My wife and I recently had a very profound experience involving our grandson. So profound in fact, that my wife was inspired to write a piece called: “An open letter to my grandchildren: 10 things I want them to know”.
I was moved by what she had to say, along with thousands of others who shared her post. I think that you’ll agree the life lessons she wants them to know, apply to each and every one of us as well.
It is with great pride that I share her post with you.
Our grandson recently asked my husband and me “Will we always be together?”
I was stunned that a child would ask such a profound question. I’m not sure that he understood the depth of the question, until I realized that it was one of those stream of consciousness thoughts sandwiched in between, “How much longer before the movie starts” and “Does anyone have a snack because I’m hungry.”
But it did get me thinking. We will not always be together. Our grandkids are young and they have their whole lives ahead of them. I, on the other hand, have more days behind me than in front of me.
What words of wisdom can I give this younger generation, my grandchildren? What life lessons can I tell them that will make their lives happier, more meaningful and more purposeful?
I would like to share with you my thoughts.
Live Life on Your Own Terms
Each of us has special gifts and talents, so embrace everything that is unique about you. As you grow up, you will come to know these talents and you will develop passions – a life purpose and goals that you want to accomplish. If you want to be a painter, then paint. If you want to be a teacher, then teach. If you want to be an entrepreneur, that do that. Decide what is important to you and do it.
Whatever You Do – Throw Your Heart Into It
Whatever you decide to do, it is important that you put your whole self into it. Don’t hold back on love, relationships, work and involvement in your community or avocations. Give it your all. Take the brakes off and embrace your life and all that you do. You will find that it makes life so much more fun and you will get so much more out of it.
No Matter What Happens to You – Take Responsibility for It
Even if it wasn’t your fault. Especially if it wasn’t your fault, take responsibility for fixing it. Life has a way of bringing all of us a great deal of happiness, but it also has a way of hurting us.
No matter what has happened, it is up to you to resolve it. It is up to you to envision what should occur next and to put a plan in place to make it happen.
If you take responsibility and control you will imagine new possibilities and design something that you do want for yourself. You will take yourself out of the past and move yourself to a better place. This will make a profound difference in your life. You will be happier with your opportunities, your support systems and your environment.
Be a Lifelong Learner
Always be open to learning new things. Be curious about the people, the experiences, the events and discoveries taking place in the present as well as those things that we can learn from the past. Decide to continually understand the world around you and expand your thinking and ways of doing things.
Take classes, attend lectures, read books, hang out with others who are interested in the same things that you are interested in. Be engaged. You will find that your life is more interesting, you will have greater opportunities and …. you will never ever be bored.
There are Beautiful People Everywhere
I have moved many times in my life to different places. There was always a sense of sadness when I left the familiar and replaced it with the unfamiliar. It was hard saying goodbye to friends, acquaintances and support systems. It was challenging to start fresh and to meet new people.
I have learned that there are amazing people everywhere you go. People who will inspire you and with whom you will develop a close friendship. You will find people who you will love and who will love you. There are wonderful people no matter where you go. And when you develop a friendship with them, it will feel like you have always known them.
There will be some people who will take some time to get to know, and others that you will be good friends with right from the start.
Always be open to what can happen and you will find them.
Feelings Are Mutual
Someone starts to like you at the same exact moment in time that you start liking them.
A relationship is emotional and the feeling starts with you. It is uncanny. Something happens when you like someone. You lean into them, and you listen to them and care about them. You give the relationship energy and spirit.
I find that the moment when I warm to someone, the feeling is returned. The relationship may develop into a strong friendship or remain an acquaintance, but the feelings of mutual affection and respect will be there.
By the way, the opposite is true. Someone starts to dislike you the moment you start to lose patience with them or to lose interest in them. The whole vibration of the relationship changes and things get strained.
So, don’t wait for someone else to make the first move. If you like someone, be engaged, show that you are interested and stay open to wherever the relationship brings you.
Expect the Best
Say yes to life and be open to new experiences. You may not always get what you want, but you will generally get what you expect.
Have a great sense of humor. Laughing has a healing effect on you both mentally and physically. We create so many of our problems by taking it all too seriously. Move through this life lightly, take care of yourself, create the life that you treasure – and laugh.
Don’t Forget Your Connection to All of Nature
There is a force, an energy that we all share, and it is the power that connects us all to each other. It is the source that we all came from and it is the energy that we will all return to. Don’t ever forget that you are part of something spiritual and eternal.
Make the World a Better Place
There is so much prejudice, criticism and judgment in this world. Never do anything to add to this negativity. Use your natural gifts and talents to make the world a better place.
