Week 15 – Drowning in my DMP

I know this is not a place for excuses. But what happens when a big foundation of your DMP is coming true and sucking every minute out of the day? I’ve spent the last month moving from one place, putting our stuff in storage, cleaning out that place, and at the same time working on the new home to try and get it ready. Only to find out that the new place keeps having construction delays so you are in limbo with your family of 6, squatting at the in-laws?

This addresses the part of my DMP that says we will have a mortgage free home by 2020. Well, the first step was in acquiring a home at a price that would allow that to be possible. It needed a lot of work. And I was willing to give it. After all, I willed it to happen right? It will also be the foundation for what we want to do in the community. Our goal is to have a learning center, in a struggling community, that allows us to teach and tutor and educate people on self-sufficiency. And this is also coming true. Through this house we have connected with many of the people that are going to help make that a reality.

So I do apologize to all for not making it to my Blog on time. I apologize that I haven’t been “on my game” when it comes to posting and tagging and commenting. I thought that was the purpose of this program. To realize our true selves.

So what to do. Continue stretching myself to the point of breaking? Or put down your starter torch for a minute to pick up the one that you were looking for in the first place?

Week 13 + 14 Catching up with the catch-up

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The past month has been a whirlwind. I didn’t really want to write about it here because every time I sit to write, I feel like I’m making excuses. I’ve come from a world where excuses are only just practice in creative BS. I’ve never liked them, and I often have no patience for them. So instead I’m going to celebrate my inability to find the time to blog. You see, one large aspect of my DMP has been coming true. My family and I applied for a redevelopment real estate loan and got it. It is through an excellent program that focuses on redeveloping communities by rebuilding homes and finding neighborhood minded individuals that are willing to “Be a Neighbor” and give back to their community.

A big part of this program is contributing man-hours to the rebuilding of the home. So aside from homeschooling my 3 boys, driving my oldest to her school events, rebuilding a house, packing up our current house, and throw a couple family gatherings in the mix, I just didn’t make the time. Exhaustion played no part in that either mind you.

How this fits into my DMP is the acquiring a home and starting a school part. Feel free to read my “Interview” for more details.  The program gives us a 15 year interest free loan to pay back all initial construction and purchase costs. And the house is big enough to host tutoring events and other assistance programs for the neighborhood. (If anyone is looking for an awesome charity to donate to, check out Fuller Center for Housing)

I’m going to be honest. The last few weeks I’ve felt like I’ve been in the backseat of the car when it comes to this program. But the beauty of it, is that it is still driving down the road. I believe it is in the awesomeness of the leadership and the Mastermind alliance mentality. Even though I cannot give 100% to the exercises or training, I still feel like I’m being pulled down the right path due to the combined energy of the group.

 

Week 12 – if you knew you couldn’t do it wrong, what would you do next?

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Well, thank you Loren for such a great question. At first, it seemed easy. “Exactly what I’m doing now.” I would have said. Because if I wanted to be doing something else, then I would be doing that….Or so I thought. As I re-looked at the question, I really started to think about how many things I haven’t done, because I was afraid I “might get it wrong”. And there were way too many. I passed on speech competitions, auditions, job applications, and even asking a girl out once (good thing I didn’t chicken out forever because we’ve been married for 15 years). I have always found myself somewhat confident in my abilities. Not in a “get out of my way I can do it better” way, but more like, “sure, let’s go after that, what do we have to lose” sort of way. But yet, there were way too many moments that I hesitated…allowing the fear of the unknown to decide the outcome. Because in truth, you have a much better shot at succeeding by actually doing, than by not doing it.

But then I had a look at the question again. It wasn’t about guilt, it was about the future. “What would you do next.” Wow. How unlimiting that question is. What would I do next? If I could know for certain that I would get it right, what would I do next? How about: Fly to the moon, Be President, Act on Broadway, Open a school, Take dance classes with my wife, Be a Senator, Start a Huge Free Fresh Food program, Take my kids on a world wide tour, I’d sail the oceans, Scuba Dive, Walk across the USA, Live in China, Build solar panels, Invest in Stocks, Play Poker in a Vegas Tournament, Get a Book Published, Fly a Plane, Climb a Volcano, Try out a flying squirrel suit,  Visit every Country, Work on a mixed use development, Invest in Start-up Businesses, Learn to speak Spanish & Italian & French & Chinese & Japanese fluently, Write a song, Sing it, Play the piano, Give a Sermon in Church, Play Golf in Scotland, Paint…

And that is just what popped into my head. A couple of these things are in my DMP. Many are not. Most of which I’ve written off because of time/money/ or talent. Now I see why people make “bucket lists”. Over the last 3 mos, my DMP has been taking shape. It helped me focus on the core of my life’s importance. Much of the above is fluff and really not the core of a life’s purpose. Much, would just be fun. And I don’t know that fear has been holding me back in the truest sense. I’m not afraid to travel to China…I’m afraid to spend money that could go towards something more important. I’m not afraid to learn a language, I’m just afraid I don’t have the time. I’m not afraid to fly in a squirrel suit, I’m afraid for my family if something went wrong. I don’t know that fear is always unjustified. But acknowledging it, and never letting it hold you back for fear of the outcome, is certainly worth taking note of.

