THE MOST IMPORTANT SALES BOOK YOU WILL EVER READ

Part 3 – Think about this…

TEN WAYS TO BECOME A LEGEND

This section is filled with habits and concepts to help you become a better sales person, but also to take control of your life and maximize your potential. The thesis of this book is that sales skills can help you build a better life with greater positive influence. This section is describing a successful process to create a better life.

Results don’t just appear out of nowhere. There is a cause and effect to everything. This whole universe is an infinite cause and effect. Sometimes the cause is far removed from the effect so it appears unrelated. Just because you cannot see the cause or cannot recognize the effect that doesn’t mean it is not happening.

In sales and in life, many people are only focused on results, so much so that they are handicapping themselves. They create stress and anxiety, they take shortcuts, and they make bad decisions all because they are so desperate for results. But results are dependent upon processes. A lot of times you cannot control the result, but you can always control the process.

If you have a strong process, if you have confidence in the process, and you stick to the process, you should be able to live with the result whether it is positive or negative. This is what most great sports coaches, business coaches and life coaches will tell you. You must focus on the process and the results will inevitably come.

When you focus on the result you will probably adjust your process based on the circumstances to get quick gains. You will let your circumstances dictate your process. If you allow your circumstances to dictate your processes, you will not have sustained success. If you develop your character into something that allows you to make good decisions in spite of negative circumstances, then you will inevitably have success in sales and in all areas of your life.

Make a commitment to stick to your process, even in bad circumstances. Don’t lower your standards in unfavorable circumstance. Don’t accept laziness, don’t accept excuses. Aim high, and keep the highest standards at all times, and give your best effort in this direction.

 

Here are some suggestions for the foundation of a great process:

 

1. SET GOALS, WRITE THEM DOWN

According to Brian Tracy, only 3% of adults write down their goals, and those 3% make 10x more money than the other 97%.

So get a pen and paper, and write down what you want to achieve this year. The simple act of writing it down makes it much more significant than goals that remain in your head.

Whether its sales goals, health and fitness goals, financial goals or anything else you must write them down to make them real.

Your goals should be SMART. That means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Limited.

A goal without a timeline is not really a goal.

Once your goals are written down you can reverse engineer it back to today. In order for you to achieve your goals in on year, what will you need to achieve each month? In order for you to achieve that each month, what will you need to be doing each week? In order for you to do that each week, what do you need to be doing every day? What can you do right now?

Now Do it.

Aim high, Get Started, Don’t Stop.

A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action becomes reality.

You can achieve your goals.

 

Try creating one long term goal for 10 or 20 years from now.

Create three mid term goals for 5 years from now.

And create three short term goals for 6 months from now.

 

You should read them every morning and every evening.

 

For more information about goal setting visit www.nicklusson.com

 

You must create a ladder of smaller goals along the way, reaching down to the present.

 

 

 

2. THE SMALL THINGS / perseverance / consistency

 

You can see eloquent signs of people’s character in how they handle everyday affairs. If they are late in finishing simple assignments, they will be late with larger projects. If they become irritated by little inconveniences, they will tend to crumble under larger ones. If they are forgetful on small matters and inattentive to details, the will be so on more important ones.

You have to handle many moments of frustration, boredom, and failure, and the endless temptations in our culture for more immediate pleasures.

To offset this tedium, you need to have moments of flow in which your mind becomes so deeply immersed in the work that you are transported beyond your ego. You experience feelings of profound calmness and joy. The psychologist Abraham Maslow called these “peak experiences”—once you have them, you are forever changed. You will feel the compulsion to repeat them. The more immediate pleasures the world offers will pale in comparison. And when you feel rewarded for your dedication and sacrifices, your sense of purpose will be intensified.

 

The secret to your success, in sales and in life, is hidden among the small things you do daily. If you really want to improve your life you have to change some of the things that you do on a daily basis. The small things you do daily are your process. Your habits are your process.

It is not your passing thoughts that shape your life, or your one-off attempts that create change. It is your habits.

A successful person is simply someone with successful habits. An unsuccessful person is someone who has made a habit of neglect.

Humans are undeniably creatures of habit. Some people say that we are in control of our future and we can decide our own destiny, but that is not true. We are in control of our habits, and our habits decide our destiny.

Habits are the invisible architecture of our lives. If you want to change your life you have to change something you do every day.

Understanding how habits work can help us reprogram ourselves and get rid of bad habits and replace them with good ones.

Habits are basically a cycle of 3 parts:

1) Trigger

2) Habit

3) Reward

We engage in habits because we have internalized this 3 step process. First there is a trigger, some kind of stimulus that begins the cycle. Then there is the habit itself, this can be an action or a thought or anything in between. And the third part of the cycle is the reward. This is often a thought that causes neuro-chemicals in our brain to “reward” us.

Take a look at your habits in this way and you may start to understand them better. Try to identify the trigger, then clearly identify what the habit is, and identify what the reward is.

If we want to eliminate bad habits from our lives there are some strategies that can help us be more successful.

Avoid the “trigger”. We can try to avoid situations that will lead us down the same, familiar, dysfunctional path.

We can also separate the trigger from the habit. If we are more keenly aware of the trigger and our habitual response we can create mental space to react in a different way.

Another way is to eliminate the reward of bad habits. Remind yourself of the pain and dysfunction this habit actually causes, and remind yourself the pain of regret is more than the pain of discipline. Discipline to avoid the habit weighs ounces, but regret weighs tons.

Every time you are able to identify the trigger and create that space to react differently you need to reward yourself with compliments and positive energy. Congratulate yourself. Tell yourself that you are making progress. Give yourself a pat on the back, and learn to make this recognition the “reward”, and in this way you are working WITH your own brain chemistry to improve your habits.

Identify the trigger and hijack the reward.

 

It is often a good idea to concentrate on replacing habits rather than eliminating habits. When you identify the trigger, give yourself a positive habit to replace the negative habit. A classic example is to switch from smoking cigarettes to chewing gum instead. When you are triggered to smoke a cigarette, you can use the awareness technique described above, and chew a nice piece of chewing gum instead of smoking the cigarette, and give yourself the mental reward, the mental congratulations.

Replacing a bad habit with a good habit is the fastest way to make a change in your life.

 

Another small thing you can do to improve your life is to take some time to shift gears between activities.

Before you do anything difficult, take some time to prime your brain. Think about what you are about to do. Think the thoughts that will bring you success and energy.

Before you make sales calls or go to the gym listen to high energy music. Before you attempt to write a report think about the purpose of the report and the intended response. If you are feeling lazy or procrastinating, take a few moments to prime your brain before you act.

Ask yourself “What is the energy that I want to bring to this activity? What are the three things that would make this activity successful? How can I influence this activity positively?”

