Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

For every now, there was a then...

Once it was just Mick, Keith, Charlie, & Ronnie before they became The Rolling Stones. Don, Joe, & Timothy were just regular dudes before they became the legendary band called the Eagles. Andre & Antwan weren’t always Andre 3000 & Big Boi of OutKast. “Luda!” wasn’t shouted by the doctor as he slapped Chris Bridges on the ass in the delivery room.

When you look at people’s now, remember there was a thenmany, many then’s in order to become their now. Be patient & work your ass off in the months & years of then’s. Yes, it’ll be thankless @ times; it’ll seem as if it’s for naught often; periodically you’ll feel like a damn fool for grinding on your dream while everyone else seems to be getting ahead except you.

When your days are in the ditch, remind yourself that you’re investing in your then…your nows will come soon enough & the results will pay off.

For “then” just keep working for “now.”

I’ll see you in the Sales Life.

Subscribe to my weekly podcast The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play

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.

Subscribe to my weekly podcast The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play

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 all 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.

I know this 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.

Catch the 300+ episodes of The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice podcast. Find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

 

 

janitor

When my daughter MacKenzie says her prayers at night, I let her free flow-whoever and whatever she wants to pray for, I let her roll. One night as she was praying, she prayed for a name that I’d never heard before-his name was “Mr. Vic.” When I asked her who “Mr. Vic” was, she told me that he was the janitor at her school. “I’m praying for him, because he’s always nice to me,” she said. The other day Mack forgot her lunch, so I told her I would drop it off on my way to work. With only a few minutes to spare, I rushed into her school and placed her Lunchable on the table next to the lunchroom entrance alongside of a half dozen other kids who forgot their lunch too.  As I whirled around a man mopping the school’s floors, stopped swaying the mop from side to side and with a big, toothy grin, asked me how was I doing?  In a rush, I smiled back and told him I was doing fine and in turn, asked him how he was doing, but I didn’t have time nor the inclination to wait for his answer. As I waved goodbye to the ladies in the school’s front office it hit me, the man I had just spoken to in the hallway was Mr. Vic.

Turning around I walked back down the hallway and asked him, “Are you Mr. Vic?” he smiled and said that he was and as I shook his hand I said,  “Thank you for what you do, Mr. Vic.”  Stopping his mop, he pridefully looked around and said, “Oh, I’m just trying to keep it looking good around here.” “No,” I said, “Thank you for what you do while you’re here.”  I went on to tell him how my daughter prayed for him and that I appreciated how nice he was to her. “Sir, I’ve been here a long time, but I’m not here for the money-I’ve been offered opportunities to work at other places for way more money, but I don’t feel like that’s the position I’m supposed to be in. Maybe one day, but right now, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. My position is right here with these kids.”
Life is a blur and then we die. It becomes a blur because, we’re so focused on titles that we give no thought at all to our position in life. We’re so fixated on how the words printed below our name on our business card read; so hellbent on trying to schmooze with certain people, so adamant about rubbing elbows with a certain others, and are so seemingly obsessed with who we can step on, beat out, or crossover in our quest for a title, that we’ve lost sight of the most impactful part of our lives..our position.
If not today, one day you could find yourself wearing a title that you don’t care for-maybe you’re working for someone that you feel is inferior to your skills and expertise; perhaps you’re being asked to shoulder more responsibility with no more pay; or it’s conceivable that you find yourself standing in the ashes of a once promising career-for years you climbed the ladder of success-literally sacrificing everything, only to find yourself today back on the bottom rung having to start all over again.
Ground zero is where most people stall in life and ask, “Why?” Why was I passed over for this promotion? Why am I the one singled out to do more work while others stand around and get the credit? Why did injustice prevail and ruin my life? People who ask why park in life and become bitter; people who ask while move forward in life and become better.
The better question is to ask, “What do I do while I’m in this position?”
  • If you work for someone who you feel is inferior to your level of expertise and knowledge, your job is to make them look better. You have to understand this one position is not the end game in life unless you allow it to be. Use your vantage point to not only shore up their areas of weaknesses but also to gain a bird’s eye education into the pressures and decisions that they must make on a daily basis. If they’re poor at building relationships, you help build it for them; if they’re unorganized, you keep them on task; if they’re short sighted, you help them set the long-term vision. Stop competing for their title and begin completing their position. Not only will you earn her trust, but also you’ll build the morale of the  entire store. Remember, you’re teaching those who work under you how they should think and act. If you want it done to you, do it to others; if you want it done for you, do it for others.
  • If you keep getting volunteered for more work, shut up and do it. It’s been said that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. Don’t think like those who want to get the most for doing the least. Learning and teaching a new skill keeps you out of your comfort zone, raises your level of expertise, and makes you more valuable. Don’t wait for something catastrophic to occur to decide that you need to raise your game. Stay ready, don’t get ready.
  • If you find yourself back on the bottom rung in life…you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. I worked hard and lived fast until in 2008 I lost it all. I was financially, mentally, and spiritually bankrupt and had to start all over again. With my ego stripped, my position removed, and my hope lost I was scorched earth. But out of the ashes come new growth. It was at that time that I had to take responsibility for my life, put my feet back in the stirrups, and ride life’s horse again. I learned how to appreciate the good times and the bad; I realized that I could never be satisfied with what I already knew, and I had to lean on God to remind me that I still had more to give and much more to do. What you’re reading is my position..it is my testimony to let you know that you are not alone.
When you leave a room or leave this world what will be said about you? Obituaries are for titles-all the awards you amassed, all of the boards you sat on; all of the ribbon cutting ceremonies you attended will be printed on that piece of paper. But eulogies are for position. What will your eulogy be? What impact did you make for those you were around? Use your position to friend the porter who eats alone at lunch; use your position to encourage the accounting clerk who can barely pay rent and day care; use your position to develop the salesperson whose last resort is the car business.
Why’s not the question. While is. Use your position to go make an impact. They’re waiting on you…
Thank you, Mr. Vic.

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3 Letters, 1″W”

Posted: October 20, 2012 in Uncategorized
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In life, we all face adversity- some are life altering, others are mere potholes. Some of us explain our adversities with “Woe,” only to find ourselves still entrapped in our misery, years later; others of us ask “Why?”

Asking “Why” did this happen can put you on track to your How; how can you learn from this tragedy in order to move forward?

Adversity should be a pitstop, not a parking space.

Woa’s pull, Why’s push. Keep pushing.