Ok, my office building just shook like New England has indigestion. WOW that was creepy. It inspired me to share a lesson that everyone should remember at least once a day. When you are rattled by something that makes you remember what is really important in life, you become a better EVERYTHING in that moment. So, special thanks to the Manchester, Fall 2012 earthquake. Try this EVERY morning.
What could you lose today that you have?
Who could you thank that you really appreciate?
How could you love and give first, sell second?
How could you offer support instead of worry?
What would you do differently today if it were your last?
How great do you really have it?
What could you go for it on today that you’ve put off for years?
What the hell are you waiting for?
Special thanks to my family, clients, friends and amazing wife.
I’m so blessed.
What’s more annoying than that moment someone tells you that they know others who do exactly what you do? You think… but, wait – I’m special! I’m totally unique and distinct because … if you are, how do they know it? You need distinction, which is NEVER just about selling the potato. It MUST be more than that. You can shout about your quality, years in business, attention to detail… blah, blah, blah… just another potato.
I Feel Sorry for Potato Farmers
Recently, I walked into the grocery store in search of a few items my wife had sent me out to purchase for a family gathering. As I approached the potato area, I noticed I was very cold…I’m convinced that these stores crank the AC just to see how fast they can make us shop… but I also noticed the specials and the prices and some buy 3 get one free deals on different types and “brands” of potatoes… but other than that, there was nothing that drove me to choose one potato over any other. These poor potato farmers are hoping to see sales rise for their special little products, but they don’t have a fighting chance unless they launch their SUPER SPUD campaign! I found 4 brands of russet potatoes… hmmm, let’s see, this one is a nice shade of brown – hah! they get the business this time!
The SUPER SPUD Exercise – explore the magic of distinctions. If you can do it for a potato, you can do it for your business – Capiche?
Write down 4 different types of potatoes (get ‘em at the store if you can)
For each potato, list what unique characteristics they each have and be sure to include prices, special offers, color, texture– etc.
Now, create your Super Potato! Choose one of the potatoes that most appeals to you for whatever reason. Name it if you like… and then, decide what factors would create an irrational need for you to buy this potato over the others. Your objective is to create a powerful message that would drive people nuts to buy this potato! Oddly enough, as you look deeply, you’ll find that this strategy actually reveals value! It’s not just creating thinkage… it’s identifying what would have the MOST meaning to a potential buyer. Just answer these questions and remember that buyers have priorities in their lives that have NOTHING to do with potatoes, so selling the SPUD isn’t the answer. Go deeper… find out what is driving families to buy ANYTHING. It’s the FEELING that buying something creates. Chances are you’ve been selling and marketing based on the wonders of all potatoes. Now, focus on YOUR gifted, super potatoes and what they mean to others – what value they bring – is your PRIMARY focus. Become the ideal buyer… rushed mom, beer shopping dad, busy, overworked and distracted, health semi-unconscious American. What is stressing me, grabbing my attention. How can this little spud remove some of that pain for me now?
How can the potato help with your health and that of your family?
What would your potato be if it was waaaaay better and even cooler than a potato? (a nutrition cooking system all in one veggie? A meaningful gift for family time? A toy for making little family member models?)
What about this potato could improve your money situation? (does it create more fries per spud than any other?)
How is the potato useful for your work-life situation? (perhaps related to eating on the fly and easy to have on hand)
What about this potato makes it easy or less time-consuming? (extra mashable, comes with a high speed, disposable slice and mash system, pre-peeled for these 5 reasons…)
How could incorporating a potato in your meal plan create a sense of ongoing progress in your life?
Is there a creative way to promote this unique little spud in your relationships? (fun with kids, romantic dinners, experimenting with recipes, wine pairings, fun cooking together experience… )
What standard could this SUPER SPUD meet that no other potato could even dream of meeting? (every spud sold supports “x” youth programs – potatoes for playgrounds fund)
There just isn’t enough time in the day! If you’ve shouted that recently, or quietly stewed about it, then you’re not alone. According to a nationwide study, about 67% of working America is dissatisfied and disengaged with what they’re doing and therefore don’t feel focused or productive. Rather than bore you with the oft regurgitated steps to organize your life and manage your time, just follow these simple guidelines and you’ll become more productive, more focused and hey – you’ll also enjoy your day more…. MUCH more! And, you’ll go home knowing you got your WIN! Since the quality of your life is how you feel in every moment, feeling distracted or unfocused is NOT a place to spend your time. Stop feeling like a time waster and get refocused! And if you’re curious about the research behind taking breaks – check this out the report below!
