Posts Tagged ‘contrarian selling’

Rewrite Your Story

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

A friend of mine has a saying: “The only thing keeping you from your goals is the bullcrap story you keep telling yourself.” As hard as those words are, I find them to be very true. My question for you is, what is the bullcrap story you are telling yourself about you and your business? It’s time to rewrite your story.

Everyone has built-in limitations in their brain. Everyone is conditioned through the teachings and messages we receive from parents, teachers, preachers, family, co-workers, bosses, the news and society in general. Your brain is bombarded daily with messages, and the majority of those messages are wrapped in negativity or limitations.

Not every message you see or hear is negative or bad, or the people delivering them are not always badly intentioned, but nonetheless they can wire your brain in a way that will limit your success, happiness and your overall life.

You must first be aware of this and accept this. It’s a fact, and denying it only will make you a victim with a victim mentality. You are responsible — period and end of story. It is solely up to you. Even if you believe there are many factors that influence your success outside of your control, if you allow that thought, you will allow a million of those thoughts and you will create an internal story built upon excuses, limitations and lack.

Take a moment and think about your internal story. Think about what you tell yourself as a reason as to why you are not where you want to be, or why you cannot even try. Think about every excuse or limitation you have allowed in, or even heaped upon yourself. Be brutally honest and write them down. Think back to your childhood and look for patterns of where you started to make these recurring excuses and how your story started and then evolved.

Next, ask yourself this simple question: “What if this is not true?” Begin to write down all the reasons why this is not true. Write down what the opposite of the story, excuse or limitation would be. Write down your new story as if those limitations and excuses were magically gone. Write your story as you want it to be and not what others believe it to be. Just let your “bullcrap” story go.

There are many reasons why you accept and then allow these stories to stay. You might be afraid of failure, so you have an excuse not to try or give it your all. You might be afraid of success, because you will now have to admit that you are capable and can give the necessary effort. You are afraid to succeed because, deep down, you don’t feel worthy. Deep down you just don’t think you are smart enough, talented enough or special enough. It’s okay to give yourself permission to succeed. It’s okay to allow yourself to succeed.

Stop fighting your success. You are capable of doing, having and being so much more, but you have to stop playing your current story over and over and living your day based upon that bullcrap story. Stop it. You can easily fool others, but deep down you are really not fooling yourself. You are simply allowing the story to be true.

For a free Special Report, e-mail me at info@tewart.com with the word “Story” in the subject line.

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Increase Your Sales By 25 Percent

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

All sales people need to have a monthly sales goal for themselves. They also need to know how they arrived at that specific goal. Many times, these goals are based upon their past sales performance, but past results may not be indicative of performance.

You can increase your sales by 25 percent or more. Identify what causes mental barriers that produce limited results and how to overcome them. Many barriers are caused by conditioning, circumstance and emotions. Many people associate money with the following phrases: “Do you think money is grown on trees?” “Do you think we are rich?” “You can’t afford that.” “Money is the root of all evil.” This is why many people have limited and negative beliefs about money.

Examples of the three limiting factors are:

Conditioning.

The US is the richest country in the world. Money is printed every day here. So in reality, what’s the difference between it growing on trees or on a printing press?

Circumstance.

All people have negative experiences and setbacks in their lives, these experiences can lead you to let circumstances limit your beliefs about success or money. When you anchor your future to the past, that’s exactly what you get. History is meant to be a rudder not an anchor.

Emotions.

Emotions are some of the most powerful sources of energy in nature. Negative emotions are also caused when your conscious mind and subconscious are in conflict with one another. Example: If you set a goal to lose five pounds, it is done in your conscious mind. If later that day, you walk by a bakery and smell cookies and walk in and eat a half-dozen, that action was controlled by your subconscious mind. Can you see the conflict? Your subconscious reacts to information and emotions given to it without regard to your goals. If not properly directed, negative emotions limit actions, habits and results. If rejection dominates your emotions, you have lost the war before the battles began.

