Friday, February 29, 2008

The 10 Biggest Lies that Stop People from Getting What They Want

The 10 Biggest Lies that Stop People from Getting What They Want by Cynthia Kersey

They say that "everybody's a critic," and that never seems truer than when you're pursuing a dream. There will always be well-meaning people who want to "protect" you from your "unrealistic fantasies." Critics tried to discourage the people profiled in Unstoppable. Everyone ignored the negative input and achieved their goals. Follow their lead and you, too, will be UNSTOPPABLE!

1. The timing is all wrong. In 1987, prior to accepting Paramount's offer to host a late-night talk show, Arsenio Hall was told by everyone: "It's too hard to crack into the late-night ratings. Television isn't ready for a black talk show host. This is America, and you can forget it."

2. Why don't you get a real job? Not understanding his desire to become Mr. Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger's family pleaded with him, saying: "How long will you go on training all day in a gymnasium and living in a dream world?"

3. It'll never work, you'll lose everything. Weeks before she opened her first store, cosmetic tycoon Mary Kay Ash's attorney said: "Liquidate the business right now and recoup whatever cash you can. If you don't, you'll end up penniless."

4. Don't rock the boat. In response to Muriel Siebertís application to be the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, officials responded: "The language on the floor is too rough and there's no ladies' room." She bought a seat anyway and remained the only woman there for nine years.

5. It's never been done before. Upon applying for a job after graduation from Columbia University, announcers for NBC Radio responded to Sally Jessy Raphael: "You have the perfect voice for broadcasting, but you should get a job as a secretary. We're not using women."

6. You don't have enough talent. Responding to his desire to become a recording artist, Ray Charles' teachers said: "You can't play the piano, and God knows you can't sing. You'd better learn how to weave chairs so you can support yourself."

7. Don't even try, you'll just be disappointed. When auditioning for a part in a high school musical, a teacher rejected Diana Ross saying: "You have a nice voice, but it's nothing special."

8. You don't fit the mold OR you're not the right "type." Trying to convince her she didn't have the right look, fashion photographer Richard Avedon told Cher: "You will never make the cover of Vogue because you don't have blond hair or blue eyes." When she did make the cover, Vogue sold more copies than it had ever sold before.

9. Don't give up your day job. Commenting on the first manuscript of an unpublished author, a New York publisher told James Michener: "You're a good editor with a promising future in the business. Why would you want to throw it all away to try to be a writer? I read your book. Frankly, it's not really that good." Michener's first book, Tales of the South Pacific, later won a Pulitzer Prize and was adapted for stage and screen as South Pacific.

10. There's no market for it. When hearing his plans to launch Perrier in the United States, several consulting firms advised Gustave Leven: "You're foolish to try to sell sparkling water in the land of Coca-Cola drinkers."

The only opinion about your dream that really counts is yours. The negative comments of others merely reflect their limitations --- not yours. There is nothing unrealistic about a dream that aligns with your purpose, ignites your passion, and inspires you to plan and persevere until you attain it. On the contrary, it's unrealistic to expect a person with such drive and commitment not to succeed.

Choose to be unstoppable!
Cynthia Kersey

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Key to Charisma

The Key to Charisma

There is a close association between personal charisma and success in life. Probably 85 percent of your success and happiness will come from your relationships and interactions with others. The more positively others respond to you, the easier it will be for you to get the things you want.

The Law of Attraction
In essence, when we discuss charisma, we are talking about the law of attraction. This law has been stated in many different ways down through the centuries, but it basically says that you inevitably attract into your life the people and circumstances that harmonize with your dominant thoughts.

You Are A Living Magnet
In a sense, you are a living magnet, and you are constantly radiating thought waves, like a radio station radiates sound waves, that are picked up by other people. Your thoughts, intensified by your emotions, as radio waves are intensified by electric impulses, go out from you and are picked up by anyone who is tuned in to a similar wavelength. You then attract into your life people, ideas, opportunities, resources, circumstances and anything else that is consistent with your dominant frame of mind.

The law of attraction also explains how you can build up your levels of charisma so that you can have a greater and more positive impact on the people whose cooperation, support and affection you desire.

Perception is Everything
The critical thing to remember about charisma is that it is largely based on perception. It is based on what people think about you. It is not so much reality as it is what people perceive you to be. For example, one person can create charisma in another person by speaking in glowing terms about that person to a third party. If you believe that you are about to meet an outstanding and important person, that person will tend to have charisma for you.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta
One of the most charismatic people in the world was Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In a physical sense, she was a quiet, elderly, frail woman in poor health, and she wore a modest nun’s habit. She might have been ignored by a person passing her on the street, were it not for the tremendous charisma she developed and for the fact that her appearance was so well-known to so many people as a result.

How Would You Feel?
If someone told you that he was going to introduce you to a brilliant, self-made millionaire who was very quiet and unassuming about his success, you would almost naturally imbue that person with charisma, and in his presence, you would not act the same as you would if you had been told nothing at all. Charisma begins largely in the mind of the beholder.

Lasting charisma depends more upon the person you really are than upon just the things you do.

Continually look for ways to improve other’s perceptions of you so that you can be more influential with them. Be a living magnet.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, be clear about the messages you are sending and the perceptions you are creating in others. Are these perceptions consistent with the impressions you want to make?

Second, see yourself and imagine yourself every day as an important powerful and charming person. Treat others as you would if you were already strong, famous and influential.

Fake it until you make it!

The Power of Charm

The Power of Charm gives readers proven ways to become more captivating--and persuasive--in any situation.

With his trademark directness, Tracy shows readers what charm can do, and how they can use simple methods to immediately become more charming and dramatically improve their social lives and business relationships.

The Principle of the Objective

The Principle of the Objective - Brian Tracy

The concepts of military strategy have been studied and written about for more than 4,000 years, going back to the early works of General Sun-Tzu in China more than 2,000 years BC.

Learn from the Lessons of History
The concepts of military strategy have been studied and written about for more than 4,000 years, going back to the early works of General Sun-Tzu in China more than 2,000 years BC. These principles of strategy that have been developed and perfected over the centuries have direct applications and implications for strategic thinking, both personally and corporately.

Decide In Advance What You Want
The most important military principle is the Principle of the Objective. This principle requires that you decide in advance exactly what it is that you are trying to accomplish. What exactly is your objective? In my experience, fully 80% of all problems in personal and corporate life come from a lack of clarity with regard to objectives and goals.

Clarity Is Critical
Clarity of objective precedes all other elements in strategic thinking. Here are some questions that you can use over and over again to focus and clarify your objectives. The first question is, "What am I trying to do?" The second question is, "How am I trying to do it?" The third question is, "What are my assumptions?" And the fourth question is, "What if my assumptions were wrong?"

Question Your Assumptions
Having the courage to ask these questions, and to question your assumptions, both spoken and unspoken, is a key mark of the superior person. Sometimes individuals avoid questioning their assumptions for fear that they will have to change their minds or do something other than what they started out to do. However, false assumptions lie at the root of almost every failure. The only way that you can root out these wrong assumptions is by carefully analyzing them and discussing them, and then by demanding proof or evidence that these assumptions are still valid.

Project Forward In Your Mind
Another method for clarifying your objectives is for you to project forward and look backward. In other words, imagine that you have already achieved the objective that you are working toward. Project yourself forward in your mind and then look back to the present day, to the present moment. What do you see? What changes could you make looking back from this imaginary perspective of hindsight? This is a key peak performance thinking technique.

Determine Why You Want It
The final part of clarifying your objectives revolves around your identifying the reasons why you want to achieve this objective in the first place. Why is it important? Is it still as important as when you started off? Is this objective more important than any other objective that you could be working on? It is essential that you be clear about the answers to these questions.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to apply the principle of the objective to your personal and business life:

First, take out a piece of paper and answer the question: "What am I trying to do?" What are your goals? What are your objectives? Why are you doing what you are doing in the first place? Is this the very best use of your time and energy?

Second, question your assumptions. What things are you assuming are true about yourself, the people around you and the situation? What if one of these assumptions turned out to be false? What changes would you have to make if you found that your most cherished assumptions were not based on reality, or were contradicted by facts?

Listening Power

Listening Power - by Brian Tracy

The art of good conversation centers very much on your ability to ask questions and to listen attentively to the answers.

The art of good conversation centers very much on your ability to ask questions and to listen attentively to the answers. You can lace the conversation with your insights, ideas, and opinions, but you perfect the art and skill of conversation by perfecting the art and skill of asking good, well-worded questions that direct the conversation and give other people an opportunity to express themselves.

