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Fear and confidence is a topic that seems to continue coming up as I speak with clients. It came up a number of times last week at our mastermind event in Arizona, so I talked about it more on my weekly mastermind video call. Since then, I’ve continued to have a number of people bring it up so I want to continue the conversation here.
“One of the best ways to overcome fear of any kind is to habituate yourself to it.”
What Darren Hardy’s suggesting is that you face your fear head-on and bombard yourself with it until you don’t fear it any longer.
When the average person fears speaking in public more than death, how does the military take young teenage kids and create brave soldiers out of them? How do they take soldiers into SEAL training and make ultimate warriors out of them?
When bullets start flying, what is it that makes these men and women run towards the battle rather than run away?
During bootcamp or SEAL BUD/S training they are put through endless fear, pressure and stress at extreme levels until their fear turns into confidence.
It was night three into the infamous Hell Week of SEAL training. The students, in camouflage fatigues, were soaked to the bone and covered in gritty sand that chafed them until they were raw and bleeding They shivered from the cold ocean water and cool wind of the Southern California night. The students moved with the aches and pains as only those who have suffered through seventy-two hours straight of nearly nonstop physical exertion can. Exhausted, over the previous three days they had slept for less than one hour total. Since Hell Week had begun, dozens of them had quit. Others had become sick or injured and were pulled from training. When this class had started Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training (known as BUD/S) – the SEAL basic training course – several weeks before, nearly two hundred determined young men had eagerly begun. All dreamed of becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL, prepared for years, and came to BUD/S with every intention of graduating. And yet within the first forty-eight hours of Hell Week, most of those young men had surrendered to the brutal challenge, rung the bell three times – the signal for DOR, or drop on request – and walked away from their dream of becoming a SEAL. They quit.
I’m told that about 80% of those who start BUD/S do not finish. But those who do know that they are the elite. They’ve been through hell and back and survived. There’s nothing they can’t handle.
If you can train your brain to run towards bullets and bombs in battle, think how easy it can be to train yourself to run towards the stage to speak, or to make a prospect call, or to approach a group of strangers that you want to introduce yourself to.
As I reflected on my own life and thought about fears that I’ve had that I was able to turn into confidence, I thought back to my senior year in high school. I seemed to have followed in my older brothers footsteps in a lot of things as I was growing up. When he was in Rexburg ID going to college he started to rodeo. He started as a bareback rider and then took up roping and later steer wrestling. Soon, I was into the rodeo scene as well and was traveling the high school rodeo circuit as a calf roper and team roper. But as I watched him in the steer wrestling (bulldogging), I knew that was something I wanted to do someday.
If you’re not familiar with steer wrestling, I’ll explain what it is. I’ve heard a number of rodeo announcers compare it to getting into the back up a truck, having someone drive it down the road at 30mph and then you jump out of the back onto a passing mailbox. Maybe it’s not quite the same, but it gives you an idea.
In steer wrestling you have a steer in a chute that you let out and give a head start. You also have another cowboy (called the hazer) on a horse that is on the right side of the steer and his job is just to make the steer run straight. The steer wrestler is on his horse on the left side of the steer. After giving the steer a head start the steer wrestler chases the steer down going as fast as the horse can run. As the horse runs past the steer, the steer wrestler jumps off of the horse, grabbing the horns of the steer. He then digs his feet into the ground to slow the steer down and without getting into the techniques, he wrestles the steer to the ground.
At least that is how it’s supposed to happen. I’ve seen steers outrun the cowboys. I’ve seen the cowboys miss and land on their butts at 30mph and all sorts of other wrecks. I’ve seen the cowboy hit the ground as his horse stumbled and then as the horse fell it landed on his head. Well, I didn’t actually see that but that’s what they told me happened once I regained consciousness. But really, the scary part is the fact that you are riding a horse which is running as fast as it can and you jump off of it onto the horns of a steer.
I remember calling my brother and telling him that I’d like him to teach me how to steer wrestle. He said he would love to and the next time they were doing it he would let me know and I could come and watch.
“Well, it’s a little more complicated than that,” I told him. “I actually entered the steer wrestling in a rodeo next weekend. So I need you to teach me before Friday!”
