Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Coach Nick Saban tells a story of three baby birds who fell into the ocean. The mama bird was frantic because her babies were about to drown so the daddy bird flies out and scoops the first baby bird up and sits him down on dry land and asks his son, “Now that I saved your life what are you going to do for me?” His son looks up at him and says, “Dad, when you get old I’m going to take care of you,” and with that, the dad picks up his son and drops him back into the ocean. He then scoops up the second son and brings him to dry land and asks the same question, “Now that I saved your life what are you going to do for me?” The second son says, “Dad you don’t have to worry about anything when you get old because I’m going to take care of you,” and with that the dad does the same thing he did with the first son, he drops him back into the ocean and scoops up the third son and asks the same previous question. The third son says, “Dad, I promise to do everything for my sons as you did for me.”

Your children & the people you lead– the ones who came in with bad credit and today they bought their first home; the ones who used to ride a bike or took a bus to & from work, leave today in their own vehicle; the once shy & inhibited one, who can now talk to anyone; the one who turned his life around & is married with children…those people, your people owe you nothing.

Not a damn thing…

And the best thing they can do- the only thing they should do “for you,” is to be a better parent, manager, & leader, for their kids, for their employees, for their community.

Besides what you want from them anyway? I mean when you keep throwing it up in their face when you stood in the gap, bailed them out, and turned them around…how you made sacrifices, worked two jobs, & made a way out of no way.

What really do you want from them anyway? You don’t want to thank you, you want power and the minute they resist you- the minute they push off and stand on their own by making their own mind up- the minute you feel your power slip, you try to get it back by slapping them with a reminder of all that you’ve done for them.

They don’t appreciate that, they resent it. They don’t feel all warm & fuzzy when you re-open wounds and bear their scares of weaknesses & downfalls just so that you can get the upper hand and pull their strings again.

Nothing…they owe you nothing.

The only thing they owe you is to the pay it forward- improving on what was passed down by you when they were passed up by others.

Hopefully all that you’ve done-the long talks, the sacrifices, the discipline, the love…hopefully you did all of that simply because someone did it (or didn’t do it) for you and you just wanted to improve on that.

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When it comes to our own lives, we pay attention to only 2 letters of the alphabet…we start at A and worry about Z and we totally alienate the other 24 letters of our lives. We want to know how it’ll all pan out before we even move-it’s like we stand at A and have to know the answers to Z. We do it in all areas of our Life-we need to know if this relationship is the one…we need to know that this is a career that we can retire from…we fret in finances, spirituality, health, our day, month, year…hell our whole Life. We have to, have to, have to know how everything plays out first and if we don’t know if “it’s” going to be ok, we’ll catastrophize that too-we just blow shit out of proportion…and we haven’t even moved…we’re still standing on A.

Life’s job is A-Z, but my job is only to get to B & once I get to B get to C, D…G…T; I just have to get to the next step in my Life and once I get there, focus on the next one…that’s all that Life asks of me-to maximize each letter of my Life.

It’s human nature to want to insure our next step with certainty-to know that something’s worth taking on, holding onto, or letting go, but sometimes the answers will not be clear until you take a series of steps. Life’s not revealed, it’s unfolded…we want our answers to be behind Door #3, but instead Life nudges us to just head in that direction and along the way, she’ll whisper what to do. 

Will the next step be clear..will it be certain…will it be a win…will it be what I wished for? No..no it won’t always be. That’s why there’s more than one step…that’s why there’s C,D,E, & F’s in our lives, because along the way, we’ll hit walls..we’ll get blown back..we’ll stumble and fall. Moments that hurt..moments that seem unfair..but they’re moments of transition just the same. And when you hit moments such as divorce, demotion, death, bankruptcy, sickness, and abandonment…as much as they hurt, don’t capitalize them. Don’t give them prominence in your Life-don’t capitalize the A’s B’s, D’s, S’s; don’t let these moments be the reason why you gave up..threw up your hands and sat down. As shitty and fucked up as these moments are, they are still moments of transition that today have no reason but years from now bear deep meaning…moments that have no answer until you take the next steps. It’s hard…I know it is, but there’s healing beginning at the doorstep of next. 

…and resist saying the words, If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve NEVER…..Because you had to go through that now to discover your never…what you’ll never tolerate or put up with again…that you’ll never again not speak up instead of staying silent..that you’ll never be talked to, treated, or abused again…

Now is necessary for Never. 

