Monday, May 23, 2011


All weekend I have been working on a few changes in my practice and have been sitting in a lot of coffee shops and libraries over the past few days and I really find those places intriguing.  Not in the sense of the building, or even the products which they offer, rather the people that show up there…And really it made me think about how much I complain about things and how funny it must sound to others when they hear me complaining…just as it was comical to hear them complain at the various places I was trying find solitude and trying to escape people so I could focus…My coffee is too hot (really?? Would you prefer it cold?), Can I get nonfat milk please this is just too thick.( let's do the Pepsi challenge here, I assure you that I blind fold you, TELL you that its nonfat milk, and magically you're happy!), and my favorite of the weekend - Do you have this book in hardback, I cannot read it like this. (I don’t even know what to say to this?) 

"Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it.  The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business." - Zig Ziglar 

It wasn't something that I learned quickly, but slowly I began to look upon complaining customers as an opportunity. In sales training, I would state that until a customer complains or has a problem, they really don't know how you as a person or as a company will perform. If the complaint or problem is solved smoothly and efficiently, the customer then has the opportunity to not only know for certain how you or your company performs, thereby gaining in trust, but they also have the opportunity to become an advocate and help you grow your business.

It's not like we want complaints, but I think we need them. I know this, for sure and for certain (always loved that phrase. . .), that I would much rather have a complaint than a client feeling poor about our company or performance and then not saying anything at all to us. The likelihood of that person saying poor things to a lot of other people is strong. I prefer to hear it directly--even in my face, so to speak.

This is not a theory. It has proven itself consistently over time and in operation of several businesses including my own. Since this has been true, I find myself looking forward to complaints--at least from that perspective.

This has also been proven: in an extremely high percentage of those that complain, regardless of the size of the fault, they then become advocates and do more business and send more business. Seriously true! From that perspective, I LOVE COMPLAINTS AND PROBLEMS! I am now in the business of finding complaints!

Now, the key is how the problem or complaint is received and how smoothly it is retired. There is no room for making excuses, blaming others and so on. We must accept it head-on by accepting responsibility for taking charge of the solution and care of the complainer at the same time. It's really no more than the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If we had a problem or complaint, we would want prompt attention to solution, and we would detest blame and excuses, don't you think?

I suppose we could say, success is dealing with problems--effectively.

My weekend although spent in solitude of the coffee shops and libraries was actually quite filled with learning experiences…I must, and I will, seek out those things that make me uncomfortable, The Complainers!  

Take Care and wish you all the very best in business and Life

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Are we Born with Greatness?

“I think everyone should be an expert in failure.  If you cannot learn to fail, you cannot possibly learn to succeed” – Kevin Larroque

Someone reminded me yesterday that I used to tell them things like this all the time…The irony is that I was sitting in on a Soul Mapping seminar last night, and although my religious views are, for lack of a better term, non-existent, I found the topic very interesting.  The idea that we all have a purpose, and we just have not found it yet, and through this process one can find out what their path is and find greatness. 

I really find this an interesting topic, as I am the constant skeptic on anything non-scientific I did actually find something out about myself and I thought I would share that with you today…Typically I am very pragmatic, to the point, no bs, facts only, science first, and yet I found myself listening to someone tell me that a “higher being” had a purpose for me, and although I cannot totally agree to that extent I will say this: We are ALL born with the ability to achieve greatness, we just have to get back to the basics, the very thing we were born with, the ability to try, try again, and fail, then try again until it works and never letting yourself feel like falling down, or getting knocked down is anything BUT a learning lesson for the next attempt…

I can prove it:  All of us were born with this ability to overcome obstacles, think about it-when you were a little baby you made your way around the world on your hands and knees.  Crawling around watching people around you walk, run, jump, and all you wanted to do was be like them…So every so often you worked on developing the skills needed to do what they were doing, walking!  You probably grabbed onto the coffee table trying to brace yourself, or maybe you had a favorite chair that you crawled up, stood there for a second, let go all wobbly and scared, and you fell.  You did it again the next day, and you took that first step, but again you fell.  People around you were probably clapping, and if at my house someone probably cried!  So you kept watching, learning, and you noticed that the people around you were putting one foot in front of the other.  After days of grabbing the chair, grabbing the pant legs of your parents, and side stepping around the furniture in the house, holding onto to Mom and Dad’s hands you finally took a few steps, all alone, all with the knowledge YOU developed and mastered over time. 

It sounds cliché, but mastering, or fine tuning whatever it is in your life that you love or are passionate about is so unbelievably simple it can only be told as “taking baby-steps”.  Yesterday I posted a quote by Bill Gates about how many times he fails “85 percent of the time…” just goes to show you that even the uber successful find more failure than success, and why? In the process of learning how to walk, you probably spent more time failing than you did succeeding. But did you ever have the thought of quitting? Did you ever tell yourself, "I'm not cut out for walking-guess I'll crawl for the rest of my life?" No, of course you didn't. So, why do you do that now?  What's different today with any goal you want and desire you have for accomplishing anything? When did you lose the ability to make a goal, go for it, and get it? How come you don't do what you did when you were one or two years old? The answer is alarming, yet simple:

Somewhere along the way in your life, you became unwilling to take baby steps. You lost faith in the universal truth that the simple little disciplines done again and again over time would move the mightiest mountains.  My point is that you have to master the little things before you can move onto the bigger things…greed, envy, and laziness will try its hardest to thwart you from these simple yet fundamentally necessary tasks…

