Monday, August 31, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 19 - The Value of a Name

Tonight's post is going to be short and sweet.  It's actually quite funny that I chose this topic last night as I was laying in bed and I'll tell you why.  

Today I had a conference call with an awesome young man named Eric Papp, a Generation Y Speaking Professional.  Near the end of the call, he was telling me about this one article he wrote about the The Value of a Name...and I couldn't help but laugh from the irony.

The point is, I am not the only one that realizes The Value of a Name, and Eric isn't either. Dale Carnegie actually dedicates an entire section in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, to this type of thinking.  On a side note, this is an AWESOME book and I would highly recommend anyone who hasn't read it to read it!

Anyways, the point is simple:
  • A name uniquely identifies that specific person
  • People take pride in their name!
  • People don't hear their name enough!
  • People typically only hear their name when they do something wrong...I know I can recall many times when I did something bad and I knew it when I heard "JEFFREYYYYYY!!!!" I bet you can too!
  • When you say a person's name it shows that you are recognizing them, and only them
  • It makes people feel significant!  What would you rather hear..."hey you..." or your name?
  • If it is someone who you have met before, it shows that they they are significant to you
  • AND the list goes on and on...
Here are some tips to capture The Value of a Name:
  • Strive to remember the names of people you meet!
  • Call your customer service representative by their name (waiter/waitress, flight attendant, bellman, front desk attendant, etc.)
  • Make an effort to not only call your customers by name every time you see them, speak to them, and interact with them but also to remember it!
  • If you don't know how to pronounce someone's name, either ask them, or practice pronouncing it correctly!  It is likely that their name is mispronounced frequently, so use that to your advantage.  (Read How to Win Friends and Influence People for an awesome story about how pronouncing a buyer's name correctly caused a huge sale to be closed)
Using someone's name, and remember it is one sure way to be remembered and is a great way of making new friends!  Don't believe me?

Hear it from the mouth of Dale Carnegie himself: 

"If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them. If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment; you indicate that I have made an impression on you. Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance." AND

"Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 18 - Disciplined Time Management

To make better and more productive use of my time, I recently implemented a new system of Disciplined Time Management.  

This time management system empowers you to: 
  • Use planning to map out your daily and weekly courses of action
  • Prioritize the most important tasks to get them done
  • Use active procrastination to delegate and put off lower value tasks
  • Track how productive you actually were vs. how productive you wanted to be
  • Have the self-discipline to hold yourself accountable to your desired results by pre-planning your days and evaluating your results
I didn't invent this system, I implemented it thanks to Michael Janke's book, Take Control, and tweaked his system to work in my life.  This is not the only system out there, but use it as a guideline if you want to see huge results and leaps in productivity.

Here is how it works:
  1. You must first commit to having a Disciplined Time Management system.
  2. You then buy a notebook as your planner *Michael recommends that you personalize it* I wrote out my best contacts, my mission statement, my goals, and how I will achieve them to personalize mine.
  3. Every Sunday you plan your week.  At the top of the weekly page, you write "Week of..." for example mine for this week says "Week of August 23rd-29th."  You now make one big box and divide it into four areas.  *Michael suggests - Work, Home, Personal, Life-goals* (personalize these 4 as needed).  Mine are Work, Magazine, Personal, & Life-goals.  Under each of these, you write out the tasks that you need to/would like to accomplish throughout the week.  As the week goes on, you fill them into the day you wish to complete them and cross them off as you complete them.
  4. Every night, you plan for the next day. Write the date of the next day at the top of the page and on each line, you draw a box and write out the task that you need to/would like to accomplish.  After you have written everything out, you want to create a course of action for each task. For example, yesterday my first task was "Interview Dave Mirra for the Collegiate Performance Magazine."  My course of action was "wake up at 7:00 am, brush your teeth, put on your suit, eat a healthy breakfast, do some pre-call planning, and call Dave at 8:00 am."
  5. Prioritize your daily activities.  I use the letter system Michael suggests in Take Control and Brian Tracy recommends in Eat That Frog: A=Top priority, B=Important, but not an A, C=Would be nice, but not crucial, D=Delegate or delay, E=Eliminate.  After prioritizing, complete your activities and cross off the boxes as they are done, starting with the A's and working your way down (make sure to cross them off the weekly planner as well).  After you complete each day, fold the corner of the page (don't fold the weekly planner) to mark your place.
  6. Evaluate your productivity each evening and at the end of each week.  This will help you to learn to focus on the highest priority activities and help to better prioritize in the future to bridge the gap between how productive you want to be and how productive you are.
  7. Have the self-discipline to keep up the habit every night!  If you can do this, you will find that this system will yield higher levels or productivity and huge results.  Remember though, it is only as good as you make it!
This is one of the tools that I have armed myself with.  This system of Disciplined Time Management works for me because I made the commitment to becoming more productive so I can achieve more DAILY to accomplish my life-goals.