What you can do to explode your results. First of all, you must change your questions. Your life and your results are a direct reflection of the questions you ask yourself. Don’t ask what you want based upon what you have or what you have done. Ask bigger and better questions. Many trainers who teach goal setting say to make your goals believable. All goals are simply choice. You can make almost any goal believable if you change your questions.

Use this exercise to help you get your conscious and subconscious mind going in the same direction. Write down your goal in a positive present tense paragraph without any limiting beliefs.

Example: I am happily and easily selling 20 cars or more a month without struggle or conflict. My sales and other resources are creating an abundance of money for my family and me.

It’s easy to dismiss exercises like this. However, one trait found among massively successful people is their open-mindedness in pursuit of success. Skeptics rarely are successful, let alone happy people. Ask yourself, “What have I got to lose?”

Three things determine your path in life: philosophy, free will and choice. Your own personal philosophy is determined by your questions. Everything is determined by your free will and choice. Ask the right question, and they will lead to the right thoughts. Have the right thoughts, and they will create the right emotions. Feel the right emotions, and they will lead to the right actions. Take the right actions, and they will create the right habits. Having the right habits will create the right results. Your results will form your destiny, and yes, you can increase your sales by 25 percent or more.

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The Best Lesson To Learn From Super Bowl XLVII

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

The day after the Super Bowl, it seems like everyone reviews the commercials and decides which one was best. The sports channels review every detail from the game and the players who made the big plays. The news focuses on the weird blackout at the Superdome. However, the best lesson to be learned from the Super Bowl is in the story behind the story of Baltimore Ravens’ Quarterback Joe Flacco.

A lot of emphasis will be put on Joe Flacco’s performance in the Super Bowl but let’s look at Joe’s history for the real lesson. Coming out of high school, Joe was a three-star recruit and was rated the 39th best high school quarterback in the country. Being a three-star recruit isn’t shabby, but those kids don’t get the attention of the four- and five-star recruits. In last year’s Super Bowl, somebody did a review of each player participating and came up with only a couple of players who were four- or five-star recruits out of high school. The rest of the players were one-, two-, three- or even no-star recruits. The bottom line is this: A whole lot of people will spend a whole lot of time judging you and they will often be wrong. Joe Flacco did not listen to people judging him as a three-star recruit. He persevered and used the one judgment that mattered in the end: his own.

Joe Flacco was offered and accepted a scholarship to play football at Pitt. His freshman year he was redshirted and did not play. The next year he saw limited playing time and was beat out by another quarterback, Tyler Palko. Palko wound up with a good, but not great, college career at Pitt and today is a back-up quarterback in the NFL. Joe Flacco was once again judged as inferior but, as disappointing as that had to be, he once again persevered.

Joe Flacco decided to transfer to Delaware to play football. Delaware is not exactly a hot bed of football. Delaware is in the College Football Sub-Championship Series, which means they are not a big-time program in a big-time conference. Joe Flacco was relegated to a lower level once again. Once again, though, he persevered. Joe set many records at Delaware and had an outstanding football career. At the NFL combine for the 2008 draft where the top college football players are put through numerous physical and mental drills and tests, Joe Flacco had an impressive performance. The Baltimore Ravens drafted Joe Flacco in the first round. Joe was the 18th player taken and was the second quarterback taken in the draft. His star had risen but he was still judged as second best, but once again persevered.

In his first year with the Ravens, Joe was third on the depth chart behind two other quarterbacks. By chance, the starting quarterback went down with an injury and the back-up quarterback was ill. This opportunity elevated him to a starting position. Joe Flacco once again had persevered.

In six seasons, Joe Flacco has set records and is the only quarterback to lead his team to the playoffs in each of six seasons. However, there always was a contingent of fans and media who said Joe wasn’t good enough. They said Baltimore would not win a Super Bowl with Joe Flacco.

