Are you struggling?

I'm Struggling ...

Given all the angst and anxiety in the country and world, how do I remain focused and keep my head in the game? I wish I had “THE” answer to that question as well as all the ancillary questions; how does one live in a chaotic world? How do we establish peace amongst nations? What is the best way to combat terrorism? Just to name a few. What I can offer are some tips that have helped ground me while the earth shakes, as it always does, sometimes more violently than usual. Let’s be mindful that this is the same world that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Venus and Serena Williams live in. And recently, Roger and Serena WON the Australian Open.

 Perhaps simplistic, here are 6 ways that can you deal with uncertainty in an ever-changing world.

  1. Immediately, begin a meditation or mindfulness practice first thing in the morning. Lots of great books/ tapes to assist; I like, The Relaxation Response by Dr. Herbert BensonSimply quieting the mind while setting positive and productive intentions for 15 minutes creates a powerful landscape on which to imprint our day.
  2. Journal daily. Thoughts, fears, questions, gratitude, anger, successes, failures. Facing these written demons and angels allows us to distinguish between negative or disempowering beliefs and thinking patterns and those that are more life affirming and empowering. When we “know thyself” and become more self-aware. we can then actively avoid certain triggers that cause angst.  
  3. Be amongst nature. See, smell and feel the trees, beach, mountains, animals. They were here first and hold many answers to our questions if we simply take the time and find the quiet to really listen.
  4. Hold emotions in check. Emoting rarely solves critical problems. Read all sides, all opinions, fact check, ask questions. “Is that comment based on fact or just your opinion?”  “How do you know that to be true?” “From what source did you learn that?”
  5. Avoid arguing opinion and beliefs. That’s a zero-sum game. Seek first to understand; debate facts and figures. Agreement is not necessary; respect, absolutely.
  6. Stay true to personal goals and objectives. Remember, Nietzche, “He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any ‘how.’” What is our “why?"  What is important about achieving what we want? And finally, as with Roger and Serena, are we willing TO DO what we must in order to get what we say we want?

 They were. They did. They won. Same worldly, chaotic existance.

Therefore, we can.

When the Stakes Are High, Can You Wing It?

Can you imagine what today looks like for Lester Holt, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? Do you think they are currently practicing and rehearsing their talking points? Do you think they have been role playing in front of adversarial surrogates? Do you think they have been coached by their strategists, stylists and other multiple consultants? Do you think they will be EXTREMELY prepared, mentally, physically, emotionally by 6:00 pm PST tonight for what many consider to be the Presidential “at stake” debate? Yes!  The stakes are extremely high for all three individuals ... high enough that their futures and reputations are on the line (Not to mention the country’s!).

Now, think about your most recent listing appointment. How would you compare your preparatory process to these individuals? Did you practice and rehearse your talking points? Did you role play your objection handlers and closing techniques? What did you do to prepare mentally, physically and emotionally to tackle a high financial stake presentation? The “connect the dots” analogy here: Do you take your appointments as seriously as the Presidential candidates take their debates?

Don't Squander September!

Having spent the summer lounging, reading, beaching, barbecuing, partying, picnicking, concerting and vacationing, September represents the month of change, where we transition back to business “as usual,” yet with renewed energy and commitment!

September offers us opportunity to recalibrate, prepare and plan for the final quarter of the year.

 What makes this month so critical?  How we treat September directly affects both the energy and momentum we bring to the months of October, November and December; those pivotal months, in turn, directly affect the manner in which we launch into the upcoming January. Imagine beginning the new year with solid leads and sales in the pipeline; all readily achievable, provided we take action now!