You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not a singular act, but a habit. Make attention to detail part of your process. Make excellence your signature habit.

If something takes less than 2 minutes to do, do it now, don’t save it for later. Be proactive and sharp on all paperwork. Once you get off the phone with someone, send a follow up email ASAP to ensure it doesn’t slip through the cracks.

Build the habit of excellence, whether you are closing a deal worth $1,000,000 or you are just making your bed. Focus on an excellent process and you will (eventually) achieve excellent results. Make doing everything to the best of your ability part of your process. Give your whole attention and presence to everything you are doing.

 

Make a habit of showing up on time. Stay ahead of schedule and you won’t feel the pressure of the clock. Also you will be communicating trustworthiness and sharpness to those around you.

 

Embrace feedback. Review your performance at the end of each activity, and at the end of each day. Were you able to bring the energy to every interaction today? Were there people you didn’t give your full attention to today?

 

Make a habit of greeting people with energy and enthusiasm, especially in the mornings. I remember that when I was trying to make this a habit I felt very foolish. It was especially hard because I am not a morning person so I was truly faking the energy and excitement every morning. I thought that I was annoying everyone.

My strategy was to be very consistent, to greet everyone every morning using their name, and each day to pick one single person for a lengthier greeting where I would complement their jacket, their tie or their hair. I would come up with three to five sentences for this lucky individual, on top of the one sentence greeting to each and every person using their name.

I struggled to with this self-imposed challenge for months, but I was very consistent. I thought I was annoying everyone. I thought people did not like to be greeted so early in the morning every single day.

But when I left that organization, as I was saying goodbye to my friends and colleagues, one person told me that what they would miss the most about me and what they would never forget about me was my energy and enthusiasm in the mornings, that I had made their day on more than one occasion by complimenting them so early in the day, and that she wondered how I was able to be so positive and energetic in the mornings.

She had no idea how much I struggled to get that energy and motivation to greet everyone.

In the end it was worth all my effort. I had successfully faked it till I made it, and I had succeeded in being a positive influence in the office. And once she gave me that compliment, I never struggled to greet everyone in the mornings again.

 

Treat everyone with respect: Just because someone isn’t a decision maker or a boss doesn’t mean you should dismiss rudely. Don’t wait until they seem ready to buy to be friendly to them. Show respect to everyone and it will come back to you.

 

3. CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT

The motto of a successful person, a successful entrepreneur, a successful sales person is: “continual improvement”.

Everyone makes mistakes, nobody is perfect. But with small gains compounded over time, you can achieve greatness. Strive for perfection with no hope of achieving perfection, just continue to improve day by day.

Every day we should take a small step toward our goals, towards perfection. And even though we know beforehand that we will never reach perfection, those small steps we take every day will give massive results over time. We pursue perfection as the ideal with no hope of reaching perfection because in the pursuit of perfection we may catch excellence.

 

Success in life does not happen overnight, it is the result of getting better than you were yesterday, over and over again. If you can try to be 1% better than you were yesterday, before long you will be achieving things you never thought possible!

Every day you should strive to be a little bit better than you were yesterday. Strive to perform a little bit better than you did last time. On your bad days, strive to keep your smile just a little bit longer than last time.

Commit to the motto of “continual improvement” and you will reach success. Do not get disheartened when you make mistakes. Learn from them. Learn from those who’ve gone before you.

When we make a mistake, the best course of action is to recognize the mistake, admit the mistake, and take corrective action including learning from the mistake to hopefully never make it again. No regret, just better decisions. This is continual improvement.

Nothing can stop a person who has the right mental attitude from achieving their goals, and nothing can help a person with the wrong mental attitude.

So don’t give up and apply this philosophy of continual improvement. Your life will be an amazing masterpiece! Your life will be an inspiration for all those who thought that greatness was not meant for them! Your story will be told for generations! Your name will be in the hall of fame!

But you won’t get there overnight, or even in one year. You have to commit long-term to progressing each day, to taking each obstacle as a learning experience, and to continually improve in good times and in bad. You can do it!

You can always be better: Sales is an art, not a science. Which means it’s never perfect and can always improve.

View failures as learning opportunities.

You can’t expect perfection, but you can expect momentum.

Stay positive, and keep improving.

You are not born with fixed intelligence and inherent limits. See your brain as a miraculous organ designed for continual learning and improvement, well into old age.

View problems and failures as means to learn and toughen yourself up. You can get through anything with persistence. View the way people treat you as largely flowing from your own attitude, something you can control.

Do not be afraid to exaggerate the role of will power. It is in exaggeration with a purpose. It leads to a positive self-fulfilling dynamic, and that is all you care about. See this shaping of your attitude as your most important creation in life, and never leave it to chance.

People with negative closed minded attitudes build up elaborate defenses to keep out other viewpoints.

These attitudes have a self-sabotaging dynamic. Such people make others feel the same negative emotion that dominates their attitude, which helps confirm them in their beliefs about people. They do not see the role that their own actions play, how the often are the instigators of the negative response. They only see people persecuting them, or bad luck overwhelming them.

Negative emotions have a blinding power—a person who is angry is more prone to also feel suspicion, deep insecurities, resentment, et cetera. And so we often find combinations of these various negative attitudes, each one feeding and accentuating the other.

If you notice signs of this attitude in yourself, such self-awareness is a major step toward being able to get rid of it. You can also try a simple experiment: Approach people you are meeting for the first time, or only know peripherally, with various positive thoughts—“I like them”, “They seem smart”, et cetera. None of this is verbalized, but you do your best to feel such emotions.

4. SOCIAL MEDIA & NETWORKING AND THE CIRCLE YOU KEEP

This era of social media has changed the world we live in, in so many ways. If you use social media correctly it can be a tool to help you elevate your life and reach your goals. If you use social media incorrectly it can be a source of distraction, dissatisfaction and negativity.

If you are not learning something new every day from social media, you are following the wrong people. No matter what your interests are you can find successful, positive pages and people who will give you support and motivation. Seek out those people to follow to see their content.

For positivity and motivation I recommend: Dave Meltzer, Tony Robbins, Bob Proctor, Eric Thomas, and, of course, Nick Lusson Motivation.

If you are passionate about photography, or web design, or music or anything else you can certainly find other great pages to follow.

 

If you are following pages that make you feel bad, unfollow them. If you are following pages that make you compare yourself and lust after material things, you should unfollow them. These pages are stealing your energy and your peace of mind for their own personal gain. Anything that costs your peace of mind is not worth it.

I encourage you to curate you social media to become a source of knowledge and positivity. Try following some podcasts or educational pages. There is no excuse not to become very knowledgeable and very inspired about whatever interests you.