The truth is that 95% of you that read this will fail!  Only 5% of you that read this will actually take initiative and do those little things that can make you succeed.  The difference between those that fail and those that don’t is so ridiculously small that any little thing you can do to improve yourself in any way could, and will, make the difference in your life.  I am not much of a NASCAR fan, but the concept here is very relevant – a couple of weeks ago the winner was decided by less than .001 of a second…500 miles of racing, 33 cars, 33 experienced professional drivers all racing for the title at speeds of over 180mph and it came down to .001 of a second!  Can you sit there and tell me that the person who finished .001 behind the winner was a failure?  Your initial instinct will say no, but who will be remembered in that race?  The person who finished second, even though only by a blink of an eye, or the one that stood atop the podium with that checkered flag…They all have failed, probably came close to death in car crashes, and all of them push themselves to the limits of their bodies and repeated the “little things”.  Some of them may have practiced something a little bit differently and maybe, that day, that particular winner had really focused on mastering draft techniques out of corners, and look what that did for him! 

If you have that slight edge over the rest of the people you too can be remembered…Take time today and fine tune something, no matter how little you might think it is – someday it may prove to be the slight edge you needed to stand on that podium! 

All the best,


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Take a Risk!! What's the Worst that Can Happen? You Fail?

"85 percent of the time I try something, I fail." - Bill Gates

"I have not failed.  I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Edison

I was thinking to myself last night about the things that I don’t do; not that I don’t want to do them, I just don’t!  I have had many classes, coaching sessions, and even motivational seminars tell me what it is that I am doing, or not doing!  Yet I find myself reflecting on those things that those successful people around me are doing differently than I.  I recently had to make a change in my train of thought, and who better to motivate me that than the two atop this email, possibly two of the most interesting, intelligent, and successful people in history. 

It is a common thing to not want to try because of a fear of failure. I've seen that in many sales people. Many don't think they are good enough, smart enough, or experienced enough, and so many lack personal confidence in their own abilities. These are the ones who come and go. They fail mostly because they fail to try, and they fail to try because of what they believe about themselves relative to their environment. When I see a quote like the Bill Gates quote where he says something so strange as that 85 percent of the things he tries doesn't work, I think of all those sales people who lacked enough confidence to even give it a chance of success. If a person who has reached the pinnacle of financial success says he fails on 85 percent of the things he tries, that should be a good quote to carry around with us to remind us that if we are willing to try more, we can join the elite who win more.

What we focus on with Bill Gates is the 15 percent that he claims as his successes. We didn't really know they were only 15 percent; instead, we thought he was so smart and so lucky to have made all the right decisions and made them at the perfect time; that he was brought up well and that he graduated at the top of his class. Instead, he was a college drop-out, seizing an opportunity in business based on a dream of what could be and how he saw the future in his head. In other words, he tried; he risked; he dared. 

History is full of very famous people that we think were successes all their lives, lucky beyond our imagination, and at the right place at the right time. In my study of so many of these famous people like Conrad Hilton, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, Harvey Firestone, Alfred P Sloan, John D Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Thomas A Edison, and many more, I have found that they failed far more than they succeeded, that they did not get lucky, that they struggled many times, made serious mistakes, and more, but the common denominator among them is that they believed in what they were doing, where they wanted to go and they tried a lot of things, thinking not of the possibility of failure, but of success.

Many were like Bill Gates in that they tried a hundred things and eighty five of them failed.  But they weren't really failures were they? Those 85 things brought them closer and closer to massive success. That is the single difference I have found among many famous and successful business leaders--they tried a lot, kept trying even when things didn't work out the way they hoped, and succeeded as a result. Success is so much more a matter of perseverance and belief than anything else. This can give us all a great deal of hope.  It has changed my mindset and I will forever have those two quotes posted in plain view to remind me that if I am not failing, I am not trying - thus not succeeding.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Enter the Blogging World I am...

I thought to myself today that I am just not in touch with my philosophical side anymore!  I seem to sit, with arms crossed eyes half closed, thinking about miscellaneous things that really make no sense.  Not that they are not relevant to my life, or maybe you as the reader, but in essence they have no place in my current state or being.  In that I am day dreaming, as they call it.  So I figure why not transcribe these thoughts, add a bit of dry humor, some education  (for those that want it), and just maybe, make a difference.  After all as William James, my utmost favorite author, stated 'Today I will pretend that what I do makes a difference."

I will not get too in depth tonight, however I think that all of us need a bit of relaxation in our lives, and how you choose to do it is up to you!  I, myself, like various versions - typically sitting in a dark room just sitting by myself as the Mrs. puts the baby to sleep...Other times I find myself in a complete antithesis of a relaxing situation, like maybe in front of the TV, at a baseball game, or believe it or not, asleep!  As my wife likes to remind me, it actually takes more brain activity to sleep than to watch TV, so I don't often get to veg out in front of the TV anymore, but I have to admit I don't really miss it. 

The point I am trying to make is that it really depends on what you find relaxing, the things that bring you no stress, and just do them...without sounding cliche, Nike really has the copyright on this, but Just Do It!   I have been through quite a bit in my short time on this Earth, but one thing that seems to have remained constant is that the level of stress is directly proportional to the amount of relaxing I can, or can not, do.  It is utterly imperative that no matter how busy, crazy, time consuming, demanding, or easy your job is you must find an out - Find a way to distress and make it a habit, how often that habit is is ultimately up to you...

I bid you a farewell this fine evening, and let the rain that is falling make way for the clear blue skies and 80 degree weather that I need to survive!