Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

TOMS-shoes

You may have never heard of Blake Mycoskie, but you’ve probably heard of his company, TOMS shoes. They’re the company  that when you buy a pair of shoes, they’ll give a pair to a child. All told, they’ve provided over 60 million pairs of shoes to those in need. Mycoskie was once asked if his company had ever had one of those WFIO moments-one of those We’re F’d It’s Over kinds of situations. Chuckling today, Blake thought back and told of a time that just as TOMS was started to catch on, they began to fulfill the large orders rolling in until one day Blake got a call from his warehouse that due to a cheaper glue used, the soles were coming off of the shoes.  Faced with mounting orders-a reputation at stake, a supplier who had screwed them, and being flat broke, Mycoskie sat back and said, “We’re fucked, it’s over!”

After some heavy drinking and shoulda/coulda recaps, Mycoskie and his team made some adjustments and found a supplier to take a chance on them. With no money to offer-only potential orders, Blake convinced the supplier that if they could produce the orders to specifications, they would get their money. They took the chance…but Mycoskie took the first chance by asking for the seemingly impossible.

The story reminds me of the parable of the 5 loaves and 2 fish….with thousands of people to feed, Jesus took his eyes off of his circumstances and it is said that he looked up into the hills for the answer.

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See…the solution to your problem is never at the same level as your thinking. You’ve got to lift your eyes…elevate your thinking and take some GTF outta here kinds of actions.

Blake didn’t just sit there Indian style and just let life punch him in the jaw. Jesus didn’t just turn and look at his disciples, shrug and say, “Bruh I don’t know!” You can’t just hold onto the buoys of life hoping the waves will eventually subside…sometimes you’ve got to catch a wave and start riding…and when you fall off, you’ve got to get back on your board and find the next wave.

TOMS shoes said that if they were going to go down, they were going to go down swinging. They refused to back down to the problem-instead they would punch as the problem until they found a crack and once they found the crack, they would squeeze their fingers into the crevices and began pulling away until they found the solution. They lifted their eyes-thinking higher, so high in fact that because they believed in what they were doing, they were able to convince a supplier to fulfill the orders now and get paid later.

There’s a solution behind every circumstance, but you’re not going to find it thinking at the same level as the circumstance.

You’ve got to move from It’s over!  to Dammit it’s on!

I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop.

burning calender
You’ve got 53 days, a little over 1200 hours, or if it makes you feel better,4 million seconds until it’s January 1. After we smash the black eyed peas & cabbage- after we realize that we way overspent for Christmas, again, comes the realization that we’ve got to set some goals. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh Lord here we go again!”..coming soon will be a deluge of posts and podcasts of how to set and stick to a goal…and most of us-to the tune of 92% of us, will break from these goals in days, weeks, or a few short months. (If you’re part of the 8% who keep to your goals, you disgust me.)
My question is this. Why wait 53 more days? Why not make today your New Year- your January 1- your New Year? Who says we have to wait for the ball to drop in Times Square to start building a better life?
Starting is hard… it’s hard because starting is beginning again (for the 12,317th time).  It’s a reminder that we’ve let things go for far too long. Whether it’s in our finances, waistline, or our workouts, we stand there looking in the mirror or at our accounts and beat the hell out of ourselves because we’re not who or where we once were.  We sentence ourselves to eternal condemnation…if we talked to others liked we talked to ourselves we’d have no friends… which is probably why we’re not friends with ourselves.
So here’s the deal… instead of waiting for the New Year on the calendar… make a New You starting now. Start now and you’ll be 50 days ahead. Starting now minimizes the pressure – the pressure of “the New Year.” It eliminates the psychological pressure you put on yourself, because instead of The Date,  it’s just an early start. You’re tricking your mind in a sense because instead of going all Beast Mode in January, working out three hours a day and being so sore that you’re walking like you crapped on yourself – feeling so bad that you just end up quitting anyway, start now and begin building incrementally. Instead of spending hours, just bust a sweat in 30 minutes with some sort of physical activity – whether it’s three days a week, Monday through Friday, or all seven days, start incrementally building your way into the New Year. And as you start your physical activity, swap out some of the foods for better choices- it doesn’t mean you eliminate eating altogether, it simply means that you satisfy your cravings – that sweet tooth, for healthier alternative. See, starting early-i.e. now (yes when you get off today),  you’ll get the soreness out of the way, you’ll begin to make better food choices, and you’ll start building a new you in bit sized increments. It’s making the tiny course corrections in working toward a goal without the formality of a January 1 date.
If finances is your issue …oh I know you plan on making $800 credit card payments for 12 months come next year (probably once), but why not make nibble at your debt by making payments earlier- by paying an extra $25.  It’s not huge-and that’s the what’s great about this start, it’s so subtly simple, it’s easy to do and not miss…think of it as a momentum investment towards getting your debt down. Hell, $25 extra each week- the money you’d would normally spend on a box of fried chicken and Yellow Tail wine, will get you a $200 head start toward bringing your debt down – and who knows, because you’re committed to the act, informally, you may just start adding a little bit more to see even faster results. You’ve got to just get things rolling-remember a snowball starts with a snowflake.
Think about it, you can do this with anything in life… if it’s reading more, eating better, saving for that vacation, being more effective in sales, or even starting a podcast… my January 1 started in October. I’d been putting off doing a podcast for years-waiting for the perfect time, equipment, and material, and I finally decided to just start. I said for six days each week,  I would commit  five minutes each day to share something that I’ve learned along the way. That podcast is what you now know as The Sales Life.
Make your January 1 today.
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I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