“Do the thing you fear over and over again, until you train your brain that it’s no longer something to be feared.“
To make a long story short, the next day we were at the practice pen and I was ready to learn. As my brother was talking me through the process he told me something that I was well aware of. He told me that when you first start out, the actual process of jumping off of the horse onto the steer was the scariest part. But he also told me that from all the people he had watch learn to steer wrestle, those that took multiple attempts but never actually jumped struggled the most. Every time they tried but did not jump, it was twice as scary the next time. Some of them ended up riding past the steer multiple times and finally decided they were done and never tried it again.
But he had a solution for this, he told me. He said that if my nerves got to me and I rode by the first steer, it was ok. Nothing to worry about. But that meant that no matter what I had to jump off on my second attempt to prevent the fear from building up. He also told me that it wouldn’t be a problem because they had a way to make sure I jumped.
If I rode past the first steer without jumping, on my second attempt the hazer, riding on the opposite side, would have a rope which would be tied around my waste. If I made the jump, great! But if I didn’t make the jump and was going to ride by, he would pull me off the horse.
With my heart pounding out of my chest and enough adrenaline to stop a freight train, I started chasing down my first steer. As scary as it was, there was no way my brother was going to put a rope around my waste and pull me off of my horse. I jumped my very first steer, plus a number of others that night.
It wasn’t after that one night that I began to feel confident in the process. But the more I did it, the more confident I became. But the fear part never disappeared 100%, but it changed to excitement and energy. Even once I was steer wrestling at the professional level, there were many times I had my heart pounding out of my chest. But every time I jumped, the fear became less and less and my confidence grew.
Oh, and by the way, I won second place at that first rodeo!
“My confidence comes from my vision… I am a big believer that if you have a clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier.“
So, if you have a fear of speaking, what should you do? Speak! Wherever you can. Find opportunities to speak and in spite of your fears, do it. If you have fears of calling prospects. Call them. Whatever your fears are, face them and do them so much that you become confident doing them.
“Even when everything is going terrible, andI have no reason to be confident, I just decide to be“
I know that you can have fears that are much different than the fear of speaking or the fear of jumping off of a horse at full speed. The fear of hurting your family financially if you fail would be an example. But that is when finding a coach, a mentor or a mastermind comes in useful. Through these resources you can strategize, plan, role-play, etc. until you know how to proceed with a much lower level of risk and a higher level of confidence.
Overcome the fears that are holding you back from achieving your dreams!
Leave a comment below about something that you once feared but overcame it with action and it’s no longer a fear.
I was recently working through some marketing strategies with one of my coaching clients and we got onto the topic of pricing. She really wanted to make a push to increase her sales in the short term and wanted to decrease her prices and have a sale as a promotion.
I told her that I didn’t think that it was a good idea. There are better ways in which you can offer your customers more value with different strategies such as bundling. But first I wanted to walk her through the numbers to show her why I didn’t think a sale was her best option.
Unfortunately I haven’t always seen it this way and have made similar mistakes with my own companies in the past. But now that I’ve worked through the numbers and see the math, I definitely focus on other marketing strategies.
I’ll spend some time in other articles to talk about different strategies, but for now I’m going to walk through the steps I showed her that explain why I don’t like the idea of using a sale to add value to your customers.
The real key to success in marketing is to offer more value than your competition. Prospects will pay twice the price if they believe they’re receiving four times more value. Unfortunately, most businesses in a vain attempt to increase their value begin to offer discounts, and that often destroys their margins.
Would you believe me that in some businesses if they discount their price by a mere 10%, they now have to sell 50% more just to break even?
Let’s look at an example:
If you sell a widget for $100, and you have a 30% profit margin, you make $30 for every widget you sell. That means your cost basis for that widget is $70. If you discount that widget by 10% and sell it for $90 instead of $100, your cost basis is still $70. Now you are only making $20 in profit instead of $30.
For this business to make $1,000 in profit selling their widgets at $100 each, they would need to sell 33.3 widgets ($30 X 33.3 widgets = $1,000). But by discounting their price 10%, now they need to sell 50 widgets ($20 X 50 widgets = $1,000). They now have to sell 50% more widgets just to get back to their original profit margin. (33.3 X 1.5 = 50).
But consider this… when was the last time you saw a business offer a measly 10% discount? Most of the time they offer 20% to 40% discounts… and wonder why they are going broke. And to add even more bad news on top of this already bleak scenario, did you know that the latest research shows that discounting doesn’t actually impact a prospect’s buying decision unless that discount is for 40% or more?