 Here are a few tips to help regain your equilibrium in September so you can make the most of your final quarter:

  1.  It's not too late to plan. Create, revisit, or recreate a simple, realistic and achievable 90-day set of both personal and business goals you wish to achieve by year end. Identify in writing 2-3 specific activities per goal you intend to undertake in order transform that desire into reality.
  2. Revise your daily and weekly schedule. Parents, put all the kids’ school events and holidays on your calendar first. Then, create your business schedule around your kids’ so you’re not caught off guard and you can better choose when to take time off to be with them. Once you’ve identified your work days, post this calendar in a common, viewable place so the family can see when you will NOT be available to them.
  3. Master your time. Time block your most critical business activities in your daily and weekly schedule. These are those precious, vital few activities that deliver the biggest outcomes and rewards. In most businesses, generating new leads, following up with already existing leads for the purpose of setting appointments and solidifying relationships are the highest income generating activities.
  4. Remain patiently impatient.  All industries experience a sales cycle. Understand yours as well as your own personal business cycle. Acknowledge the ebbs and flows; don’t sweat it. Rather, use a lull to rethink, readjust, reorganize, re-strategize, remarket and reconnect with others when you are usually too busy to do so. Interesting to note that often by letting go, not pushing so hard, business appears. Also, recognize and accept the lag time from initial lead introduction to conversion into booked business. Continue to persevere.  
  5. Take action. Start. Now. 

Top producers know that a robust January and February is directly proportional to the momentum resulting from diligent attention to and application of their key activities from October through December.  So, use September to mentally and physically prepare and brace for the final intense year end push. Experiencing results early next year, you’ll be grateful you used this month wisely!  

Are you going for gold?

The 2016 Olympics have begun, and athletes from around the world are striving to perform at top level to make their country proud.  Team USA has earned 38 medals thus far and the games are far from over! These Olympians have been training endlessly and sacrificing so much for this shot at success.  Are you an Olympian in your business?  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I putting in all the hours I can?
  • Am I fully focused on bettering my technique?
  • Am I dedicating myself to reaching my max potential?  
  • What can I do to be better?

Consider these eight tips from Olympic coaches and athletes:

  1. VISUALIZE SUCCESS: The vast majority of athletes and coaches say that picturing the process, not just the end result, is key. "When you close your eyes and paint the full sensory picture (see, smell, feel, etc.) of you achieving your goal, it’s like giving your brain a practice round. Not only does it make your goal tangible and thus more motivating, but it stimulates the same part of the brain as actually doing it," says Jason Rogers, a former U.S. Olympic fencer.
  2. REVIEW YOUR PROGRESS: We know daily routines and systems are crucial to the success of your business; as it turns out, athletes can also offer inspiring insight about the best way to start and end your day. Olympic swimmer and seven-time gold medalist James Magnussen says his daily routine helps him stay on track to achieve his goals. "I think about my goals when I wake up and what I have to do that day. Then, at the end of the day, I do a recap and think about what I did well and what I could have improved," he says. "Athletes can become solely focused on long-term goals and lose sight of what they have to do each day in order to achieve those goals."
  3. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL: If you tend to compare yourself to high-achieving colleagues, you're making a common mistake.  Shannon Miller, the most decorated gymnast in American history and a seven-time Olympic medalist, says "I was very focused as an athlete. I didn’t watch the other athletes ... what mattered to me was going up and hitting my routines, giving it 100% every time out. That’s what I could control, so that’s what I focused on."
  4. DEVELOP A STRESS RITUAL: The moment before you meet with clients can be terrifying; your heart is pounding and your nervousness is at a peak.  Take a moment to steady yourself.  Rogers, who believes performance is about finding the right headspace, says "I found that if I could remind myself of certain principles before a competition or match, it was easier for me to find the ‘zone.'"
  5. DETAIL SHORT TERM PLANS: Australian Olympic swim team coach Lach Falvey says there's one habit that can derail their success. "It's easy for athletes to get tunnel vision and get caught up on the end goal without paying attention to the process along the way," he says, noting that small daily plans are key to stay focused. "I find those [who] lose sight of the small steps and processes are those [who] lose motivation when things aren't going as planned."  Remember success is a system and when the going gets tough, you need to know where you are going.
  6. MAINTAIN PASSION: If you're struggling with waning motivation, coaches and athletes agree that the secret is recalling why you've chosen your profession. "I think it’s easy to lose motivation when you forget why you are doing the sport in the first place," says Miller. "If you lose that spark, that passion, it’s easy to move through a workout without truly giving it your all. You have to want it."  Similarly, Falvey says he prompts his Olympic team to recall why they love the sport, to maintain passion. "I never want to just tick the box or go through the motions, as I think that is one of the most disadvantageous things in life. Coaching is what I love and care about and it's that passion that motivates me."  Keep your WHY in the forefront at all time!
  7. BUILD A STRONG SUPPORT NETWORK: "The two most common mistakes athletes make are listening to too many people or not listening at all," says Olympic track and field coach James Fitzgerald. He says his role it to remind athletes to focus and build a network of people they can trust. "Some athletes will take on too many options and begin to question themselves. [Others] will isolate themselves and forget that informed decisions and choices got them to this point. A good coach will know when to act in both situations and refocus their athlete," he says. The take home? In stressful situations, call on people you know and trust, like valued colleagues or mentors. Listen to the right people to regain your focus.
  8. VALUE PATIENCE: Ambition is crucial in achieving your goals, but don't underestimate the importance of patience during the process. Olympic swimmer Georgia Bohl says her career motto has helped her stay calm and focused in the lead-up to the games. "My mantra is 'life's too short to be upset or angry. Make the most of every situation you are in and don't be too hard on yourself.  Everything happens in due time, you just have to be patient and be willing to do what it takes to get you there."     