Ask Open-Ended Questions
Ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." Open-ended questions encourage the speaker to expand on his thoughts and comments. And one question will lead to another. You can ask open-ended questions almost endlessly, drawing out of the other person everything that he or she has to say on a particular subject.

Be Content to Listen
In order to be an excellent conversationalist, you must resist the urge to dominate the discussion. The very best conversationalists seem to be low-key, easy-going, cheerful, and genuinely interested in the other person. They seem to be quite content to listen when other people are talking and they make their own contributions to the dialogue rather short and to the point.

"Influence People and Get What You Want - Using Only Your Words"
It's a simple fact - the most successful people in the world are also the best communicators. Your ability to communicate with others will account for fully 85% of your success in your business and in your life.

Share the Opportunity to Talk
In fact, good conversation has an easy ebb and flow, like the tide coming in and going out. Whether it is between two people or among several, the conversation should shift back and forth, with each person getting an opportunity to talk. Conversation in this sense is like a ball that is tossed from person to person, with no one holding on to it for very long.

If you feel that you have been talking for too long, you should stop and ask a question of someone in the group. You will be tossing the conversational ball and giving that individual an opportunity to converse.

Learn to Listen Well
Listening is the most important of all skills for successful conversation. Many people are very poor listeners. Since everyone enjoys talking, it takes a real effort to practice the fundamentals of excellent listening and to make them a habit.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, make a habit of asking good, open-ended questions of others in every conversation and in response to problems or difficulties. This shows interest and increases your understanding.

Second, take a deep breath, relax and let the other person talk more. Practice over and over until you become an excellent listener.

The Major Obstacle to Financial Success

The Major Obstacle to Financial Success-by Brian Tracy

The major mental obstacle to financial success is that some people believe that they don't really deserve to be rich.

The Biggest Demotivator of All
They have been raised with a steady drumbeat of destructive criticism, as I was, that has led them to conclude, at an unconscious level, that they don't really deserve to be successful and happy. The worst effect of negative experiences in childhood, which are all too common, is that when people actually do succeed as the result of hard work, they feel guilty. These guilt feelings then cause them to do things to get rid of the money, to throw it away. They spend it or invest it foolishly. They lend it, lose it or give it away. They engage in self-sabotage, in the form of overeating, excessive drinking, drug usage, marital infidelity and often dramatic personality changes. To change your results with money, you have to change your attitude toward it.

Treat Money With Care and Attention
The fact is that money is very much like a lover. It must be courted and coaxed and flattered and treated with care and attention. It gravitates toward people who respect it and value it and are capable of doing worthwhile things with it. It flows through the fingers and flees from people who do not understand it, or who do not take proper care of it.

Become Skilled With Money
Sometimes people say that they are not very good with money. But being good with money is a skill that anyone can learn through practice. Usually, saying that one is not very good with money is merely an excuse or a rationalization for the fact that the person is not very successful or disciplined with money. The person has not learned how to acquire it or to hold on to it.

Be A No-Limit Thinker
The starting point of accumulating money is for you to believe that you have an unlimited capacity to obtain all the money that you will ever need. Look upon yourself as a financial success just waiting for a place to happen. And see yourself as deserving all you can honestly acquire.

Open Any Door
Money is good. Money gives you choices and enables you to live your life the way you want to live it. Money opens doors for you that would have been closed in its absence. But just like anything, an obsession can be hurtful. If a person becomes so preoccupied with money that he loses sight of the fact that money is merely a tool that is to be used to acquire happiness, then money becomes a harmful thing.

Money is Neutral
The Bible says, "The love of money is the root of all evil." It doesn't say, "money is the root of all evil." It says, "the love of money is the root of all evil." It is the preoccupation with money, to the exclusion of the really important things in life that is the problem, not the money itself. Money is essential to our lives in society. It is also neutral. It is neither good nor bad. It is only the way that it is acquired and the uses to which it is put that determines whether it is helpful or hurtful.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, recognize and accept that virtually everyone who has money today at one time was broke and probably broke for a long time. Then they learned the skills of accumulating money and they are now financially independent. Whatever they have done, you can probably do as well.

Second, become a student of money from this day forward. Study it, learn about it and apply the lessons you discover toward your own financial life until you begin to attract more and more money in your direction.

The difference between hard selling and networking

** Article: The difference between hard selling and networking – By Jan Vermeiren **
For many people the word networking has a negative connotation. This is in part due to the fact that many salesmen abuse networking to push their products or services. So let’s take a deeper look into the difference between (hard) selling and networking to solve some of the misunderstandings about networking.

The main difference between selling and networking is that in a sales process the goal of the interaction between two people is the sale of a product or service. When networking, this sale could be the consequence of a contact that is built with respect and care. So it is clear that the sale is not the goal of networking, but a nice and in many cases a logical consequence.

The comparison in the table (below) goes into the details of the difference between selling and networking. The table shows several elements of negative networking by hard sellers on the one hand and real networking on the other hand.

1. Hard sellers who network are focused on the short term while real networkers focus on the long term.

2. Hard sellers who network try to detect a need that can be satisfied by their product or service. Real networkers share any information that can be interesting for the other party.

3. Hard sellers only give when they have an immediate profit. Real networkers give without expecting something back (and in the long run this usually pays off better too).

4. Hard sellers who network listen in order to get the deal. Real networkers listen to help.

5. Hard sellers ask questions in order to be able to position their product or service better. Real networkers ask questions to be able to be of better assistance.

6. Hard sellers find people interesting only if they are a potential customer. Real networkers find everybody interesting as a contact. You never know what or who they know.

7. Hard sellers who network want to collect and distribute as many business cards as possible. Real networkers ask and give business cards to people with whom they really established contact.

8. Hard sellers talk often only about their product or service without listening to others. Real networkers See to it that others always talk more than they do, listen carefully to them and encourage them to tell more.

9. Hard sellers who network try to bring the attention to their product or service. Real networkers recommend products or services of people in their network (and only if they are relevant for the people they talk to).

10. For hard sellers who network The goal is the sale. People are a means, a resource (sometimes even a necessary evil) to reach that goal. For real networkers the goal is to establish and maintain contacts. One of the possible consequences is a sale.

To make it even more clear, I have a small example for you.

Situation: a salesman of fire extinguishers meets the manager of a local affiliate of a bank at a reception of the Chamber of Commerce.

Hard Selling

The salesman does his sales magic to convince the manager to buy fire extinguishers for his office. He is a good salesman and he manages to sell 5 fire extinguishers.

The evening of the salesman is a success.


The salesman is interested in the manager as a person. Amongst other things he learns that the manager is a passionate sailor and that he is looking for a new boat. The salesman remembers that a friend of his has a boat for sale. He not only passes this on to the manager, but also provides them with each other’s contact details the following day. A week later the boat has a new owner.

Four months later the salesman receives a phone call from the manager. The manager asks him to deliver new fire extinguishers for the office and for the facilities of the sailing club where the manager recently became chairman. Moreover the manager proposes to write a letter to all the members of the sailing club with a recommendation for the fire extinguishers of the salesman.

The year of the salesman is a success.

What about you? Are you more of a hard seller than a networker? You don’t have to be a salesperson to be a seller. Everybody has to sell continuously. You have to sell the next project to your management team, you have to sell to your partner to go to the movies instead of spending an evening at home, you have to sell to your children that they keep their room clean, … Everybody is a seller in one way or the other.

Let me repeat my question. What about you? Are you more a hard seller or more a networker?

Effective Sales Territory Management

** Article: Effective Sales Territory Management – By Alan Rigg **
How you prioritize your sales territory management activities depends upon whether you are managing a territory that has existing customers, or whether you are building your customer base from scratch.

If you manage a territory that has existing customers, your first priority should be to introduce yourself to every single one of your customers. This should be a pleasant, low-key introduction along the lines of, \"I just wanted to introduce myself and see if there is anything I can do to help you.\" Then, as you are chatting with your customers, you can ask, \"Would you mind sharing with me how you think my company's relationship with you has been going so far? What have we been doing well? Where could we improve?\"

Collecting this kind of feedback is a great way to start relationships with customers. It also helps you draw any festering problems out into the open. If you can address the problems quickly, it can really jump-start your relationships with the affected customers.