So what about increasing prices?
Most small businesses have NEVER raised their prices. That’s because they don’t know the facts when it comes to increasing their pricing. They’re scared to death that ANY price increase, no matter how small, will lead to a mass exodus of all their customers. But is that really true?
Let’s use the same scenario as before. You are selling your widget for $100 and decide to increase that price by 10% to $110. Will that small increase REALLY lead to a loss of customers? Honestly, I believe a few will leave, but they are most likely your biggest price shoppers that show NO loyalty or patronage to your business anyway. They are the ones that beat you down on price every chance they get, and the moment you begin to make a decent profit, they will leave you in a heartbeat for the next business willing to accept a financial beat down. But even though there will be some customer attrition… to what extent? Let’s look at the numbers.
Their business is now making an additional $10 per widget… All of which is pure profit. Right there, that’s a 33% profit increase. For their business to make $1,000 in profit selling the widgets at $100 each, they needed to sell 33.3 widgets. But now, by increasing the price 10%, they only need to sell 25 widgets.
That means just to BREAK EVEN, they would need to LOSE 25% of your customers over a measly 10% price increase… and that simply ISN’T going to happen!
Want to know the closely guarded secret that successful businesses don’t want you to know?
STOP Discounting!!! Instead, innovate your business so you offer more value than your competition and increase your prices.
Of course, if we were working together we would need to perform a thorough price analysis on your business and determine the most lucrative price increase for you, but this is definitely a strategy I strongly recommend to all of my small business clients to help them increase their revenue. There simply is no FASTER or EASIER way to generate additional revenue.
After working through these numbers my client made the decision to increase her prices rather than have a sale and decrease them. So far, along with some other marketing strategies we applied, it is proving to be the exact thing she needed to do for her business.
Once you know and understand these and the other marketing strategies I teach, it’s just a matter of getting it all implemented in a timely and efficient manner to watch your business explode!
(…you know, the crazy, intense challenge where you have 30 days to build and launch your online funnel, while having Russell Brunson, Julie Stoian, and Stephen Larsen as your coaches?)
Word is spreading about how awesome this Challenge is, and thousands of entrepreneurs have been a waiting list for it to open back up, so they can join the next one. Well, after months of waiting, it’s finally back!
When I read a message like this I just quickly delete it. I move and forget about them.
There’s a lesson away from social media to learn from this. What can we learn from this to make good first impressions in person?
Have you ever met someone for the first time and then the remainder of the conversation was only about them?
Have you ever met someone for the first time and then the remainder of the conversation was their sales pitch focused 100% on their product with zero part of the conversation about your needs?
So what’s the similarity?
A lot of times it’s hitting delete and forgetting about them, the same as a DM.
Of course you can’t always develop a long term relationship with someone before you try to sell or create business. But how you make your first impression will definitely have an impact on the final outcome.
So let’s explore how you can make a good first impression.
First off, be genuine. Everyone knows when you are a fake.
If you come across as fake on insincere you’re not going to have any better results than my friend above on Instagram.
It’s Not All About You
Put the focus on them, not on you. Build the relationship around what you understand about them and their needs and wants, not around you.
As Dale Carnegie says in How to Win Friends & Influence People:“…the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems.”
Oh no, what was their name? Have you ever been two sentences into a conversation and realize you’ve already forgot their name, which was given to you less than 30 seconds ago?
From the introduction, listen to what they are saying. Too often people are so focused on figuring out what they are going to say next they don’t really hear what the other person is saying. Listen with an intent to really learn from what they are saying. What are their wants? What are their needs? What are they excited about?
If you truly put the effort into listening, you will learn a lot about a person.
What Can You Do?
“The past is gone. The present is NOW, NOW, NOW! The only place we can help to create value is in the future.”
Make a difference by helping. Listen for ways you can add value and help them achieve the things they are excited about in the future.
You will make a much better first impression if you remember these things the next time you meet someone. Remember, make the conversation about them, not you.
Lets take another look at my friend on Instagram. Rather than randomly asking me to give him a shoutout, if he had followed me and spent some time engaging with me and finding ways he could have added value to me, I likely would have been happy to help him out at some point in the future. But instead… Delete & Forget…
Most people live life as it happens. Reacting to the things around them day by day. But real fulfillment in life comes when we are living a life on purpose.