You don't have to be an Olympian to take the gold medal!  Focus on what you can do NOW that will make you a champion in your business.

Finding It Hard to Work AND Play?

Summer is in full swing, and this time of year can be challenging.  Between school being on break, the gorgeous weather, and EVERYONE going on vacation, distractions are at a maximum.  If you're finding it hard to find work/life balance, consider the following tips for summer success!

SRPC Summer Success Tips
  1. Set a specific summer schedule.  Post it on your refrigerator so everyone in the household knows when you must work and when you are free to let loose!
  2. I know you've heard, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."  It also makes Jack depleted and cranky! Even if you can't escape on an extended vacation, commit to family and friend playtime.  Be sure to include it on your summer schedule to have something to look forward to.
  3. Don't skimp out on prospecting!  With all the summer activities occurring, now is an optimal time for networking and making contacts.
  4. I mentioned summer activities ... use these as a way of staying connected and providing an extra special touch to your past clients, core vendors, and others in your sphere.  Invite them to movies in the park, free concerts, or a day at the zoo!
  5. Keep your head in the game by reading a business book in your downtime (like at the beach or while camping).
  6. Stay cool and hydrated!  It's crucial to take care of yourself in these hot temperatures, so be sure to have water, sunscreen, and a hat handy whether you are door knocking or at a barbecue.
  7. Maintain your focus on the success of your business by re-reading, revising, and recommitting to your business plan and the goals you set for 2016.

This summer doesn't have to be work OR play ...you CAN have your cake and eat it too by utilizing the tips we've provided.  We'd love to hear from you: what do you do to ensure work/life balance?  In the meantime, stay cool!

Have you eaten your frog today?

Can you believe it is nearly June?  How does the year go by so quickly?  Many of my clients have been commenting on this and how it feels like there just aren't enough hours in the day, let alone the year, to get everything done to meet their goals.  They can't focus on important activities because there are SO MANY more things that need to be handled.  Do you feel the same?  How can you get more done in less time?

The answer lies in better prioritization! In his book Eat That Frog! , author Brian Tracey outlines the A-B-C-D-E Method of prioritizing which I have found tremendously helpful!  Revamp your task list by placing A-B-C-D-E in the margin before each of the tasks on your list before you begin:

  • “A” stands for “very important;” something you must do! There can be serious negative consequences if you don’t do it.  Eat these "frogs" first!!
  • “B” stands for “important” - something you should do. These tasks are not as important as your ‘A’ tasks. There are only minor negative consequences if they are not completed.
  • “C” stands for things that are “nice to do,” but which are not as important as ‘A’ or ‘B’ tasks. There are no negative consequences for not completing them.
  • “D” stands for “delegate.” You can assign these tasks to someone else who can do the job instead of you.
  • “E” stands for “eliminate, whenever possible.” You should eliminate every single activity you possibly can, to free up your time.

There will never be enough time to get it ALL done, and remember: your day should be more than just checking items off an ever expanding To-Do list.  Reprioritizing your critical tasks will ensure your daily activities are in line with your big picture goals and keep you on track to acheiving them!  So sit down, don a bib, and eat that frog!!

Holidays, kids, and terrorist threats?