Joe Flacco is now a Super Bowl winner and the MVP of Super Bowl XLVII. On Joe’s journey, he has been constantly judged and usually was declared not quite good enough. The bottom line is that all of those so-called experts were wrong — only one expert was qualified to make the final judgment: Joe Flacco. He persevered and refused to quit.

The next time you are being judged or are a little down on yourself, remember Joe Flacco. The story behind the story of Joe Flacco is by far the best story and lesson of Super Bowl XVII.

For a free special report titled “10 Things You Must Do At Your Dealership To Be Successful” e-mail me at the address below with “10 Things” in the subject line.

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Habits of the Successful Salesperson

Monday, March 4th, 2013

If you were to follow around the most successful salesperson you know for a week and then follow a failing salesperson for the same amount of time, the differences would be glaring. It boils down to successful habits. What you do habitually in small incremental actions adds up to huge differences in results by the end of just one week.

Recently, I was visiting a dealership where some of the salespeople had attended a sales seminar I had conducted. One of the attendees of my seminar was their top salesperson. He has been in the business for only a year and a half, but was selling more than 20 units a month, with a large portion of the sales coming from referrals and business from his database of customers.

The salesperson was showing me his daily plan and the system he was using to produce the success he was achieving. As with most things, it was not rocket science, but rather simple in nature and just required habitual execution. The eye opener was in observing what many of the veteran salespeople were not doing, and the lack of results they were getting as a result of bad habits.

It’s simple to discover the foundations of success. You can break success down into the categories of goals, game plans, execution, review and attitude. All of these items seem to be intertwined. One tends to beget another.

Do you believe in yourself, and do you have faith in your actions? Successful people may have, as the song says, “moments of doubt and pain,” but they still keep believing that they are worthy of success. Successful people take action based upon their beliefs and keep at it.

Try this checklist:

1. Do you have written goals for you and your achievements for the week, month, year, five years and even your life? If not, stop making excuses and sit down and write them out. Your brain is a natural goal-seeking computer, so use it.

2. What is your daily game plan on how you will spend your time? How will you break down your day based upon self-education, practice, customer acquisition/marketing, customer follow up, face-to-face selling time, etc?

3. What are all the ways you market yourself? “Lead generation equals dollar creation.” I had expressed in my seminar that all salespeople should have refrigerator magnet business cards and personality-based business cards with pictures or caricatures, call-to-action information utilizing both sides and different ways to enter your marketing web, such as your own Website, social media sties, etc. All cards should also offer something informational for free. The top salesperson had already created the business card tools and was using them to get results. “One” is a horrible number in sales; if you rely on one method to acquire customers, you will experience uneven to bad results.

4. What are your personality-driven methods to follow up and engage with customers? The top salesperson was using a software program to follow up sequentially with all sold customers prospects, unsold customers and referrals. He had a game plan and executed. The top salesperson is a not young man born in the computer age and has no outstanding technical skills, and yet has set up his own CRM system that benefits him. He is open to using any and all technology that benefits him. I showed him a simple but robust e-mail system to add to his plan and he immediately invested in it and began a plan to use it.

5. As noted above, the salesperson was immediately willing to invest in his education, tools and anything else that would advance him. The universe will not move towards you until you move towards it. In any economy, the single best investment you will ever make is in yourself. Successful people practice this habitually and unsuccessful people make excuses, such as “I cannot afford it.” The reality is that you cannot afford not to. Successful people never say they cannot afford; instead, they ask “How can I afford…” and find the answer.

There is a Hindu Proverb that says “Pray, but move your feet.”

6. Have faith, but be willing to adjust. You cannot quit taking action because you did not get results in a week or a month. Persistent equals consistent. However, you must monitor and measure everything and adjust accordingly. Do not quit, but adjust.

7. Be aware of the intentional congruence when you add goal setting, game plans, actions, reviews and attitude together. One feeds the other. When you set goals and seek them habitually, you will have a better attitude. More options will reveal themselves and allow you to review what you do and how you do to become better. The more results you get, the more you want to quantify and qualify your actions. Action begets more action, and good habits create good attitudes that create success. Everything is intertwined and dependent upon another.