Once you discover your WHY, you are better able to align your beliefs with every choice and action you take, in order to find greater fulfillment in all that you do.
You’ll be able to make more intentional choices for your business, your career and your life. You’ll be able to inspire others to buy from you, work with you and join your cause.
Never again should you have to play the lottery and act on gut decisions that are made for reasons you don’t really understand. From now on, you will work with purpose, on purpose. From now on, you’ll start with WHY.
Sinek’s 2009 TEDx Talk and his book, Start With Why, got many people thinking about their leadership and the ‘why’ of their businesses.
To live a fulfilled life, we also need to know our own personal ‘why.’
Why is it that you do what you do?
Why is it that you want more success? Why do you want to achieve more? Most people really don’t know these answers, even if they think they do. They know on the surface. They’ve thought about it. But when you can anchor it in your heart with feeling and emotions there will be no stopping you!
I was recently training with Dean Graziosi and he introduced me to The Seven Levels Deep tool. The best way to explain how it works is to tell you about my experience going through the process as if Dean was taking me through it.
Dean (Level 1): “What is important to you about becoming successful?“
Jeff: I’ve thought a lot about what success is to me, so this was a quick answer. “Becoming successful is important to me because I want to support my family and give them opportunities and experiences in life.”
Dean (Level 2):” Why is it important to you to support your family and give them these opportunities and experiences?”
Jeff:” I have experiences from growing up that really stand out to me. Great memories that are anchored in my mind. Our family trip to Disneyland in 1984. Trips to the lake in Montana. My parents at all my events whether it was hockey, basketball, football, rodeo or something else, they were there. That is what success has meant to me. I want to have the means to cover our regular living expenses (i.e. support them), plus have enough to create opportunities and experiences that are special for our familyl, which other families may not have the opportunity to experience.”
Dean (Level 3): “Great! To you, success means that you will have the means to provide for your family and create great experiences with them. Plus, you will be there for them. WHY?”
Jeff:a’ I want to be able to create those special experiences and opportunities so that my family has great memories of the time we spent together and the things that we did.”
Dean (Level 4): “Ok, Jeff, that’s great. Now you know that you want to provide for your family and give them special opportunities and experiences, and you want to do this so that they have great memories of the time they’ve spent together. But why?”
Jeff: “I want them to see me as a good provider. I want them to see me as a father that has taken care of them. A father that has created great opportunities and memories for them. I want them to remember the unique and special things they were able to do and feel that they are fortunate and special by being a part of our family. I want them to remember that I was always there for them and wanted to be a part of their lives. That I was there because I wanted to be, not because I felt obligated to be.”
At this point I thought I had figured it out. I’ve always looked at success in my life as being able to provide for and create special experiences for my family. But I’ve figured it out. I want them to feel special and proud for being a part of our family. I want them to remember how important family was to me and how I worked hard but was there when they needed me.
Dean (Level 5): a’That’s great that you’re figuring this out Jeff, but we have only gone through Level 4, we have more to go. Lets go deeper. Why do you want them to remember the unique and special things your family is fortunate enough to do. Why is it that you want them to feel special and proud for being a part of your family?”
Jeff: “I want them to love me, appreciate me, and be proud of me. I want them to look at their father as a success. In reflection I don’t want them to remember the times that I couldn’t provide as much as I wanted to or when I wasn’t there for them. I want them to love me and the things I did. I want them to tell their posterity about the things we did, the time we were able to spend together and the experiences we shared as a family or their experiences with just them and their father.”
Dean (Level 6): “Why?”
Jeff: As I thought more about it I replied, “II wanted my children to find success and I wanted to do everything in my power to help them find it. I want them to feel like I helped them find the opportunities they need to find success. I want them to have choices in their lives, to be able to go after their dreams and goals knowing they have the support of their parents behind them.”
Dean (Level 7): “Great! But that is only six. I have one more time to ask you.” He reviewed everything I had said and then asked, “why do you want your kids to have these choices?”