 

Social media has certainly connected us all in ways that were unfathomable a generation ago. Use the power of social media to reach out to successful people in your industry and ask for advice. You will be surprised how many incredibly successful people still find the time to respond to people who ask for advice or help with honest intentions.

Expand your social circle, find successful people near you in your industry and ask them for coffee or drinks for a chance to pick their brain. Ask for mentorship from people whose success you would like to emulate.

 

If you hang out with chickens you are going to cluck, and if you hang out with eagles you are going to fly. Audit your inner circle. The people you spend time with should represent your future, not your past. Reach out to people who are positive and successful and you will have more success in life.

One of the fastest ways to improve yourself and your life situation is to start hanging out with people who are already like what you want to be. You are an average of the five people you spent the most time with, so choose wisely. If you show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.

 

People of real strength are as rare as gold, and if you find them you should respond as if you had discovered a treasure.

In boring everyday tasks, you cultivate greater patience and attention to detail. You deliberately take on tasks slightly above your level. In completing them, you have to work harder, helping you establish more discipline and better work habits. You also search out others who display a strong character and associate with them as much as possible.

 

 

5. VISUALIZATION & POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.

Positive Affirmations are conscious commands that you give your sub-conscious mind through repetition.

 

When you are clear about what you want in life, what you want will show up in your life, but only to the extent that you are clear about it. Fuzzy desires give fuzzy results. Get crystal clear about your goals for best results.

I want you to find images that represent your highest goals and dreams. Where do you want to live? What kind of house do you want to live in? What kind of car do you want? What are you doing? Who are you helping (if your vision for your life does not include helping others, your vision is too small and you need dream bigger to include helping others) Who are you helping and why are you helping them?

Once you have VISUAL representations of the answers to all of these questions, print these images.

Now take all that you have printed and paste them onto a single board or single sheet of paper. This is your vision board. If you have done it correctly it should be a powerful and moving board full of imagery of your inner most goals and desires. When you look at your vision board, you should feel motivated and connected to your higher self. You should be able to visualize your self-living the life that this board represents. 

Now put it somewhere you must see it every day. Take the time to concentrate on those images and the feelings associated with them. Use the vision board to generate the feelings you have about reaching your goals. It should give you a sense of peace, a sense of confidence because it represents your highest goals and desires for your life. You must visualize it every day.

Now let that inner desire spur you to action.

Put in the work to achieve those goals.

Gain skills, gain knowledge, gain discipline.

Learn from people who have achieved what you want to achieve. This vision board is supposed to pull you into ACTION and keep you focused on achieving your dreams.

Visualize your goals and dreams and success every single day until you get there. But this won’t work without ACTION. The vision board is a call to ACTION, to help you find the energy and motivation and desire and focus to take massive and intelligent action towards your goals. You CAN get everything on your vision board.

 

Positive affirmations are short positive statements that can help you focus on goals, get rid of negative, self-defeating beliefs and program your subconscious mind. They can be used to reprogram your thought patterns and change the way you think and feel about things.

They are commands and suggestions that you create with your conscious mind, and through repetition, you insert them into your subconscious mind to replace dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes already installed in there.

I want you to write a list of 5 positive statements that will help you feel positive and empowered to create the life you have visually represented on your vision board.

They should be in the form of “I AM…” statements or something similar. They are about looking into the future at who you want to be—your highest vision for yourself—and then pulling those statements from the future into the present. Think about the person you would like to become, and put them into “I AM…” statements.

Post this list next to your vision board in a place that is unavoidable, where you will see it every morning and every night.

Say them out loud 3-5 times every morning and every evening.

 

Examples:

I am intelligent, capable and competent.

I am enough. I accept and approve of myself exactly as I am.

I believe in myself and I trust my inner wisdom.

I have everything I need to achieve my dreams. I can do it.

Everyday I am working for success, I am ready for success, and I accept success.

I am successful, and well respected.

 

If it feels silly at first then you are doing it correctly. Get rid of your self-importance that prevents you from making a vision board and talking to yourself in the mirror with positive affirmations.

The vision board and positive affirmations are tools to communicate to your subconscious mind and reprogram your habits of thinking. The vision board communicates to your right brain: the visual, creative, artistic and abstract part of your brain. The positive affirmations communicates to your left brain: the language center, analytical, logical part of your brain.

 

Everything you learned in life you learned through repetition. You are not even aware of the immense effort that was required to cement your belief as a limited being unworthy of success.

It is amazing that we never consider that through effort and repetition we can create the opposite beliefs: that we are worthy of success, capable of success, and ready for success!

We either make ourselves strong or we make ourselves miserable, the amount of work is the same” – Carlos Castaneda

 

Put your vision board and positive affirmations where you will see them EVERYDAY. What you put your attention on grows stronger in life. Put your attention on your goals, put your attention on your positive affirmations and watch them appear in your life.

Repetition is the key to learning. Be consistent. Try this for 6 months and I guarantee your life will be better.

 

For more information about vision boards and positive affirmations, visit www.nicklusson.com

 

When we were children, if we were given a game with explicit instructions and rules, we quickly lost interest. But if the game was something we invented or was loosely structured, allowing us to inject our own ideas and fantasies, we could sustain our interest for much longer. When we are the ones doing the interpreting we find it exciting to be able to exercise our imagination in this way.

We no longer live in savannas or forests teeming with life-threatening predators and natural dangers, but our brains are wired as if we were. What is real and what is imagined are both experienced similarly in the brain. Our imagination is essentially limitless. And what we imagine has almost the force of what we actually experience.

If there is a person of whom you will eventually ask a favor, try imagining him or her in the best light—generous and caring—if that is possible.

 

The greatest discovery of my generation is the fact that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind – William James

Each of us has a particular way of looking at the world, of interpreting events and the actions of people around us. This is our attitude, and it determines much of what happens to us in life. If our attitude is essentially fearful, we see the negative in every circumstance. We stop ourselves from taking chances. We blame others for mistakes and fail to learn from them. If we feel hostile or suspicious, we make others feel such emotions in our presence. We sabotage our career and relationships by unconsciously creating the circumstances we fear the most. The human attitude, however, is malleable. By making our attitude more positive, open, and tolerant of other people, we can spark a different dynamic—we can learn from adversity, create opportunities out of nothing, and draw people to us. We must explore the limits of our willpower and how far it can take us.

Come to terms with the fact that you are not as free and autonomous as you like to believe. You do conform to the opinions of the groups you belong to; you do buy products because of subliminal influence; you can be manipulated. Realize as well that you are not as good as the idealized image of your self-opinion. Like everyone else, you can be quite self-absorbed and obsessed with your own agenda.

