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I ran into my old college football coach the other day and we reminisced like all old, has-been’s do about yesteryear…we scoff about how good the players today have it versus the little we had to work with back in the days. Teams today have the luxury of shoe and apparel contracts that we didn’t. We practiced with threadbare shirts-so thin that you could see right through the shirt when you held it up to the light; we taped up our cleats not because it was the fashionable thing to do, but because they would fall apart during a game if you didn’t; every Sunday the game jerseys were sewn back up-by the end of the season,  you had so much patchwork that it looked more like grandma’s quilt than a jersey. Our dorms had asbestos ceiling tiles and nutria rats as roommates-at night you could hear them scratching around and you’d lay in bed hoping they wouldn’t fall through the missing ceiling tiles.

Twenty-three years removed from playing, Coach opened up and told me that he would be on his hands and knees pulling weeds out of the flower bed in front to the field house so that it wouldn’t be an eyesore to visitors. There was no money in the budget for anything-literally. Coach had to dig into his own wallet and give the grounds crew gas money so that they could mow the knee-high grass; some days Coach would have to mow the fields himself before practice. Just before we were to report for the upcoming season, Coach ran around town scrapping up enough money to paint over the rust in the weight room & lay down some cheap outdoor carpet because he wanted it to look a little more aesthetically pleasing to us.

Seeing the disbelief on my face, Coach said,Sometimes, you just make it work, Marsh.” I had no idea the struggles he and his staff were facing. We had no clue what lack we were dealing with- and he kept us out of it because Coach knew we had a job to do and our only job was to make the grades and play ball…and that we did. I have 3 rings to show for it.

The people you lead don’t need to know all of your struggles. They don’t need to know what you don’t have, can’t do, and have no support of. They don’t need to know all of your struggles because they have struggles of their own and standing around  bitching about it won’t accomplish anything anyway.

Sometimes, you just make it work and collectively, as a team, you draw on whatever resources you have and fight to win. 

As weak as your struggles make you feel, there’s actually strength within them-not only for you, but for others as well. Struggling develops your sense of competence and confidence. When you’re pushed to the brink-where your only option is to figure it out…you do things that you had no clue you were capable of accomplishing. Every setback increases your resilience…every win forges your confidence and you become an example not only to others, but a higher-level example to yourself.

And when you scrape, stretch, and scrimp to just make it work, you and your team find a way to succeed…because all of you do what it takes to W.I.N. 

To do What Is Necessary.

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lightbulb Click to listen to the whole episode The Sales Life w Marsh Buice here. Find it on iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast platform.

Ever have one of those days where you’re just frustrated and don’t know why? Like you just want to palm the guy’s face talking to you. I was having one of those days…weeks actually and didn’t know why and because I didn’t know why, just made me more more frustrated. Then it came to me… I stopped asking questions & when you no longer ask, the Universe answers with nothing. When you don’t ask questions, you end up working with dis-empowering, limited statements, such as “I’ll never get promoted;” “I’ll never get out of debt;” “I’ll never find the right one;” “I’ll never get ahead.” 

Asking yourself good, open-ended questions-with no preconceived notions of how or when it’ll arrive gives your mind space to go to work and find and answers instead of just accepting what is and filling in the blank (with bullshit).

Take a few minutes to have a conversation with yourself-don’t worry people will think you’re just using your Bluetooth. I talk to myself in 3rd party asking, “So how are you feeling today, Marsh?” and I’ll answer the question. Sometimes the answer back is a river; other times it’s a quick riff. I even give myself advice as if I’m someone else giving Marsh advice. And it works, because  tossing up questions gives me a chance to unravel Life’s knot.

If you find yourself frustrated, start asking questions. On the way to work; in the shower; walking to your car; just randomly ask. You don’t need to know all of the answers, just ask the questions and let Life go to work for you.

Click to listen to the whole episode The Sales Life w Marsh Buice here or find it on iTunes, Sticher, or your favorite podcast platform.

altman

Side note: I read Josh’s book a couple of years ago and one part of the book always stuck with me. It was the lesson that he learned early on while attending a kicking camp. His coach told him to always, “Kick the ball the same.” It’s an analogy that Josh has taken and helped make him a million dollar real estate broker and TV personality. (He has a show on Bravo called Million Dollar Listing) Basically he uses the analogy to set his opportunities up the same way because you never know, what seems like a small opportunity today, where may lead down the road. (He tells you more in the book of how a client looking for a rental turned into a couple of mega million dollar properties.)

Here’s what I learned from today’s podcast. 