One thing I’ve always told my kids that might address this question even better than I’ve done so far is this: When faced with two big choices, pick the one you will regret most NOT TRYING. It is often the one you fear the most. Because no matter the outcome, you will never regret making that decision. If you chose the one you feel is “safe”, you will always wonder “what if”. You already know what is going to happen with the “safe” choice, so why not go after the one you don’t know and satisfy your curiosity?

Persistence is Futile…(or was that… “resistance is futile?”)

noAlright, that joke was for my wife and all those Star Trek fans out there. I also wanted to throw in 2 cents for the Borg, as Davene’s mention of cults and brainwashing in Sunday’s  presentation. I haven’t actually heard that from anyone, but I could see it. It is amazing when you have a group of like minded people acting together and what they can overcome. The ND Pipe Line and Standing Rock protest is a good example of that. Fear is a big factor in keeping society where it is, and without it we might actually find freedom. But that is a discussion for another day.

This week I wanted to reflect on persistence. I feel like I could write my own book on this topic, but I wanted to give everyone here just a small gift. From the presentation, and from Og this week, I felt that persistence was being portrayed as an uphill climb. As the ability to push onward and upward over and past all the hurdles and failures. I think this is a slight case of stinking thinking. The gift I have for you is the ability to embrace failure as a small case of awesomeness. Failure can be marvelous.

I was first introduced to an incredible life changing sales philosophy by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz called “Go For No”. It is a great book if you want to boost up your library and can be found at www.goforno.com. But the skinny of the book (the Mike’s Notes version) is this: When keeping track of your sales approaches, don’t count the Yeses, count the Nos.

Alright, so maybe it needs a little more explanation. Richard does a great job of explaining how he came to the concept here: https://youtu.be/UZTKFJ-xipw

There are two parts as I see it. 1. The counting and the 2. The not quitting
1. The counting – We are all in sales one way or another. Whether you are selling insurance, a car, a network marketing company, selling your art, selling your boss on your ability to do your job, or selling kids on learning, we are all selling something. So this little “Go For No” cheat was about reversing these goals we normally set for ourselves. Most sales people will set “Yes” goals. So if your goal was to get 2 people to buy your product, or watch your presentation, you might quit by 10 am if you got those two sales or agreements first thing in the morning. This, is what most sales people do.

So what you want to do, is take an average of people you normally have to talk to to get those 2 sales. Let’s just say it is 20 people. So instead of setting your goals to 2 sales (YESES), you set them for 20 NOs. (Or if you are really good at Mark’s approaches, 3 No’s to get to 2 yeses. For the rest of us, we might have to work harder) This does two things. The first is that it will keep you on your hot streak. If you are in the zone, getting two sales by 10 am, then you want to stay in the game. No one in sports gets out of the game when they are on fire. Yet sales people do this ALL THE TIME. “I’ve earned some time off” they say. “Don’t want to ruin the high” they say. “I’ll rest up to tackle tomorrow” they say. PishPosh. Stay in the game and have the best week of your life. Don’t quit until you get the 20 NOs.

The 2nd thing it does it changes your mindset. Instead of getting angry or upset at the NOs, now you get excited because you are getting closer to your goal.

2. Not Quitting. The 2nd part of the Go for No philosophy is conquering being pleasantly persistent. Richard uses a great example of his experience in a clothing store. My example comes from my experience in the insurance business.

I worked with a salesperson named Mark that wanted to increase his sales. I was having some good experience getting more products per customer than he was, so he asked me what I do. I decided to go with him to see his approach and where I might be able to help. His next client he had already done an assessment on and we were going back to present the policy and options.

We get there and all is going well and he presents the policy, premium, and coverage wonderfully and the couple seems great with it. So he collects the check and lets them know their policy will be in the mail shortly. This was for auto insurance. Well, as we are getting up, I decide to throw in my two cents. I simple said, “Mary…Bob…I noticed your new crib in the corner there. Is that for a friend or are congratulations in order.” They both blush a bit and Mary says, “No, that’s for us. I’m not due for another 5 mos. but my mother is a little anxious.” “Well congratulations .” I say. At this point my protege was wondering what the heck I was doing. After all, we have a check in hand, we wouldn’t want them to change their mind. “Just out of curiosity Mary, is the school giving you some time off from teaching (I already knew she was a teacher, I’m not really psychic) or will you have to go back to work right away?” “Actually”, she says, “I’m going to stay home for a few years until the baby starts school.” “Awesome.. No pressure there right Bob?” “Right!” he shouts, “But we feel its worth it. And my job’s pretty secure.” “Well Bob, I don’t know if you and Mark here every explored our life insurance discount program. We offer great specials for multi-policy owners. And since you are now saving money with us on your auto insurance, maybe we could save you more on the life insurance as well. I know how much less stress I had when my wife was home with the kids, when I knew that she would be taken care of no matter what happened to me.”