This same approach can also be effective for customers that have been reducing their purchases from your company over time, or customers that have stopped ordering completely. It is never much fun to listen to people complain. But, if you can isolate and solve the problems that are causing the dissatisfaction, you can produce a rapid and substantial boost in sales.

If you find customers that are really happy with the service your company has provided, drill down (with more questions) to determine just what has made them so happy. Their answers will provide you with a template for successfully managing their (and other) accounts. Also, ask these happy customers for referrals...regardless of whether you have contributed in any way to their happiness! Happy, satisfied customers are usually delighted to share their positive experience with others.

Once you have met all of your existing customers, the next step is to identify target prospects in your territory. Start by checking with your manager. If they have been managing your sales team for any period of time, they should be able to suggest some good target prospects.

Once you have compiled a list of target prospects, determine which ones you will pursue first. Which target prospects have the greatest potential to purchase the largest amounts of products and services? Which ones are likely to be \"quick closes\"? If you have both types of target prospects on your list, pursue several of each type at the same time. In the words of a well-respected executive that I used to work with, \"Elephant hunting is great...but those rabbits sure taste good in between the elephants!\"

When you are ready to begin pursuing your target prospects, start by asking your existing customers whether they know anyone that works in the target organizations. If they do, ask for referrals. Once you have exhausted available referrals, proceed with the other activities in your prospecting plan - but tailor these activities to attract the attention of your target prospects.

Effective sales territory management begins with touching base with EVERY SINGLE ONE of your existing customers. Ask questions to gauge their satisfaction with their relationship with your company. If they identify any problems, work aggressively to solve these problems as your first priority.

If a customer expresses happiness and satisfaction, ask questions to determine what your company has been doing RIGHT. Use this information to create a template for managing all of your accounts. Also be sure to ask for REFERRALS, both in general and to specific target accounts. Exhaust these referrals before you begin the other (less productive) activities in your prospecting plan.

Prioritize your activities as described in this article, and you will maximize sales growth in your territory!

Action vs. Self-Delusion

Action vs. Self-Delusion
Jim Rohn

Knowledge fueled by emotion equals action. Action is the ingredient that ensures results. Only action can cause reaction. Further, only positive action can cause positive reaction.

Action. The whole world loves to watch those who make things happen, and it rewards them for causing waves of productive enterprise.

I stress this because today I see many people who are really sold on affirmations. And yet there is a famous saying that "Faith without action serves no useful purpose." How true!

I have nothing against affirmations as a tool to create action. Repeated to reinforce a disciplined plan, affirmations can help create wonderful results.

But there is also a very thin line between faith and folly. You see - affirmations without action can be the beginnings of self-delusion. And for your well being, there is little worse than self-delusion.

The man who dreams of wealth and yet walks daily toward certain financial disaster and the woman who wishes for happiness and yet thinks thoughts and commits acts that lead her toward certain despair are both victims of the false hope which affirmations without action can manufacture. Why? Because words soothe and, like a narcotic, they lull us into a state of complacency. Remember this: TO MAKE PROGRESS YOU MUST ACTUALLY GET STARTED!

The key is to take a step today. Whatever the project, start TODAY. Start clearing out a drawer of your newly organized desk ... Today. Start setting your first goal... Today. Start listening to motivational cassettes ... Today. Start a sensible weight-reduction plan ... Today. Start calling on one tough customer a day ... Today. Start putting money in your new "investment for fortune" account ... Today. Write a long-overdue letter ... Today. ANYONE CAN! Even an uninspired person can start reading inspiring books.

Get some momentum going on your new commitment for the good life. See how many activities you can pile on your new commitment to the better life. Go all out! Break away from the downward pull of gravity. Start your thrusters going. Prove to yourself that the waiting is over and the hoping is past -- that faith and action have now taken charge.

It's a new day, a new beginning for your new life. With discipline you will be amazed at how much progress you'll be able to make. What have you got to lose except the guilt and fear of the past?

Now, I offer you this challenge: See how many things you can start and continue in this -- the first day of your new beginning.

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

How to Inspire Others to Peak Performance

How to Inspire Others to Peak Performance by Nido Qubein

It's probably true that most people who work with us will never care as deeply as we do about building our business and serving our clients. If they did, they'd probably be working for themselves.

Yet there's a great deal we can do to raise the level of their commitment and inspire them to peak performance. The operative word in the preceding sentence is inspire. You can demand that people who work for you be punctual, or that they perform at a certain level of output, or even that they do things reasonably well. Yet real commitment can only be inspired. And, inspiring people is what great leaders like John F. Kennedy and Lee Iaccoca did best.

How do great leaders such as these inspire others to commit themselves to their goals? It's not just that they have charismatic personalities, or that they give a lot of high-powered motivational talks. What they do is communicate their vision so forcefully that other people adopt it as their own vision.

For example, in the early sixties, President Kennedy set his sights on putting a man on the moon, and told the American people "We can do it!" He said it with such conviction that masses of people believed it, and committed themselves to making it happen. And, sure enough, in less than a decade, the first human being had walked on the moon.

Lee Iaccoca stepped into the ailing Chrysler Corporation and said "We're going to turn this company around!" With clear goals, a solid plan of action, and a strong conviction, he was able to inspire enough commitment from the U.S. Congress that he secured the largest loan ever made to a private company. Then he inspired enough commitment in thousands of Chrysler workers to enable the company to pay back the loan ahead of schedule.

That's the formula for any leader to inspire commitment -- clear goals, a solid plan of action, and a strong conviction. If you can communicate that to the people who work with you, you will have the kind of loyalty that makes them go the second mile. And the third and fourth miles if that´s what it takes to get the job done.

Of course, it takes more than inspiration to run a successful sales function. The people who work with you have to consistently perform at very high levels. And, to get that kind of performance, you have to gain their trust. They have to believe that you will always be fair in your dealings with them, and that you are concerned about their best interests.

One of the most helpful insights I ever learned about leading others is that people do things for their reasons, not for your reasons or for mine. So the goals, the plan of action, and the strong conviction have to be communicated in a way that directly answers the question: "What´s in it for me?"

When people honestly believe they will benefit directly from their efforts, and that the more they give the more they will benefit, they will perform at peak levels. So it's crucial that you show people how they will grow as they work individually and together to make the company grow, and then back up all your promises with solid actions.

People don't back good causes. They respond to clear opportunities for personal and professional growth. If I may paraphrase the Hallmark slogan, when people care enough, they'll give their very best!

But how can you move past the empty rhetoric and translate your vision into concrete actions your people can identify with and get excited about? Let me suggest ten proven techniques for building a solid team:

(1) Tie compensation, in every conceivable way, to the income people create. Profit sharing is one way you can do it, but that tends to reward everybody equally, regardless of how much effort they put into making the company profitable. A better way is to structure all or a part of everyone's pay, from the janitor to the president, around a mutually beneficial incentive plan. That way, the better job they do, the more money they'll make.

(2) Give constant public recognition for outstanding performance. The fact is that we all like to look good in the presence of our peers. So, if you can document that someone has done a job very well, give him or her a public pat on the back. If it's really good, throw in a tangible benefit. It will make everybody feel like giving more of themselves to the team effort.

(3) Constantly ask for input and ideas. People are usually much more enthusiastic about supporting decisions and plans they help to make. So it helps a great deal to get ideas and input from any staff person whose job will be affected by any upcoming decision. When your staff members quit talking about the company, and start talking about our company, you know you've got a team.

(4) Promote people on the basis of abilities, not just because they've performed well or have been around a long time. Make sure that anyone you promote has the skills and knowledge they need to do well in the new position.

(5) Assume that everyone needs to be trained for every new assignment. If you're lucky, you'll have one or two people who can plow into almost anything and do well at it. But most people need initial and on-going training.

(6) Constantly play the role of coach and mentor. Encourage people to keep growing and taking on new challenges. Guide their growth in ways that benefit your organization. Deal with mistakes and problems quickly, tactfully and forthrightly.

(7) Practice good human relations. Make people feel valued and important by treating them with dignity and respect.

(8) Provide plenty of opportunities for people to grow, both personally and professionally.

(9) Keep your personnel policies simple, clear and fair -- then firmly enforce them. It doesn't help to have policies that no one understands, and it's even worse to let people constantly get away with violating them.

(10) Weed out the prima donnas and poor performers before they spoil the whole team.

It takes a lot of patience and effort to build a solid team of people who will share and help you fulfill your vision, but the results will be well worth all you put into it.

How Can I Sell More When I Have So Much To Do?