It is really a beautiful life – live it!
As Neil Postman wrote
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we do not see.”
Do you have dreams and goals that you want to achieve but have been putting them off?
Why do we procrastinate doing the things that we desire? There are a multitude of reasons. See if any of these reasons apply to you.
· You fear failing
· Lack of confidence
· You lack belief that they are attainable
· Deep down you feel that you don't deserve it
· You feel that now is just not the right time to try
· You lack a passionate desire
· You don't have a support system to help you achieve it
· Your life is out of balance
· You're just too disorganized
· You're not clear about what it is you want
Food for Thought-Do it NOW!
I've written extensively about goal achievement and why some people seem to have an easier time achieving their goals while others struggle. The list above is a great place to start. If two or three items on the list apply to you, it's time to do some introspection.
Over the years I have been very fortunate to work with many wonderful clients in my individual, group and management team coaching practice. They have each taken the risk to reach out to achieve more. And they made great progress. Sometimes it came in flash, other times it took a little longer.
Why were they able to achieve at higher levels? What traits did they have in common? If I could identify the experiences of my clients that made significant differences in their personal lives, businesses, and ultimate success, it would include be the following 6 key factors.Read More
The most successful people in business have some things in common. They have mastered and maintained excellent habits and attitudes.
They know what they think and expect and how they direct their energy has absolutely everything to do with their success.
The habits and belief systems that you have right now is a direct reflection on how you are doing in your business.
If you are not happy with where you are now, you can change, reorient yourself and start a new trajectory.
Here are some tips that I hope you will find helpful.
1) Have specific goals
In my coaching practice, I’m continually surprised about how many people just don’t have specific goals accompanied by the action plans needed to achieve them. What’s even more significant, is that too few people who have specific goals don’t have a compelling reason WHY they want to achieve them.
Goals should serve as an inspiration for you to achieve. They should pull you forward. They serve as a starting point. Having specific goals allows you to create a blueprint for how to achieve them. This blueprint contains both the strategies and tactics for how to get there with benchmarks along the way to gauge your progress. These benchmarks will also allow you to make any course corrections that are necessary.
2) Develop your niche
Who is your ideal client? I’m not talking about what personal characteristics they possess or which demographic group they belong to. While it’s important to know those things, you might not be able to leverage those factors to get in front of more qualified prospects.
Niches have three requirements:
- There are enough prospects in your niche to last at least one year.
- The people in your niche have something in common.
- The most critical requirement of a niche is that the members of the niche have enough commonality between and among its members that your reputation can precede you!
The members of the niche should have a formal or informal way to communicate with each other. Ideally, they should meet as a group on a regular basis and that you can be a part of that group. Participate as fully possible. Serve on committees, write articles for their publications, conduct value added workshops or brief presentations. You be surprised how many members of the niche will feel that they know you, even though you may never have met them face to face.
3) Implement a consistent marketing system
Do you have a marketing plan? If so, do you carry it out on a deliberate and regular basis? Here’s a brief checklist of potential marketing activities and actions.
- CRM (Client Relationship Management) – Do you stay in touch with prospects and clients on a regular basis? This also applies to Centers of Influence and other referral sources.
- STRATEGIC ALLIANCES – Have you developed any proactive relationships with other professionals whose clientele matches your ideal client?
- WRITING – Have you or can you write articles that will appear in the places that your target prospect and current clients can see?
- SPEAKING / WORKSHOPS – Can you regularly speak in front of groups or conduct workshops that will attract your ideal prospect? Whenever you can get in front of more than one person at a time is an excellent use of your time.
- NETWORKING – Do you regularly attend appropriate networking events?
4) Get control of your time and practice management
Do you know where you are investing your time? Can you describe what is the highest and best use of your time and currently what percentage of your time do you engage in it?
- DO FIRST THINGS FIRST - Increasing the percent of time you invest in the highest and best use of your time will make a significant difference in your effectiveness and in the achievement of your goals, whatever they may be.
- TIME BLOCK - What many people do to make improvements in this area is to time block. Schedule specific time slots in your daily and weekly calendar to do specific tasks and then have the discipline to stick to doing those things at those times.
- WRITTEN SYSTEMS - The next area to make big gains is to have written systems and processes so that you can become more effective and efficient. They save time and reduce errors. If you find yourself re-inventing the wheel or solving the same problem repeatedly, this strategy will yield big dividends.
5) Surround yourself with effective teams
You can only grow so much working solo. At some point, you need to get help in order to continue to progress. For some, it means hiring your first assistant. For others who may already have help, it’s how can your team be more effective.