In order for this system to work for you, you need to follow up with it and do a little every day.  There is a reason I have blogged about all of these things...success is a combination of many things and when used in synergy will yield MASSIVE RESULTS.

I use this Disciplined Time Management System to increase my productivity and improve my focus on the most important daily activities so I can achieve my goals in life.  How do you ensure you achieve your goals?

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 17 - Patience IS a Virtue!

As you may have already noticed, most of my blog posts are inspired by real life events and this one is no different.

Every evening I go to the gym and last night, I happened to go the gym here in Tulsa, OK when they were filming the TV show "The Biggest Loser."

I am not sure if I mentioned this on the blog yet, but I am writing a TV show that I am going to be pitching to several networks in Hollywood, CA in the near future.  The reason I tell you this (or reiterate this) is because I found out that NBC flew out from Hollywood, CA to film this show on this particular night.

Me being the outgoing guy I am, I walked up to one of the network employees, introduced myself to the gentleman named Marcus, and started talking with him.  I mentioned that I am writing a TV show that I plan to pitch out in CA and that NBC was one of the networks I was particularly interested in speaking with.  He pointed out the producer to me, who was busy filming the show, and I told Marcus I'd like an introduction to him, which he said could be done.  I also asked him for one of his business cards, but he pointed to a bag where they were shooting, saying that is where they are.

I finished my workout and waited around for about ten minutes to try and speak with the producer but they continued to film the show.  I asked Marcus how long they would be and he said maybe fifteen minutes or so.  Since I had about fifteen minutes, or so I thought, I went into the locker room to shower and change.

When I walked out of the locker room with determination to meet the producer of the show and exchange business cards, I noticed to my dismay that they had already finished filming, packed up, and left.

The moral of this story is that Patience IS a Virtue!

From now on, whenever there is something I want, or someone I want to meet, I will wait patiently in plain site until it is the opportune moment!  I let this one opportunity slip through the cracks, and I sure won't let it happen again.

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 16 - Follow-up!

This blog post comes with good reason, as you will soon see.

Before I get into the reason, let’s dive into the book definition of follow-up.

  1. A continuation or repetition of something that has already been started or done
  2. A piece of work that builds on or exploits the success of earlier work

Combining the two definitions, we get what I would describe to be the business definition of follow-up.  Continuing something that has already been started to exploit its success. 

Now let’s analyze this definition in the context of a business opportunity being presented to you.  By initially expressing interest, the potential for you to capitalize on this opportunity begins.  Notice how I underlined the word potential to emphasize that it has the capacity to develop into something, but you need to exploit it!  In order for you to actually take advantage of the opportunity, you need to follow-up on it by:

  • Continuing to express interest
  • Showing how bad you want it AND
  • Being willing to take the steps necessary to make it happen 

I bet you are probably burning to know what my inspiration is for this blog post, so I won’t keep you waiting.  To fully understand what I am about to tell you I have to preface this by telling you the following two things.  First, my goal in life is to help people become successful.  Second, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I am really well connected in the business community. 

