Archive for December, 2018

Have you ever used a product or an app and thought to yourself, “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?! I mean the idea was so simple – it’s been sitting there in plain sight my whole life,” slaps forehead), “Why didn’t I just see it?”

You didn’t see it because you’re not trained to see it…

VC firms have what’s called Idea Flow. Masses of people line up & pitch a continuous flow of ideas & projects to the VC members. If they like the idea, these firms will invest millions of dollars in hopes of reaping multiple millions if not billions of dollars in the future. Fewer than 1% of these ideas make it through the next stage, but some go on to become Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, and Twitter (Waitr an online food/grocery delivery app based in my hometown named sold this past summer for $308 million.) (Slaps forehead again)

Now I know what you’re thinking, I don’t have millions to spend nor years to invest, but you & VC firms share one thing in common, you both have “idea flow.

In the book Disrupt You!, Jay Samit challenges his students to write 3 things that you notice that could be improved every day. He says that at first it’ll be easy, but as the days roll on it’ll become more and more challenging, but if you discipline yourself to do this every day it’ll cause you to become more introspective and more observant to the world around you.

Anything… Everything is up for grabs… “How can this be improved?” Recently Tesla founder Elon Musk looked at the bottleneck of Los Angeles traffic & posed the idea of building an underground tunnel were people seamlessly commute in a capsule. Will it come to life? Who knows, but that’s one of hundreds of ideas that Musk spitballs and asks, “What if?” Instead of taking life at face value, why not generate your own idea flow? When you’re standing in line, ordering, shopping, or just taking a piss, ask yourself, “How can this be improved?”

Think about Poo-Pourri, a small bottle that you can drop into the toilet bowl after you take a crap at your friend’s house to hide the stank… “Why didn’t I think of that?” (Quickly slaps forehead.)

Even on your job…what’s the bottle-neck? What can be improved? How can this be disrupted? Frustrated? Good! The more frustrated the better, because frustrating times are prime opportunities for you to take notice and ask, “How can this be bettered?” See, while the rest of the world stands around pointing and bitching, you’re strategically thinking about capitalizing on disruption. Uber took the status quo taxi service and flipped it upside down. Airbnb, which started as an air mattress on the floor and breakfast in the morning, disrupted the entire hotel industry.

Not all of your ideas will come to life, but you need a continuous flow of them for the best ones to rise to the top. Three ideas per day, that’s 90/month-that’s 1000/year. Just imagine if 1% of those ideas disrupted your life for the better? Change starts with an idea.

Try it this week and let me know how it goes.

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The broken places become the strongest points when re-welded. What components do you use to re-weld your life.

Most people initially struggle in sales because they’ve been taking orders their whole life.

When you were young, you did what your parents told you to do. Sure, you may have bucked up a time or hundred, but immediately you’d back down from rebelling once they slapped you back with one of those,

“When you have your own damn place and pay your own damn bills, then you can do whatever the hell you want to do…but until then, you better do what the hell I tell you to do!” 

We grow older, but in some ways, we never age emotionally-I mean we pop bottles on monumental birthdays, but we stall out in a fixed wage mindset. Our employer tells us, “Do that and I’ll pay you this,” which traditionally is par for the course, but when you get into the sales, you’ve got to take that decade or more of being an “order taker-” of being told what to do and you’ve got to flip it on its head.

If you were working in fast food as a salesperson,  it’d be as if someone came in and placed an order, and then you turned right back around and challenged that same order.

(Customer): “Yea I’d like a large #6 with a Coke.”

(You, the fast food salesperson): “You know a small cheeseburger with a water would be calorically better.”

You couldn’t do that working at Slap Beef Burger– hell you wouldn’t be there long if you did. You can’t challenge when it comes to taking orders, but you do have to push back when it comes to working in sales.

Selling effectively is about challenging the thoughts of your customers.

Statistically speaking most of your customers are going to buy something different than when they first started looking. Keeping that thought in mind, it’s not that you ignore them or tell them defiantly, “You don’t need that…this is what you need;” it’s more so leaning into their logic with suggestions and notice the patterns that begin to emerge when you ask Past, Present, and Future questions.

What did they like before? What do they wish they had now as opposed to then? Why is your customer in the market in the first place and how will your product fit their needs?

Based on your customers’ answers, you then begin to steer the sale, by adjusting your sails. As the conditions of your customers’ answers improve or deteriorate, you adjust your sails towards the winds of budgetary concerns, options, equity, or the fact that they’ve got a funky attitude thanks to their last 4 sales experiences.

It seems challenging at first-you will get better, but first, you’ve got to stop stopping.

When a customer “places an order-” when they make a statement or voice an objection don’t just pull up short and react, clarify and challenge their thoughts, objections, fears and concerns instead. What do they really mean? Where are they going with this? What’s the intent behind their words? Anticipate and adjust accordingly. Think to yourself, how can I give their ideas fresh legs with a new perspective?

Of course when you’re new, your mind is going to screeeeam at you to stop. This is all new to you-you fearfully get the answers but you’ll never knowledgeably amass the answers nor gain experience if you keep on stopping at the points where you get stuck.

Stop stopping…

Oh…but you thought this post was only about those people in sales?

No, I’m talking to you too.

You may not work in sales, but you sure as hell live in sales. Sales isn’t just a profession, it’s a life skill and you need to stop stopping. You may not have to fill an order, but you do have to fulfill a calling. What’s life calling you to do? What’s that pull…what’s that whisper..what’s that yearn?

Through circumstances and events-some beyond your control, life tries to place an order on your life and I’m telling you that you don’t have to fill that order. Your past is ordering that you aren’t good enough. Your upbringing is ordering that you’ll never get off of assistance. The notice you received; the word you just got, the month that you’re having right now is ordering that you’ll never make it out-that you’ll never move up and that you’ll never get ahead. What you’ve got, where you came from, or what you’re going through, is not a calling, it’s an order. Life’s pulling at you to lift your eyes above your thoughts and present circumstances and stop stopping.

Fu*k that order…take today’s apron off and throw it on the counter and say, “No…you can’t take my order, but you can sure as shit take mine.”  Stop taking orders and begin placing them. Fear left un-pushed, will make you wait for your orders…but fear acted upon, learned from, and put back in motion will make you realize your full potential.

Pull up, place your order, and stop stopping.

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