I have a system that many of my clients use called Most Important Objectives (MIOs) and Expectations, Standards, and Sources. It lays out in very specific terms what needs to get done, how it should be accomplished, and how will you know it was accomplished in that way. Here’s the gist of it. MIOs clearly define:
- Roles and responsibilities
- What needs to get done (expectations) and how it is to be accomplished (standards)
- Procedures and processes
- Measures of success
The key to the system is meet on a very regular basis to review and discuss both the achievement of the expectations and any obstacles that may be preventing their accomplishment.
No matter where you are in your business, there is always room for improvement. When you constantly try to improve your skill set, attitudes and habits become more effective. When you become more effective, the more successful you will be.
Good luck on your journey to success.
We have all been there. I hear it all of the time from the salespeople I talk to.
We make professional sales presentations to well qualified prospects and then face rejection and disappointment.
I hear…..Why does this keep happening? What am I doing wrong? What am I not doing?
Sales have always been one of the most difficult, challenging professions, and it is more complex today than ever before. Learning to bounce back and respond constructively to setbacks in your business will be one of the most important determining factors to your success.
Here are some suggestions you can use to cope with sales rejection, stay positive, overcome adversity and get back on top of your game.
- Don’t take it personally. Really. Not everyone needs or wants what you are selling, even though you are convinced that what you are proposing will be helpful to your prospect. You are going to hear a lot of “no’s”. It is all part of the selling process. It is part of your reality as a salesperson and it is not personal at all. It is just the way it goes for even the most successful sale professional. Often rejection is due to poor timing. What is a “no” today can be a “yes” at another time.
- Keep your sales funnel full. Always focus attention on creating your ideal customer profile and systematically grow your list. Keep your funnel full in good times and in bad. This all by itself will change everything. The more contacts that you have in your target market, the more prospects you will have and the bigger your pipeline will be. Greater opportunities will help you to keep a healthy perspective on rejection.
- Know your sales ratio. Knowing what to expect helps a great deal. You understand that you will need to give a certain number of sales presentations to make one sale. Don’t forget this. By knowing what the numbers are, youwill be able to anticipate the business flow and you may not get as discouraged if you know how much to expect. Pay attention to you sales rates to help estimate how many rejections to expect before you make a sale.
- Acknowledge your accomplishments. Keep track of your achievements. Keep a success journal. Write down everything you feel proud about in your life and career. Write in your success journal on a daily basis. When you're having a bad day, open your success journal and read previous entries to help get you back into a positive.
- Take good care of yourself. Eat well, exercise and get adequate rest. No matter how busy you are during a day, find the time to eat a balanced diet, to exercise (even if it's just a walk around the block), and to get enough sleep each night to allow you to feel rested and refreshed. The better you feel about yourself the more positive you're going to be. As a result, you'll have a much easier time dealing with any obstacles that may come your way. Participate in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. The best way to do this is to schedule those activities just as you would an appointment with a client.
- Develop relationships with successful people. These should be people you can trust and on whom you depend. Ask them for advice and feedback on how they would respond to similar challenges. Is there someone in your office that you would like to emulate? How about a successful client? Another way to do this is to create a personal board of directors and meet with them once or twice a year. You may also want to join or start a study group with like-minded colleagues. Such a study group will allow you to share ideas and to glean inspiration from each other. Like-minded individuals will also have a much easier time relating to your thoughts and feelings and vice-versa.
- Know that you will succeed no matter what. Never give up. Know ahead of time that you will be successful. Everyone faces adversity, and everyone goes through bad periods. The key to your success, both professionally and personally, is to never give up. Remember that every disappointment or failure, is leading you one step closer to success.
Rejection is something we need to deal with in sales. How you handle that disappointment will determine whether or not you move forward to achieve your goals.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Good luck to you on your journey to success.
I tell my clients that one of the most important things that they can do for both their business and personal life is to create compelling goals and setting specific trackable actions to achieve those goals.
It is part of living an intentional life. It is a way to create the impact you want in the world.
It is not easy to do this. Most people don’t do it effectively. Many don’t do it at all.
You may be thinking that this doesn’t apply to you because you have set goals for yourself. You know, for example that you want to earn more money, or enjoy yourself more, or be debt free, or grow your business, or improve your health.
If any of these statements apply to you, I would suggest that they are not goals at all, but rather are vague wishes.
What follows are 5 secrets that will dramatically and positively impact the achievement of your goals.
I would like to share with you some ideas and suggestions found in my book, What Every Great Salesperson Knows, A No-Nonsense Guide for Sales Success, in the hope that it will inspire and motivate you in your business.