We, with our mind-set, can make people respond to us in a friendly or unfriendly manner, depending on our anxiety or our openness. We shape much of the reality that we perceive, dictated by our moods and emotions.

You must become aware of your own attitude and how it slants your perceptions.

You must not only be aware of the role of your attitude but also believe in its supreme power to alter your circumstances.

View your health as largely dependent on your attitude. Feeling excited and open to adventure, you can tap into energy reserves you did not know that you had. The mind and the body are one, and your thoughts affect your physical responses.

 

Now more than ever people focus on their specific problems—their depression, their lack of motivation, their social inadequacies, their boredom. But what governs all of these seemingly separate problems is our attitude, how we view the world on a daily basis. It is how we see and interpret events. Improve the overall attitude and everything else will elevate as well—creative powers, the ability to handle stress, confidence levels, relationships with people.

 

 

6. TIME MANAGEMENT

Many of us feel like there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that we want to do or need to do. Many of us feel overwhelmed and rushed, we leave little time for relaxation or meditation or sleep, and we find ourselves in a viscous cycle that is hard to break out of.

Well, I am here to tell you that a proper time management strategy will make you feel like a super hero! If you apply the following lessons you will be amazed at how much you can get done while at the same time minimizing the stress you feel!

 

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

 

The problem is not a lack of time, it’s a lack of focus and good habits.

Let’s examine time management and apply it in our lives to reap the benefits.

 

With the great plot twist of the day, I am going to start off by saying there is no such thing as time management (Gasps!)

That’s right, there is no such thing as time management. No one can manage time! Time is beyond our control, time will pass no matter what we do. Our only hope in the face of time’s inevitable march onward, is to manage our selves.

 

There is no such thing as time management, there is only self-management. 

 

The issue of what we call ‘time management’ is really a matter of choices. We can choose to be efficient, or we can choose to be disorganized. We can choose to be easily distracted, or we can choose to get rid of distractions and focus. We can choose to concentrate on our highest value tasks, or we can be a leaf at the mercy of the wind and avoid such choices.

We can let circumstances dictate our process, or we can build our character so that we can continue to trust our process and make good decisions in spite of bad circumstances.

 

We are not concerned with ‘managing time’ but managing self’.

 

Here are some powerful Self-management’ tips to help you reduce stress and anxiety while improving productivity and performance.

 

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day go. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

Use a daily planner and calendar. The planner helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items. Write your tasks in one central location so you know where to look.

Know your deadlines. When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

Peg a time limit to each task. Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

Get an early start. Nearly all of us are plagued by the impulse to procrastinate. Plan to be early. When you plan to be just on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you plan to be early, you’ll most likely be on time. For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

In the real world there are no excuses for missing deadlines. It doesn’t matter if there was unexpected traffic, unexpected rains or anything else. I have nearly missed submitting proposals worth millions of dollars because the receiving organization’s website crashed at the deadline due to the high number of proposals being sent at the last minute. I missed some great opportunities, now I don’t make that mistake anymore. Learn from my mistake so you don’t have to deal with missing your opportunities. Be early!

Make your tasks into habits. If you have tasks that you know pop up with frequency you can try making them into habits at the same time each day for greater productivity. If you know you have a deadline coming up you can block a time each day to do one hour of work towards that goal each day and make it into a habit.

Focus on one task at a time. Don’t think of the totality of your to-do list. One of the fastest ways to overwhelm yourself is to think about your massive to-do list. All you can do is focus on the one task before you. This one, single, solitary task. One step at a time. Breathe.

Focus on just one key task at one time, stop multi-tasking. Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Prioritize. Apply the 80/20 principle. The 80/20 principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities. Identify the 20% of the work that will give 80% of the results and do those first.

Learn to say “No”. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Do less. Slow down, notice what needs to be done, and concentrate on those things. Do fewer things that create more value, rather than more things that are mostly empty. Accept the fact that somethings need to be ignored. Not all opportunities are worth your time.

Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done. Practice not answering the phone. Put your phone on silent. Block out distractions. What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Social Media? Phone ringing? Text messages? Eliminate your time wasters. Be aware of amount of TV you watch, random YouTube videos, or the time you spend browsing on the internet.

Stop checking social media so often. One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. On your phone you can use an app called App Detox that will allow you to put time restrictions on other apps such as twitter and Instagram

Delegate. If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks. Ask someone else for help or to do small tasks. Consider hiring a virtual assistant or an intern.

Prepare. Take five minutes before every task to decide what result you want to attain. This will help you know what success looks like before you start and make it more likely to be achieved.

Track your time spent. Egg Timer is a simple online countdown timer. You key in the amount of time you want it to track (example: “30 minutes”, “1 hour”) and it’ll count down in the background. When the time is up, the timer will beep. Great way to be aware of your time spent.

Avoid the perfection trap. Don’t fuss about unimportant details. You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Often, trivial details are very time consuming and it may be best to leave them for the end so you can make progress quickly.

Cut off when you need to. Don’t be afraid to break off meetings or stop a certain activity when you need to. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end. If someone wastes ten minutes of your time, eight minutes was your fault. Know when to break it off and be decisive.

Take a break. Go for a walk outdoors or, better still, do some exercise. You’ll come back re-energized, with renewed focus.

Exercise and eat healthily. Numerous studies have linked a healthy lifestyle with work productivity. Similar to getting enough sleep, exercising and eating healthily boost energy levels, clear your mind, and allow you to focus more easily. Some studies have shown that a four hour workday leads to better production and better quality in certain tasks. The lesson is that overworking is not the best solution. Taking breaks and refreshing yourself allows you to get more work done in a shorter time with better quality.

Prime your mind. Before you start a new task take some time to visualize how you want it to go. Ask yourself what would make it successful, what could prevent it from being successful, and what is the focus and energy you would like to bring to the activity. Visualize the activity going exactly as you want it to.. then make it happen!

7. PUT OTHERS FIRST

If you put others first you will have a more successful and more fulfilled life. Not only will your sales success increase as you adopt the attitude of helping rather than just selling, but all areas of you life will improve.

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want” – Zig Ziglar

 

It seems counter intuitive, that putting others first will help our own lives, but it is so true. If you want to be more successful you need to be less selfish and less greedy, you need to be more generous and selfless.

Expend your energy in helping others. Take your thoughts off of your own self and your own problems for a while and see if you can make someone else’s day brighter.

If you are depressed and feeling sorry for yourself, go find someone that you can help.

The benefits are innumerable. You will be more fulfilled, more satisfied and more blessed. You will be more grateful, happier, more refreshed and more successful.

 

NOTE: It is very true that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Self-care and self-love is extremely important and you SHOULD strive for your own happiness, success, and well-being.

