Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another Perspective

My family and I went shopping last weekend at the Polaris shopping mall in Columbus Ohio. It was a great two story mall with lots of fantastic stores and restaurants surrounding the facility. I am not a big fan of shopping (especially right before Christmas) but this place was impressive.

Toward the end of the day, my wife decided that I had been a good sport and drove over to the Barnes and Noble store so I could look around for what I enjoy...books. She and the girls dropped me off and stayed in the car.

As I walked in I was a bit overwhelmed by the tall displays, music, crowds of people, and even the staff suggesting that I should buy the new Nook. The store was set up so there were multiple entrances, so it was difficult to orient myself to where things were supposed to be. I wandered around the first floor a bit until I was convinced that what I was looking for was not here. Then I got on the escalator.

During the quick ride on the escalator to the 2nd floor of the store, I was able to actually "see" the store. I noticed the different sections that I could not see while everything was in my face. And there it was...the section I was looking for all along! So back down the escalator I went to find the book of my dreams!

We all need to do this sometimes. We are so caught up in the moment; so passionate about the things right in front of us; that we lose a bit of perspective. That means it's time to get on the escalator. If you don't have one handy, often a walk in the fresh air will do. Sometimes you can just get in a quiet room and try to remember what is important. Either way, this is a good time of year to remind us all. Keep perspective and it will help you reach your ultimate goal.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hunting Customers Versus Farming Relationships

I heard this analogy the other day and I thought it was really true. Most of us in business treat our sales efforts like Big Game Hunting. We get up every day and head out into the world in order to "bag" a new customer. It can be very exhilarating when we do track down the new target! And when we get a great client, we feel like we are truly getting ahead. In addition, when we have success in this method, the results are quick. The problem with this approach is that in order to maintain success, you have to continually go out and find new "big game."

I think we need to shift that focus to more of a strategy of Farming Relationships. In this strategy, you reach out in kindness to others in order to help them reach their goals. You spend time planting new seeds of relationships each day. You water and care for these new relationships, so when these new friends are ready to do business, they not only think of you...they WANT to do business with you!

This method is not always immediate (though sometimes it can be) but the results are much more long lasting! Consider this as you head out today and try to "bag" a new client. Try to create a long term relationship instead!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Be Decisive AND Thoughtful

Memo to you...and ME!

One of the greatest pieces of advice for someone that is looking to be efficient is to "touch things once." This sage piece of advice tells us that when we get a message, we call someone back. When we get an email, we make our decision, respond and move on. It's appropriate and efficient.

And it's hard to do!

As a leader you want to be efficient. We want to lead by example and we want to get a lot done! That is what leaders do...right? But don't we also want to be thoughtful? Though our first impression is often right, there are decisions I don't want to make a snap decision on. I want to give each decision it's due.

But I think there is a happy medium. Though we want to be thoughtful (and we should be) with important decisions, we do need to keep things in our organization and our lives rolling. So here are some thoughts on how to be both decisive and thoughtful.

1) Make the easy decisions quickly. So many times we put off a call or email or decision that is unpleasant. We know the answer, we just put it off. With these...or with any easy swift and take care of it now!
2) Block out Distractions. Easier said than done, I know. But many times the reason we don't have time to give a decision "thoughtful examination" is because of distractions. Don't answer the phone while you are trying to come to this decision. Don't answer emails or texts. Get this decision made...then move on!

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Give Yourself Time To Rest or Heal

If you are a hard charging person that is working diligently to reach your goals, you probably have a hard time taking a break. Quite honestly, if you are excited about those goals (and I hope you are) and your happy with the way you are working to reach them, sometimes what you are doing is fun.

But remember there are times you really need to give your body and mind a break. Remember, if you are in training for a race, it is your rest days that your body makes the most progress as it rebuilds the muscle your workouts have torn down. If you don't take the time to rest (both body and mind) occassionally it will get in the way of your sucess.

As I type this, I am strugging with a chest cold. I have been struggling with it for several days but have not taken time off to let my body rest. I have fought the idea of rest because "I don't get sick." We all do this sometimes.

