Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On The Road Again

In Albuquerque on a sales call today.  Super excited, but also a little nervous.  No matter how many presentations I do I am always a little nervous to start out.  Once I start presenting though, my mind is focused and everything else is forgotten.

Monday, May 23, 2011

How Do You Start Your Monday?


This is how this woman's Monday went.  

Got up 10 minutes late due to staying up and watching the last few minutes of the late news the night before.  Checked her Blackberry and saw she had 5 emails already, one of which was a customer saying that they are going to buy from another vendor.  She then put on casual clothes forgetting that she was going to be seeing an important client later in the day due to her frustration about losing her sale.  She skipped breakfast but grabbed a cup of coffee due to getting up late.  Got in her car and turned on the radio just in time to hear that the stock market was down, and that the unemployment rate had ticked up another point.  During the drive someone cut her off, which she responded in frustration by honking at the person.  3/4 of the way through her drive she remembered that she had the important client meeting that she was not dressed for.  She pulls into the parking lot of her office twenty minutes late, and someone is in her usual spot which means that she has to park in the back and take another 10 minutes to walk to the building.  She sits down at her desk and immediately starts answering the emails she has received which are now numbered in the thirties.  She gets a phone call from a colleague who asks her if she is coming to the meeting which she forgot about due to running late.  In the meeting she can't concentrate because she is thinking about the client she lost, the meeting she is not dressed for, and her stomach is starting to rumble due to not eating anything for breakfast.  The meeting finally ends and she has just enough time to run back home and get changed for her customer meeting.  She makes the meeting on time, but in a rush to get back home and change, forgot her questions she had prepared for the meeting.  The meeting goes ok but the customer says they don't have any money for new projects this year due to the economy.  She checks her calendar and sees her boss had scheduled a meeting this morning for later in the afternoon. She rushes back to the office late for the meeting.  The meeting with her boss was to discuss the client she lost this morning and what could have been done differently.  The meeting ends and she goes back to her desk exhausted and now has a headache because she has not eaten anything all day and still has a ton of emails to answer.  The day ends with her driving home and listening to the news that unemployment is still rising, and we might slip back into another recession.

For many people this is a typical Monday or some other day of the week.  Instead of planning our day the night before we let other things distract us from what is truly important in our lives.  A simple 20 minutes of preparation in the evening or in the morning can help to set up the type of day or even week we will have.  Here are some things I find helpful so all of my days start out right.  I say start out right because there will always be things thrown into our plans that make us have to adjust throughout the day, but starting our day can almost always be the same.

1.  When you first wake up stretch or do some type of exercise like jumping jacks, pushups, or simply running in place for a few minutes or more.  This will get your blood flowing and help to shake off the cobwebs an over night sleep brings.

2.  Shower, shave, comb, makeup, primp, and get fully dressed before coming out of your bedroom.  This will ensure that you will not have to do any of these things in your car which can make your drive feel stressful and rushed.

3.  Read something that is inspirational, or a book that is uplifting, or something new you are wanting to learn.  For me it is the Bible and prayer for my day.  This should not be the morning paper or the news headlines on the internet.  By reading something that is uplifting you get your mind in a condition of confidence to take on your day.

4.  Eat a good breakfast.  Remember when your mom told you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day?  Well momma is always right and especially here.  Your body has been fasting for 6-8 hours or more while you have been sleeping and needs nutrition to help jump start your day.

5.  Sit down and go over your calendar for the day/week and make some goals on what you want to accomplish for the week (If it is Monday) or day.  This will help you get laser focused on what you need to accomplish and prepare you mentally for what is to come.

6.  Lastly, while driving to work listen to something that is uplifting or educational on your drive in.  The radio programs that are on in your car are not going to help you have any better of a day if you listen to them.  In the case of the woman above it made her feel stressed and demotivated.  There are tons of free podcasts, audio books, or sermons that will help you develop a great attitude going into work, and you might learn something on the way.

When you get to work you are now prepared to take on that customer email that says you lost the sale.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Helpful Tool To Increase Your Income

Besides robbing a bank, the fastest (and legal) way to pay down debt is to raise your income.  I know what you are saying to yourself.  Dos, thanks for the tip.  Your wisdom is like that of Solomon.  I realize there is a recession going on (allegedley) but what does that have to do with you and improving your situation financially?  One of my mentors Darren Hardy once told me that formal education (school) would make you a living, but self education will make you wealthy.  We are seeing this scenario being played out every day right now.  People are scrambling to go back to school but the problem is everyone is doing it.  There is a heap of over educated people flooding the market that all learned the same stuff, from the same people, at the same places.  Oh thats right, we are supposed to be talking about increasing your income.  By self educating every day you will increase your income!  I know you think you don't have time because this is what I said as well.  But, you do have time, you just have to make a choice to start.

  1. Decide what you want to improve on professionally
  2. Go to iTunes which has podcasts and iTunes U, Google, and Amazon and start researching for what  you have decided to improve on.
  3. Cut out an hour of TV watching a day or some other meaningless task.
  4. Wake up 30 minutes earlier.
  5. Listen to podcasts/audio books in your car on your drive to work.

By using the tools you found in step two, you will find more information on the topic you wish to improve on to last you a lifetime.  Take that 120 minutes a day and listen to, read about, and think about how you can put that information into use where you work.  For example, one of the podcasts I listen to is The Advanced Selling Podcast because I want to get better at the act of selling to my customers.  Not only can their show be downloaded for free but the site also has a ton of useful Ebooks and downloads as well.  I have learned to treat every customer like they are my last and only customer - finding out what the customer needs now and five years down the road.  I have gone from someone that is selling to them, to someone that they want to hear input from.  You will be amazed at the way you start to look at challenges in your current place of employment.  These challenges won't look like bad things but instead will start to look like opportunities where you can put your new found undercover knowledge to work (it is undercover because everyone else is getting a formal education).  If you follow the plan everyday, five days a week, by the end of the year you will have studied 31,200 minutes and pretty much become an expert in whatever it is you do.  This expertise will make you stand out and become more valuable within your job or help you to find a new job, or even start your own business.  Become an expert and the money will follow.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

God's Path Is Straight Sin's Path Is Crooked

In teaching my family this morning we learned about the path that God has for us and the path that sin and Satan have for us.

Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.

By trusting God we acknowledge that He is in control and ultimately we will turn to His word (The Bible) for advice and teaching.  What our sinful heart wants is to turn towards our own desires and what we think is right.  The problem with turning inwards for instruction is that our flesh (heart) guides us towards what is pleasing and ultimately sinful.  When I asked my children if turning towards God makes our path straight what does a crooked path look like?  My oldest son who is six says that a crooked path is one of sin.  Bingo son!

We also talked about how the doing of sinful things actually makes us physically ill.  I asked my children what they feel like when they know they have done something that is disobedient.  They let me know that their stomachs hurt.  I let them know that if we are not in God's Word that our hearts become hard toward what truth is (The Bible) and that felling of being sick can actually go away.  By having a hard heart our sinful flesh takes over and ultimately replaces God and we no longer fear Him.  I stressed the importance of being in God's Word daily so that our hearts are filled with what He says to follow and so that feeling of sickness will be intensified when we are not doing what God wants.  That intense feeling of sickness should be used to drive us toward God.  And, if we are walking His path and not ours we will have a refreshing feeling in our body at all times.