Rather dichotomous words in a phrase. Nonetheless, recently, Los Angeles Unified School District shut down all schools due to credible bomb threats. As if that weren't enough to scare the pants off parents, add the pressure of finding last minute child care in order to honor work obligations and you've got one anxiety provoking situation! Even without such scary situations, how do we reconcile all that needs to get done during the holidays, attend to our business responsibilities, and babysit our kids at the last minute? Here are a few tips that could offer some temporary relief:

  1. Buddy up.  Create a support team that you might be able to rely on in case of emergencies, such working out an arrangement with a stay at home mom or dad who could pitch hit watching your kids. Reciprocating by watching their kids on a weekend day when you are free allows them a personal play day.
  2. Plan for it. At the beginning of the new year, highlight those days that your kids are off from school for legal holidays and other school related functions. Plan your own work days around their schedule so you can either choose to be home with them and do something fun or make day care arrangements well in advance. For example, I recommend to my self-employed coaching clients that they create a 220 day work year comprised of 44 weeks at 5 working days per week, leaving 8 weeks "off" for vacations, illness, emergencies, holidays, and those days one just can't get it together. So if the situation arises where you HAVE to be off at the last minute, you can flow easier with less anxiety. Of course, the caveat is that when you are scheduled to work, you really have to work feverishly and with high efficiency!
  3. Make it fun. Enjoy the impromptu hookey day. Depending on your children's age, take a walk, ride bikes, read together, bake cookies. And don't forget, they can entertain themselves, too, so that you can...
  4. Work briefly. Again, depending on your children's age, create some private time for you to do only the essential work that must be done today. It's rather easy these days to have kids play with their tablets or watch movies for 30 minutes while you are making some important calls or writing a few crucial emails. In times of crisis, acknowledge that others are most likely having the same challenges as you and will understand a brief email that answers the specific question and lets them know that you can respond in the near future with more detail. 

Life is full of challenges and they seem to arise when we are least prepared. Contingency plans will help you deal more calmly and productively ultimately helping everyone involved. Finally, enjoy a glass of wine in the evening to congratulate yourself for surviving the day! 

Look Who's Had Amazing Success in 2015!

What do Los Angeles Westside realtors Traci Bates, Chase Campen, and Steven Aaron have in common? They are all smart, savvy, spunky, genuine, kind, and inspiring leaders who are top producers currently trending at and expecting to see at least a 70% increase in their annual income this year over last! Susan Rose Productivity Coaching is very proud to introduce these three professionals who will be sharing their lessons learned, insights gained, and tips of the trade during a panel discussion on October 29 at the 2016 Business Planning Workshop.

 

What happens when two dynamic women decide to think and act like true business professionals? Traci Bates and Lorna Hennington of the Bates | Hennington Team are currently trending and expecting to see a 378% increase in their income this year over 2014! Traci shares with us their transformation, including the power of attitude, mindset, and the specific practices they have implemented this year that have led to these phenomenal results.

 

 

 

As of October, Chase Campen is trending at a 30% increase over his entire 2014 yearly income. Even better, though, based on his pipeline, Chase is projecting to close out the year at an overall 145% increase! Learn how he managed to achieve these stellar results in his business while continuing to train as a marathon runner and be a devoted dad to his three children.

 

 

 

This year has been full of changes for top producer Steven Aaron, but despite the challenges he is trending at and expects a 74% increase in annual income this year. Steven candidly shares how he's managing to grow his team and business, invest in his passion for vintage cars, spend weekends in his Palm Springs home, all while navigating inevitable challenges personally.

 

Take part and listen as these pros relate to the challenges, mistakes, triumphs, and successes that have led to their monumental achievements. Become inspired and motivated by the tales and stories of these ordinary people achieving extraordinary results in their personal and professional lives!

See you at the 2016 Business Planning Workshop, October 29 at The Skirball Cultural Center. Time is running out! HURRY, register NOW!

What’s Your Relationship with Money?