Jeff: As I started to think of this I thought of the different businesses I’ve run in my life. The things that made me want to be an entrepreneur. I thought about how often I noticed growing up that even though I had two other brothers who were just as busy as me with all their activities and sporting events, I always had one of my parents there to support me and I noticed this wasn’t the case with a lot of the kids. I want to be able to do that for my kids. I want to be in control. I want to live the way I want to live. I want to do the things I chose to do. I want to go to my kids assemblies, coach them and be there for them. I don’t want to have to ask for permission.” I want to be in control of my life, that is my why!”
Knowing my why helps me when I’m making decisions. It helps me when I’m having a difficult day. It helps me to keep my focus. Knowing what I want for my family, that I want my children to have choices and for them to know their parents are always there for them, and I’m in control of my life are the things that will make me jump out of bed ready to break through barriers each day.
So what is it that you want to do?
Make more money? Learn a new skill? Overcome a fear?
Go Seven-Levels deep with this and find your true why. Then use the power in than knowledge to make an impact and achieve the highest goals you have in your life!
How do you perform under pressure? How do you perform under emotional pressure? When something goes wrong, you’ve failed, how do you react?
As a basketball coach I have to admit that I have had experiences when things were not going right and things got emotional, and I didn’t respond in the best way. If a referee makes a bad call in a basketball game that has a negative impact on my team at a key point in the game, will it make things better for us if I lose my mind on the ref? Is there a chance if I scream and yell that maybe he will apologize and change his call? Of course not.
But on the other hand what negative could come from it? To begin with, that negative emotion is absorbed by my team. I’m showing my team, through my actions, what is acceptable. The referee isn’t going to be looking to give me any breaks or do me any favors going forward, maybe even beyond this one game.
I’m not writing this to talk about basketball referees and how you should react if they make a call you don’t agree with. What I want to look at is how we can take all of our experiences, both good and bad, and learn from them so that when we face a similar circumstance in the future we will be prepared to deal with it in the best possible way.
Whether we are in a team environment or as an individual we can look at both our good and bad experiences and learn from them. In both cases there are emotions tied to the experience that we need to be able to work around. In a positive outcome we may be flooded with positive emotions that give us the false belief that everything went right and we don’t have to think anymore about it. In a negative outcome you may feel that nothing went right and you don’t even want to think about it anymore. But the reality is that we have much to learn from both outcomes that can transform our futures.
As an individual, as a family, as a business or as a team this is an exercise that could have a major impact on your future outcomes.
After an event, either positive or negative, take the time to learn from it. Capture what the situation was, what are the facts? What about it wasn’t great and could get better? What worked? Strategize about how to make sure it happens for the better next time.
Dan Sullivan talks about “The Greatest Teacher” in his podcast INSIDE Strategic Coach. He suggests making three small boxes on a piece of paper to work through the situation:
What Worked – This should open the flood gates and allow everyone to appreciate the there were things that worked
What Needs to Improve – Here you can identify the problems, the things that didn’t work, so that you can improve on them for the future
Strategies for the Future – This will make you alert to all situations in the future. You may not have an identical situation, but by going through this exercise you will be aware of how you can apply this experience to others situations in the future
Dan says that by going through this process you can create a positive momentum for the future and not be bogged down by the past.
In my basketball example I have two opportunities to go through this. First I could sit down with my assistant coaches and have a discussion and secondly I could go through the process with my team. This would allow us to look at the situation and the outcome. It would allow us as coaches and as a team to strategies on how we would react to a similar situation in the future which will hopefully bring us a better outcome.
Today in the entrepreneurial world failure is often looked at almost as a badge of honor. We hear the quotes:
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again”
“Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success”
“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something”
The last quote in this list is key because for anything good to come out of failure, we have to learn from our mistakes. Otherwise, failure is just failure.
As I have mentioned earlier, this is an exercise that should be used after both successful and unsuccessful outcomes so that we can learn from each of them. But this is an exercise that will allow us to look at our failures to learn from them so that we can be successful in the future.
“Your experience when you’re having intense [positive or negative] emotions is the greatest teacher you can possibly have. Channel it and you’ll always come up with amazing breakthroughs.”
– Dan Sullivan
If you’d like to learn more about our mastermind groups where as a collective group we help each other learn from our combined experiences click the button below:
I want you to take a minute and put yourself in the shoes of a contractor, or take this situation and apply it to your own situation.