So has your journey continues today, don’t worry about Z…just get to B…then C…focus on taking just one more step.

And don’t worry… Z will be waiting for you…after whY. 

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When we think of confidence, we tend to think of it in one big bulk item, but confidence comes in different forms-there’s Perceived Confidence and then there’s Earned Confidence. Perceived confidence is other people’s take on you. People size you up based on how you carry yourself..your swag, your dress, the way that you walk, the confidence that you radiate- from the way that you stand to the assertiveness in your voice, people literally buy the confidence that you are selling. And you must maintain a high perceived confidence no matter what kind of hell you may be going through because what you’re going through is not a definition of who you are, it’s only an indication of where you are and the start toward the way out, is through perceived confidence. People don’t want to hear the Whoa is me stories…you got shit going on in your life, but so do others, and they only want to do business with people who at least look like they have their shit together. It’s crazy how we let Life’s events shape our confidence. One minute there’s nothing that could stop us…and 60 seconds later, we don’t know if we can even make it to the next day. People don’t know the hell you got going on behind those eyes-they have no clue, so why include them in something they don’t have the answer? Only you have the solution and it starts with first believing in yourself.

But if this were a confidence test (and it is), you’d fail because perceived confidence is only 50%.

Earned confidence is the other half needed and it is accumulated through experiences....alllll experiences. I’m not just talking about the cupcakes, rainbows, and unicorned moments of your Life…I’m talking about the shit sandwich moments too. It’s a cocktail of all experiences-the flavors of the setbacks, rejections, ridicules, misses, and embarrassments, stirred in with all of the best month ever, records broken, in the land of milk and honey moments too. It’s taking every single moment-melding the highs and the lows to learn, recycle, improve, and yes…double down on risk, putting the effort back out there again, and again, and again, (x) infinity. That’s earned confidence-those stripes are merited based on the ability to never be satisfied and never be sat.

In sales you have to have both perceived and earned confidence because if you only had perceived confidence, the minute things blow up..the minute the wheels start to come off (and they will), if all you have is perceived confidence, you’ll melt right there like a snowman in Louisiana heat.

You’ve got to have both…you need to perceive that you are the shit..that you can, will, and must make big things happen. You have to swing as if no man or no thing will ever stand in your way…that no salesperson can hold a match to your level of knowledge and service…dude you have to set that thermostat of perceived confidence to 20 degrees above someone’s comfort level..not overbearing, but they gotta feel you.

Both confidences are dependent on one another. It first starts with how you feel about yourself; customers feel that energy and engage with you; based on your action-the way that you carry yourself, what you know and how you interact, becomes experience….some of it results in a sale, always it results in an education. As you make more sales, your confidence rises…and when you don’t make a sale, your experience increases..as you learn, recycle and put yourself back out there, the odds of success perpetuate.

Confidence…perceived or earned is all based on you. You control it…you influence it…you do it with the way you think, talk, carry, and do.

Customers will pay for your confidence…now you get to set the price.

You need doubters… you do…
I know you reeeeally want others to believe in you… I know you endlessly plead your case to your besties and your Aunt Laura, but you must have doubters in your Life. You need doubters because if you didn’t have someone to say that “You can’t”…if you didn’t have someone say “You won’t”-if you didn’t have those who didn’t believe in you then how would you ever grow?
Who would provoke to rise otherwise?
When I got to McNeese State University, I came in as an undersized offensive lineman –  truthfully I really I think I was brought in to just fill a slot.  I was #5 on the depth chart-meaning 4 other linemen would have to go down, fail out, or spontaneously combust before I’d ever get a shot at touching the field..and that’s exactly what happened (minus the combustion part). All of those playing in front of me either flunked out or got hurt, so like the Red Sea parting, I suddenly became the starting offensive tackle…for a day. Upon hearing the news, the coaching staff immediately began scrambling because they didn’t think I was “ready-” which is really code for they weren’t ready to cast me as a starter. So they ended up finding a kid at a junior college to immediately fill the open spot, but with only a week before practice started for the new season, the kid decided he didn’t want to play football anymore.
With no other options..no one to take from one position and slide into the vacancy, the coaches reluctantly gave me the nod.
And I’ll never forget that…
I set out to bust my ass-training extra-staying late, to earn that spot. I started that year as a sophomore never looked back and went on to become an All-American, All-State (Louisiana), and was elected Permanent Team Captain by my teammates… an undersized lineman who started out as #5 on the depth chart.
None of that would’ve been possible had they not doubted me first.
I needed them to doubt me…
Doubters make you prove yourself… not to others-they make you prove yourself to you. Doubters provoke you to raise your game up, test your faith, and they become your litmus test to see if you really want what you say you want. Have you ever told someone your far-fetched idea and as soon as they laugh, scoff, and look at you crazy you shrink? You downsize – minimize your plans because you didn’t have absolute conviction in your abilities and destination.
Doubters test your ignition – is it a spark or flame?  Do you want it so bad… do you see it so vividly that the second they doubt you-when they do a double take at your grandiose plans…the second you see that glimmer of doubt in their eyes or their expression, that only fan the flames even more? 
See when others judge you or determine your future only from the front porch of today- man that notion alone should ignite you toward a full-fledged inferno. Doubts are just opinions, but you are living, breathing talented absolute fact and they just kicked the ant pile. They woke you up to say, “Fuck this!” See there’s a difference between saying, Fuck You  and Fuck This…You is a defensive stance….This is a new mission-a mission where you stop telling and start showing…Up. It’s the point where you work at developing yourself and no longer wait to get picked. Your effort..your grit..your resilience is what puts you in the starting lineup of life. You’re already in motion when they “all of the sudden“ take notice.
 