We all have an attitude towards, and a relationship with, money. How would you define yours? Does money serve you or do you work for it? Are you always struggling to make the next deal? As commissioned sales practitioners, the feast or famine scenario plays out all too frequently. As a coach, it’s not uncommon for me to hear a client lament, ironically, that because their earnings were so great last year, they have income tax due and there’s NO MONEY LEFT! Or worse, they ignore their responsibility of filing taxes altogether! Ultimately, the piper must be paid, causing the agent undue stress and anxiety; needing the deal usually yields contrary results. Let us address the future: are you set up for retirement, for long term care? Do you have the appropriate insurance in place? Quipped Oscar Wilde, “When I was young I thought money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know that it is.”

Money is the talk at this year’s 2016 Business Planning Workshop, not only making, but equally important, managing and protecting it. What will YOU do in 2016 to better your money management?

It Takes A Village

A thriving business requires support and collaboration. For growth, for encouragement, for accountability, it "takes a village" to ensure success. And because we know "success leaves clues" (Gary Keller, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent), we actively collaborate with professionals outside the real estate industry to share information that substantially broadens the scope of your business.

As such, we are excited and honored to introduce Laura Knapp, Vice President of Digital Content and Influencer Marketing of Social Realty, as this year's guest marketing expert! With more than 10 years of experience, Laura shares her passion, knowledge, and expertise of digital marketing by teaching agents how to improve brand awareness, generate leads and encourage online sales.

I recently sat down with Laura and she shared more information about what fuels her passion for her business:

 •          How did you get started in your profession?

My entry into digital marketing really happened before it was ever called "digital marketing". My first job after college was at a global PR and marketing firm that was one of the pioneers in conducting outreach to online publishers (a.k.a. bloggers). This is now common practice for all PR professionals but my experience working with bloggers really paved the way for me to actively use and leverage social platforms both personally and professionally.

•          What accomplishment do you feel most proud of?

One of my greatest accomplishments during the course of my career is having the opportunity of working with relatively small and emerging brands and helping them understand the importance and power of digital and social marketing. As well as being able to turn somewhat skeptical executives to full on believers in the value of digital marketing for their businesses.

 •          What was the most rewarding project that you worked on and why?

Launching the first-ever livestream fashion show exclusively through Facebook during New York Fashion Week for global brand, Tommy Hilfiger in 2010 - well before livestreaming is what it is today. During the livestream we engaged with viewers around the world and hosted a live Q&A with the designer backstage with an engaged audience.

 •          What piece of advice would you offer to our attendees?

Take it one step at a time and keep testing. While your actions in the online world are immediate, it takes time to see actual results - or return on your efforts. Don't be afraid to post, it's better to try and keep trying until you get it right. In today's fast-moving digital world, it's better to be a part of it now versus having to play catch up later.

 If you want to learn and develop strategies designed to amp up your digital marketing strategies and online presence, there is no one better person to learn from than Laura Knapp! Don't miss this special opportunity; register now for 2016 Business Planning Workshop!     

5 Proven Tips to Ensure a Successful 2016! Rely On Strategy, Not Luck!

When planning for success in 2016 do you want a deliberately designed business model or one based on luck?

When asked, most of us say we want the former, a business in which we determine the outcomes rather than just accept whatever comes our way. Yet, what we want and what we get are oftentimes contradictory. The Susan Rose Productivity Coaching Business Planning Workshop is specifically designed to help you create both the vision and the steps to ensure your 2016 is a success! Predict your annual business results by incorporating these 5 useful tips for success:

1.      Visualize your end result. How do you know where you are going, or that you arrived, if you don't know where you have been?

2.      Create your road map that identifies the following:           

a.      The key methods you intend to use to find customers.

b.      The key ways to effectively follow up and convert them into clients.

c.      What your service process will be. This will help you manage your time efficiently and effectively while delivering superior client service.

d.      What steps you will employ to garner referrals from past clients and your sphere of influence.

3.      Determine and monitor your numbers and conversation ratios for stability and predictability.

4.      Outline your print and digital online presence and marketing plans to attract clients.

5.      Identify the personal, relationship, spiritual, and financial goals you want to achieve for the year.

Whew, overwhelmed?  Want help? Take time FROM your business to work ON your business by creating your plan during our annual Business Planning Workshop. Let us guide you to identify the necessary actions required so you walk away with your roadmap ready to be executed.  Featured guests include digital marketing expert, Laura Knapp, Social Reality, speaking on ways to improve your online presence.  A financial planner will be offering financial tips to effectively reduce your tax liability and secure your financial future.  Rounding out the program is our panel of top producers, agents who have experienced a 20% or greater  increase in this year’s business,  who will discuss their best practices, challenges and goals for 2016.