There is an old saying that I call the “Tree of Success.” Thoughts lead to words and words lead to actions. Actions create habits and habits create results. Results shape your character and character creates your destiny. Examine this daily to create your habits of success.

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The Death of Traditional Salespeople - Part 3

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

How would you rate the skill sets of the sales staff at your dealership? Let’s review a few of those skill sets:

Phone skills — taking inbound calls and making outbound calls

Follow-up skills — Following up sold and unsold customers with an organized game plan utilizing multiple streams of follow-up methods

Marketing — Utilizing a planned and sequenced marketing campaign utilizing multiple media methods for low- to no cost self-marketing and prospecting

Action Management — Otherwise known as “time management”; a well-thought out and executed game plan for a daily, weekly and monthly action plan

Self-Education — A well-planned and executed game plan for self-education based upon increasing sales skills, people skills, life skills and marketing skills

Closing skills — The ability to bring all the work done with the customer, the relationships and value created to a purchase decision

Over the years, I have been in thousands of dealerships and know that the answers to the above questions for the vast majority of dealerships are a lot poorer than any of us would like to admit. If you are a manager or dealer, my question to you is the following:

If you have been trying unsuccessfully for many years to raise the skill levels on the above areas, what will change or make a difference in the future? If you keep banging your head against a wall and all you get is a bloody headache, then wouldn’t it make sense to try something different?

One of two things will have to change. Either you must spend the time, effort and resources necessary to recruit, hire, train and retain the right type of quality people, or you must devise a new sales process that alleviates most, if not all, of the above responsibilities from your sales staff. There is a much greater chance that you can hire and teach salespeople to execute a few things really well rather than expecting your sales representatives to execute a whole range of responsibilities at a high level.

Some of you may read this and say that I want you to just give up on salespeople and for some of you that is partially true. If you will not spend a tremendous amount of time and resources on recruiting the right people, then don’t bother in expecting better results. It’s ridiculous. What do you presently have in writing that you implement on a regular basis for a recruiting, interviewing, testing and training program for your dealership? My guess is five percent of dealerships have anything. If that is the case for your dealership, once again I must ask, “What do you expect?” If you say you want a good sales staff that performs necessary sales functions at a high professional level and you spend zero thought, time and resources towards getting good people that even have a capacity to perform these functions, then you will get what you pay for.

If you have determined that you cannot get high-quality people or do not want to spend the resources necessary to get the top quality people, then I do not find shame in creating a limited sales process with limited functions for your sales staff to ensure a high probability of success. My hope is that you chose some plan of massive action rather than keep doing the same thing and expecting a miracle. Hoping and praying alone does not seem to work. To paraphrase a quote, “Pray, but move your feet.”

To receive my articles and FREE special report on Death of Traditional Salespeople, contact me at info@tewart.com with “Death of Traditional Salespeople” in the subject line.

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The Death of the Tradional Dealership: Part 4

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Everyone talks about change, but few people embrace it. Change is growth, and growth is positive and unavoidable. If you don’t change, the world will change without you and leave you behind. In business today, change is occurring at a rapid pace and is causing the death of traditional salespeople as we know them.

In the age-old process of selling, the emphasis has been on a linear “road to the sale” process. Step One leads to Step Two and so on. The Internet information age has made the traditional road to the sale obsolete. Your customer today may be on Step Three or Four from the beginning, instead of the traditional Step One. Traditional salespeople try to force the customer through a funnel no matter what the customer says or feels. Today, flexibility and understanding in the sales process is the key.

The traditional sales process talked about features and benefits. If you are selling just features and benefits today, you are at a strong disadvantage. It’s simply not enough. You must communicate features, benefits and value wrapped up in a story and shared through an experience. People want to be involved and, when they are, it strengthens their commitment. Traditional selling is something that is done to someone and modern selling is something that is experienced with the help of a communicator/ facilitator/problem solver.