HOWEVER, helping others is a great way to help yourself. Setting aside even a small amount of time or a small amount of money to help someone less fortunate than you can give you energy and perspective to help you create your own sense of balance and happiness and well-being in your life.

It is a trap to think that you cannot help someone else while simultaneously improving your own life.

8. DRESS TO IMPRESS

Dressing to impress, no matter what the occasion, is a reflection of your inner drive, your self-worth and character. When you look good, you feel good and perform well. Taking the few extra minutes in the morning to look your best, even if you’re not leaving the house changes your productivity significantly.

This comes from scientific research and personal experience. When I dress well I perform better and I am received better by those around me. When I dress like the CEO I am treated like the CEO, even by strangers. Even when I have very little do that day, getting dressed as though I have somewhere important to go gives me a ton of energy to get far ahead on the little things I would not have done otherwise. When I am feeling depressed or lazy, getting dressed up helps to combat these feelings and I find myself more active and productive than I would have been if I had allowed myself to stay in pajamas. This is real, try it.

When you dress well, you will feel better about yourself and a lifted spirit does wonders for accomplishing goals.

It is important to make a good impression on the people you are working with because they will be more in tuned to work with you. In my field, there is a lot of networking to be done, and with consulting I am often working with strangers toward deadlines.

When I meet people I want them to take me seriously. I want to show people that I am a professional and know what I am talking about, so I dress professionally and it works.

Over dressing is better than underdressing.

The way you dress open many doors for you. First impressions are very important. In order to leave a lasting impression on someone, you need to dress very well for the occasion and make it look effortless.

A well-dressed person tends to stand-out. If you’re well dressed for an interview, for instance, you will stand out in the crowd, and immediately attain an edge over the other people potential interviewees, or other sales people vying for a customer. According to studies, inappropriate dressing or grooming is behind 40% job rejections. Don’t be that person who dresses like a chump and ends up getting rejected because of your appearance or smell. A good suit, ironed trousers and a shirt, polished shoes and a good watch will go a long way when it comes to making an impression on others.

Your scent is very powerful. Find a signature scent and use it regularly. Soon your well-groomed appearance and signature scent will be one of your calling cards. Be consistent.

Dressing well shows that you are prepared, and implies you take yourself and your work seriously and pay attention to detail.

 

Pro-Tip: Do you have a pair of lucky underwear or lucky socks? If you don’t, you need to get one! Go buy one or two pairs of nice underwear or socks, and now these are your lucky underwear or socks. When you put them on, put them on with intention. Tell yourself, this is going to be a great day! Do it near your vision board, do it with a big sense of gratitude, thank the universe for the bed you slept in and for the sun and the rain and for life as you put on your lucky underwear each time. Now when you have a big task that you know you will need all of the focus and all of the luck and skill that you have to make it go well, you already know what socks/underwear to wear that day! Its psychological, it’s a mind game, and its real.

9. HOW TO SLEEP BETTER

Sleep at least 7-8 hours. Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity and suck a couple extra hours out of the day. This is not the case. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally.

It is far better to get a full night’s sleep and work efficiently and productively than it is to sacrifice sleep for output. Some people have achieved success on 4-5 hours of sleep per night. If this is you, congratulations. But you, and all the others, most likely achieved success DESPITE getting only 4-5 hours of sleep, not BECAUSE you got only 4-5 hours of sleep. Your skills and habits and intentions helped you to become successful more than your lack of sleep did, and you have more potential waiting to be unlocked when your brain is functioning and full capacity with a full night’s sleep.

 

The key to getting a great night’s sleep lies in a few key things you do during the day. The idea is to prep your body for sleep, send unconscious signals to your body that it is time to sleep, and to respect your sleep as a sacred and necessary time. It’s not only what we must do, it’s also what we must NOT do. There are many behaviors that we must change or give up to get our best sleep.

One is the belief that sleep is a waste of time, that you could be doing productive work at the computer or elsewhere.

Sleep is necessary, sleep is sacred, sleep is a creative process for your brain to rebuild.

Say it with me: Sleep is necessary, sleep is sacred!

 

Sleep must be seen as a process that starts 2-3 hours before your sleep. You cannot imagine that you can go from direct wakeful business to sleep without some time to shift gears.

Below are six major ways to work with your body and get a great night’s sleep.

Make your sleeping space cooler, darker and quieter. Replace intensely bright lights with warmer, mellower lights. Consider a light shade or a bed lamp. Avoid listening to loud music or watching television in bed.  If you are accustomed to watching TV from bed you are setting yourself up for bad sleep.

Take a warm shower. A nice relaxing warm shower before bed can really relax your body and relieve tension in your back and shoulders and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. This may be a good time for scented oils, scented candles or incense. Our sense of smell is often overlooked and ignored, but it is powerful in affecting our states of relaxation or concentration. Be careful when sleeping with candles or incense due to fire hazard, but experiment with lotions, oils, and other fragrant products. Look for sleepy scents like chamomile, but don’t be afraid to find one that works for you. Only use this fragrance or incense in your bed room and only around bed time if possible. Over time you will build the habit and the body’s response will be to relax when you smell that particular fragrance.

Eat smart. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine is of course a stimulant that is known to prevent restful sleep. Eating before sleep means your body will be digesting food while you are trying to rest. This can make you toss and turn or have stomach pain or need to use the bathroom, all of which can disturb your sleep. So no caffeine after lunch, and try to eat dinner some time before bedtime. 

Also pay attention to what you eat. It’s not only coffee and soda that can keep you up, try adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, especially raw fruits and vegetables around lunch time. This will improve your digestion in general and can give you more restful sleep. Perhaps you should avoid excessively spicy foods at dinner time… some people may not like cheese or dairy in the evening… Pay attention to your body and your diet to improve your sleep.

Consider avoiding caffeine altogether. Studies have shown that eating an apple in the morning wakes your brain up more than a cup of coffee and it doesn’t have the lingering side effects that may prevent restful sleep. If you have trouble sleeping you should try avoiding coffee, even in the mornings.

Use your bedroom for sleep, not work. Do what you can to turn your sleeping space into a sacred space. Keep it clean and welcoming. Don’t use it for working or watching television. Go to another room or another place to work or watch TV. This will condition your body to know the difference. Ideally you shouldn’t even rest in your bed if you’re not planning on sleeping. Make your bed a comfortable sleep cavern and soon you won’t be able to stay awake there!

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day as much as possible.  Your body operates on rhythms and patterns. As much as you can, you should try to work with your body’s patterns and not fight against them. Choose the best time for you to wake up and plan yourself so you get 8 hours of sleep.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you will fall asleep as soon as you close your eyes. Give yourself time to de-stress and relax, so get to bed earlier than 8 hours before you have to wake up.