Good luck doesn't effectively or efficiently create long term, sustainable businesses. Rely on strategy, not luck, by writing your annual business plan.  Register today for the Workshop and enter to win a Photo Showcase Ad in The MLS™ BROKER CARAVAN™ Open House Guide, a $55.00 value, for your next listing!

Planning For Real Estate Success

I don't watch much television so you can imagine my surprise when I saw a Christmas-themed commercial over the Labor Day weekend! My favorite department store is already setting up the Tree Shop. And while it might be a tad early to be marketing holiday shopping, it's definitely not too early to be thinking about and starting to plan for the 2016 business year.

For the past four years, Susan Rose Productivity Coaching has presented the annual Business Planning Workshop at the end of October, exactly the right time to actively reflect on your life, your business strategies, and sales performance.

Here are some questions to consider:

·        What have I accomplished this year?

·        What did I hope to have accomplished?

·        What caused the gap?

·        What tweaks or major changes need to occur in order to get me to where I want to be in 2016?

·        What habits do I need to create?

·        What skills do I need to acquire or improve upon?

·        How does my financial situation look?

·        How strong is my sales lead pipeline?

·        What increase in sales production do I anticipate in 2016?

·        What plan do I need to implement in order to make that a reality?

September and October are months of change, a time of reflect on and evaluate where we have been, where we are heading, and how we intend to get there. Years of business experience have proven that diligent focus in the final quarter of the year sets the stage for results early in the following year. Nothing motivates or inspires us realtors more than new listings, sales, and closings in January! To get a jump on 2016, spend time ON your business, not simply IN your business. Please join us for the 2016 Business Planning Workshop. Limited seats remaining - Register now!

 Don't just hope for a winning year, plan for it!

August Apathy, or Why You Should Swim Upstream When Your Colleagues Swim Downstream

Summertime and the living is easy! August is the most undervalued and underutilized month in the real estate industry. With so many realtors lying low, why should you avoid joining the club? 

Photo by Meagan Jean Wooley

Photo by Meagan Jean Wooley

  1. Yes, it's hot and sticky and energy wanes; agents hide behind the "hot" excuse. So if other agents aren’t out, be sure you are; opportunity exists always and everywhere! Get out earlier in the morning, wear a cute hat and sunscreen. Remember the motto of our beloved mail carriers: "neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night ..." prevents them from delivering our bills!
  2. Yes, our kids and families are on vacation.  So, too, are our prospects.  We all need time off to relax, regroup, and reenergize. No one around? Make good use of your time by cleaning out your database, write/rewrite some marketing pieces, organize your desk, clean out paper and computer files. 
  3. Yes, it’s true that half of the year is over; time for the reality wake up call to question, “Where am I  now, and what more do I want to accomplish?" Usually this finds us either thrilled and elated by our year to date success or ready to quit from discouragement. Lean in and acknowledge your state with detachment. Hard to do, right? Beating yourself up with recrimination creates a nonproductive downward spiral effect. Take some quiet time at the beach or on the hammock and honestly evaluate and identify a) what you want, and b) what those necessary action steps are to accomplish it.
  4. August is the calm before the 4th Quarter and holiday flurry months. Psychologically, September is our "back to school" month, and while the kids become productive, business people gear up and get going as well. All the more reason why #2 and #3 above are so imperative to heed. We also know that the real estate industry typically follows a 90 day lead cycle; initiatives taken now usually materialize 90 days later. Laser focus on the RIGHT activities in August and September will yield positive results in November, December, and January!

Go enjoy your summer. Get to the beach, take a trip, disconnect from Facebook and Twitter, read a trashy novel. Stop moaning about the lack of business or that everyone else has disappeared. Use this time wisely and get yourself ready to re-engage! Continue to make calls to your past clients and sphere. There IS business to be done in August, too!

A Formula For Success

Wish you had more sales? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you knew the secret formula for achieving sales success?