When you put the two together, it makes sense that I always offer up my connections to anyone that stands to benefit from them.  Why am I telling you this?  There is a keyword in that statement – I always offer my connections.  Every time I find out someone would benefit from a connection of mine, I hand him or her a business card of mine and say, “send me an e-mail and I will call that person and connect the two of you.”  The shocking part is, as much interest as people have when I tell them I can help them, those who actually follow-up and e-mail me are slim to none. 

The moral of this story is quite simple.  It is one thing to be interested in an opportunity.  It is a whole different story to follow-up on it.  The thing that separates successful people from other people is the act of the follow-up

My business partner, Dr. Jeff Magee, is an International Speaker, the publisher of over 20 business books, 4 of which are best selling novels, a consultant to 36 out of the Fortune100 firms, a business coach, and the publisher of the Performance Magazine – the bottom line is, he is very successful.  The other night, I told him about all the people that I offered to connect with professionals in their field of interest who never followed up with me.  We both got a good laugh at the fact that out of all the people that express interest in contacting us for opportunities, those who actually follow-up are few and far between.  He said something like out of the thousands of people he speaks to who express interest in contacting him, maybe one or two actually follow-up.  What does this tell you? 

I cannot stress this enough…FOLLOW-UP!!  

Follow-up when…

  • You meet someone new
  • Someone tells you about an opportunity
  • After you go on an interview
  • Someone does something nice for you
  • You want to show someone you care
  • Just to get in the habit of Following-up! 

*TIP*  I’ll let you in on a little secret that not enough people do.  Follow-up with a hand written thank you card!  It’s simple, it’s easy, and it makes a statement about who you are.  It doesn’t take much time at all to write out a note, throw a stamp on it, and drop it in the mail and the impression it leaves is priceless.

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 15 - Achieve YOUR Full Potential!

It is certainly funny how life works.  Just the other night while I was in New Orleans, I made friends with Lloyd, the night manager at the hotel I stayed in.  We ended up talking about our goals in life, leading me to tell him about my blog and the Collegiate Performance Magazine.

I told him that my goal is to become a professional speaker, a business coach and consultant, to publish the book I am writing, and to film the reality TV show I am writing.  Likewise, he told me about his goals.  Lloyd was my first inspiration for writing this blog post since we spoke about what was keeping him from reaching his goals or Achieving HIS Full Potential

Life works in miraculous ways.  The second motivation of why it was imperative for me to create this post was revealed to me while driving from New Orleans to Tulsa yesterday as I was listening to podcasts by people I like.  This one in particular by Scott Smith of the Daily Boost called “How to Achieve Your Full Potential,” ironically was exactly about what Lloyd and I had talked about – our own Human Potential.

We all have goals, dreams and aspirations.  In this podcast, Scott speaks on why some are successful in achieving theirs and why others are not.  Those that are not yet successful all have one thing in common – constraints, or things that hold them back.  

To successfully achieve your ultimate goals, dreams and aspirations one must:

  1. Recognize what your constraints are
  2. Remove your constraints so you can move forward
  3. Move forwards to Achieve YOUR Full Potential!

You can achieve anything and everything you set your mind to.  Don’t take it from me; go listen to Scott’s podcast to hear it first hand!  He ends the podcast powerfully by saying - “You have all the potential in the world.  You have some hope that believes you can get there.  You have the faith that it’s within you right?  You have that.  You have the frustration that says you have all this potential. If you can only remove the constraints, your on your way!” 

My constraint was the full-time commitment that my college education demanded of me, which diverted my focus, time, and effort away from growing my business.  On August 8th, I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Marketing and a concentration in Sales eliminating my constraint. 

I am now moving forwards to Achieving MY Full Potential.  There is nothing holding me back.  I have embarked on my journey with my compass pointing me daily towards Achieving MY Full Potential

What is holding you back?