Today is a rest day for me. My hope is by letting the body heal, I will be better prepared to get back after it tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Monday, October 24, 2011

You are "They"

I had the opportunity to talk to a group from the local Career Center the other day and I was discussing many of the topics that show up on this blog. It was going great. I had told them that successful people needed to set goals, dream big, and give themselves permission to they could succeed.

One of the things we then discussed is they should not wait for others to "give" them an opportunity. To be successful, the students needed to create those opportunities for themselves.

I told them that the "they" mentality is killing us! Everyone is waiting for "they" to do something. "I am a part of 'they,'" I told them. "We are starting a new group called 'we,' and 'you' are welcome to be a part of it!"

Sometimes we give away our power to create success by blaming it on others. As I looked around the room, I saw several eyes in the room that "got it." I hope "they" reach out and create their own future! I hope you do too!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Give Big Thanks

Each year right around this time Hasseman Marketing & Communications holds our Customer Appreciation Show. The event is a fun way for us to reach out to our customers and thank them for their business. We generally have a food, drinks, music and even some of our vendors set up to showcase some other things that we do. It's a fun day and our customers seem to really enjoy it.

Why am I telling you this?

Because even though I like to think we do a pretty good job of thanking our customers all year long (everyone can do better), we take this opportunity to make a BIG deal about the appreciation game. These extra special moments sometimes can help to create a more special bond between you and your customers. The fact is, we all should do a better job of the every day thank you. But when you have the opportunity to do the "over the top" can really set you apart!

So today you should make a point to reach out and thank a customer. And think of a way you can also reach out and make a BIG impact with a gesture that will set you apart!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Give Yourself Time To Learn & Grow

My wife and I attended a seminar Friday called EntreLeadership. It was a simulcast featuring best selling author and radio host Dave Ramsey. It was an all day seminar during an extremely busy it was a real investment of our time. As is nearly always the case with these events, I stress and struggle as the event draws near over whether or not I have "time" to do this. I am sure you have had the same internal dialogue.

But each time I realize once I attend that I need to Make Time for these opportunities for growth.

In nearly any decent seminar you can get at least a couple ideas you can utilize to improve your life or your business. Sometimes (often even) it is something you already "know" but are not "doing." It serves as a reminder you need to get back to this activity if you want to be successful.

For example, at one point Dave discussed the 4 quadrants of our time. Stephen Covey addresses this concept in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I have read it and even gone through a class of 7 Habits...but it was good to hear again.

The concept is that there are 4 quadrants of activities in life, Urgent and Important (crisis or emergency), Important but Not Urgent (preparation, planning, etc), Urgent but Not Important (phone calls, emails, someone else's crises) and Not Urgent and Not Important (TV, Facebook, etc). We all know that we need to spend time in Quadrant 1. We all know we shouldn't spend so much time in Quadrant 4. The problem is many of us get stuck in Quadrant 3 and don't spend enough time in Quadrant 2! Follow that?

The lesson here is you have to Make Time to do the preparation, planning and pro-active work of Quadrant 2. Give yourself time to learn. These moments will help you be a more successful leader, spouse, and friend.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Give Expecting Nothing in Return

Once mistake I think we make when giving, is expecting the return on that investment to come immediately. I think if you want to Give Your Way To Success, you need to give freely, expecting nothing in return. That's hard.

Maybe you have heard of the Rule of Reciprocity. It's a great and powerful rule that says if you do something (or give something) to someone, there is an urge for them to return the favor. It's cultural and often subconscious.

The problem with this rule is sometimes when we expect the reciprocity and don't get it...we get annoyed. It's understandable. We just did something nice for you. Why are you not doing something nice for me?

But if we "give" this way we are not really giving. Think of it this way. We have discussed on this blog that the universe gives you back what you put out. But if you give with expectations in return you are actually saying "Give me." The universe will respond with "Give me."

