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Post #2 Tools, Tips, Tricks: Elevator Speech, You Time, Networking

Tool: Building your elevator speech does not have to be challenging and the end result does not have to be canned. I recently had Fred Miller on my podcast discussing a No Sweat Elevator Speech and Fred shared an easy to follow elevator speech making template. Click here for a free download of the template.

Tip: Scheduling YOU time is one of the most effective ways to build productivity into your day. For the next 2 days, during your normal work day, add 2 slots of 15 minutes into each day, labeled YOU time. Ground rule: You cannot use this time to work, use technology or multi-task. Walking, napping, exercising, laughing and reading are completely acceptable activities. By adding YOU time to your schedule, you will become more productive, less tired, more patient with the people in your life, and begin to lead a more balanced life, 15 minutes at a time. Next week, see if you can expand to 5 days, adding YOU time to your schedule.

Trick: Networking made easier. If you are like most people, you do not like networking events. I used to find the time I spent networking unproductive. I never knew what to say or what to ask people I met, trying to be spontaneous but at the same time, trying to structured in what I said and did to make the most of this incredibly painful time. Next time, start out your conversations this way. When you approach someone say, "I'm not of fan of networking, can I ask you a question? When you come to events like this, what is your goal?" I think this sets the tone for a conversation that is genuine, open and honest. I have found conversations that begin this way have led to some great discussions about human behavior, personalities and eventually business as well. Build a relationship, the business will come.

People often complain about a lack of time when the lack of direction is the real problem.
— Zig Ziglar



Tools, Tips and Tricks for Better Business

INTRO to New Format (Including why I am changing format)

No matter how much experience you have owning and running a business or managing people, there is always room for improvement. When you stop learning, you stop growing. I'll take it one step further, when you stop teaching, you lose perspective and stop growing as well. Getting feedback from those you teach provides a huge opportunity to learn. One of my goals this year was to listen more to those around me, observe and follow their systems and understand the processes they have used to achieve success.  In doing so, I realize I can learn from people less experienced than me, but wiser than me. In role reversal, the teacher becomes the student. Once you open to the possibility that you can learn from nearly everyone, building your business (and your life) becomes a lot more interesting.

In the upcoming weeks I will share with you what I have learned as I take a deeper dive into tools, tips and tricks for success and for better business. I've worked hard to keep my pulse on current trends and the latest technology (working to break the "old dog new trick" stigma) while still trying to master effective time-tested business practices. I am often asked for advice on the best methods, the fastest and most efficient systems and most creative ways to accomplish a task, process or goal.  

I think this new, shorter format will provide greater information in a more predictable, easier to read way -- scan, read, process, move on.  I am looking forward to your comments, questions and additions so I can use them as future posts of Tools, Tips and Tricks for Better Business.

Here is what you will see in future posts:  Tool, Tip, Trick (below the line)

Tool -- SANEBOX -- Is your goal to get to INBOX zero but you are about 900 emails away from that goal? Sanebox is a great tool that I have been using over the last several months to help me manage my inbox. Some of the features include being able to hit the "snooze button" on email that does not have to be acted upon now. Plus Sanebox learns my routines and intuitively creates future followup emails, automatically deletes spam and prioritizes email for me as well. Use the link for a free trial and a coupon if you sign up after the trial.

Tip -- Work on improving the value you add to any business relationship as much as you work on improving your products and services. Put research and development dollars into improving you. Your bottom line will be bolstered as much or more if you focus on improving the relationships with your customers in addition to improving the benefits of the services or products you provide. Show your customers how much you care about them. Simple things like sending a handwritten note, a quick text to say hello or an email sharing a link of interest to them will highlight that you know them and care about them as well.

Trick -- (Today's trick is a mind hack) -- Go for the "NO." In the business development portion of your day when you are working hard to add prospects to your client list by cold calling, following up or mining for business, instead of adding extra pressure to yourself by constantly being under the pressure to find a "YES," look for the NO. Treat a NO as a win. Keep in mind when you get a NO you are clearing space for a new prospect to be added to your list, and the new prospect could potentially be a future YES. It's all positive and a part of the process of getting a YES down the road.

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
— Albert Einstein



Gary Vaynerchuk, The People's Entrepreneur. Interviewed

Gary Vaynerchuk is arguably one of the most successful social entrepreneurs of our digital age. At 41 years old, he has done many things in his professional life that most will never accomplish. He aspires to buy the New York Jets one day, and I bet that goal will come true. He has legions of fanatics, followers and supporters that hang on his every word, tweet, post and vlog.

Often dressed in a hoodie and jeans, he is far from traditional in everything he does. His language, a bit rough around the edge does not reflect the soft edge compassionate and empathetic family man and partner Gary Vee really is. His client list from the full service digital agency he runs, VaynerMedia reads like a who's who of big time Fortune 500 companies. I had a few minutes with Gary as he called me from the road, between a fully packed schedule of meetings, calls and interviews. For the record, he was right on time:

Doug - Do you believe in people from the word “GO” or are you a prove it to me guy?