How Can I Sell More When I Have So Much To Do? – By Dave Kahle
That's a question I'm often asked whenever I'm talking to a group of salespeople. I'm sure you can empathize with the feelings behind it. You have new products to learn, paperwork to complete, hundreds of customer problems to solve, meetings to attend, inside people to cajole, managers to mollify - and, on top of all this, you are expected to sell something!

It's hard to do so when you have all these other aspects of your job howling for your attention.

How do you manage all of this while at the same time you build your sales? How do you sort through all of this and focus on the essentials of your job?

Good question. Let's start by identifying one of those essentials. Think about the sales process - the activities that it takes to make a sale - and certain key activities come to mind. You know that you need to make appointments with qualified decision makers, to collect information about their needs, to build relationships, to demonstrate products, to follow up, to answer questions, etc. Your list of important sales activities is probably expanding monthly. But if you're going to focus on the essentials, there is one absolutely necessary activity around which everything else resolves. All of the other activities are either means to bring about this activity, or actions that spring out of this one key activity.

What is it? Making a persuasive offer to your customer. Think of it as an offer. In its simplest terms, making an offer means saying something like this to your customer, \"Here is this... (product, service, package, deal, etc.). How about buying it?\"

You make an offer whenever you respond to a request for a price. When you demonstrate a product, you make an offer. When you bring in a piece of literature and tell your customer about some new product or service, you make an offer. When you respond to your customer's request with information about a product or service, you make an offer. All of these are variations on a theme, but all of them can be classified as the presentation of an offer.

And those offers are the heart of your job. Without them, you can sell nothing. Your customers will never buy if you never offer them something to buy.

It is an unmistakable fact of life that in sales, quantity counts. In other words, to be successful, you must make a certain quantity of sales offers. No matter how much skill and sophistication you apply to your job as a salesperson, you cannot totally negate the quantity aspect of it. Given two salespeople in approximately equal territories, or of approximately equal abilities, the one who makes the greater quantity of sales offers will generally have better results than the other.

With this in mind, one simple way to cut through all the mass of things that you have to do is to focus on the essential component of the sales process - making an appropriate quantity of sales offers. If you're looking for a simple way to increase your results, focus on the quantity of sales offers that you make.

Do two things. First, begin to keep track of how many of these sales offers you make in the course of a week. Initially, don't worry about what you're presenting, and don't be concerned about the dollar volume of each potential piece of business. Those are more sophisticated concerns that can be considered later. For now, just keep track of how many offers you make. Use a simple hash mark system in your planner. Each day, make a hash mark for each offer you presented to a customer. At the end of each week, add up the number of hash marks.

There is an amazing law of management that states that the behavior that you measure is the behavior that you get. That applies to self-management as well. Just the act of keeping track (measuring) the quantity of sales offers you present will help you to focus on those essential activities. As you become more aware of the quantity of sales offers, you'll naturally be drawn to ways to increase that quantity.

Which brings me to the second thing you need to do. Begin to find ways to increase the quantity of those sales offers. If you find yourself averaging five presentations a week, try to increase that to an average of ten.

When I was a new distributor salesperson, my manager told me that I oughtto attempt to have at least one new product to present at every sales call. I thought he probably new better than I did, so I did what he suggested. At some point along the way, I began to think in terms of the quantity of sales offers. It occurred to me that I could double the number of sales offers I made by taking two or more products in to every sales call. So I began to spend a little more time preparing my samples and literature each week, so that I could dramatically increase the quantity of sales offers I made. That simple strategy was certainly part of my $1Million a year increase in sales.

It can be for you, too. When you're overwhelmed with too much to do, and when you're feeling like you're being drawn in a kaleidoscope of conflicting directions, focus on the essential part of your job. Measure and increase the quantity of sales offers you make. It will keep you close to the heart of your job and help you focus on the highest priority activities.

How Leaky is Your Sales Pipeline?

How Leaky is Your Sales Pipeline? – By Greg Chapman
Does your Sales Pipeline leak? If you answered no, you don’t even understand the question. Every business’ Sales Pipeline leaks to some extent. The question is: Have you done everything you can to ensure that it does not leak excessively? Do you even know what your Sales Pipeline looks like?

Very simply, a Sales Pipeline starts with an initial enquiry and ends with a sale. While the Sales Pipeline looks different in each business, there are still some similarities between them. In all businesses, there is a need to generate enquiries. This can be done through advertising, cold calling, public relations or word of mouth. This enquiry may be a phone call in response to an ad. Or, in retail, a customer may walk in your front door attracted by your shopfront marketing. This is the first step of the Sales Pipeline for any business. However, there are usually a number of steps from receiving an enquiry to generating a sale.

The next step might be getting an appointment with the prospect to establish their needs. In a retail situation, the sales staff will ask: Can I help you? Once need is established, a second appointment may be made to present a proposal, or a quote may be provided. The final step in this generic Sales Pipeline would be to close the sale.

It is essential that every business owner understands their Sales Pipeline and where it leaks. Using the generic pipeline above, what percentage of enquirers agrees to an initial appointment? How many of those agree to receive a formal proposal or ask for a quote? And finally, how many who receive a formal proposal or quote, are converted to sales? By understanding each step in your Sales Pipeline, you can measure the success in moving prospects along the pipeline, and spot where your sales process needs to be improved.

No Sales Pipeline is leak proof. In fact, there are some people who you don’t wish to become your customers. They may be the bargain hunters, the time wasters or people who are poor credit risks. So there should be a screening process to remove people who are not qualified to become your customers. To be effective, this screening process should remove unqualified prospects early in the pipeline, before you have invested too much time with them. But if you are turning away a high number of unqualified prospects, you should be looking at your enquiry generation strategy. If you sell luxury cruises, advertising in a tabloid newspaper will probably produce mostly unqualified enquiries.

All other prospects, however, are by definition, qualified. And their loss is one that you wish to minimize. If there is a large loss in getting that initial appointment, perhaps a script needs to be developed for staff to turn that initial enquiry into an appointment. If the losses are large in getting a request for a proposal or quotation, sales training on establishing rapport and need, creating desire and building value should be considered. If proposals (or quotations) have a low rate of acceptance, there could be a problem with the offer, or the way the sales person tried to close.

Put in place monitoring systems to measure the movements of prospects through your Sales Pipeline. Analyse the losses at each stage. By understanding your Sales Pipeline, you will understand what you are doing well, and where your pipeline leaks. Only then can you start plugging those leaks!

The Secret to Intense Focus

The Secret to Intense Focus by Chris Widener

One of the common elements you see in almost all successful people is focus. They saw what they wanted to achieve and they focused in on it like a laser. Then, when they become famous and we, the common folk, know their name, we are amazed at the focus they have.

Focus will set two people apart who have equal skills.

What I am about to say may appear to be blasphemous to some: Tiger Woods is not that much more highly skilled than the other top PGA players! No, I haven't lost my marbles. Take any of the big names and stick them on any course and on any given day they can shoot a 65 for 18 holes. You see, it isn't whether they can – they all CAN – it is whether or not they DO. And that is determined mostly by F-O-C-U-S.

Watch Tiger sometime in a close race to the finish. Watch when he hits a bad shot. Does he fall apart and grumble to anyone who will listen? No! In fact it is almost eerie to watch him lock back in, even more focused than ever. THAT is what makes him a champion. I truly believe it is Tiger's focus that has distinguished him from the rest of the field to become the best golfer ever.

The same is true with others who achieve great things, even in crucial and highly tense situations. Think John Elway in those final minutes of those games he brought the Broncos back in. Think of all of those last second shots that Michael Jordan took (that everyone in the entire arena knew he was going to take – including the other team). These were classic examples of focus.

So what can the average person do to increase their focus? There are some things to do to train yourself. You may never be Tiger Woods, either on the golf course or in the office, but you can increase your focus to where it needs to be to give you the success you desire.

In the remaining part of this article I want to show you how to stay away from a common mistake and turn toward a discipline of focus that will be the first step in greatly enhancing your ability to focus. I will show you a practice technique to use that will greatly enhance your focus and your performance.

The myth is that to focus we must push other things out of your mind. For example, people will say to an athlete, "Don't listen to the fans." Or someone will say to another, "Don't think about..." This doesn't work! For example, right now, do not picture your car. You thought of it right? Exactly. This myth actually gets you to focus on exactly what you don't want to focus on!