measuringtape

The other day I ran into a friend of mine and before I could say anything, he slapped his stomach saying, “Man I’ve lost it…I just can’t get back on track and I’ve started gaining weight again.” I cut him off in mid-explanation and told him that it was OK. “Yes, you weigh more than you did a few months ago, but you still weigh less than you did years ago…just get back up and get back in-you’re still in the game!” 

I think we do what Gary did-we compare who we were to who we are today. We compare the summits-the mountaintop, holy grail accomplishments of yesterdays to the valley we find ourselves in today. We do it when it comes to weight loss, finances, relationships, careers-even our spirituality. We get so down and beat ourselves up so bad that we feel that we can never go back to who we once were.

And you know what? You are right…

You can’t go back to what you were because who you were or what you accomplished then was fitted specifically for that mindset and situation. Something drove you to climb that mountain then…now something’s got to drive you to climb back up it again today. Not only are you capable, but you’re also cultivating your grit and perseverance. You need the struggles-you need the fights in order to grow in the unchallenged recesses of your being.

If you’re in sales, to figure out how many customers you need to work with in a month (or final week of the month),  take your delivery percentages and divide it by your goal-there’s your number. Divide that number by the number of days left and get to steppin’-notice those numbers have zero to do with rebates, interest rates, or weather. It’s a number…now go get that number.

The relationship you once had with him is not-nor will it ever be what it was when you first met. Stop bashing him and reminding him of what he once was. You ain’t getting him back, but you do have a version of him today. Figure out what you both want and need and get to steppin’ in that direction.

If you’ve maxed out all of your credit cards-stop reminding yourself that you were once debt free. You’re not now, so figure what can you do now (not then) and get to steppin’ in that direction.

The world is tough enough, but hell, we’re even tougher on ourselves. The world just picks on you-we condemn ourselves. 

Today, draw the line in the sand and don’t cross back over it. NO EXCEPTIONS! Your excuse jar is empty, and your exception account is overdrawn. When you draw the line, you cannot allow cravings to creep back in. Like Gary did, once he made the exception to taste a little bit of fried food, he kept on moving the line-making “just one more” exception.

The 1’s add up.

Determine what are the actions that are triggering negative behavior. For me, when I vowed to lose weight, I knew that when I drank liquor I made exceptions and overate. I made one adjustment-when I came home from work instead of grabbing a beer, I quickly grabbed my running shoes and went right back outside. I didn’t give myself time to make another exception.

The first thing I want you to do it L.I.G.-let who you were go and focus on who you are right now. Today is a new day of opportunities-force yourself back in the game and get to steppin’. You did it once…you’ll do it again.

Go find your new summit.

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Recently, I overheard two runners conversing about pushing beyond the “sticking point.” You know the point where your mind tells you to retreat; where your legs feel as though they will buckle beneath you. The runner being asked the question took a sip of water, thought about the question and said, “I’ve become faster from Point A to Point B, because I push myself to Point C.”

In life, you will never grow if you stay between the two points-those are the points of familiarity. True growth occurs when you push yourself out into the galaxy of the unknown stretching, clawing, and scratching out of desperation to arrive at Point C. Pushing beyond your natural limits causes unnatural outcomes. When you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you enter into the new learning zone, learning a new mental toughness, a new inner strength, a fresh level of strength you never knew you had.

Commonly we only see this transformation when someone has a life-altering occurrence; the death of a loved one, bankruptcy, termination, or divorce just to name a few. One hits life’s wall and through sheer determination, pushes themselves beyond their natural tendencies and enter a new realm of self-validation.

What’s the point? Every day needs to be life-altering because true growth is beyond two points. One more up, one more phone call; one more rep, one more counseling session, or one less fry…just one. When you go beyond, the lines of normalcy expand and the cycle begins yet again. Exertion causes growth; familiarity diminishes.