  1. It seems small now. Many things you do today seem like they’re insignificant or don’t matter. You may be asking yourself, “Why in the hell am I doing this.” Lesson: It may not matter now, but will carry meaning later. Josh took a damn kicking analogy from his childhood and parlayed the concept to live damn well today.
    • What seemingly back-in-the-day bullshit lesson (think Karate Kid Wax on Wax off analogy) have you taken and used in your life today that you are so grateful for? 
  2. It ain’t the ball, it’s the kicker. How do you approach your opportunity…hell do you even see it as an opportunity or do you view it as another waste of time? Well if it looks like a waste of time, it will be a waste of time because that’s how you set up your “kick.” Your customers get what you’ve gotten. If you’re having a shitty month they get shitty service by you, but it you’re having a Land of Milk & Honey kind of month, boy you’re customers won’t find a better salesperson. Lesson: Every customer, every opportunity stands on it’s on. You may have to adjust your process, but you should never adjust you’re effort. And this shit is hard to do because in sales we sell from our soul. Just keep the analogy in your mind…don’t shrink just because you’re not having a good month, set the damn situation up as if it’s the best month ever and kick that shit. Whatever happens, happens, just don’t let it be because of your 1/2 ass effort.
  3. You’re not in control of the outcome….but you can heavily influence it. Riffing off #2 (& because I need a 3rd point), once your “ball” is in the air, you can’t waive or wish it to go a different direction. It’s going to go the way it goes. The question is, what do you do with the outcome…good or bad what happens from here? Do you learn from it? Do you blame others? Do you call yourself a slap-nut p.o.s? Lesson: Honestly assess what just happened and own that shit. It doesn’t matter the circumstances that surrounded the opportunity, it only matters how you approached it. Learn from it and set up your next kick and by the way, if it was a win, raise the bar and look for your next one-stop holding a victory parade for yourself.

Thought of the day: What tense are you? Managers tend to only have 1 tense; they manage only what is directly in front of them, but leaders have dual tenses; they manage both the present and future tenses. Yes they see today, but they also look toward the future. They do it not only with their business, but more importantly they do it with their people. They don’t just see people for who they are today, they see them for who they can become and set the bar accordingly.

Check out The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice podcast. 

 

syringe

In some cases, close to 97% of funds raised are allocated toward finding a cure and that sounds right, but then I thought, “Well, that only leaves 3% toward fighting a cause…” 

Check out today’s podcast The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice here

I think we do that in our own lives.

  1. We spend all of our effort trying to fight the cure of the moment.
    • We spend all of our energy on outcomes and spend little (if any) effort on finding the reason why we always: have more month than money; barely sell enough pay the rent; or why we’re overweight
    • Like a hamster on the wheel, we wear ourselves out on endless endings when what we should do is avert our attention from the end, to the source-what the hell is triggering all of this to begin with?
  2. Some of it is not your fault
    • …but most of it is
    • Some of the feelings of unworthiness and insecurity may stem from way back in the days (childhood or inherited feelings) so you self-sabotage your own success.
    • But before you lay on the shrink’s couch and blame your parents, most of your shit sandwiches today are because you put yourself there.
      • Stop seeking validation from everyone. (Buying the bar lead me to bankruptcy)
      • Stop trying to live like a baller when you’re truthfully a bust. (This mask lead me to bankruptcy too)
  3. You have plenty of time…but not a second to waste.
    • You didn’t get here overnight nor will you fix it over 2 days.
    • Someday is not the 8th day of the week. Don’t think it’ll fix itself, but start working on finding the source.
      • Maybe you’re emotionally eating
      • Maybe you’re always waiting until the final week to start selling something. (You’re not strategic in your approach)
      • Maybe you’re hooking up with the wrong boo or bae because you’re picking what you’ve always had: tension, toxicity, abuse, low-lifes.

You will find a better outcome…call it a cure if you want, but if you want a higher quality of life…if you want a better day…if you’re tired of just hangin’ in there, look left at the cause…the cure will take care of itself.

Check out today’s podcast The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice here

What I’m reading this week:

I Love Capitalism by Ken Langone (co-founder of Home Depot). This guy’s 82 years old and still crankin’. I heard him on James Altucher’s podcast and had to get his book. This book is proof positive not to hold back. One thing you never have to worry about Langone, is what’s he thinking about.

Favorite podcast episode:

Jordan Harbinger with Poker legend Phil Hellmuth. I’m not a poker fan or player but so many great tips on competitiveness, loyalty, forgiveness, and body language. Phil’s written a few books that are now on my list: Positivity and Read it and Reap (body language book)

Final thoughts today:

Show up…this is the only day you are promised. 