Instead, the secret to intense focus is to set your mind intently on what it is you want to focus in on. For example (I'm hoping we have some golfers here – and if not, make the changes you need to, but you should get the point), let's say you are standing over a ten foot putt.

What do you want to focus on? Making that putt! So what are the elements you should be aware of? Now focus on them. But go beyond mere observation. Most people just look at the line of the putt, take a guess on how hard to hit and fire away...

Here are some other things to do (remember the process here is to get you highly aware of your surroundings and to focus with intensity):

Look at the hole. Is the plastic cup even with the top of the grass or is it sunken in? How much? Bet you never noticed that before. Does the grass tip in at the edge or is it even? How long is the grass between you and the hole? Does it waver in length from foot to foot?

Is there sand along the way in your path? How much? What color? What size? Is it even or just for a section?

Are there any bugs sitting on the ground between you and the hole? Does the hill go up or down at all? Not significantly – you would have already noticed that – but even slightly?

Is there a slight wind? Can you feel it blowing on your face?

Lastly, imagine that ball rolling along that path, curving slightly if it has to, and falling in the hole. I mean, really create that movie in your head and watch it!

Now I can hear you asking, "Chris, is this the secret to making your putts?" No, but it's an example of how to focus... Be observant. Notice. Focus. Lock into your focal point(s).

The same could be done at a business meeting with all of the people there, what questions they are asking, what points are being made, what may come next, what the others are wearing, why they chose that outfit for this meeting (What were they were trying to accomplish etc).

The myth of most focus advice is to try to not focus on bad things.

The secret to intense focus is to focus to a higher degree than you normally do on the "good things" – the things you are trying to accomplish!

Give it a try for a week. Focus intensely on what it is you want to accomplish. Bring yourself to a much higher degree of awareness of the surroundings etc... and see for yourself the power behind this methodology!

Then when you have taught yourself to do this for practice, it will become a part of you and you will start to do it naturally and that will be an incredible day!

Finding Financial Freedom

Finding Financial Freedom by Chris Widener

Do you ever get this in your email box: Find Financial Freedom! Make $150,000 from home in the next 90 days! How about 10 times a day?

Every time I get one of these, I think to myself, "Hmmm, Financial Freedom. I already have financial freedom, even though it doesn't look like what these emails promise me."

Financial freedom is a buzzword for our generation. It is the pursuit of literally millions of people. So what is it? Is it that elusive? Can anyone get it?

Let me start by saying that this article will not be about how to earn money, or even more money. Rather, it will be about how to find financial freedom, which may or may not involve making more money.

Financial freedom - here we go!

The first step in finding financial freedom is to realize that financial freedom has absolutely nothing to do with how much money you have or make. What? Exactly. Financial freedom is something that goes on inside of you. This is why someone who makes very little can be happy and someone who makes a ton can be extremely stressed out over his or her financial situation. So the first step is to realize that financial freedom is more about our attitudes toward money than about the amount of money.

"Okay Chris, I'm with you. So what are the attitudes that provide financial freedom?" Here are a few that keep me in financial freedom.

I do not have to worry about money. I used to catch myself saying, "If I had more money, then I wouldn't have to worry about ..." But do you know what? I don't have to worry anyway. I can control my income. I can control my outgo. I can make choices that can alleviate any of my worries. I also realized that things always work out. So why worry? I choose not to worry.

I can be happy regardless of my financial state. I know people who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars and I know people who don't have two nickels to rub together. Some are happy and some aren't. And none of the people who have a lot of money say to me, "Chris, I've become so happy since I got money." They were happy before they had money and they are happy now that they have money. Their happiness has nothing to do with the money. I think it was the Billionaire David Geffen who said, "Anyone who says that money will buy them happiness has never had any money."

Money will be a means to an end, not the end itself. Another way to look at it is that money will be a tool to build the house, not the house itself. I would set some financial goals if I were you, but go beyond that to know what greater purpose there will be when you reach them. What will the house be that you will build with that tool?

I am free. I am free to earn - some people think it is bad to earn more money. It isn't. I am free to save - some people believe it is bad to save. It isn't. I am free to give money away - some people feel they will be better off hoarding it. They won't. I am free to spend - some people believe that they can't spend anything on themselves. They can. We are free to make choices. That is financial freedom. One of my favorite quotes is from Charles Wesley, "Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can." That will keep you in financial freedom.

Some other principles for financial freedom...

Debt is the primary freedom killer. Want financial freedom? The first thing you should do is to get out of debt. That is priority number one. One of the reasons I have financial freedom is that I have no debt other than my house payment. And I work hard to manage myself and our home to keep us that way. For years I drove an old junker car, and while I looked bad, I had financial freedom that others who were in debt didn't have! There is an old proverb - The borrower is the servant of the lender. Who has freedom? The lender. Who doesn't? The borrower. Develop a plan to get out of debt!

Embrace delayed gratification. Here is the principle: Buy it now and struggle later. Another principle: Delay it now, invest the money, and have all you want later on! And you won't even have to touch the principal! We tend to think that having it now will bring enjoyment, but unless you can do it and not cause yourself financial stress, you will actually get more from waiting to buy it later!

Have more by managing better. The fact is that most of us earn enough. What would be beneficial would be to set our priorities and live by a budget. As we get control, our budget will loosen up a bit and we will find ourselves enjoying it more. Money that is already there can be your answer if you put it to work for you.

Spend some time thinking through your attitudes about money. You may be surprised at how you can change a few, look at things a little bit differently and begin to enjoy true financial freedom!

Chris Widener

Keeping Your Attitude Up When Circumstances Are Down

Keeping Your Attitude Up When Circumstances Are Down by Chris Widener

"Instead of spending your time thinking about how bad things are, think about how good they will be!"

Everyone knows that a positive attitude is key to the successful life. But what happens when things go wrong? What happens when circumstances deal us a blow? We have a tendency to let our attitudes take the dive along with our state of affairs. Life deals us setbacks, both minor and major, on a regular basis, but if we are going to be successful, we need to know how to deal with them and keep our attitudes intact! We need practical tools to help us understand how we can go about keeping our attitude up, when the circumstances are down. Here are some thoughts to help us do so:

Take some time-out. I'm sure you are aware of what happens. You are going about your day and everything seems to be going well, when out of nowhere disaster strikes. All of your best-laid plans begin to tumble. Sometimes circumstances surprise us and we react. Unfortunately, this often compounds the problem because by reacting we tend to operate out of our weaknesses instead of our strengths. We make decisions that are not well thought out. We function with a bad attitude that says, "I can't believe this is happening!"

The next time circumstances turn against you, take some time to just step back from the problem and think. This will enable you to deal with the issue at hand rationally, instead of emotionally. It will allow you to put your state of mind back into its proper place. It gives you the opportunity to choose your attitude as you face the circumstances at hand. Remember that we don't have to do something right now. Go grab a cup of coffee and relax little bit. By doing this you function with you being in control and not the circumstances.

Keep your eye on the goal. A second step in keeping our attitude in the proper place is to make sure we keep the important things important. One of the biggest problems with trouble is that it gets your focus off of where it should be. When I experience difficult circumstances and people ask me how it is going, I tell them, "I am just keeping my eye on the goal." It has always been fascinating to me that when racecar drivers get into trouble, they keep their eyes straight ahead and do not move them away. There is just too much chance of wrecking that way. Instead, their eyes are on the goal, and this keeps them out of trouble. If you find yourself getting down about circumstances, sit down and write out what the goal is. Give some thought to how you can achieve that goal or others you may have.

A man was asked how he was doing and he responded, "Pretty well, under the circumstances." The other man asked, "What are you doing under the circumstances?" Good question. We shouldn't be under the circumstances we should be focused on the goal and moving forward.

Focus on solutions, not problems. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, the old saying goes. Negative circumstances don't sit idly by. They scream for our attention. When we face difficult circumstances, we tend to dwell on them. We talk about them, fret about them, and give them way too much attention. Instead of talking about problems, talk about solutions. Instead of spending your time thinking about how bad things are, think about how good they will be! Don't have family or staff meetings about the problems and how big they are. Have meetings on the solutions and how you will implement them. Don't let yourself or other team members complain. Encourage them to solve, with an emphasis on the positive results that will come from doing so. Then take some time to put these solutions down on paper, so you can monitor your progress.