So Give Freely to others. Reach out in kindness with no expecation in return today. Think of someone in your professional life and give them a referral. Send a friend you haven't talk to a while a card. Send your spouse flowers. But don't expect anything in return. Enjoy that feeling. It will come back to you someday when you least expect it!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Give Yourself Permission to Fail

Most of us have a passion we have always wanted to pursue. Most of us often have ideas of things we want to try. But some simply won't take the action necessary to start. There are many reasons for this...but the main one is fear of failure.

If you want to make significant changes in your life and live your passion, you must take action. "If it's to be, it's up to me." You know this. But in taking action you must also understand that not every idea is going to work. Not every action will lead to success. But successful people understand and accept this. They understand that failure is an inevitable and necessary part of the equation.

Each time you take a step that doesn't work you learn how to get where you need to go! But as Seth Godin says in his book "The Dip" you need to learn to fail fast! Once you understand that this idea or action is not going to work, don't delay. Move onto the next idea. The sooner you do, the sooner you get to the idea that DOES work!

So GIVE yourself permission to fail. The sooner you do, the sooner you GIVE yourself permission to succeed!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Give Change a Chance

Most people would agree that nothing great can come unless something changes. In order to create something that is better than what we have now, it has to change. We know that on an intellectual level.

But why is it then that many folks fear change so much? The new Facebook layout has caused more stir than a terrorist attack in another country. It may be a bit annoying for things to move around on a website, but is it really THAT big of a deal? Should they really be doing a story about it on the Today show?

If you want to succeed, learn to look for the best in change. Learn to seek it out! Nothing great comes without change. Let the greatness come from you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Give Praise

If you are like many of us, it is not difficult going through your day finding someone (or something) to criticize. There are many things in our life that frustrate us. So when we encounter something that does not meet our expectations (whether they are realistic or not) we complain. And sometimes that is not only okay, it is necessary.

The problem with this is a huge percentage of the population has taken this as their default position. They criticize constantly, without any suggestions on improvement. They complain without volunteering to help. We know we have all done it from time to time.

So today let's shift that thinking.

In the book Appreciation Marketing, the author tells of a time that he took his daughter and wife to brunch only to have a very bad experience. He went home and started to write a scathing letter to the offending restaurant telling them how bad they were and how embarrassed they should be. But he stopped. Instead he threw that letter away and sent a card to his favorite restaurant. He thanked them for always going above and beyond to make his dining experience fantastic.

The next time he came to his favorite restaurant he was met by a smiling manager, and the owner came out and greeted him. To this day, he says, he is always treated like a king in this place.

So he took a bad experience and sent out postive instead. Where can you do that today?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Give Thanks

I have often said that the most under-used words in business are "thank you." Unfortunately, I think this phenomonon is getting worse, not better. It's just tough with the fast-paced times that we live in. The bad news is, with email, twitter, smartphones, and Facebook, many of us have gotten to busy to appreciate.

The good news is, when you stop and take the time to say "thanks," you stand out.

In the book Appreciation Marketing, the authors remind us how our parents worked so hard to train us as children to say "please" and "thank you." They say that now we might get tired of hearing "please" from our kids (and other kids) we never tiring of hearing "thank you." As a matter of fact, can you remember the last time you heard a well-trained child say "thanks" without needing prompting? Remember how impressed you were?

You can make that type of impact with your adult clients and friends by doing "thank you" right. Be on the look out for reasons to say thanks. If you are in the right frame of mind, you will see lots of reasons during the day to reach out. And guess what? This exercise will not only help lift the spirits of those you appreciate, but it will also lift your spirits as well. By being in an appreciative state of mind, you will see the good things in life first!

So here are your Thank You To Do's:

1) Be on the look out for those to Thank each day.
2) Make it a Habit to do each day.
3) Create a system so you don't forget!
4) Send a Card or Gift to show your appreciation!

If you want the system that my wife and I use, you can check out If not, create one of your own! This is a great way to improve your personal and professional life. Thanks for reading this! I appreciate you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Give Out Good...Get Good Back

I think most of us understand that if we Give out Good, we will get good back. It's just the way the universe works. We understand it. But many of us don't live it. I think this rule is often best illustrated with teenagers.