When CNN personality Van Jones was young he asked his dad to give the unfortunate money that way they would no longer be poor. Upon hearing  his plea, Jones’ father leaned forward in his recliner and said, “Son, that may stop ’em from being broke for maybe a day or two, but if a person is still poor in their skills, poor in their education, poor in their self-esteem, & you hand them a bunch of money? They’ll be broke again by tomorrow...every poor kid has got to climb that ladder out of poverty on his or her own efforts. That’s the responsibility you have to develop yourself so that nobody can keep you poor or make you poor again. You have to make it so you know too much; you bring too many skills to the table. Then you can reach down for the next man and help him climb a rung. But no one can do the real climbing but you.”  

 

You can’t have what your first not willing to become.…scratch that…You can’t keep what you’re not willing to become…sure you can manipulate it..you can catch a wave of luck…chance can randomly fall in your lap, but if you don’t become before you have, you’ll never keep what you got because becoming is an embodiment. It’s acquiring the necessary skills, education, and loving yourself in such a way that when “it” happens it’s of no surprise..it doesn’t catch you off-guard because you were already be-ing before come manifested.

Coming up as a salesperson, I caught wind of how much the managers were making so that became my target and within a year I was promoted into management…only by title not by income. Oh I had the new title printed on my new business cards, but I wasn’t making anything close to what the others managers were making-as a matter of fact, I was making less as a manager than I was as a salesperson. When I spoke out of frustration, I was told, “You’re paid for what you know and as a manager, you don’t know very much.” It was hard..I had to do the menial jobs and grunt work-basically  whatever the senior managers didn’t want or feel like doing got passed off to me only to sign their names to the completed works. I had to scrape-many nights of eggs & rice…many weeks of borrowing from one payday loan to pay another and when referrals came in to buy from me, the salesperson inherited the full commission…while I got only a sliver of a percentage…

And you know what…

…it was the best thing that could’ve happened to for me because it caused me to have to go to work on my new level. I had to work on my too’s…becoming too skilled, too educated, to know too much. I realized that too was a mindset not a destination-it’s not a place that I had to get to, it was a direction that I needed to head toward. It was at that point that whatever they handed me I took on and when I finished it, I asked for more.  I stopped trying to prove my worth to others & worked to create value to myselfbecoming in such a way that no one or no-thing can keep me or make me poor again. In retrospect, had they paid me what the senior managers were making, it would’ve destroyed me financially and personally. Becoming is your natural set point which is why you see those who get a windfall of money from an inheritance, settlement, or lottery,  piss right through large sums of money and often end up worse off than they initially were before-erroneously thinking that they had to first have in order to be. Having doesn’t make you, it reveals who you’ve worked toward becoming. 

Be and the have’s will come…

See, when you work first to become, even if they dropped you in a different city with $100 and no cell phone you’d parlay it into success…even if you got wiped out, you’d be the phoenix rising for the ashes of failure.

Don’t wish to have…work to become & even if you’re temporarily broke, you’ll never be poor again.

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Well the season is upon us. The cards are coming in the mail and the envelopes are slid underneath your keyboard the minute you step out of your office for coffee. Some of the kids you watched grow while others you barely even know are graduating high school or college.  A few know where they’re heading but most don’t… & 10, 15, 20 years later many still are trying to figure it out.  They don’t know, hell we didn’t either, because we graduated, but were never educated. Graduation is a way of passing, but Education is a way of Life. We graduated by memorization… we kissed up a little, pulled some all nighters, & wrote 7 paragraphs of answers on sliver of paper…we memorized which blanks to fill in, boxes to check, & chapters to read, but damn, nobody taught us about Life…

Education isn’t about what school you got into…clubs you were sworn into, or team you ended up on- that’s just resume material…that’s the shit they write about in your eulogy…

I’m talking about education…

The word educate comes from the Latin word Educo which means to draw out or develop from within. It’s got nothing to do with what’s out there… it’s what’s developed and drawn out from right in here… from within and you, my friend, are in charge of your own education… not Sally Mae, not Stafford… not Mom and Dad…not Grandma’s trust fund…it’s all on Y-O-U.  It’s free to obtain and priceless once achieved. 

Education isn’t about what’s on your business card or title you hold…that shit comes and goes-one minute you’re in and the next minute you’re bounced out.