In the traditional sales process, price is never mentioned until the feature-benefit presentation has been made. Price is avoided and evaded. In today’s market, you cannot ignore the issue of price; instead, you must address it up front to eliminate the fear and establish trust. By addressing price, you will move the customer past price apprehension and eliminate the fight caused by avoiding and evading. This does not mean you have to be a quote machine, but it does mean that you cannot be afraid to discuss the issue of price to move past it.

In the traditional road to the sale, you would address the customer’s trade-in at the time of the appraisal because it’s part of the pricing structure and, therefore, part of the negotiations and a potential objection. In the modern sales process, you recognize the trade-in as being a major comfort zone of the customer and a great tool to build rapport and find out the customers patterns of buying. You will now address the trade-in willingly up front in the process. People repeat buying behavior whether it’s in person or on the Internet. The Internet is just another medium used in the process and customers emulate offline and online behaviors and patterns.

In the traditional road to the sale, customers are asked to make a buying commitment before they are given figures. Imagine scaring your customers so much before you gave them figures that you created a fear about buying. That’s exactly what often happens in a traditional sales process. If you want to commit a customer, do so throughout the sales process in small commitments, based upon the process and the value of the product and their satisfaction. Get continual agreements about the two things all customers care about today — time and money. All people want to save time and money. Use these keywords throughout the whole sales process and get agreement about how everything you are sharing with them, everything they are experiencing and the manner in which you are doing it is creating opportunities for them to save time and money. Perception becomes reality. Frame the perceptions and thoughts and you will frame the basis of the customer’s decision all without making them commit to a buying decision too early in the sale process when they don’t have enough information. This old school form of commitment is just “If I could would you…” run amok.

Utilize as many modalities of learning as possible with your customer. Allow people to see, hear, feel and experience. Old school selling was dominated by telling things to customers and making verbally dominated presentations. The problem is that many of your customers are not auditory learners. The popular method of selling in the past has not matched the way a customer tends to learn and absorb information in a comfortable way. Through proper questioning, you can easily define a person’s dominant mode of learning and weave in the other modalities to put the customers buying experience on steroids. Utilize video, audio and experiential steps in the buying process and your customers will begin to feel what I call the “Disneyland Effect.” Create sensory amazement with your customer.

Your customer should never be able to walk away from the buying experience they have with you and compare it to any other salesperson. The traditional salesperson tried to find the right car, information and price for the customer and hoped he got the sale. Today, the customer can get those things anywhere and never leave the house to get it. Your marketplace demands more. Start to reevaluate your sales process by thinking of the following questions:

• What are other salespeople not doing?

• What would be the opposite of what other salespeople do?

• What do customers want, and in what way do they want it?

• What would make you stand out from anyone else?

• What parts of traditional selling should be tweaked, changed or removed altogether to create an easier, better buying experience?

• What is the customer’s biggest fear and how do I remove it?

• What do I have the most fear about eliminating or changing in my sales process and why?

Usually the biggest rewards are in attacking the areas we fear the most. The things we tend to hold as the strongest foundations and that would absolutely be unthinkable to change are the very things that tend to lead to the biggest breakthroughs. Traditional selling is dead and that is a good thing. Ten years from now, the breakthroughs of today will be obsolete. The question for you is, will you be obsolete?

Bridging the Sales Gap in the Internet Process

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

It seems like every week there is a new digital or Internet conference. Information is flowing and being digested at a pace never seen before in history. To go along with all the new information, there seems to be matching software, programs and gadgets that are supposed to streamline, make sense of and monetize all the information and change. Unfortunately, none of those programs or gadgets is the real answer to making money in today’s marketplace.