You need an answer from a customer for a project. When you receive that answer you will be dispatching a crew for the job. It’s an important job that you need to get right. The sooner you can get the information from the customer, the better. The customer has told you that they would have the information to you before the end of the day. So in the mean time you are holding back on scheduling your crews for other jobs and they are on standby waiting for the information from the customer. The end of the day comes, but the answer doesn’t.
How is this for you?
Now flip the situation around. Have you ever been that customer? Have you ever told someone that you’d do something and didn’t. You got busy, unexpected things came up, you forgot. Maybe you had a valid reason. Maybe you didn’t.
What did you do?
I recently had a conversation with a couple who were having an issue with someone not performing as they thought they should be. They told me that in one of their discussions one of them had said, “If Jeff was in this situation, I guarantee this person would be performing.”
Why is it that people act different around different people? Why is it that some can get results out of people but others can’t? Why is it that when you tell some people that you’ll do something, there’s no way you wouldn’t do that thing but there are other people that you can say you’ll do something for but if it doesn’t get done it’s not that big of a deal? Who you are being, the words you use and the actions you take have an impact on the people around you. I want to talk about your word, as in what you say you are going to do. Being responsible with your word is more than a commitment, it’s a matter of integrity. When you are integral with your word you are creating a relationship that will make the other side act in a certain way. The experience they will have of you will have an impact on them now and in the future.
Too many people are sloppy when giving their word and it creates problems or distrust. I’ve heard Brandon Craig say, “You are your word. You are either a person who can be counted on, or you are a person who cannot be counted on.” Which one are you? Which one do you want to be? Which one can create more powerful relationships? Without integrity, nothing works. Without integrity, nobody knows what is really going to happen. With integrity you have the possibility of performance. With integrity you can create agreements. With integrity you can create action. With integrity you can create results.
You must be careful and sensitive in giving your word. If you are serious about being a person of integrity, you will think very carefully before giving your word. When people know that you have integrity with your word and you will do exactly what you say, it creates an expectation on their side. It creates a powerful relationship and they will want to show they are integral as well. This is when you will see results and the things that were said would happen, do happen.
However, there will be times that something occurs that is going to prevent you from keeping your word. Does this mean you lose all your integrity? No, you can honor your word and keep your integrity. To honor your word, as soon as you know you won’t be keeping your word, you need to let everyone know who is counting on you that you cannot keep your word and clean up any mess that you’ve caused. When you do this, you can honor your word despite not keeping your word, and you have maintained your integrity.
Lets look at an example. If I give my word to a customer that I’m going to have some information to them by 3:00, I’m going to do everything in my power to have it to them by, or before 3:00. But if there’s a situation outside of my control that is going to prevent this from happening, as soon as I’m aware that I will not be able to keep my commitment I will contact them to let them know and create a new agreement, while also cleaning up any mess that I’ve caused by not keeping my word.
In Michael Jensen’s article, Integrity: Without It Nothing Works, he explains the fear of acknowledging that you will not be keeping your word and why many do not honor their word when they know they won’t be keeping it:
“When maintaining your integrity (i.e., acknowledging that you are not going to keep your word and cleaning up the mess that results) appears to you as a threat to be avoided (like it was when you were a child) rather than simply a challenge to be dealt with, you will find it difficult to maintain your integrity. When not keeping their word, most people choose the apparent short-term gain of hiding that they will not keep their word. Thus out of fear we are blinded to (and therefore mistakenly forfeit) the power and respect that accrues from acknowledging that one will not keep ones word or that one has not kept one’s word.”
Keeping your word is obviously the best case scenario, but as Michael Jensen explains, “by honoring your word you maintain a certain power and respect.” By honoring your word when it cannot be kept, a surprising level of trust emerges. Jensen concluded by saying, “Honoring one’s word is truly an amazing phenomenon… As with the Law of Gravity, the end result is guaranteed.”
Don’t be sloppy with your word. If you do not fully intend on doing something, don’t say you will. Have integrity with your word and if you cannot keep your word, honor it. This isn’t always easy to do and I’m the first to admit that I am far from perfect with this, but as we keep this in mind and focus on it we will get better and better and soon be known as someone who has integrity with their word.
Making a 22 hour drive from Southern Alberta to Arizona gives me plenty of time to think, and listen to audio books. Fortunately, this time I’m not alone on the trip so my wife has shared the driving, which gives me time to work and write.