Get some positive input. The mind tends to build on itself, so when we begin to go in one direction, I.e. Worry, it can be a slippery slope. One thing we must do is get our thoughts back on track with positive ideas. When circumstances have got you against the emotional wall, get with a good friend who can encourage you. Listen to a CD by Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar or another motivational speaker. Pick up a good book and give it a read. Whatever external influence you can get to put your attitude back on the positive side of the tracks - do it! It must be one of our first goals to start plugging good things into our minds to fuel our attitudes.

Tell yourself the good. One of the greatest internal powers we have is the power to control our thoughts. Spend time dwelling on the good things about your life or job instead of the problems. Think about positive things, things you enjoy and give you a sense of happiness and peace. There is an old childhood song that says, "Count your blessings, name them one by one." That is great advice! Let your positive attitude develop from within as well as from without. This makes all the difference!

Remember that circumstances are not forever. Sometimes it seems like we are going to be up to our eyeballs in the situation forever, when in reality, this too shall pass. There will be a time in the future when circumstances will change and you will be on the mountain instead of the valley. This will give you a sense of hope as you live and work that will change your attitude, make you feel better and put you on the fast track for growth!

Some questions as we close:

Q. Do you have a habit of reflection before responding?
Q. Do you have a habit of keeping your eye on the goal?
Q. Do you focus on solutions or problems?
Q. Do you give yourself positive outside influence?
Q. Do you have a habit of telling yourself the good?
Q. Do you remind yourself that nothing is forever?

Chris Widener

Release the Shackles of Mediocrity!

Release the Shackles of Mediocrity! By Lisa Jimenez

Imagine a BIG production company came to you with a huge budget and a line-up of the biggest names in Hollywood to make a movie of your life.

Tell me. Would anyone want to go see it?

And, if they did, would it be pegged as a great adventure; filled with outrageous risk and incredible quests? Would it be a famous suspense movie; peppered with dramatic events where you turned victim to victory? Would it be an empowering love story? A heart-warming example of a person who knows how to really love?

In other words.

Are you living a life worth watching?

And If not, why not? What's keeping you from really living?

In all the research I did for my book Conquer Fear! I noticed a common thread weaving within every success story. Every person had some amount of hidden fear they had to deal with in order to breakthrough mediocrity. And they were willing to do it!

We've already spoken extensively about hidden fears being the biggest culprit that hold you back and keep you from really living. (If you need strategies to overcome this, get a copy of "Conquer Fear!") What I want to talk about in this article is something beyond that.

It's about living in mediocrity.

In a recent radio interview I did, several people called in to ask why they can't make their life work. They can't seem to stay motivated and focused long enough to create a breakthrough success. I've had countless people share their lack-luster lives with me and ask, "What is wrong with me?"

Have you ever asked that question before? How many times have you set a goal for yourself that you are excited about, and then, within a very short time you get sidetracked and stop doing the things you know you need to?

Are you lazy? Do you lack discipline?

I don't think it is either of these. I believe it is your beliefs about letting yourself really live - really love - really succeed! Many people think they're just not meant to live an outrageous life. And that belief holds them in bondage of mediocrity!

When I was a little girl, my parents would often visit some special friends. These friends had a daughter named Michelle whom everyone (including my parents) affectionately called, "The Princess." Well, I guess there can only be one princess because I was referred to as, "The Duchesse." I can still remember how much I hated that nickname. Now, mind you, I know a Duchesse is royalty. But, in my five year old little mind the Duchesse did not symbolize royalty. To me it clearly meant "second place". I began to see myself as second place.

Fast forward 5 years. I'm in my first dance competition. What place do you think I came in? - Second place!

Fast forward 10 years. I'm in my first beauty pageant. What place do you think I came in? - Second place!

Then, the next year I'm in the Miss Teen USA contest. I've completed all but one final competition. The reigning queen approaches me during the break and says, "Lisa, you've got this thing. Just go out there and give a great interview and you're going to win!" The interview process was my strongest ability. This was going to be a sure thing. But when I took hold of the microphone, I froze. All I can remember saying is a bunch of unintelligible words and soon the announcement came. Lisa Jimenez - first runner-up - SECOND PLACE!

It was a self-fulfilled prophecy of my beliefs. I just didn't see myself as first place.

What about you? Do you have any silly childhood nicknames or past experiences that are limiting you? What are they? Are you willing to expose them - deal with them - and breakthrough them? Until you break free from these lies they will limit your success and keep you in mediocrity.

When I finally realized I had created a pattern of second place, I began changing that belief. I began seeing myself in first place and that helped me behave like a first place winner - which helped me become first place.

Several months into my breakthrough, I received a little box tied with a satin ribbon from Michelle's mom. Inside this box was a tiny princess carriage made of gold. It came with a note that read, "Lisa, you are always a princess to me." I keep this tiny, golden carriage out in my office. It reminds me that I am created for first place! It gives me the courage to surround myself with people that SEE me (and themselves) as "first place" too.

How do you see yourself? When you look in the mirror at your reflection, what and who do you see? Do you see that childhood nickname, those past failures, painful regrets, second place?

Or do you see a National Sales Director? A multi-millionaire? A loving friend? A powerful entrepreneur? Do you see yourself as "First Place"?

Your personal perception of yourself defines your reality.

It's true that success is the combination of belief and time. The more belief you have, the less time it takes.

Cultivate your internal value! And surround yourself with others who hold you accountable to your greatness - and their own!

I want this success report to be an electric current of energy that will motivate you to throw yourself out into the world to make a difference - a big difference. It's about tuning in and turning on. And you begin this process by believing you are meant to achieve great things. Only you can release the shackles of mediocrity.

What bold, outrageous difference will you make this last month of the year that will greatly contribute to yourself and to others? What steps do you need to take today to begin?

Make it a great month and leave 2007 with a bang!

Richest blessings,

Lisa Jimenez M.Ed.

Don't Send Your Ducks to Eagle School

Don't Send Your Ducks to Eagle School by Jim Rohn (Excerpted from Leading an Inspired Life)

The first rule of management is this: don't send your ducks to eagle school. Why? Because it won't work. Good people are found not changed. They can change themselves, but you can't change them. You want good people, you have to find them. If you want motivated people, you have to find them, not motivate them.

I picked up a magazine not long ago in New York that had a full-page ad in it for a hotel chain. The first line of the ad read, "We do not teach our people to be nice." Now that got my attention. The second line said, "We hire nice people." I thought, "what a cleaver shortcut!’

Motivation is a mystery. Why are some people motivated and some are not? Why does one salesperson see his first prospect at seven in the morning while the other sees his first prospect at eleven in the morning? Why would one start at seven and the other start at eleven? I don´t know. Call it "mysteries of the mind."

I give lectures to a thousand people at a time. One walks out and says, "I'm going to change my life." Another walks out with a yawn and says, "I've heard all this stuff before." Why is that?

The wealthy man says to a thousand people, "I read this book, and it started me on the road to wealth." Guess how many of the thousand go out and get the book? Answer: very few. Isn't that incredible? Why wouldn't everyone go get the book? Mysteries of the mind…

To one person, you have to say, "You'd better slow down. You can't work that many hours, do that many things, go, go, go. You´re going to have a heart attack and die." And to another person, you have to say, "When are you going to get off the couch?" What is the difference? Why wouldn't everyone strive to be wealthy and happy?

Chalk it up to mysteries of the mind and don't waste your time trying to turn ducks into eagles. Hire people who already have the motivation and drive to be eagles and then just let them soar.

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

Four Words that Make Life Worthwhile

Four Words that Make Life Worthwhile by Jim Rohn

Over the years as I've sought out ideas, principles and strategies to life's challenges, I've come across four simple words that can make living worthwhile.

First, life is worthwhile if you LEARN. What you don't know WILL hurt you. You have to have learning to exist, let alone succeed. Life is worthwhile if you learn from your own experiences - negative or positive. We learn to do it right by first sometimes doing it wrong. We call that a positive negative. We also learn from other people's experiences, both positive and negative. I've always said that it is too bad failures don't give seminars. Obviously, we don't want to pay them so they aren't usually touring around giving seminars. But that information would be very valuable – we would learn how someone who had it all then messed it up. Learning from other people's experiences and mistakes is valuable information because we can learn what not to do without the pain of having tried and failed ourselves.

We learn by what we see so pay attention. We learn by what we hear so be a good listener. Now I do suggest that you should be a selective listener, don't just let anybody dump into your mental factory. We learn from what we read so learn from every source; learn from lectures; learn from songs; learn from sermons; learn from conversations with people who care. Always keep learning.