Avoid screens for two hours before bed. Do you have the discipline for this one? Put your phone down away from your bed, don’t scroll through social media or watch TV for the last hours of your day or the first hours of your morning. The lights from the screens affect your eyes and your brain and will keep you up longer than you want. Try turning off your phone at night for added peace of mind.

Exercise regularly. Exercising regularly is life changing. You will have more energy during the day time, and have better sleep at night.

If you apply these habits to your life and your bedroom you will see your sleep improve and increase which will in turn give you more energy and enthusiasm throughout the day. Try it today!

Guided Meditations. Guided meditations really help me to stop thinking about the thoughts that will keep me awake and focus on relaxing thoughts, and focus on my breath. I use guided meditations often and it has made a big difference in my sleep and in my daily routine.

Check out the guided meditations that I have made at www.nicklusson.com

There are ones for sleep, for morning, and for throughout the day.

10. MEDITATION AND GRATITUDE

Ray Dalio is the founder and manager of the world’s largest hedge fund. He says the single greatest thing to which he can attribute his business success is Meditation.

Meditation is self-observation. It is a tool to learn about yourself. You start by taking a look at yourself and ask “How am I running this marvelous piece of biological machinery called my body? What is my mind? How does it work? Can I see it more clearly? Can I see what is behind that? What else can I learn about this?” And it ends with pure, non-dual awareness.

Meditation is self-observation with the commitment to discover the truth no matter what it is. To learn about yourself and your world, NOT to look for evidence to support what you already believe, or to pass judgement on yourself whether positive or negative.

You might be thinking now “That’s easy, I observe myself all the time.” But the truth is you do not. We coast through most of our life on auto pilot. 

If you are honest with yourself you will admit that you are not even in control of your own thoughts. Your thoughts jump around aimlessly without your awareness. 90% of your thinking is repetitive and dysfunctional, and you are not even aware of it.

 

If your thoughts are aimless and dysfunctional, don’t you think your words are sometimes aimless and dysfunctional too?

If your words are aimless and dysfunctional, don’t you think your choices and actions are sometimes aimless and dysfunctional too?

If your choices and actions are aimless and dysfunctional, don’t you think your habits are aimless and dysfunctional too?

If your habits are aimless and dysfunctional then your character, your destiny, and your whole life are to some degree aimless and dysfunctional.

 

Modern medicine has recognized the following benefits of meditation:

It has been found to correlate directly with decreased anxiety, decreased depression, increased pain tolerance, increased memory, increased patience and empathy, improved general functioning of your immune system, reduced blood pressure and reduced levels of stress.

Meditation has been shown to change the size, shape and density of your brain, as well as the patterns and frequencies of your brain waves. There have also been benefits related to diabetes and cancer. Just as exercise can increase your overall health, meditation can increase your overall health as well.

 

Today’s modern business leaders also promote meditation for its benefits on decision making, planning, emotional intelligence, your ability to lead others, peace of mind, job satisfaction and fulfillment.

So don’t think of meditation as an ancient religious practice with vague benefits. Just like exercise, it is a practical tool for improving your life.

 

How is Meditation done?

Meditation has some similarities to exercise. When you exercise, you quickly learn your limitations and hopefully you know that where you begin is not where you will stay. You learn how far you can run, or how much weight you can lift and you know that overtime you will be able to increase how far you can run and how much weight you can lift.

The goal of a healthy and strong body may seem far away at first. But if you continue in an intelligent manner, over time you will increase what is possible for you and you will slowly realize your goals.

We want to apply the same principles to meditation. Where we start is not where we will remain. Consistency and perseverance will yield results.

 

 

 

Soon meditating without moving for 20 minutes will be quite easy and you can build on your successes to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.

 

We begin by finding a quiet and comfortable place because we want to start with as few distractions as possible. When you get more experience you will be able to meditate effectively any place and at any time.

Get a mat or a cushion, and put yourself into a sitting position that is firm, stable and comfortable. Strictly speaking, you can meditate in any position, but there are certain sitting positions that have been traditionally favored. Try cross legged with your back straight and your shoulders back with your hands resting on your knees, or folded in your lap. The main thing is to be comfortable and stable without being tempted to sleep.

Take a few deep breaths. Breathe in your nose, hold for a moment, then breathe out your mouth. Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, then hold for 3 counts, and breath out of your mouth for 5 counts.

Just relax and let your breathing happen naturally, don’t force it.

Listen to every single noise that is going on around you. Don’t name the noises or identify the noises, just let them play with your eardrums. There are no “proper” sounds or “improper” sounds. If you hear someone cough or a car drive by, or someone fart, let those vibrations hit your ear drums without naming or judging those sounds.

Observe your breath, and listen to all the sounds around you. Feel the weight of your clothes on your skin. Observe every sensation in your body as you continue to breathe naturally.

Very soon you are going to have thoughts that come up in your head. That is perfectly ok. Listen to your own thoughts just as you are listening to all the noises around you. It is just noise.

Listen to your thoughts as you would listen to birds chatter, or dogs barking, or water splashing. Let the thoughts come, and let them go. Do not force them out of your head. Watch your thoughts like watching cars on the freeway, watch them come and watch them go, they don’t stay long! Leave your front door and your back door open. Allow your thoughts to come and go. Just don’t serve them tea!

And breathe.

Then continue to observe your mind. Watch your thoughts without judgment. Bring your attention to your breath. Listen to all the sounds around you without judgement, let them play with your ear drums. Listen as if someone might be calling your name in the distance. And breathe. If you find yourself distracted by thoughts, do not be bothered by them. Gently bring your attention back to your breath. Awareness is the goal.

Watch your breath, watch your posture, watch your thoughts, and be aware of the sounds around you.

That is all!

Is it really that simple? YES!

In meditation the goal is to observe yourself and get underneath your conditioning—to your unawareness.

Bring your mind to the present moment.

Get in position, and observe your breath, observe your posture, and observe your mind.

Our difficulty with this simple progression is that most of us are unwilling to accept that we need so little to make gains. We are geared to expect instruction, teaching, guides, masters. And when we are told that we need no one, we don’t believe it. We become nervous, then distrustful, or angry and disappointed. We think that we might be doing it wrong, or that we are doing nothing at all and it is useless.

Here is an excerpt from a wonderful, amazing, profound book on Meditation called “Zen mind, beginner’s mind” by Shunryū Suzuki. He was a Japanese Zen Buddhist monk who was one of the first to bring Meditation to the Western world. His book is a great place to find casual and authentic teachings about meditation practice.