1. Take a BREAK – Clear your desk and your mind: Life is full of distractions that can make us less than productive – even anxious and distracted. A client needs this now, an employee or associate wants you for “Just a minute”, which is often a life and time suck that can last far longer. We are creatures of habit, so if you’re used to being interrupted and allowing it to happen, you need to start retraining yourself with focus. Accept that you’ve been distracted and step back from your desk. Also, if you aren’t taking breaks, you are KILLING your productivity.
2. Get Altitude: Stretch and look around. As you are doing this, remove any thoughts from your mind that you’ve been working with and essentially clear the slate – start over. Clearly the path you were on is not feeling good or the highest and best use of your time and resources.
3. Write your WINS list: Get out a clean sheet of paper and write down 2 things that you will get done today if nothing else. Forget about the to do list from earlier today. It was too long and likely written with a feeling of frustration about how overworked you are. You need to put your head on straight and WIN THIS DAY!
4. Limit communications: Write down exactly who you need to speak with to accomplish today’s goals and create an agenda for those calls or meetings. What is the meeting designed to accomplish? What questions will be asked? What is the outcome? How quickly can the goal(s) be met effectively so you can move on to other things?
5. Quarantine yourself: Tell people in your immediate area that you are focusing on an important project/task and will need to do so uninterrupted if possible. If they still interrupt – short of slamming doors and making faces, use closed doors and words like “let’s schedule a time for that so I can finish what I’m focused on” language. This is your life and if you’re going to feel good, you’ve got to be productive and focused.
6. Ask the great questions: What are my reasons for having this project done or making this progress that I feel good about? What makes this more than a task? When I’m successful at what I’m doing, who – in my life does this help? (remember the impact on EVERYONE at home and at work when you’re productive or not)
Life is not as much what happens to you, but how you perceive what happens to you. If you see the value in taking a break regardless of the circumstances or frustrations – then clean your slate and reengage at a more focused level, you’ll be more productive and happier! Try it. You’ve got the juice, so USE IT!
Hey Entrepreneurs – are you frustrated by your business marketing and sales? Good! That means that you want more than what you have in some way. If leaders didn’t get frustrated, progress wouldn’t happen. Right?
So, here’s what to do to remove that frustration when it comes about. It only takes 5 simple steps – and if you remember the steps, you’ll be able to use this advice again and again in the future as you work to use frustration to your advantage.
Identify the cause:
Take 5 minutes and write down exactly what is frustrating you and BE specific.
Example: I’m just not feeling successful in my sales and marketing– so I’m frustrated! Just write, write, write! Ahhhh… that felt good. Now you don’t have to dump on your family or staff and ruin their morning too!
Next, Identify the solution. What would have to happen to cause the frustration to go away? Identify what specifically would make you feel successful and therefore NOT frustrated in this area.
Example: I’d need 3 more clients per month from my sales and marketing. That would remove my frustration.
Find the reason to change:
Now, why do you want to have that? What are your reasons? Identify your top 3 to start getting leverage – reasons like this are powerful to drive action!
1. My business and staff are counting on me for success
2. My family is counting on me to take care of them
3. I love helping and serving others and want to do it more
Create a workable strategic plan to reach your goal:
Talk to a business marketing and sales advisor or find articles with insights and advice that you believe in and can test immediately. Remember to keep it simple and do it today! It can even come from that one idea in the book you bought, but never bothered to read! You getting the idea. Solving problems isn’t always about NEW ideas, it’s about implementing ideas and testing them today. Do a gut check to make sure the advice you get feels right – even run it by another business owner to see what they think. Then, get to work and schedule the action to see how it goes over 30 days.
Example: I will call, write to or visit 10 new prospects each day until I reach my goal. I’ll use what I learn from each action to improve my pitch and selling ability.
Now, resolve to make it so! Tell 2 people close to you exactly what you are doing and how you intend to do it. Then, take the action to make it happen NOW! One way I did it recently – I just told a close friend that if I didn’t take MY first step toward a goal that I promised by a certain time TODAY – I would give him $100. That’s leverage and I hit the goal with time to spare!
Last Thursday the Innerspire crew joined in on some Manchester FUNdraising at abi’s Party of Arms presented by Dyn Inc. Lucky us, we got to hear many inspirational community members and founder of TwitPic, Noah Everett. The event was a fundraiser for the abi Innovation Hub. The abi Innovation Hub helps startups grow & innovate.
Check out the first clip of our media strategist, Dan’s Monday Morning Show which features several important people who were at last week’s event.
We’re looking forward to more events supporting Manchester’s small businesses.