Second, life is worthwhile if you TRY. You can't just learn; now you have to try something to see if you can do it. Try to make a difference, try to make some progress, try to learn a new skill, try to learn a new sport. It doesn't mean you can do everything, but there are a lot of things you can do, if you just try. Try your best. Give it every effort. Why not go all out?

Third, life is worthwhile if you STAY. You have to stay from spring until harvest. If you have signed up for the day or for the game or for the project - see it through. Sometimes calamity comes and then it is worth wrapping it up. And that's the end, but just don't end in the middle. Maybe on the next project you pass, but on this one, if you signed up, see it through.

And lastly, life is worthwhile if you CARE. If you care at all you will get some results, if you care enough you can get incredible results. Care enough to make a difference. Care enough to turn somebody around. Care enough to start a new enterprise. Care enough to change it all. Care enough to be the highest producer. Care enough to set some records. Care enough to win.

Four powerful little words: learn, try, stay and care. What difference can you make in your life today by putting these words to work?

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

Three Keys to Greatness

Three Keys to Greatness by Jim Rohn

Several years ago I went into the studio and recorded a 56-minute video for teenagers called "Three Keys To Greatness." Although my focus was for teenagers, the principles I shared certainly apply to adults as well.

Recently I was asked to list these three things using one to two sentences for each. Now for your benefit here they are again.

1) Setting Goals. I call it the view of the future. Most people, including kids, will pay the price if they can see the promise of the future. So we need to help our kids see a well-defined future, so they will be motivated to pay the price today to attain the rewards of tomorrow. Goals help them do this.

2) Personal Development. Simply making consistent investments in our self-education and knowledge banks pays major dividends throughout our lives. I suggest having a minimum amount of time set aside for reading books, listening to audiocassettes, attending seminars, keeping a journal and spending time with other successful people. Charlie “Tremendous’ Jones says you will be in five years the sum total of the books you read and the people you are around.

3) Financial Planning. I call it the 70/30 plan. After receiving your paycheck or paying yourself, simply setting aside 10% for saving, 10% for investing and 10% for giving, and over time this will guarantee financial independence for a teenager.

If a young person, or for that matter an adult, focused on doing these three simple things over a long period of time I believe they will be assured success!

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

What Motivates the Motivator?

What Motivates the Motivator? By Chris Widener

Some time ago, someone wrote me an email and said, "I would love to know what motivates YOU!" So I took them up on it and I want to spend some time telling you how I stay motivated.

It is a valid question, this one of what motivates me. After all, each and every day I have to stay on the top of my game whether it is because I am giving a speech, marketing my materials, writing to one of the subscribers I have in over 100 countries around the world, or just trying to keep my kids energized!

As I thought about it, I realized again just how simple life can be if you put the right processes in place. I realized that me staying motivated revolves around a few basic things that I do. And they are things that ANYBODY can do. So if I can stay motivated, you can too! If you want to stay motivated, try these basics that I use to keep myself motivated:

Read good books and magazines.
I am an information junkie! I read all of the time. I don't care what you say; you cannot be successful without reading! I read books, magazines etc all of the time. I read a breadth of information so as to develop myself on a wide variety of topics. Keep reading them on a regular basis throughout the month and not just in reading binges. Listen to good information. Get yourself into some good tapes. Listen to what others have to say. Give yourself a budget to spend on materials that will make you into a motivated animal! Above all, as you listen, apply the truths to your life in your head and they will become what you live! Maintain a positive group of friends and colleagues. I broke this rule yesterday and went to coffee with a real downer. I am still recovering from him! One of the best things you can do is to surround yourself with positive people who will build you up and encourage you to pursue your dreams. They will be honest with you, yes, but they will also challenge you to shoot for the stars!

Focus clearly on my goals.
I know where I am going and what I want to accomplish. They are firmly rooted in my mind and heart. Because of this, my mind and heart are in an attitude of motivation all of the time. I want to hit my goals and since they are present in my heart and mind, I put my energies into them.

Discipline myself to live out my priorities.
Most of the time, this takes plain old hard work. We have to discipline ourselves and as we do we find ourselves becoming more and more motivated. If we discipline ourselves, it gives us wins and victories, which makes us feel good, which motivates us for further action. If we don't discipline ourselves, we feel defeated and we fall into a downward spiral of despair.

Are you keeping yourself motivated? You can. I know you can because I have seen these principles and actions work in my own life. Take a moment right now and see if you are living out the principles for keeping motivated:

Do you regularly read good books and magazines?
Do you regularly listen to good material?
Do you surround yourself with positive and supportive people?
Do you know and focus on your goals?
Do you discipline yourself to action even when you don't feel like it?
Commit yourself to these and you will find that you become a much more motivated person. This is what I do, and why I can continue to motivate others!

Upward and onward my friends!

Chris Widener

The Seven C's of Success

The Seven C's of Success

Brian, after having studied top achievers and peak performers over the past 25 years, concluded that these unique men and women, have in most cases, mastered what he calls the Seven C´s of Success.

1. Clarity - Eighty percent of success comes from being clear on who you are, what you believe in and what you want.

2. Competence - You can't climb to the next rung on the ladder until you are excellent at what you do now.

3. Constraints - Eighty percent of all obstacles to success come from within. Find out what is constraining in you or your company and deal with it

4. Concentration - The ability to focus on one thing single-mindedly and see it through until it's done takes more character than anything else.

5. Creativity - Flood your life with ideas from many sources. Creativity needs to be exercised like a muscle, if you don't use it you'll lose it.

6. Courage - Most in demand and least in supply, courage is the willingness to do the things you know are right

7. Continuous learning - Read, at the very least, one book a week on business to keep you miles ahead of the competition. And just as you eat and bathe, organize your time so you spend 30 minutes a day exploring e-mail, sending messages, going through web sites, because like exercise, it's the only way you can keep on top of technology. If you get away from it, you'll lose your edge.

11 Powerful Ways to Expand Your Life This Year

11 Powerful Ways to Expand Your Life This Year
Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE

  1. Define your future. Describe the life you'd like to live. The future you see defines the person you'll need to be. Identify the traits and qualities you'd like to acquire. Think bigger than yourself. An acorn that only thinks as an acorn will never become a mighty oak. Stretch yourself. You are undoubtedly capable of more than you ever dreamed is possible for you.
  2. Become the person who would achieve your goals. As you develop the skills, knowledge, relationships and demeanor of the 'future you,' your goals will be the natural byproduct of your growth. Spend an extra hour each day in the study of your chosen field.
  3. Give more than you must. Nothing advances until somebody does more than they are paid to do. Always deliver more value than others expect. Don't require others to acknowledge your generosity. Give with 'class.'
  4. Make time for what you love. If you don't live fully, you deny the world your potential contributions. Your 'play' sometimes contributes as much as your 'work.' What you love reveals the value you bring to the world.
  5. Refine your Inner Circle. We define ourselves through our key relationships. Explore the mix and depth of those with whom you spend most of your time. Release those who limit you and connect with those who can help you live more fully.
  6. Resolve your unfinished business. Either deal with it or discard it. Say your apologies, face your fears, pay your debts, express your gratitude and get on with living. Don't let yesterday drain value from today and tomorrow. Break out of the limited world of your past and start to grow.
  7. Rethink existing habits and routines. Describe your typical day and then reconsider every aspect of it. Change or expand the places you go, people you see, things you do, and the time you devote to each. Try new things. Learn a new language, go someplace different, do some things you'd typically pass by. Find out what your possibilities really are.
  8. Lighten up. Stop stressing over things that only matter to you emotionally. When life isn't fair to you, get over it quickly. Take your misfortunes as 'course corrections' rather than 'catastrophes.' Let go so you can grow.
  9. Tighten up. Sloppiness in life allows more variables to creep in and spoil your plans. Stay on target, increase your self-discipline, master the art of self-motivation. Sometimes details matter a lot.
  10. Profile yourself. Keep a journal of your goals, concerns, fears, and dreams. Review it at least once a year. Look for patterns that reveal your core values, natural velocity, natural intelligences and recurring situations. Realize how life ebbs and flows for you. Notice the natural cycles of life. Know yourself.
  11. Invest in yourself. Set aside a portion of each year's income to acquire new tools and teachers to increase your potential. Refine your systems, get expert coaching, attend special conferences, cultivate a study group, appoint a board of advisors. You are your only true asset. Send part of today ahead to the person you'll be in the future.