He says:

People say that practicing Zen is difficult, but there is a misunderstanding as to why. It is not difficult because it is hard to sit in the cross legged position to attain enlightenment. It is difficult because it is hard to keep our mind pure and our practice pure in its fundamental sense.

The most important point is to own your own physical body. If you slump, you will lose your self. Your mind will be wandering about somewhere else; you will not be in your body. This is not the way. We must exist right here, right now! This is the key point. You must own your own body and mind. Everything should exist in the right place, in the right way. Then there is no problem.

When we have our body and mind in order, everything else will exist in the right place, in the right way.

But usually, without being aware of it, we try to change something other than ourselves, we try to order things outside us. But it is impossible to organize things if you yourself are not in order. When you do things in the right way, at the right time, everything else will be organized. You are the “boss”. When the boss is sleeping, everyone is sleeping. When the boss does something right, everyone will do everything right, and at the right time.

So try always to keep the right posture, not only when you practice zazen, but in all your activities. Take the right posture when you are driving your car and when you are reading. If you read in a slumped position you cannot stay awake long. Try. You will discover how important it is to keep the right posture.

This is the true teaching. The teaching which is written on paper is not the true teaching. Written teaching is a kind of food for your brain. Of course it is necessary to take some food for your brain, but it is more important to be yourself by practicing the right way of life.

If you want to discover the true meaning of Zen in your everyday life, you have to understand the meaning of keeping your mind on your breathing and your body in the right posture in zazen.

When you are practicing zazen, do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears as if something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer.

The only effort that will help you is to count your breathing, or to concentrate on your inhaling and exhaling. We say concentration, but to concentrate your mind on something is not the true purpose of Zen. The true purpose is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes. This is to put everything under control in its widest sense.

It will take quite a long time before you find your calm, serene mind in your practice. Many sensations come, many thoughts or images arise, but they are just waves of your own mind. Nothing comes from outside your mind. Usually we think of our mind as receiving impressions and experiences from outside, but that is not a true understanding of our mind. The true understanding is that the mind includes everything; when you think something comes from outside it means only that something appears in your mind. Nothing outside yourself can cause any trouble.  You yourself make the waves in your mind. If you leave your mind as it is it will become calm. This is called big Mind.

-Shunryū Suzuki

 

You can read for a hundred years but will learn nothing if you don’t put it into action. And there is plenty of help out there for you in the form of books and articles, YouTube videos, and real world meditation centers near you!

 

I hope this has given you some modern into the benefits and practicality of meditation, as well as some insight into its ancient origin, its purpose and methods.

TRY IT! Try it over and over. Don’t give up! The benefits are really amazing, and you will get better at meditating with time. Don’t get frustrated! It is completely natural to want to give up, just hang in there until you feel the results, then you will never want to quit again!

 

I am a big fan of guided mediations as an entry point and a tool to help you in this cluttered world. On my YouTube Channel I have uploaded several guided meditations that I have made myself. I find them very useful in this rapidly changing world, with technology changing the way we live our lives every day.

There are guided meditations for different activities.

I would love to hear your feedback. Visit my YouTube Channel at Nick Lusson Motivation, try them out and get in touch through social media. Visit www.nicklusson.com for more information.

 

Some of my other favorites for guided meditations that you can find on YouTube are Alan Watts and Eckhart Tolle and Glen Harrold.

 

And last but not least: Gratitude.

Gratitude is the foundation for attracting success and abundance into your life.  You can literally change your life just by saying “Thank You” out loud every night and every morning.

If you are not grateful and aware of the blessings in your life you will not attract more blessings.

You need to learn to be grateful for your struggles because they are building inner strength and showing you to your true potential. They are teaching you and guiding you.

Being grateful as you meditate and as you go through your day will change your life for the better more than words can describe.

Please add meditation and gratitude to your days, for your own benefit and the benefit of everyone around you.

 

 

SUMMARY:

·      Set goals and write them down to make them real!

·      Pay attention to the small things you do every day, watch your habits.

·      Commit to the motto of continual improvement rather than instant gratification.

·      Use social media properly. Curate and landscape your social media to be a positive influence, not a negative influence. Audit your inner circle and seek out successful and positive people.

·      Use the power of visualization and positive affirmations.

·      Practice the art of self-management.

·      Put others first for a better life. Less greed, less selfishness, more generosity, more selflessness.

·      Use your attire and personal grooming to help achieve your goals.

·      Make the choices during the day to help you get more restful sleep.

·      Make mediation a part of your life.

·      Say “Thank you” out loud every morning and every night.

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

As a motivational speaker my tagline is:

Aim High, Get Started, Don’t Stop

I believe that one of the world’s biggest problems is that people are not aiming high enough. We are settling for less than we deserve, less than is within our reach.

People think they lack motivation or lack the resources to make their dreams come true, but that is not the case.

People are not lazy, they just have impotent goals because they are not aiming high enough.

People think that they are tired, and it is not because they have spent all their energy, it is because they have done TOO LITTLE of the things that make them come alive.

People do not lack resources, they lack resourcefulness because they are not challenging themselves.

You should have goals that are so big they are scary. Your goals should be so big that you cannot achieve them as the person that you are today, you will have to grow into someone who can achieve those lofty goals.

When you have goals that are so big they are scary you will awaken dormant parts of your spirit that have been waiting to be excited and scared by the pursuit of your goals.

And it starts in your mind.

 

Begin this early on in your career by developing the highest possible standards for your own work, and by training yourself to be constantly aware of how your manner and tone affect people in the subtlest of ways.

SET STANDARDS

 

 

To serve this higher purpose, you must cultivate what is unique about you. Stop listening so much to the words and opinions of others, telling you who you are and what you should like and dislike. Judge things and people for yourself. Question what you think and why you feel a certain way. Know yourself thoroughly—your innate tastes and inclinations, the fields that naturally attract you. Work every day on improving those skills that mesh with your unique spirit and purpose. Add to the needed diversity of culture by creating something that reflects your uniqueness. Embrace what makes you different. Not following this course is the real reason you feel depressed at times. Moments of depression are a call to listen again to your inner authority.

In a world full of endless distractions, you must focus and prioritize. Certain activities are a waste of time. Certain people of a low nature will drag you down, and you must avoid them. Keep your eye on your goals, and remain concentrated and alert. Allow yourself the luxury exploring and wandering creatively, but always with an underlying purpose.

You must adhere to the highest standards in your work. You strive for excellence, to make something that will resonate with the public and last. To fall short of this is to disappoint people and to let down your audience, and that makes you feel ashamed. To maintain such standards, you must develop self-discipline and the proper work habits. You must pay great attention to the details in your work and place a premium value on effort.

