than me to do this, but I let pride get in the way.

It’s my fault.

Wait…here it comes…the big BUT…

I messed up, but you should have told me.  I should have listened, but they knew better.  I acted hastily, but I had to do something.

When you can shoulder the blame and there is no “but,” there is no “however,” there are no extenuating circumstances, you earn that respect for which you have been searching.  And you will no doubt, learn from your mistake because you have accepted that it is you, not them who is to blame.

It was me. It was not you. It was not the committee.  No buts, big or small.


Stand Out in a Crowd

It’s crowded, very crowded. Engineers, sales professionals, attorneys, you name it – everyone is looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the crowded group of competitors.

But how can you be different, and does it really matter in the market?  Do we need to be evermore shrill and outrageous to get attention and to stand out from the crowd? Once we stand out…then what?

Rather than having a shtick that might get you a second look, maybe the tactic should be to just be really, really good…exceptionally good.

Doing excellent work, providing the best product or service that you possibly can without excuse, can sometimes be so deafening that you drown out the noise of the competition.

Be different, be exceptional.


Don’t hide behind your momma’s skirt

If you want to communicate with someone today – you really don’t have any excuse.  You can find people anytime and anyplace…this ease of communication is  part of the problem.

You can send written communication by email, social media, text, and even fax.

But the best way to communicate is still verbally; preferably face-to-face.  Of course this requires that you pick up your phone and call. Yikes! Call?  Yep, call…

Whoa, that’s pressure!

Of course you can continue to hide behind your momma’s skirt and send that email or memo and hope to communicate your message.  Or maybe your competitor has the courage to make that call.

How important is that client or prospect anyway?

From Learning to Earning

Graduating from college is a wonderful accomplishment…but it is only a starting point.  With easily 30% to 40% of the US population holding a bachelors degree, don’t expect the world to stand up and take notice – you are unfortunately, just a college graduate.

I sometimes wonder if starting your career with a degree is a handicap – perhaps there is an naive and unrealistic expectation.  Without a degree, you are forced into something we all eventually learn; that is, you must prove yourself!

Your diploma won’t bring in new business, make a company more profitable, or create a new product or service…this requires work; real hard, dirty, painstaking, not always “dignified,” burning the late night oil work!

If you have earned your degree, congratulations, earning your keep is a lifelong endeavor.

Fair or Not

It isn’t fair – they were born into wealth.

It isn’t fair – they had all the right contacts.

It isn’t fair – they had better “genetics” on their side.

It isn’t fair – they are taller, smarter, faster, and richer; went to better schools, knew the right people, and they were given so much…they are without excuse…

…but there are those with nothing but excuse…The truth is some are given a head start in life, how much of your life will you waste lamenting the unfairness of life? Look around, success and failure can be found across all socio-economic classes.

And keep a proper perspective; success (not just wealth) is not measured by your bank account.

Get better at making a way, rather than making excuses.

Passion and Integrity

Are you passionate about the sale or the product?  Is your eye on the close or the customer?

I’ve attended plenty of sales classes and I get it; find the pain…close the deal.  And truthfully, I intensely dislike lingering opportunities.  So, yes close the deal with a yes or no!

My point is – believe in what you are selling…passionately.  The sales happen when that passion comes through; your fervent belief helps convert the prospect into a believer and eventually a buyer.  If the product or service isn’t a match – you lose credibility when you start using “sales techniques” to close regardless of your ability to genuinely help them.

Sell with passion.  Sell with integrity…and always remember everyone is in sales.