While I was in Canada we were spending time with family and I had a chance to visit with a nephew who had asked me to suggest some good books for him to read. We were talking about the different books and he shared a few with me that he had enjoyed that I hadn’t read yet. One of them was Smarter Faster Betterby Charles Duhigg. So this is one of the books I have been listening to on my trip home.
There are many intriguing thoughts and stories in this book, but something that really caught my attention was in his chapter on Innovation when he talked about Innovation Brokers or Idea Brokers. The reason this was so interesting to me is because I have been spending a lot of time recently preparing for an upcoming Mastermind Group, and the ideas he shared help to explain how and why a mastermind group works so well.
In his book, Duhigg refers to the work of Ronald Burt in a 2004 study he conducted. Burt conducted a study with a large number of managers in a company and found that ideas that were classified as creative came from people who were particularly talented at taking concepts from one division of the company and explaining them to employees in other departments. Burt explained that people connected across groups are more familiar with alternative ways of thinking and behaving. “This is not creativity born of genius, it’s creativity as an import, export business.”
As I listened to this and the rest of the book I decided to do a little more research on Burt’s ideas. On this topic, when people seek out insights from people in different fields, different organizations or of different mindsets, Burt refers to it as “brokerage.” He explains how this can lead to better ideas, improving processes and more. He says, “if you’re charged with innovation, you need to branch out and build brokerage.” “It’s essential. The new ideas we come up with come from the places where we vary. A person who only knows about the variations in what they do will get better at what they’re doing, but will always come to the same place.”
This is exactly where the power of a mastermind group comes from. I recently wrote a post High Performance Mastermind Group, and explained a challenge I had dealt with for some time which I had not found a solution to. But when I had an opportunity to sit with a group of entrepreneurs who were all in very different industries than me, we quickly found a solution to my problem as a group because the others in the group looked at my situation differently and had been through their own challenges in their industries.
Joining a mastermind group allows you to look at each other’s problems and challenges from different perspectives, industries and life experiences. But it also gives you an opportunity to discover things that are holding you back that you were not even aware of. It allows you to be more innovative in your business, your life and your thinking in general.
Join ourElite Performance Mastermind and prepare yourself to take your life and your business to the next level! You will be with an elite group of individuals, from different industries, backgrounds and different areas of the country that will be able to share their brilliance and knowledge with the group while you do the same for them. I’ll also be sharing some powerful tools you can use to give yourself the power to create the future you’ve been dreaming about.
If you don’t own or run your own business, don’t count yourself out. Whatever it is you do, you will do it better after joining this mastermind. You’ll think different. You’ll network. You’ll have the tools to be successful.
Be your best entrepreneur. Be the best manager. Be the best employee. Be the best YOU.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and said to yourself, “I thought I’d be further along by now.” I have! In life and in business I’ve had that conversation with myself before. But it’s ok. Life doesn’t always go as planned. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
The problem is that if you look in the mirror again in a year from now and you’re no further ahead.
Often times when we are not as far along in life or in business as we had hoped we would be, it’s because we don’t know how to get things to the next level. We don’t know how to overcome the current challenges we are facing.
Or it’s been going on for so long we’ve just settled into things and this is just the way it is.
But there is a way for you to amplify the performance of your life and business while you’re tearing down the barriers that are holding you back from that next level! When you have an opportunity to sit and mastermind with smart, successful, like-minded people who are wanting to take their lives and businesses to the next level as well, you WILL find your answers. You WILL discover the things that will make the difference.
If you don’t want to be looking in the mirror in 6 months or 12 months from now wondering why you’re not any further ahead, you need to join us for our ELITE PERFORMANCE MASTERMIND in Gilbert AZ.
There are only a limited number of spots available for this event, so act soon. Click on the button below to find our more details!
This is going to be an amazing event that you don’t want to miss!
Why do break-through performances sometimes ignite talent booms, and sometimes not?
The answer is that talent hotbeds possess more than a single primal cue. They contain complex collections of signals – people, images, and ideas – that keep ignition going for the weeks, months, and years that skill-growing requires.
If you don’t go after what your want, you’ll never have it.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.
They are simple rules, but they’re absolutely correct. Reading this made me reflect back to the early start-up days of one of our companies. It was a time of a very steep learning curve and a time where I learned a lot about business and about myself.