Have you ever wondered what makes some sales people excel, others do fairly well, while others just scrape by?  What’s the magic ingredient that makes the difference in their sales production? Do they just happen upon great leads? Are they luckier, get better breaks? Actually … neither. In reality, I’ve discovered from devoting several hundreds of hours with sales associates as a sales trainer and coach, they follow a classic sales success equation.

Why follow a formula or equation?

Equations are a compilation of a series of variables that have proven to yield the same predictable results; following a formula, or equation, provides feelings of security, stability and peace of mind. Michael Gerber’s legendary The E-Myth Revisited espouses the value and benefits of creating formulas from systems and processes that allow a business to be scaled while delivering exceptional service. We all know that Carl’s Junior and McDonalds are examples of restaurants that follow success equations.   

The Sales Success Equation

Let’s first explore the individual components of the Sales Success Equation:

P = Plan

A = Attitude

A = Actions

P = Perseverance

D = Distractions

R = Resistance

S = Success and $

Assembling the components together yields the following Equation: 

((PxAxAxP)/D)-R = S2

Don't worry! We’re not getting into higher level math; just insights that we can dissect, investigate, poke at, tweak and, ultimately, follow that will lead to great achievement.

Put in plain English 

We start with a Plan. A specific written, objective, goal or plan to be accomplished.

We multiply the Plan with a positive, “can do”, “I won’t be denied” Attitude, which we then multiply with Actions, though not just any actions … only the right actions, those designed to get us to our goals. All together multiplied by Perseverance, that state whereby we doggedly plod through, carry on despite all odds and obstacles, never giving up. Whereby we take all this and minimize Distractions, those pesky “life gets in the way nuisances” that seem to always seems to plague us. Notice I didn’t say “eliminate.” I said, “minimize,” because they will always exist and we must master them or they will become our masters.  All of which, then, requires we must eliminate the big hairy R, “Resistance.” Resistance is our personal demon, our negative self-talk, those stories we’ve come to believe, that causes us to hold back, delay, procrastinate and, ultimately, avoid taking real action.  This constant equation always yields Success, and in sales, that equates to money ($).

So, if you aren’t satisfied with your current state of affairs, consider paying close attention to those components of your business that may be misaligned and in need of adjustment. By focusing on these aspects, you’ll quickly be able to determine and zero in on the specific aspects of your business that can generate you higher results. There is no magic pill, though following a success formula will help you make magic!

Take control of what you can

We certainly know that life oftentimes gets in the way of our best laid plans, hopes, and dreams. We're on a role, building momentum, and now the kids are off on spring break; so much for that momentum! We're getting leads and appointments, and then we break an arm; so much for the ability to followup due to the pain medication fog! Yep, it happens to all of us, all the time! You can't control what happens; you CAN control your reaction and story around it.  And subsuquently the next set of ACTIONS! 

Tell me ... how can you get out of your own way today? What actions can you commit to today that will help your situation?  Comment below!

Dreading and avoiding The Project? 6 steps to help you finally get it done!

I dread doing my taxes. Well, actually, my husband and I don’t do them. A more accurate statement: I, the assignee, dread The Project of preparing them for our accountant. The large packet of worksheets that we are required to fill out has taken up residence on our dining room table for the past 3 months while I’ve been getting ready to get ready to actually sit down to do the demonic work. Ever feel this way, maybe not with tax preparation, but with any otherwise daunting project? I pray and trust I am not the only person who suffers from this affliction. 

As with most projects, an external deadline arrives.  In order to meet our accountant’s April 1 deadline, I had no choice but to take The Project by its long, furry tail and swing it up on the table. Pencil in hand, W-2’s, 1099’s, bank statements, investment recaps, donation confirmations, the P&L with all pertinent detailed itemization, coffee, water, and cookies for sustenance, I furiously tackle The Project. 20 hours of angst, crankiness, dread, anxiety, in 2 hours … completed!  

The effects of the dread and procrastination is always worse than actually working on The Project! I know that, you know that. Most humans procrastinate in one way or another before undertaking a seemingly monumental task. These 6 steps helped me cope with The Project:   

1.     SCHEDULE IT. Calendar the day you intend to undertake The Project as well as assign the length of time you expect to invest for its completion. Since work expands to the allotted time, put a realistic, yet tight time frame to complete The Project.