By then it’s too late…
 
They underestimated you which is a good thing.  See, when people discount your abilities… when they underestimate you…when they pay you no mind… when you’re non-factor in their book, when they don’t give you any resistance-they don’t even object or get in your way because they don’t think you can do it and you just keep showing up working right there in their face… doing, growing, becoming what they never saw you in the first place…
 
But you did…
 
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Graham Betchart a sports psychologist & mental toughness coach to professional athletes begins coaching his players w/ 3 plays. These 3 plays set the foundation toward continuous growth that you & I can use…the good news is we don’t even have to run sprints or stadiums to be one of the best!

  • Play #1: W.I.N. stands for What’s important now? Simply controlling the controllables. You can’t control the ultimate outcome but you can heavily influence it. Outcomes can be influenced by the 3 things within your control: Attitude, Effort, & Focus. If your attitude is one where you’re walking around blowing your breath in big huffs- looking like a big ass eye roll emoji then you’re going to get back what you put out- negative results. But if your attitude is that of being open minded- in his book Principles, billionaire investor Ray Dalio calls it being radically open-minded, this mindset keeps the channels of your mind open and flexible. Look, things are going to ebb & flow- some things will bounce your way, other times, even when done perfect will not, but you’ve got to keep the attitude and keep plugging knowing things will swing to & fro. If you think about the times that you’re all pissed off, you usually have a rigid, closed mind, don’t you? You’re also in control of your effort- concentrate on giving full effort to each day, customer, & encounter. I find that when your attitude trails off you tend to be more me focused– worried more about what you’re getting & less of what you’re giving. You just give it all you got- you’ll get what you deserve. You also control your focus. Ask yourself, What time zone am I in right now? We live in 1 of 3 time zones: Past, Present, or Future.The only one that’s productively real is what’s happening right now. Stay local (not loco).
  • Play #2: Be present. Graham says it’s reeeeel easy to play present when you’re winning and everything’s going right- but can you play when your in the shit spin cycle of Life…can you play present even when you’re in pain? Graham has a saying that I love & use that re-centers me back to the present when I feel like I’m starting to drift into the past or future, “Play where your feet are.” It’s an instant slap back to reality- where are your feet right now? Play there…
  • Play #3 Next Play Speed: Athletes don’t have time to get hung up on a blocked or missed shot- Graham coaches his players to hurry up and get into the next play. This prevents them from getting stuck in an action that has already happened. Whenever I don’t do well with a previous customer, I try not to park & bitch about what I did or didn’t have/do- no, I quickly get back in the mix by looking for the next play- the next opportunity or activity that I can possibly capitalize on.

So that’s it! 3 plays is all you have to remember & run today. W.I.N. (What’s Important Now); Play Present, & Next Play Speed.

Blow the whistle- You’re in!

I’ll see you on the Blacktop!