There are a number of traits that all successful salespeople have in common.
One of the most important behaviors that they all possess is:
Highly successful salespeople are persistent in their work routines. They follow through on customer relationships, record their progress and report to a manager, coach or mentor.
Take a look at the following two lists and evaluate yourself to assess where you need to improve.
Salespeople who have MASTERED the behavior of Self Discipline have this in common:
- Follow through on commitments to self and others
- Set clear priorities and systematize routine work so that they can spend prime time on critical activities
- Put in the time necessary to get the job or task done correctly
- Focus on the task at hand and do not allow themselves to be distracted from planned work activities Use routine systems for getting the work done (e.g., systems for prospecting, maintaining customer relationships and handling administrative details).
Salespeople who LACK Self Discipline:
- Are easily distracted
- Are disorganized in their work
- Have no established work plans or routines
- Forget assignments and miss appointments and deadlines
- Fail to track their sales activates and results
Here are a few suggestions on how to improve your Self Discipline:
Think of a time in the past when you have shown self-discipline. Try to identify common elements in those experiences. Seek opportunities for similar experiences in the future
When you catch yourself being self-disciplined, give yourself some credit! Take the time to experience how good you feel about what you have done and encourage yourself to do it again. Record the experience in a journal
Say “no” to distractions
Be ruthless with your time management
So how do you rate yourself? Are you someone who has a great deal of self discipline or is there room for improvement?
I would like to share with you some ideas and concepts from my book, What Every Great Salesperson Knows, A No-nonsense Guide for Sales Success that I hope you will find useful and inspirational.
I offer this book for free on my website - http://www.insurancecoachu.com/free-book. It usually sells for $24.95 on Amazon, but I make it available as a free download to my readers.
The book is based on many years of research on sales competencies. Fifteen traits have been tracked that identifies those qualities and behaviors that most successful salespeople have in common.
One of the most important traits that successful salespeople have in common is:
All Activities are Oriented Around Desired Results
Highly successful salespeople have the resolve to set challenging goals and the persistence to achieve them in the face of obstacles.
Rate yourself on the following traits that successful salespeople possess:
- Focuses on measurable, challenging goals and is disciplined in following through on action plans
- Shows a strong sense of urgency about solving problems and getting desired results
- Creates measures of excellence beyond those set by management or others
- Acts decisively to pursue opportunities that promise the best return on their time and effort
- Focuses on profitable sales opportunities
Here are some suggestions on how to improve your
- Identify a colleague who exhibits results orientation. Ask that person how he or she stays organized and focused. Also ask them how they monitor their progress against their goals.
- At the end of each day, be sure to evaluate what happened during the day. Did you achieve your goals? What worked? Why? What didn’t’ work? Why? What could you have done differently? What assumptions do you need to challenge or change? What got in the way? How can you conquer the obstacles in yourself and in the situation the next time?
- Treat performance measures as a baseline against which you track your accomplishments, not as a target result. If you believe you have the ability to surpass performance targets, then mentally raise the bar by shooting for stretch goals over and above the target.
How well did you do? If you would like to improve in one or more areas, pick just one problem area to tackle first. Then follow this 6-step process:
1. Clearly state the goal you’re trying to achieve
2. Review/analyze your current situation
3. Set short term and long term objectives
4. Schedule activities/actions to achieve your objectives and keep score as to your progress
5. Implement the activities
6. Evaluate your results
I wrote this article on How Winners Sell for Advisor Today’s September – October 2015 issue. I hope you enjoy it.
I love being a sales coach, and I have had the privilege to work with many different types of salespeople over the years. I have seen who is effective and who is not. I see many who are great at different aspects of the selling process and fail miserably at others. Awareness of your strengths and shortfalls will determine your success as a salesperson.
Here is a list that I have complied for you of what successful salespeople have in common. Rate yourself on each one and then create a plan to make the necessary changes to improve.Read More
You’ve read all the books, listened to the tapes, and attended the seminars. You most likely already know what steps you have to take to ensure your success. Knowing the right steps is a good beginning, but it’s not enough. Sometimes, it just takes good old courage, to succeed. I once heard that courage is not the absence of fear, but instead, it is the conquest of fear. Do those things that others, who are less successful, just don’t, won’t, or can’t do.Read More
What woke you up this morning? Was it an alarm clock or an inspiring and compelling vision of the future you are creating for yourself and/or your organization? Wishing for success won't bring it about. Working harder at strategies that aren't working just leads to frustration. What follows are 7 secrets to achieving the personal and business success you desire. Rate yourself on each one and make improvements where necessary.Read More