The Winner's Circle by Dr. Denis Waitley

The Winner's Circle by Dr. Denis Waitley

Recently we saw those five, brilliant, interlocking Olympic rings on flags and in television and billboard advertising globally. The Olympic Games, where the best in the world go for the gold and the few stand, listening to their national anthem, in the coveted winner's circle. If the five Olympic rings were attitudes of champions in every profession, these five attitudes would be prominent in the mindset of the peak performer:

1. Paying the Price -- Everyone wants to win, but few are willing to invest the time and effort. Paying the price means focusing on developing the skills and training regimen of champions – observation, imitation, repetition and the internalization of knowledge into habits; also, learning why and how to go the extra mile and seeing success as a marathon, not a dash. Champions view failures as temporary inconveniences and learning experiences.

2. The Olympian Within -- Winners believe in their worth in advance of their performance. Most people base their worth on their current status or achievement level, which means that until they are judged successful by society's standards, they have little to be proud of. Champions believe in their dreams when they have only a dream to hang on to, even in the face of criticism and superior achievements by others.

3. Non-situational Integrity -- Authentic, lasting winners have an uncompromising attitude about self-honesty. They function according to an "integrity triangle", consisting of three basic questions:
(a) Are my beliefs based upon truth?
(b) Do my words and actions correspond with truth and honesty?
(c) Before I speak or act, do I honestly consider the impact of my decision on other people and the environment?

4. The "Coachability" Factor -- Champions are always open to alternatives to improve their performance. Consistent winners are not the arrogant egotists who dominate the media spotlight. The most successful individuals in the game of life are often the most approachable, most gracious, non-judgmental with others and most critical of their own performances, as well as most eager to learn and improve.

5. Being a Team Player -- a team in harmony is synergy in motion, where the whole is greater than the sum of the individual talents. When all assignments are understood, when each takes 100 percent responsibility for the outcome, a quantum leap in performance takes place. Winners learn how to become interdependent, without sacrificing individuality; how to stand out, while fitting in.

Develop these five Champion attitudes and watch it increase your effectiveness and performance while you work to achieve success.

Leadership Prep by Chris Widener

Leadership Prep by Chris Widener

So you want to be a leader? Or you want to be a better leader? It can be done, you know. No matter where you are in your leadership journey, you CAN move forward. You CAN lead better. You CAN lead more people. You CAN lead your organization to higher ground. Yes, you CAN!

But let me tell you this: You won't do it via osmosis! It won't just "happen." Growing in your leadership is not something that comes from the fairy godmother of leadership. You can't touch the hem of Jack Welch's garment and become "Super-Leader!" Oh, that it were that easy!

So what does it take?

Hard Knocks.
A Mentor.
And a few others.

But let's start at the very beginning. You want to be a leader. That's good. You want to be a better leader. That's good too. But what comes first? Preparation. Leadership Prep. What is it? What needs to happen in order to get yourself ready to become a leader? As you get ready and want to take the next step in your leadership, take some time and go through a little reflection on Leadership Prep.

Before you become the leader you want to be:

Count the cost. Leadership is hard. There will be times that you say, "Leadership isn't worth it. These people are crazy and I don't deserve this." It is true. You don't deserve it. But you choose it. You choose it because you want to lead people. You want to improve their lives. You see the higher ground that they cannot see and you desire to take them there. It will take time. It will take money. It will sap your strength and energy. Count the cost, my friend. Leadership is not for the weak and timid. Yes, the rewards are great, but so are the sacrifices. Prep yourself for the cost of leadership.

Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Too many people dive into trying to lead and end up dying out because they were not honest with themselves about their strengths and weaknesses. They get going and realize that they should have strengthened themselves in certain areas because now it is killing their ability to lead. If you know your strengths, then you can focus yourself on them and allow yourself to be successful through them. If you are aware of your weaknesses you will be able to stay away from them, or hire to cover them, and thus allow yourself to become even more successful as a leader. So prep yourself by becoming exceedingly clear on your strengths and weaknesses.

Settle in for the marathon, not the sprint. Very few - I mean VERY few - people get big leadership assignments at early ages. And when they do, even fewer of the few see things happen fast in their leadership. No, usually things happen slowly. Why do we think they will happen fast then? Because those are the only stories we hear on TV and read about in magazines. "Twenty-five year old starts business that grows to $20 million a year in sales in JUST TWO YEARS," Sells a lot better than "Forty-five year old works hard for twenty years and builds lasting business that makes a difference in her community." Right? Right. So, unless you are one of the chosen few, you will need to prep for a marathon, not a sprint. This is both a mental and emotional adjustment that needs to be made. Prep for the long haul!

Develop a learning attitude. You have perhaps heard it said, "Leaders are readers." It is true. Even more so, leaders are learners. I don't know any leader who has attained any level of leadership who doesn't keep him or herself on the edge of learning. One of my mentors runs a company that you would all know by name - in fact, you probably used one of their products today, no matter where you live in the world - that does billions of dollars a year in revenue (Yes, with a "b") and he still takes time each year to go to a school of leadership! He is already a tremendously successful leader, yet he is still working on it! THAT is a learning attitude! If you want to lead, prep yourself for it by developing a learning attitude.

Acquire a love for people. In reality, we do not lead organizations or businesses. No, we lead people. We are successful if we know how to lead people. People are the name of the game. And the best way to become a leader of people is to love people. Others can tell instinctually whether or not we love them and have their best interests at heart. If they do not know that we care for them they will not follow. Leadership is the art of directing people who we care for and desire to help. In other words, we love people. If you have an issue with people, chances are you are not ready to lead them. To prep yourself for leadership, acquire a love for people. If the other things are in place, then they will want to follow you.

You CAN become a leader. I truly believe that. If you are already a leader, I know you can become better. Take a long, hard look at yourself and see if perhaps there are some areas you need to prep yourself in regard to leadership so that when you really get going you don't have to stop and go back!

Leadership Prep - that's the place to start!

Chris Widener

The Myth of What We Manage

The Myth of What We Manage by Chris Widener

Perhaps it is merely semantics, but an underlying problem I find that people have as it relates to the success in their life lies in a proper understanding of what exactly it is that we manage. Think about it. We have time management (In fact, I have a seminar on this very topic, some of which is excerpted below), and financial management, and relational management, weight management, career management, and many, many more.

The fact is though, that we don't manage any of those things. What we do manage is ourselves, as they relate to those things. We don't manage time. Time clicks by, second by second, whether we do anything or not. What we do is manage ourselves, and our activities, as the time passes. We make choices as to what we will do and be involved in. The problem as well as the solution lies not with time, but with us.

We don't manage money. A pile of money will sit there forever if left alone. It won't grow or shrink. What we manage is ourselves and the decisions we make in regard to how we will spend the money. Getting the idea?

So as we live our lives and pursue success, one of the keys to grab on to is the idea that the most important thing we can manage isn't a thing at all - it is our self!

How then can we manage ourselves? Here are some thoughts.

Make sure that the above is firmly engrained in your thinking: I only manage myself. I can choose how I will act and react in every situation. Dwight D Eisenhower said, "The history of free men is not written by chance, but by choice, their choice."

Know your priorities. Do you know from top to bottom what your priorities are? Have you decided what the top ten things you want to spend your time on are? How about the same with your money? Only after you know these things can you properly manage yourself into choosing to live your priorities.

Learn to say "no" with a smile on your face. Here is where most of us fail. We do not choose to say "no" to those things that are not a matter of priority (the reason "why" is another newsletter article and probably a few counseling sessions at that!). Someone calls us up and asks us to do something for them (usually because they haven't managed themselves and would like our help picking up the pieces) and we say "Uh, I guess so." Then what? We usually kick ourselves for the rest of the day. "Why did I ever say yes?" Instead, practice this, "Gee, I am really sorry but I am not going to be able to be involved this time. I am sure you will be able to find somebody though." Go ahead and try it right now. Weird, isn't it? That is because we don't say it very often.

Schedule your priorities into you schedule or budget or whatever structure governs that area of your life. For example, do you have a financial budget that you yourself set? Then do you first and foremost spend your money in that way, say at the beginning of the month? If you do, you will eliminate even the opportunity to blow your money on impulse decisions and expenses because your money has already been committed into your priorities.

Remember, one of the greatest gifts God gave us is the ability to choose. And we can choose to manage ourselves appropriately and according to our priorities. As we do, we will find ourselves feeling less and less of the personal pain and frustration that we feel when we are out of control.

So this week, let's get goin' and manage ourselves in a way that takes us where we want to go!

Chris Widener