Gary - Normally from the word go if my intuition says go for it and I am more of a, you lose respect if you don’t do it. From me, you don’t have to earn it. I am much more comfortable and optimistic of where a person is and where they are going, so I am far more believing in people from the word go and then let them prove to me that I was wrong. The truth is I have lost and won that game many times. I think many people who are not optimistic have taken themselves out of potentially fruitful relationships, because they are picky and have too much ego. Who the hell are you, who the fuck are you, that the person has to prove it to you?

When I compete and am building businesses, I want to win, at all costs as long as it’s done the honorable way.
— Gary Vaynerchuk

Doug - Gary, has it been like that for you from the beginning or has it evolved over the years?

Gary - I think I am pulling from both sides. Whoever is the athlete of today, when he is on the court and he is the biggest killer when he is on the ice or the court or the field and then as soon as it’s over, will come and babysit your family, that’s who I am. I want to put everybody out of business. I want to win. But do I really want to put them out of business? Of course not, I don’t want people to have pain in real life. When I compete and am building businesses, I want to win, at all costs as long as it’s done the honorable way.

Doug - We all have tapes playing in our head and the tapes tell you to stay down, don’t even fucking try it. How do you stop the tapes from playing in your head?

Gary - You know what, I am a real practical guy. I don’t think it is practical for you to worry about what your parents or your girlfriend or the press or anonymous people are saying. I don’t think it is a smart way to run your life. I hear everybody but I listen to nobody. I respect everybody’s opinion but I just want to go down fighting for the shit that I believe in. I know who I am, I know what I believe in. I know my intent is good. So, (the word) "no" has been drowned out over the last 30 years through good old fashion focus on what I am good at.

I hear everybody but I listen to nobody. I respect everybody’s opinion but I just want to go down fighting for the shit that I believe in.
— Gary Vaynerchuk

Doug - We are raising kids in an everybody wins (and gets a trophy) environment, which is total bullshit. Can you comment about only giving trophies to first place but supporting the strengths of people even when they fuck up?

Gary - Fucking up is not the same as losing. I would call someone coming in second place as not good enough, but it’s not fucking up. To me, it’s very easy to give trophies only to the winner, while still supporting people. You put things into context. You’re not going to be the prettiest, the fastest, the strongest. You need to focus on what you are best at and do as much of that as possible, even if... look,  being a businessman is the thing I decided I was going to be best at. I may not become the ultimate, most successful businessman of all time, but I am surely glad I decided to be a businessman versus a surfer or a cook or a mechanic because this is what comes natural to me and what I love the most.

Tune in to The Nice Guys on Business Podcast for the rest of the interview. Gary answers these questions and more:

  • Gary, what do you suck at?

  • What is the best way to get new customers?

  • How important is body language and how can you hear what people are saying?

The Nice Guys on Business Podcast - subscribe today #iTunes



10 Ways To Know If You Have A Winning Job

As seen on HuffPost Career section Jan 2nd, 2017

A good job is hard to come by. A great job is even harder to find, but when you do, you feel like a part of the fabric that makes up the organization. When you have a winning job your purpose becomes a lot more clear, and you have far more responsibility than punching a clock, following a set of procedures and collecting a paycheck. 

The average person will go through five or more of career changes in their lifetime, and even more individual jobs. Some will be an ugly fit, many of them will be average, and if you are lucky one of them will be the perfect fit for you. 

Finding the perfect match will require patience, hard work and effort. Often, it's a job just to find the perfect job, but when you do, the job will grow, change and mold as much to you as you do to it.

Here are 10 ways to know you have a winning job:

1. You are challenged. When you are challenged, you stay interested and rarely become bored. In theory, getting paid to do an easy job might seem like a nice idea, but challenging jobs keep you sharp, help stretch you to your full potential and help you to become a more confident person.

2. You are empowered.  When you are empowered, you become a more creative problem solver, the quality of the work you do improves and your sense of ownership is increased. You feel like you are part of team, working in unison with others. Not only are you winning but your organization's customers are winning as well. When you are empowered, everybody wins.

A winning job will have systems in place to train you so well that you should be able leave at any time and be their competition, but treat you so well that you would not want to leave.

3. You are rewarded for your creativity. Outside the box thinkers should be rewarded for their creativity. When you display creativity,  you have a vested interest in helping to create new systems and solving problems. When you are creative you have a voice and are encouraged to participate. The reward does not necessarily need to be financial, but rather, just the fact that you are being recognized for your creativity is often times enough to make you feel like you are winning on the job.

4. You are compensated and recognized based upon your performance. Hard work should be noticed and although it's wonderful to feel like you are a part of the team, nothing beats a pat on the back, genuine gratitude and/or compensation for extra effort. That doesn't mean you should be expecting a bonus every time you burn the midnight oil or chip in to do an extra project. Having a winning job means your employer is aware and gives you two thumbs up for a job well done.