My daughter and my wife were butting heads recently, and I decided to have a "chat" with my daughter. So I told her that I was going for a run and asked her to ride her bike along. She agreed. It took her about ten minutes into the ride before she realized she'd been duped!

Teenagers often struggle with the transition of roles between child and adult. They want the rights of adults, but sometimes are not ready. And often when they don't get their way, they go back to acting like a child (some adults do this too!). The problem is, these teens don't understand that they often control this destiny more than they know. When they spew anger and contempt to parents or authority figures, they most likely get that same emotion back. It's only natural. But when they show maturity and positivity, we are more likely to trust they will act appropriately when a moment of choice arises.

I tried to explain this to my daughter on a long run around town. To her credit she was quiet and listened. She acted with some maturity. So I gave her trust back.

But what does this mean for adults? I hope the message is clear. You truly do get back what you put out there folks. And if you give out "good" in large or small ways you will see a great return on that investment. What kind of good? Start with a smile! Give the person on the street, in the store, or even on the phone a smile and watch the smiles in front of your multiply! Now add this philosophy to Facebook world! It works there too! If all you do is post about the problems, challenges and complaints in your life, more will show up. So seek out things to be positive about and "give out that good" everywhere.

So let's get out into the world and give out good. We are likely to get it back!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Give Yourself A Challenge

If you want to not only succeed in your professional life, but also to lead a fulfilling personal life, make sure to Give Yourself Challenges! These can sometimes be easy to find in the professional life arena, but make sure you are looking at home too!

I just finished the Warrior Dash ( and I must say, that was a challenge! What a fun day though. If you are unfamiliar, the Warrior Dash is a 3 to 4 mile trail race...but with LOTS of fun and crazy obstacles. There were walls to climb over, tires to run through and even fire to jump over! And the final 25 yards, participants had to crawl through 2 feet of mud to get to the finish line. It was intense!

But what an experience!

At the end of the race I was tired (and today I am sore) but it challenged me to dig deep! (On a side note, the course taught me that I have let myself get out of cardio I need to improve that. That's okay. Those are the things we learn as we challenge ourselves).

The course was extremely hilly and muddy so it was tough to keep trucking. But at the end all of the participants had a huge feeling of satisfaction that they "did that."

Those are the kinds of experiences that make us stronger. So give yourself a challenge...and don't give up until you make it happen!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Give Yourself Permission to Dream

It’s time to work out those dream muscles folks! Unfortunately, many of us have forgotten how to dream. We have been told repeatedly by well-meaning loved ones that we should “be realistic” or “sensible.” These are loved ones who simply don’t want to see us be disappointed or hurt. But they are wrong.

No great thing came into the world without a big dream. No great thing can come without a little bit of risk of disappointment. But giving yourself permission to dream is the only way to truly drive the subconscious toward what you want.

I am a big believer in the power of the subconscious. This is the personal computer inside each of us that works (without our knowledge) 24 hours a day. And it’s important to note that the subconscious mind does not know what is real or not real. So…it’s vitally important that you are “feeding” this part of your brain with “good thoughts.”

I was out golfing with some family recently. One of the better golfers of the group continued to sabotage himself throughout the round. He was get over the ball and say “Okay…don’t hook this.” So of course he would hook his shot. Then he would say, “Don’t leave this putt short.” So he would leave it short. After about 9 holes of this I pointed out to him that he should stop saying the thing he didn’t want to happen right before he hit. He dismissed me out of hand. And quite honestly that is a normal reaction I get. But do you think it’s any coincidence that the last thing he told his brain is what he did?

That is why it is so important to DREAM again! Start feeding your subconscious mind these things that you DO want before you go to bed and when you wake up!
As I have also said before…write these goals down! This is such an important step! So few people actually take this into action. That is why so few people are living the life they desire!

Finally, when you are “feeding” these into your mind, make sure you do so in the present tense. “I am a magnet for money.” This tells the mind that it is already the case…and you will start living your life accordingly!

So now is the time. Give yourself permission to dream today! Close your eyes and imagine what the life of your dreams would look like? What do you see? What do you hear? Smell? Use all of the senses to create this perfect life in your mind.