Listen to Scott’s podcast on iTunes called “How to Achieve Your Full Potential!”  Invest in yourself!  Don’t let anything stop you and Achieve YOUR Full Potential!

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 14 - The Time is NOW

This past Saturday my whole life changed when I graduated with my Bachelor's of Science in Marketing and a concentration in Sales.  

Being a full-time student for four straight years, that full-time "job" is now over.  The time is NOW for my entrepreneurial career to take over that slot.  I can now devote my full focus to the growth and success of my future.

After graduation, my plan is to move out West to pursue several different ventures.  Naturally, this means that I have to pack up everything.  As I was packing, I found this little notebook I wrote in after my first Tony Robbins seminar, "Unleash the Power Within" (UPW) when I was 14.

I'll share what is inside the notebook, which inspired me again when I read it, after I share my simple intention for this blog post.

The time is NOW!  The phrase itself says a lot.  If there is ever something in your life you want to do, do it.  If there is ever something in your life you want to achieve, achieve it.  Fix your mind on the goals that drive you, commit to them unreservedly, and you will see results!

Here is a personal example of why the time is NOW:

I was 14 when I went to my first UPW.  There I started networking and learning things that adults 30, 40, and 50 plus years old who saw me there were compelled to run up to me and exclaim, "you don't know how lucky you are to be learning this at your age...I wish I learned this when I was younger."

Being there and being open to learning and trying something new worked out well for me.  I was invited to pioneer the very first Discovery Camp UPW for teens from all around the world. Here I stayed and worked at the University of California, San Diego for 6 days with a group of about 10 kids as the Assistant Trainer to the Anthony Robbins Foundation's Trainer.  Not only did I enjoy working with my group of kids, helping them derive the same meaning out of the seminar as I had, but I was also invited to be one of few assistant trainers at the next Discovery Camp in Orlando.

The power is yours.  Carpe Diem! - "Sieze the Day!"  The reason that the time is NOW is because if not now, when?  Ask yourself what do you want and start working towards it TODAY!

I blog about this because I am passionate about it and I want you to be too.  Join me on my journey towards success!

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

As promised, here are some notes from my notebook:

Communication is 7% the words you choose, 38% your tone of voice, & 55% your physiology.

On focus and belief:
  1. What you focus on you find
  2. What you focus on seems real
  3. What you focus on grows
  4. What you focus on you become
  • "A winner never never quits and a quitter never wins"
  • "With great power comes great responsibility"
  • "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope for a better past"
  • "The only thing that's keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling"
  • "Life will pay whatever price you ask of it"

Notes on Incantations:
Incantation - A phrase said repeatedly to reach a result
Ex. The Little Engine That Could - "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."

Notes on Asking/Receiving:
  • Give before you receive (to reach their needs)
  • Ask someone who can give
  • Ask specifically
  • Ask until you get it by changing your approach
  • Ask with certainty

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 13 - Success is Paid in Advance

One of my mentors, Dr. Jeff Magee, gave me some wise advice not long ago. He said, "Success is Paid in Advance."

As I make the transition this Saturday from college student to full time business professional, this piece of advice has never resonated more strongly...allow me to share with you why.

I am an ambitious young professional with many goals in sight. My goal is to help others become successful through business coaching, consulting, writing, speaking and more. You may be wondering, "how is a 21 year old recent college graduate going to achieve these grandiose goals?"

It is this very question that inspired me to write this blog post entitled "Success is Paid in Advance."

The answer to that question in my mind is simple. I do not plan on becoming any one of these things overnight. I am aware that success is paid in advance, thus I am prepared for the long journey and hard work ahead of me.

Success is a journey of self-discovery. It is crucial to realize this to prepare yourself to work harder then you ever have before, longer hours then you ever have before, and to pay your dues for the sake of learning and experience.