And that concluded Mark’s education. By the end of the evening, we got them both covered with life insurance and opened discussions for disability and a children’s college fund. I didn’t stop asking for more business until I had covered every line we offered. I made them tell me they weren’t interested. I got my NOs.

BONUS MATERIAL: I know this is getting a bit long, but I love this subject. Buy me a cup of coffee and we could talk for days on different sales approaches. This is one of the best ways around hating the word NO I’ve ever seen. People love saying NO over saying YES, so organize your questions to get NO to mean YES to your product or service. This is so powerful it knocked me out of my chair when I first heard it. I’ve read that many of you are in network marketing companies so I will use these examples:
1. Bob or Mary, Can you see any reason why you wouldn’t want more time and more money in your life? (Spin on Mark’s line)
2. Bob or Mary, if you could retire in a year from now, would you want me to get in your way?
3. Bob or Mary, if I knew a way for you to bring in extra money, without learning anything new, would you want me to keep it to myself?

These are just a few ways to turn NO into your friend. Embrace the NO, and your life will never be the same.

And for those of you stuck on worry about failure, check out this site of 10 great failures that are by no means failures. 10 Things Invented by accident And then figure out how you can fail awesomely today.

Week 10 – 5 postings a week, you nuts?

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I’m going to borrow my Minnesota friend’s favorite saying…”Oofda”. Getting back on the wagon never felt so rough. But having spent a majority of my working life in sales I completely understand the psychology and mentality of this exercise. Doesn’t mean I want to do it though. But I get it completely.

I used to train sales people that constantly would tell me they were “in the business”. And this applied to network marketing, insurance sales, grocery stores, auto sales, or any kind of sales for that matter. But yet they were not out “telling their story”. They would sit and stare at the phone, keep busy with networking events, or just imagine people walking in their door and what they would say. Well that isn’t good enough. You must be reaching out to people EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!!

Just being employed by, or involved with, an organization doesn’t mean you are “in the business”. That would be the equivalent of a person sitting on a boat all day saying he was a fisherman and never pulling out a fishing pole. So I get it. (Still seems daunting)

But I will warn anyone that this can also be a trap. I know that attraction marketing can work, which is what the Twitter and Blogging sphere is all about. Attracting people to your story. And it will work for some. Just don’t wait around for it to kick in. It is a cultivation of a crowd and audience that can take months if not years. I read about a guy that now makes 6 figures a year playing video games online. But he did recordings of him playing these games for over 2 1/2 years before he saw any kind of money. He was consistent, reliable, and developed a million person following during those first years. He kept honing his craft and working on new skills to offer his viewers a learning experience along with an entertaining one.

So don’t forget the “shovel work”. If you are in sales and marketing, you must reach out to people everyday until you have the crowd following you around. Writing your blog and connecting with others online is great cultivation to develop your crowd, but it will take time and patience. So think: Consistent, Entertaining, Informative. What would keep someone else around wondering what you are going to say next?

And while you are doing that, remember the cardinal rule (at least one of mine): The easiest sale is the one you ask for. So good luck and keep plugging away.

Week 9 – Falling off the Wagon

OK, OK already. I’ll get back on. I promise. Don’t shout.

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I’m catching up. No excuses. I don’t really know how it happened, but I botched the last two weeks. I stopped reading, I stopped writing, I stopped exercising, I stopped my morning mental focus sessions. I stopped it all.

I don’t know if it was the weight of the work, the routine, or just my old boring self kicking back in. But everything I seem to tell myself seems like an excuse so I am not going to lay them 0ut here. (Well maybe just a couple)

I could blame a trip to North Carolina for a wedding with my wife and 4 kids (lots of fun but no time to myself to do anything). I could blame my PPN’s because part of the vision is coming true (we acquired a project house and have been working to fix it up, along with home schooling my three boys, juggling my daughter’s school activities, and packing up our current house). Or I could just blame my old “selfie” for trying to slow things down. (This one seems somewhat plausible because I have felt the stress of success lately)

But now that I’ve decided to quit quitting, I’m going to try to get back on the wagon, do the homework, recordings, writings, check my compass and get BACK ON THE WAGON.