5. Your time is your own. Technology is on your side today and often times it's just as easy to do your job from somewhere other than at your desk. A winning job allows you some flexibility where, when and how you get your job done. If this is important to you, set a clear line of expectations with your employer so that you have flexibility on your side.

A winning job allows you flexibility where, when and how you get your job done.

6. You are appreciated for both your efforts and your results. It's not just what you do, but how you do it, and if you have a winning job you are appreciated for not only the results but the methods by which you accomplish your job as well. 

7. Mistakes are not your enemy, but rather, a mark of growth. Mistakes are bound to happen, it's what comes next that really counts. When you have a winning job, you are not admonished when you make a mistake, but rather, encouraged to help resolve the problem and develop new solutions. If you are encouraged to learn from the lessons learned from your mistake, you have a winning job.

8. You are part of a team that values, appreciates and acknowledges you.  The sum is greater than the parts, and being on a team that is properly managed, will help bring out your strengths and allow you to become a more effective employee. When your team appreciates and acknowledges you, you will want to work harder, do a better job and feel more fulfilled.

A great job is hard to find, but when you do, you feel like a part of the fabric that makes up the organization.

9. Communication is two way, not one. Winning jobs provide an opportunity to have an open, honest conversation with your employer, without fear of losing your job or negative consequences. Job satisfaction increases when you know you are being heard. 

10. You have the freedom to leave anytime, but don't want to. A winning job will have systems in place to train you so well that you should be able leave at any time and be their competition, but treat you so well that you would not want to leave. 

In order for employers that create a winning job, they not only have to understand and work towards the goals of the organization, but they must take into account the goals of its employees as well, cultivating the whole person. Employers that understand their employees have lives outside the company truly have the opportunity to create winning jobs.

In the end, winning jobs create employees that want the best for the organization and its customers, a win for everyone involved.



4 People You Must Follow If You Want To Get the Most Out of You in 2017

As a fan of the four business leaders I note in this post, I follow each of them because of their vast knowledge and their attention to fine detail. But what I love most about all of them is their sincere desire to do the right thing, consistently. These four leaders are kind, sincere, genuine and willing to lend advice and information, even when they have no financial stake in the game. These qualities make them far more than good business people...they are good people. Period.

Since following them, I often referred to their posts and advice to help move my business forward.  Recently, I asked all four a question: When making decisions, how do you feel about the importance of doing the right thing? The email I drafted was simple, and I knew, with certainty, my question would get amazing responses from them. I asked Judi Holler, Rob Jolles, Shep Hyken and Marty Wolff to help with this week's post. Here are their responses:

Your brand is not what you say it is, it is what your market says it is. Get the most out of your brand and follow Judi Holler. Judi has been a friend for the past several years and I have been a fan of her video posts and Friday Fab Five emails for quite some time. Not only is she a great writer, Judi is an incredible speaker as well, bringing her improv speaking style to the stage nationwide.

The world is WAY too connected and if you are naughty, we will find you out. If you really want to earn trust, if you really want to have a great life and build a great business ... you have to show up and you must do the right thing ... every time.
— Judi Holler

I was originally introduced to Rob Jolles without fully knowing the tremendous impact Rob would have on my life. Rob not only helped me outline my book, Nice Guys Finish First, but he wrote the foreword for my book, has helped me launch my speaking career and most importantly, proven to me that hard work, dedication and doing the right thing is always in vogue. His BLArticles (Blog/Article) are bi-weekly lessons in business and life. Not only will you enjoy his writing, but you will find yourself putting into practice many of the ideas Rob writes about.

We all need to be on guard when our inner voice of ethical guidance is countered by another voice that tries to rationalize a set of behaviors that, deep down, we know is not right.
— Rob Jolles

Entertaining, engaging and so very WOW! That's how the world of customer service describes its top expert, Shep Hyken. With decades of experience training and speaking to world class organizations like Eveready, Applebee's, Aetna, Avis and hundreds more, Shep is a man worth quoting and worth knowing. Implementing even a short list of Shep's teachings will put your organization on track to exceed customer expectations.

Jiminy Cricket said, ‘Always let your conscience be your guide.’ That’s all about doing the right thing, which is crucial to building relationships, trust and business.
— Shep Hyken

Marty Wolff is probably one of the most well rounded business pros on the street today. Marty knows marketing, sales, and all aspects of business operations. He has a podcast and blog and shares his insights regularly. If you have a pressing business challenge, Marty is capable of putting his skill set to work or making you aware of the resources needed to get the job done. As a valuable team player, Marty is an incredible utility player and a go-to problem solver.

If you have to have a meeting to decide what the right thing to do is, I suggest you spend that time revisiting what you and your company stand for.
— Marty Wolff

Please share in the comments section below any blogs or people that you follow as well and the impact they have made in your life.