Every one of those new software programs and gadgets may be fantastic in their own right, but it’s how people use them in an effective process that makes the difference. More money has been wasted in the auto business on whizbang shiny new bullets than could ever be imagined. Magic bullet fixes leave big fat holes. You can pour big buckets of money into those holes and never sell one more car.

Don’t blame the gadgets or the vendors who sold them to you when they do not work. Go back to the basics of business, which are always the 4 P’s: People, Process, Product (inventory) and Positioning (advertising and marketing). Without the right mix of all of those 4 P’s, the best magic bullets will never work. The reason is that there is no such thing as a magic bullet.

When you are getting excited about magic bullets, ask yourself if you have the people and processes to make them work. I remember the professor in the first computer programming class I had taken saying always think manually first. Here was a professor with a doctorate from one of the most advanced universities in the world telling his students that a computer program does not necessarily improve or make better a strong manual system. Huh?

His teaching points were, first of all, to not forget that it is always “garbage in and garbage out.” Secondly, always think through the program manually first and see what you are trying to accomplish. Hands down, those simple points were some of the best learning moments from my college days.

Always think through the manual application of any new program first and how the people applying the program will do so. Answer the “who, what, when, where and why” questions. In other words, do not get so emotional about new gadgets that you lose track of what you are trying to accomplish.

In the car business, there is currently a huge disconnect between the new gadgets and the overall sales process. Always create visual flow charts that show all processes, connections and details from A to Z. New school without old school equals stupid. Don’t waste your money and buy shiny new objects that promise the moon without going over the complete integration of the tool.

The traditional road to the sale is forever changed. It’s way past time for every dealer to revisit and rework that road to the sale so that it is tailored for and fits his or her dealership. Do you have a routing process for everything and everyone in your dealership? Do you have black and white procedures? Black and white procedures are just that; they are black or white, but they are never grey. You do not ever deviate from these policies, procedures and functions. No exceptions and no excuses.

There are a ton of dealerships that have become a hodgepodge of programs and shiny objects, combined with no written or communicated procedures or expectations for those who are to use them, oversee them and why. The results always are always the same: The dealership experiences expense creep while the staff becomes disillusioned and eventually works around all the shiny objects and toys. All the while, the dealer wonders what happened to the new magic bullet and his sure-fire increase in sales and profits.

To receive my free special report “Bridging the Sales Gap”, e-mail me at info@tewart.com with Bridging the Gap in the subject line.
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Building Your Business

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Have you made the commitment that automotive sales is your career choice? Unless you commit, it’s impossible that you will take the necessary steps to create the business you desire. Long-term thinking in addition to short-term goals are keys to continued success.

When you first enter into a sales position, 80 percent of your time is spent acquiring customers and 20 percent of your time is spent maintaining those customers. Eventually, with the right efforts, that model should be reversed. Eighty percent of your time should be spent maintaining your customers and 20 percent to acquire new customers.

You face a paradox of time management in building your business. The paradox is that you must work in the business and also work on the business. When you are face-to-face with customers you are working in the business but no matter how busy you are, you must find time each day to work on the business, as well. Working on the business includes marketing, prospecting, follow-up, networking, delegating, automating etc.

Insurance sales people, real estate sales people and sales people from many industries continually think and act on building their business. However, in the auto industry the majority of sales people seem addicted walk-in traffic. Eliminating this addiction is the key to long-term success.

Lead Generation = Dollar Creation. Begin to build multiple streams of leads by building a marketing web. List every way you presently acquire leads such as walk-ins, phone prospects, be-backs, referrals, repeat customers. Then begin to list new ways you could begin to acquire leads and how you can strengthen or add to your existing methods of generating leads.

Do you presently have a software program for following and managing your leads? Not the dealerships program, your program? Don’t trust anybody or anything to manage your most important resource – your customers.

Secondly, do you have a set follow up strategy? How often will you follow up? How will you follow up. What rewards will you give, and what special offers will you provide to bring them in for service? That creates the Law of Familiarity and Obligation leading to repeats and referrals.