We had started a manufacturing company in an industry in which we were not known and we had no experience. So saying that we had a steep learning curve is an understatement. It seemed like we were running into brick wall after brick wall in every area of the business.
I was the one who knew the product and understood the manufacturing process. So that’s where my focus was. I was setting up the manufacturing and getting it right so that we were producing the quality product we were aiming for. While I was focused on this area of the business I had hired someone else to work as our salesman with the direction of establishing a distribution network to sell our product through.
As I was watching things come together in the business, we were making huge strides on the production side but very little was happening on the sales side. By this point I was hoping to have our distribution channels established but we didn’t. We had a few people who were interested in becoming dealers for us, but we had no firm commitments.
At this point, establishing our dealer network (i.e. sales) jumped to the top of my priority list and I decided to take it on myself. I put all of my samples and marketing materials together and hit the road.
We were producing a product with an unknown brand in an industry with some very well known competitor companies. There were many unknowns as I headed out on my sales trips.
Will they be interested in our product?
Do they sell our competitors products already?
If they sell a competitors product do we even talk to them about our product?
I also had my own internal struggles. I had to cold-call people I didn’t know and had never talked to before. I had never been in a position to sell like this. What if they are busy and are upset that I’m interrupting? What if they already sell a competitors product? What if they don’t like my product? What if they don’t like me?
What it really came down to was that I had a Fear of Rejection.
I clearly remember sitting in the parking lot of a company that I thought could be a potential distributor for us. It was my first attempt at finding a new distributor. I was frozen with fear. I had my samples with me. I had my marketing materials. But I did not want to get out of my truck, walk into the business and ask to speak to someone about our product. The anxiety caused by my fear of rejection was enormous.
As I was sitting behind my steering wheel of my truck I remember thinking about a book that I had recently read. The book was The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. The book is all about teaching you the power of how to ask for what you want.
I remembered a specific section that talked about the fear of rejection, which read:
“…when you find yourself afraid to ask or afraid to take action, stop and take a deep breath. Then rationally ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen? Is it really that bad? Can I survive it?” If you think you can, and what you want is important, then go for it.”
If you are rejected… “Realize you haven’t really lost anything. Remember that the rejection is really an illusion. Consider this: If I ask Janet to go to dinner with me and she says no, I didn’t have anyone to eat dinner with before I asked her, and I don’t have anyone to eat dinner with after I asked her. I did’t really lose anything. I didn’t have it before and I don’t have it now. There was no real loss. It didn’t get worse. It stayed the same.
If I apply to Harvard and I don’t get in, I wasn’t in Harvard before I applied, and I am not in after I applied. It didn’t get worse. It stayed the same. Since I am already handling that – not having dinner with Janet or not being a student at Harvard – what’s the big deal? I know I can cope with that reality because that already is my current reality and I am just fine.”
“What I point out to people is that it’s silly to be afraid that you’re not going to get what you want if you ask. Because you are already not getting what you want. They always laugh about that because they realize it’s so true. Without asking you already have failed, you already have nothing. What are you afraid of? You’re afraid of getting what you already have! It’s ridiculous! Who cares if you don’t get it when you ask for it, because, before you ask for it, you don’t have it anyway. So there’s really nothing to be afraid of.”
– Marcia Martin
If they kick me out because I showed up unexpected. If they don’t like my product. If, for any number of reasons, they do not want to be one of our distributors I told myself that I’d be ok. Because they are not one of our distributors now, they’ve never met me before. So if they reject me, what’s changed? They’re still not a distributor, they still don’t know me. Nothing has changed. Can I survive if that happens? I shut the truck off and went in.
Fortunately I don’t have to tell you about how I was rejected and kicked out of the building. Rather, this particular operation turned into a distributor for us and still sells our product today, 14 years later. But what this single experience did for me, was that it put me in the right mindset as I approached more and more potential distributors in the coming days and years.
I did have a number of “no’s” after this first attempt and I survived. But I also had a number of “yes’s” which helped us establish a great dealer network to sell our product. This was a great learning and growing experience for me that helped me as I established our sales network, but it was more than just that. It has helped me in a number of other situations, businesses and relationships since then. The fact that 14 years after this happened I still recall the story quite often shows the impact it has had on me.
In the words of W. Clement Stone, “If there is something to gain and nothing to lose by asking, by all means ask!”