Now get ready to go out and get it!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Give Yourself Permission to Succeed

When you think of ways to Give Your Way To Success, you need to start with you. So many of us get in our own way when it comes to our success! So today we need to Give Yourself Permission to Succeed!

What do I mean about getting in our own way? Okay let’s start with what NOT to do.

Negative self talk: So many of us are our own worst enemy. Whenever there is a mistake in our lives we beat ourself up about how we handled it. “You are so stupid,” we say. It’s funny. We often talk to ourselves much worse than we allow others to treat us. Remember that!

What to do: I read once in the One Minute Millionaire by Robert Allen and Mark Victor Hansen that we should get rid of the “yeah-buts.” They suggested that you put a rubberband around our wrist. Then each time we hear that inner voice telling us we can’t do something, talking negative or generally saying “yeah but” we snap the rubber band! This is a physical reminder that we need to stop talking ourselves out of success.

When you hear that internal voice saying “I can’t”…stop. Replace that with “I’m getting better at…” or “I am better at…” or something like that. Remember, your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is not. So feed it “good” information. If you tell yourself you are lucky…then you are!

Shooting Too Low: Many of us have really quit dreaming! Remember, if we don’t plan out our own course, then it will be planned for us. I read recently that we are all the author of the story of our lives. It is our right—no our responsibility—to write it well! If we don’t write it, then we will just become a character actor in someone else’s movie!

Okay…so you are ready to write your own story. But make sure you are dreaming big! Give yourself the time and space to close your eyes and imagine what your ideal life would be like. What would you own? Where would you live? Who would be with you? Make sure to be specific! What does your life look like? Smell like? Sound like?
It’s funny. If you read any book from authors that train for success, this step is a part of it. But so few of us actually go to the trouble of DOING it! Got those images in your mind? Great! Now write them down!

Create this dream journal and Give Yourself Permission to Succeed. This is your call to action today! Get out there and write your life as you want it to be!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Give Your Way To Success!

Give Your Way to Success. Think about that for a moment. Let it run around your mind for a bit. Giving your way to success might sound a little counterintuitive based on the “give me,” and “me first” society we live in today. It might even be different from what you are seeing in the “real world” of business right now.

But let go of those images for a moment and think about how great it would be if that was possible. You could give first…and then success would follow. You could give your talents, passions, gifts and skill…only to receive that back ten-fold. Wow.

Well what I am about to tell you is this concept is not only for real…but it is how the world works! The problem with many of us is we have failed to see it. And by missing this critical component, the world seems hell-bent on “taking” what we want away from us.

Famous speaker, author, and trainer Zig Ziglar said you could have anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want. As is usually the case with things Zig said, it’s true! Like me, maybe you have heard of this before but was not sure how it applied to you. How, in a real way, can you Give Your Way To Success? That is what I hope to answer here.

I have a daughter that is nearly a teenager. One day in trying to explain to her that her attitude was causing many of her challenges in life, she heard me say this, “What you put out to the world, you get back. So if you are giving your mother and I attitude, that’s what we give you back. If you give us respect…you get that back instead.” This is not a new concept from parents around the world I am sure. But this basic premise is true in our adult lives as well. We just sometimes lose sight of it!

So if you are interested in getting more out of your personal or professional life…give more into it.

Legendary author Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) once told the story of a man who approached him after a talk. He told Mr. Covey that he had lost that “loving feeling” for his wife. He wanted to know what to do. Covey told him he needed to LOVE her. The man protested saying he no longer felt that way. Covey told him that love is not a feeling…it’s an act. He told the man to GIVE his wife love…and it would return.

So you can see that I am not the first to say that it is possible to Give Your Way To Success. But what I hope to do is to give a step by step outline on how to do just that. I will post new thoughts on this regularly here…along with an occasional call to action.

Today’s call to action…give kindness. Reach out to a person that has done something for you and thank them. Send a card with a heartfelt message and let them know how much you appreciate them and their at. You will be GIVING kindness. Let’s see how much you receive in return!