E-mail follow-up and marketing is essential. Automate your follow-up using technology. E-mail, Autoresponder e-mail and Sequential Autoresponder e-mail are all ways to follow-up and add value that can be done while you sleep or on vacation. Video e-mail and personalization are keys to making a connection, removing the impersonal nature of e-mail and adding the wow factor.

All sales people need their own personal Web site. The site should include sign-up forms that collect e-mail addresses. The site should be personalized with your picture, family picture, your own personal story, rewards for visiting the site and helpful information for the customer. Your Web site should include an audio introduction link.

Do your business cards look like 99 percent of others sales people’s business cards? Don’t use a picture of a car, use your picture or caricature. Business cards also need the sales person’s Web site, e-mail address and slogan. Put a call to action on your cards for the customer to come see you, call you or visit your Web site.

Maximize traffic by creating a be-back CD. Create a CD that you give each customer who does not buy and invite them to play it on the way home. The CD should include information about you, your dealership and product that would benefit the customer. Include testimonials and a reward for the customer if they come see you.

Create coupon swaps with businesses around you. Visit a local restaurant and offer to build their business on their worst traffic day of the week for free. You can build their business by creating a coupon with an offer they approve and then pass these coupons out at work from the cashier, receptionist, and all departments to every customer who enters your dealership. In return ask that the restaurant pass out coupons from you approved by the dealership with a special offer to come see you.

Once you start the marketing web it will grow and take on a life of its own. Building a business first requires long-term thinking and a commitment to the industry as a career. When you commit, you have already created a business, only its shape is unfinished.

Change More Than The Calendar

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

The last quarter of the year rolls around and you begin to hear some common refrains:

· “We are waiting until the first of the year”

· “Starting in January I am going to…”

· “We have to wait until spring when business picks up”

· “The first of the year I am really going to get into it.”

Here’s the reality for most people who make these statements: The calendar is the only thing that changes.

If you are waiting for the calendar to change your life or your business, you are kidding yourself. My own observation is that these false start dates are nothing more than excuses and actual obstacles to not face reality and take action. No matter your intentions, I think everyone has been guilty of false statements at some time.

Words are cheap. A U.S. General once said, “Every year I pay less attention to what people say and more to what they do.” Action is always where the rubber meets the road. However, actions are preceded by proper thoughts and beliefs. Just because a person says they are going to do something does not mean that their brain buys into the idea.

When you make a statement, you are consciously choosing to do so. The problem begins when your subconscious does not match up to the conscious choice. If your subconscious does not have any evidence to support your statements, the subconscious immediately begins to sabotage your thoughts. This is precisely why traditional goal setting and New Years Eve resolutions fail.

I have heard many times that in setting goals they must be believable to work. You can hear the “believable goals” mantra and interpret this to mean you need to pick a safe goal. Safe goals rarely inspire you to action. Safe goals are easy to say but they don’t fill enough emotional needs. Behind all realized goals are strong emotions that were on fire to be realized.

First of all, you have to set inspiring goals that create emotions inside you. Otherwise all you are doing is writing out a To-Do list. When was the last time you were “geeked” by your To-Do list? Stop listening to everyone’s “10 steps” and “10 rules” to everything and the “Dummy’s Guide to Goal Setting” and start living by your rules. It’s your life, your goals, your emotions and your rewards if you reach your goals. You make the rules. Go for as large a goal as you desire.

Secondly, start giving your subconscious all the evidence it needs to start believing. You may write your goal 100 times a day. You may write your goal and put on your bathroom mirror and say the goal aloud 10 times every morning. You may find 10 people who have reached your goal and reach out to interview them on what they did. You may close your eyes and visualize yourself at the moment you reach the goal and see it in vivid colors, feel the feeling as strongly as you can feel.

No matter what goal you choose, you have to take some kind action. Take a step, no matter how small, and then set in stone your next action and action date. The next action should be soon. The next hour or the next day would be best. Don’t make the next action step too long after the first, or leave it to chance that you will take your next step.