2.     FAST FORWARD TO A TREAT.  Knowing ahead of time what you will treat yourself to, be it a better than usual Cabernet or Chardonnay, a movie, or, in our case, a sorely needed replacement gas grill, provides an incentive and reward for having finally accomplished The Project.

3.     GATHER YOUR TOOLS.  Spend 5 minutes before tackling The Project to determine and collect the necessary tools with which to do the work.  Having them readily available to begin The Project reduces interruptions and frustration from loss of thought or concentration.  

4.     MUSIC SETS THE MOOD.  Calm classical music gets me in my work zone. Studies indicate that baroque music appeals to our beta brain waves which causes deeper concentration. Find what works for you, though. Get in your happy place.

5.     ALLOW NO DISTRACTIONS.  Block out the time, turn off your phone, and just pay attention to The Project for that designated period of time. Take a 10 minute break if needed, however,  powering through helps keeps your head in the game, gets it done and over faster so you can enjoy your treat sooner.

6.     REVIEW AND REFINE.  Depending on the depth or complexity of The Project, prior to its completion,  another appointment time may be necessary in order to review and refine your work, investigate more detail or perhaps ask others questions.  When this occurs, schedule the next appointment with yourself with another predetermined time allotment; repeat steps 1-6. 

Finally, again for this year, tax preparation is completed and delivered to our trusty accountant on time. Now, he can get to work. As for me, which grill to purchase? 

Results, NOW!

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NOW!  Born in infancy, it sparks fireworks through childhood, flames through adolescence, peaks in adulthood as an uncontrollable fire storm. Its strength levels even the best and most professional, bringing her to her knees, fists pumping at the gods, tears of despair pouring from her eyes as she cries out, “I want immediate gratification….NOW!” A common lament, we can, in many instances, thanks to current technology and Mick Jagger, get satisfaction. It’s relatively easy to create a list of 10 trivial to do’s, aggressively attack them and at the end of the day, witness 10 lined cross offs. But focusing on the vital few and experiencing accomplishment towards a greater goal requires Patience, Endurance, Fortitude, Perseverance, Tenacity, and Faith.  

  • Patience: Implies the bearing of suffering, provocation, delay, tediousness with calmness and self-control
  • Endurance: Stresses the capacity to bear suffering or hardship
  • Fortitude: Suggests the resolute endurance that results from sustained courage
  • Perseverance: Implies a continuing to do something in spite of difficulties, obstacles
  • Tenacity: Implies firm adherence to some purpose, action, or belief
  • Faith: Unquestioning belief, complete trust, confidence

Stop looking for immediate gratification. Start looking for signs of progress towards your goal. Just do the work, NOW. Choose faith, NOW.  

Winners, Losers … Does anyone really lose?

Did you happen to watch the Oscars on Sunday? Wondering what your insights were? Here are a few things that come to my mind, for whatever they are worth:

  • The producers tried too hard.  Forced jokes flop.

  • Matthew McConaughey ... please lose the beard and the greasy hair, oy, you were so adorable! 

  • Lady Gaga ... oh how you can sing! However, I was distracted by your tats ... wondered why you chose not to keep them under wraps so we could focus on your lovely voice?  Loved the sax though!

  • I finally have to acknowledge that I am an old fuddy duddy. I just don't want to see Neil in his tightie whities on national TV ... Somehow, somewhere, I must have missed the point ... guess that's what happens when you're old!

  • Lastly, professionals are pros at not winning. Note I didn't say "losing."

Which leads us to our past week. All the film makers, editors, actors, actresses, costume designers created a wonderfully impactful experience for us. That doesn't minimize the fact that they weren't the chosen ONE. And, ultimately, does it matter? What matters is what they gave to us, how we are affected, how we are changed by their work. Translation: YOU must do your work to the best of your ability, each and every day, irrespective of accolades, awards, rewards, or immediate gratification ... for your buyers, sellers, yourselves, your families, your company, your community. Because that's what professionals do. Along the way, you'll have some big wins. But not if you allow yourself to get discouraged or give up.

The Oscar non-winners are back to work today ... post party. You had better be, too.