Now you’d think education is all about memorizing and if that really is the case, then we’ve got that down to a science. Oh how we’ve mastered the art of memorizing. We took memorizing from Mr. Green &  Coach Lewis’s classes and we still memorize to this day. We’re quick memorize all of the mishaps, mistakes, upset, fights, rejections, embarrassing moments, hurtful words, and disparaging actions. We lock in and endlessly play back all of the bullshit moments in our lives decades after holding up that diploma. It’s not about what you’ve done without, it’s what you’ve developed within. There’s too much free and available  to you to just sit there and rote memorization.

You’ve got to take the spice that Life has handed you & make your own secret sauce…Life’s given you ingredients now you make your own recipe. It’s taking what’s been done to what you must do and the first thing you must do is get your ass out there & stop playing so damn limited.  Where you are in not who you are…it’s just a point on Life’s map. Utilize all of the resources available to you and push forward…get a library card. listen to podcasts, start with TED Talks on YouTube…and ask. Ask people who are where you want to be. I ask all of the time… I ask my customers the how’s, why’s, what’s of their lives. And I never feel like I’m prying-you’re not. People devote most of their lives to a certain field so why would they be bothered about sharing what they do and why they do it. Bring the gas of questions to their spark of knowledge and watch that shit blow up.

So congratulate those who are graduating, but mentor others and yourself to forever be educating…developing & drawing out the vastness from within. Graduating has a shelf life…education is your Life. 

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Most of us would not think of Bad being a good thing…

What the hell’s joyous about losing the one you’ve loved…where in the hell is the silver lining when the company brings you in…the same company that needed you to bail them out of a jam on weekends, holidays-once you even cut your vacation short. When they needed you most, you were always there…today they brought you in to tell you that they’re taking the company in a different direction and you’re not setting sail with them...”But thank you for everything.”

How hard is it to say Bless my soul when you lose your lease…or you only have only one month to pack up and get out of your home that you’ve amassed 2 decades worth of memories…now you have to downsize and feign the look of a fresh new start to the nosy ass neighbors pretending to be working in their yard. Sure they’re doing just fine-you’re the one who’s dying inside.

…the business that you started-first as a side hustle, then you took out a 2nd mortgage, telling your wife that everything’s going to be juuust fine because the contract you signed is huge and all of your struggles will have been worth it….after countless assurances of full speed ahead, the deal falls through and sinks to the bottom of despair. You’re deeply invested-at this point you aint worried about a return, you’re not sure if you can even survive.

We’ve all got a thumbprint on pain. We’re scarred with unfairness and share the commonality of being down and low….but no matter what “it” is…no matter how low, dark, or walled off it may seem…there’s opportunity in bad.

But first you have to look for it…

Mike Massimino, the astronaut tagged by NASA to repair the Hubble telescope-a billion dollar machine that detects other life and environments in outer space-if he doesn’t fix this part, billions of dollars could be lost forever because there is no backup Hubble…it’s one and done and now its future rests solely on his shoulders. Once in outer space, the only thing standing in the way of the repairs was a handle held in place by 4 innocent screws. The first, second, and third screws were removed as planned, but the fourth one was giving Massimino a little trouble, but with a liiiittle extra effort he thought he could….

…he stripped the final bolt.

With billions of dollars at stake…with millions more spent to send a crew to outer space, the screw was stripped…no Home Depot to run to & the supply of both oxygen and options was limited. At first Massimino did what any of us would’ve done…he beat himself up. It took you 4 tries to be an astronaut! You should’ve never made it this far! You shouldn’t have put so much force on that final screw! A mixture of negative emotions pushed to the front of his mind, but he gained his composure saying to himself, “As bad as things are, you can always make it worse.” He settled in…explored his options and fixed the almighty Hubble.

So you’re in a bad situation…remember worse has options and one of your options is opportunity. Find the opportunity in the bad. Massimino’s mantra has always been, “There’s impossible and then there’s improbable…& if it’s not all zeros…even if there’s a .0000001% chance-if there’s a 1 in there, you’re still in the fight.”

Bad can be good because it causes a shakeup..an awakening…sometimes bad cauterizes the shit that’s been lingering on for far too long in your life and now that it’s officially over, it’s time to pivot…push off & make good from the bad.

Opportunity is not found by lamenting in anguish about all of the injustice, unfairness, Why is this always happening to me! kinds of pleas…

The opportunity is found in looking for a crack, a sliver, a speck of light and building-digging you fingers in and clawing out from there.

How you got here has already happened…where you go from here is yet to be determined...you just have to find the opportunities and often they’re found in the bad.

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