The dirty little secret to reaching any and every goal is that most goals are made up of small, boring, mundane steps that lead to your success. We live in an instant gratification society - “8-Minute Abs,” “Lose 10 Pounds in One Week,” “Lose Six Inches in One Week,” and so on. Those ads are all brilliant marketing strategies, because they promise instant results. The headline of “Lots of sweaty exercise and eating tons of vegetables will help you lose weight this year” would not get a lot of response. The general public would say they hate hype but the truth is most people love hype. People love HOPE - the easier the better.

Don’t wait for a calendar to change your life or your business. Usually the only thing that changes is the calendar.

Getting To The Next Level: Part 2

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Last month, we took a look at programming your subconscious to be the best supercomputer you’ll ever need to achieve success. This month, let’s take a look at some other ways to survive and thrive in your situation, and find the joy in your career and life.

First, you must quantify to qualify. You have to get a handle on what you are currently doing, and be honest. I have consulted with thousands of businesses over the years. I have found few, who are currently unsuccessful, willing at first to be honest about the reasons for their lack of success. There are almost always tons of excuses and a shocking lack of self-awareness.

Have you ever watched the reality TV shows about unsuccessful restaurants, bars, hotels, etc? You will notice it’s always the same elements in their lack of success. It also does not take a genius to discover it and fix it, but it does take self-awareness and honesty.

Self-awareness and personal responsibility are cornerstones in creating success or moving to another level. Programming your autopilot with successful habits is essential to success. Be ruthless with your time, because you cannot get it back.

Another cornerstone of success and goal attainment is to utilize what I call the “Polarization Effect.” This has taken me decades to truly understand and something I must be mindful of every day to experience ultimate success. Ultimate success is not only measured by the goal attainment, but in also truly enjoying and breathing in all that you have while you go for what you want.

Let me be more specific. Pain can be a tremendous motivator. Pain in your current position can move you towards getting what you want. You may have great pain about your income, financial position, weight, relationships, etc. This pain leads you to a defining moment. To quote the line from the movie Network, “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore.”

Some people may use this pain to motivate them for the rest of their lives. However, true joy and success comes from not only using this motivation to drive you, but also taking a deep breath every day as you drive yourself and realizing the joy you are receiving from the doing.

Attainment of goals without the enjoyment of doing is hollow. In this case, nothing can be good enough and no goal, no matter how big, can fulfill you. Begin to truly enjoy the moments of what you do. Strive to find absolute amazement and wonder in excellence.

Recently, I went to a concert featuring The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Little Feat and Delbert McClinton. I have been listening to their music and watching these performers for decades. I watched in awe at the magnitude of their skill. These performers are better now than ever. Their passion was evident. I have also sat and watched a man shine shoes for 20 minutes and found myself amazed at his skill, communication and passion.

To be an expert and to be truly amazing at anything takes passion and dedication. Every day, look for examples of that passion and dedication in others and in you. Although it takes honesty about what you are doing right, it takes grace to give you and others credit for what you are doing right. Recognize and enjoy the performances.

There is a scene in the movie The Hustler with Paul Newman where Newman’s character, Fast Eddie Felson, is grousing about being a loser in life, but also talking about how he feels when he has a pool cue in his hands and his feeling of something truly amazing. His girlfriend in the movie, Piper Laurie, passionately tells him that most people go through life and never feel that kind of passion or excellence, and that he is anything but a loser.

Just remember, on the days that are not easy and the days you feel down on yourself, you are excellent and that you experience passion like few ever experience.

Go to work on seeing, doing and feeling that excellence as much as you possibly can. When you utilize the pain to motivate and the passion and feelings of excellence to saturate, then you are using my “Polarization Effect” to the fullest. You are using polar opposites in a way to maximize your skills, time, energies and enjoyment. The good news is that it does not take more effort to get to the next level. It is just a different type of effort and awareness.