As we near graduation and eventually graduate, we all experience the same streams of thoughts flowing through our minds. Most of these thoughts surround the question, "what am I going to do now?" This is the moment we have been working towards our entire lives! Many expect to graduate and get a job paying a nice salary...but largely, this is not the case. Don't be discouraged if you are not one of those few! Remember that determination, commitment, consistency, passion, a desire to succeed, positivity and hard work are what breeds success.

The take away from this lesson is this:

On our journey for success, we all need to...
  1. Decide what it is that you want to do/become
  2. Write down the goals and steps you must achieve to get there
  3. Commit yourself unreservedly to attaining these goals
  4. Prepare for the journey ahead of you...remember "Success is Paid in Advance!"
  5. Be willing to work hard and give it your all
  6. Stay Positive and HAVE FUN!!!
One of the best ways to stay on top of your goals is to lock onto your target. Once you write down the goals you must achieve to get there, create a daily action plan of actions and do a little every day! Please view my blog post entitled "The Power of Doing A Little Everyday" to see why this works so well!

Questions? Comments? Please blog with me!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 12 - Get "It" Done!

As I type this blog post, this topic is one that is painfully relevant.  Since my last post, I have been jotting down ideas for my future posts. There was, however, one missing element.  I never took the time to actually sit down and Get "It" Done.

When I look at the phrase "Get "It" Done," I see two distinct definitions:

Get "It" Done-
  1. Taking the necessary action (and time) to see "it" through
  2. Doing everything within your power to ensure you accomplish whatever "it" is you need
We all practice definition #1 in our lives as we accomplish our goals and objectives.  It is definition #2 that I strive to achieve in my daily life.  

For this definition to hold true, you must recognize where your individual locus of control falls.  We are all accountable for our own actions.  Likewise, we all have the potential to do everything we dream of.  In order to achieve our dreams and goals, you need to be willing to take your life into your own hands, taking accountability for the things that you really want.

locus of control- One's belief about what causes the good and bad results in their life
  • External - The degree to which you associate your fate, fortune, failures (and successes) to external factors as opposed to internal factors.  [Ex. Blaming tardiness on bad traffic (traffic being the external factor)]
  • Internal - The degree to which you associate your fate, fortune, failure (and successes) to internal factors as opposed to external factors [Ex. Taking accountability for the poor grade you received on an exam for not studying harder (you not putting forth enough effort to study being the internal factor)]
*TIP* - Develop a winning attitude and an internal locus of control!  Together, this will allow you to hold yourself accountable for your results (positive or negative), ultimately achieving greater levels of success.

Here is a real life example that I find amusing of how to take control of your life and Get "It" Done!  As of a couple weeks ago, I had only a few weeks left of one Marketing Strategies class until I graduate with a Bachelor's of Science in Marketing and a concentration in Sales.  All that I needed to do was pass the class with a C or higher.  This week in particular, I had an extra case of "Senior-itis."  Instead of studying or reading the Harvard Case for the exam, I only skimmed through it once.  When I got my grade, the result, of a 68% on the exam, I knew precisely what internal factor caused this.  I realized that in just a few short weeks if I didn't get a C or better in the class I would not graduate.  I knew what I had to do...take control and Get "It" Done!  What did I do?  I prepared extensively for the next test by reading the Harvard Case several times, highlighting the important information, and talking about the case until I was confident I knew the material.  The result - I was the only person in the entire class to get a perfect score on the test, so the professor gave me 107%.  Today, I have a 98% average in the class and will graduate with the Dean's List Honors.

The moral of the story is simple.  I was not happy with my result - the 68%.  The "it" that needed to get done - graduate!  My locus of control - Internal, since I knew my lack of preparation was the cause.  What I did - own up to my mistake, laugh about it, and buckle down to do everything in my power to ensure that I graduate.

This is no secret.  Like Nike says..."Just do it."  Take control, do what you've gotta do, and Get "It" Done!

Do you procrastinate?  We all do...learn how to use active procrastination to get done what you need to, and put off the things that are not so important in Eat That Frog!

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!