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I had a salesperson that I just couldn’t seem to get her to work with more customers- being she was new, I would repeatedly emphasize to her to work with more customers, but when they would come in, she’d usually fall back & let another salesperson Up (catch) them. I couldn’t figure it out..she knew her product, she was technically sound, & she was used to competing against the boys because she came from a male dominated industry …so what was it? When asked, she responded, “Marsh, I don’t have a huge need- the other salespeople around me have to struggle to make a sale in order to pay rent & car notes- I don’t have a huge need so I don’t need to make much.” Leaning back I asked her, “So what’s your end game…” to that she told me that she planned on being in the car business a long time. “Then if that’s the case, you’re not doing yourself much good- here’s why…

First, you can’t teach what you don’t know & you’ll never know until you first do. In his biography, Arnold Schwarzenegger said the 3 keys to him becoming a 7x Mr Olympia, successful businessman, & one of the highest paid actors at the time in Hollywood were reps, reps, reps.”

Reps weatherproof your career. You’ve got to work with hundreds of experiences, objections, scenarios, & obstacles while fading & maneuvering through thousands of rejections not only so that you can learn, but so that you can pay it forward and help others succeed who are starting out as well. Reps also give your customers the needed assurances that you can help them with their current situation because you’ve helped other customers maneuver through similar circumstances as well.

This brings me to my 2nd point,” I told her, “When you’re not working with enough customers, not only do you not possess enough of the necessary skills that they desire & deserve, but not working with enough customers means that you’re OK with them buying from an inferior salesperson- if you say that you’re here to help customers, then you’ve got to follow through with actions to those words.”

Which brings me to my 3rd point,” I quipped, “Do you have kids?” She told me that she had a boy and a girl- Mason & Madison…”Do you want them to do well in life,” I asked knowing she’d say yes. “If you want them to do well, then be their teacher- set the example because they can’t be what they don’t see. The reason why so many struggle as adults today is because, no one played the part…no one showed them the pattern… no one chalked the outline, nor showed them what they could be because no one helped them see…no one showed them more so they’ve accepted less.”

You must do well…you must reach beyond your comfort zone…you must dig deep and get back up…you must set audacious goals & kick the door in when Life tries to slam it in your face…you must reach higher because this isn’t just about you.

It’s way bigger than that…

….but first you’ve got to set the bar.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

thelittlebookoftalentI like Daniel Coyle’s book The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips For Improving Your Skills-now he also wrote The Talent Code which is a good book about how individuals unlock their talent-a book that we’ll chop up later, but today I want to talk about something I hope that you’re doing every day…and that’s making mistakes-not only making them, but more specifically what you do after you make them. We don’t like to make mistakes-mistakes make us vulnerable to others…it exposes us to being laughed at, talked about, sneered at, pointed to, written up and even fired-and that’s just on the outside. The internal game -what’s going on the inside of us is even worse. When we make a mistakes, we begin to lose our internal mojo-our self-confidence, but self-confidence is a very strange thing: if you try and fail your self-confidence slips a notch…but if you don’t try for fear of failing, that too causes you to lose your self-confidence because you’re not producing- so it becomes one of those damned if you do..damned if you don’t scenarios. So here’s my thing, if you’re going to expose yourself to the possibility of losing your self-confidence either way, then why not lose it in the only direction that you have the possibility to not only gain it back but also inch it forward-and it sure as hell ain’t by sitting around…you’ll gain confidence and skills through making mistakes because as Coyle says in Tip #22, “Mistakes are your guideposts for improvement.” Coyle discovered brain scan studies that revealed that .25 seconds-a quarter of a second after making a mistake we do 1 of 2 things: We either ignore the mistake or we look hard at it…

I’ll add a third to Coyle’s findings…

We justify the mistake. We justify why we did what we did, then ignore any sort of corrective coaching or measures thereafter. Some of the most intelligent people ask, “How could I have been wrong in the action that I took..” instead of justifying why they could’ve been right.

Don’t wait to look at the mistake- look at it right away. Players know this- as soon as they come to the sidelines they’re looking at their tablets trying to figure out how they threw the interception, how the ball was stripped out of their hands, or why they were called for pass interference- they don’t have time to explain away the mistake nor do they have time to deal with the mistake later- they analyze & correct immediately because the game is still going on…

So is yours…

…precious time is ticking away while you’re either standing around explaining (to those who really don’t even care) or you just flat out ignore one of the greatest teachers the Universe has to offer: Mistakes.

So do me you a favor…1) As long as they are not illegal, immoral, or unethical, make many mistakes today and right after you make them, 2)Look those mistakes right in the mouth- don’t wince or shy away from them…don’t blame anyone or anything for them. Own them- if you accepted the wins then you sure as hell have got to own the losses. Find & improve your mistakes. And as Coyle’s Law states, “Take mistakes seriously but never personally.”

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

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