Keep in mind that your life is short, that it could end any day. You must have a sense of urgency to make the most of this limited time. You don’t need deadlines or people telling you what to do and when to finish. Any motivation you need comes from within. You are complete and self-reliant.

 

 

 

AIM HIGH.

 

The only limitations you have are the ones you believe you have.

 

But through awareness you can learn to mitigate or stop certain negative patterns. You can work to transform the negative and weak aspects of your character into actual strengths. You can try to create new habits and patterns that go with them through practice, actively shaping your character and the destiny that goes with it.

 

 

 

Your beliefs about yourself and the world around you are your mental prison and you must examine your beliefs and change the beliefs that are not helping you grow and achieve your goals.

You are responsible for everything in your life.

You have the power to make changes in your life. You can choose the thoughts you think, you can choose your habits and your perspectives, and the totality of these choices is what will give you a better life.

If you have goals or ambitions, work on yourself to get there.

If you want to help make the world a better place, start by working on yourself.

In fact, trying to work on anything other than yourself is an illusion—a fantasy.

There are only two things in this world that can be said to be of any importance to you: that is your mind, and the present moment. At any point in the day, ask yourself: “where is my attention? Attention is power, so what am I giving power to at the present moment?”

Your entire experience passes through the lens of your mind, and what you experience in life is a direct expression of your inner state of your mind. And your entire experience is always “NOW”. You have never had an experience that was not “NOW” and you will never have an experience that will not be in the “NOW”. When the future arrives it will be “NOW” and all of were past experiences happened in the “NOW”.

So if the only two things that exist are your mind and the present moment, the only relevant issue is “What is in my mind’s attention at this present moment?”

You need to place your attention on what is really important in the present moment. To control your attention you need to cultivate awareness. Build the habits that will keep you aware.

Cultivate the awareness to guide your attention in the present moment. Always bring your mind and your attention back to the present moment. There will never be an occasion when more awareness is a bad decision.

And in awareness you will see that you have no limitations.

 

 

There is an old saying that if you want an apple you’ve got to go shake some apple trees.

This means that you have to go work for what you want; that you can’t just wait around and expect apples to be delivered into your hands. And this is true… but that’s a little bit incomplete…

Success is never a straight line, and things rarely go according to plan.

The universe rewards hard work, but it is not as simple as shaking an apple tree for an apple. In the real world, it is more like if you go shaking some apple trees, you will get some oranges.

What I mean by this is that hard work is necessary. You must take initiative and go fight for what you want. But things change, and obstacles arise. You have to be flexible and keep working hard and adjust and adapt and continue.

Your failures and obstacles will redirect you and you will find yourself with opportunities that you could not have predicted from the outset. What is more likely to happen is that your massive and determined action will start a chain of events so complicated that you cannot trace it, and doors will open for you that seem to be unrelated, yet represent great opportunities for you.

Your action somehow attracts new opportunities that you could not have predicted or foreseen. If you keep a good attitude and a good work ethic you may not get the apple that you thought you would get, but you will find yourself with a bunch of delicious oranges.

Steve Jobs said you cannot connect the dots of your life forward, only backwards.  If you think you can predict your climb to success you are wrong.  Only when you are old will you be able to connect the dots and see how shaking the apple tree led you to your oranges.

So… the lesson here, is to work hard and don’t give up, remain flexible and keep working hard and you will find success in ways you could not predict.

TAKE ACTION! Go shake the apple tree, but be flexible enough to enjoy the oranges.

Life is short. Your problem is that you think you have time.

GET STARTED.

 

Success is not something that people are born with, or something people are destined for. Talent is cheaper than table salt. There is nothing more common than unfulfilled talent. If success was determined by talent alone then success would be common. But the truth is success is hard to come by.

To be a successful person in today’s world is to be an anomaly. If you want to be an anomaly that means you have to act like an anomaly, and the best way to do that is to work hard and persevere. Most people do not have the perseverance needed to get through obstacles and challenges, to overcome mental barriers.

On your path to success you will have a great many obstacles. And the obstacles will seem to be insurmountable. You will be shaken to your core. You will be very, very tempted to give up. But those who succeed are those who persevere throughout their journey, who don’t let fear or doubt dissuade them from their commitments.

You must learn to rest, not give up.

Think strategically to overcome whatever is holding you back. Try new things if necessary, but never compromise your goal or your dream. The desire to give up will always be strongest just before you make your biggest breakthrough. I have noticed this to be true in my own life; when the urge to give up is greatest I know I am closer than ever to achieving my desired result. Too many people have given up just before their moment of victory.

Surround yourself with positive people.  Feed your mind with positive content. Don’t give up. You can overcome.

 

DON’T STOP.

 

 

 

 

 

EPILOGUE

I decided to write this book because I use my sales skills every single day. As a motivational speaker and business coach, I find myself giving sales advice to almost everyone who asks me for help—whether they know it’s sales advice or not. And so I wanted to put together a concise, easy to read guidebook that contains the most important skills and lessons learned from my life of sales

I can’t help it. I love helping people, and almost everyone I meet underestimates the value of strong sales skills. Many difficult situations can be avoided entirely or handled like a pro with the knowledge contained in this book. Because as I have come to realize, sales skills are life skills and like skills are sales skills.

It is unfortunate that a lot of people mentally check out when they hear the word ‘sales’. A lot of people think that sales is a demeaning profession, filled with con-men, lots of pressure and impossible targets. They think that sales is about bothering someone who is reluctant to purchase until you bamboozle them out of their money. Or they think that sales is for the few talented individuals who have certain personality traits that make sales come easy.

This could not be farther from the truth.

The truth is that EVERYONE is a salesperson, and we are ALL paid on commission.

Strong sales skills are the most important skills to have if you want a successful life. Having strong sales skills will improve every area of your life, and will put you in a better position to be a blessing and positive influence to those around you. I consider myself very fortunate to have a strong sales background.

 

I got my first sales job when I was 14 years old in Sacramento, California. I had skipped a grade when I was young and my brother is just a year and a half my senior, so I was always hanging out with kids older than me.

One friend in particular was very industrious, very smart, and very ambitious. He got a job selling newspapers door to door and he was setting records for the company, making a couple hundred dollars each week working after school. There was a bonus for him if he could bring friends who could last at least two weeks on the job, so eventually I was one of the friends who tried it out.

And it worked well. Every day after school we were picked up in a van, dropped off in a neighborhood with a stack of newspapers, told “good luck” and picked up again after a few hours. It was not glamorous work, but it was a lot of fun. And it helped me get pay for my very first cell phone with a monthly plan at 14 years old.

Later I graduated to telemarketing at a home improvement company. The same friend brought me along to his new job to get another referral bonus. I was 15 years old, as a high school junior (I must have looked older, and the HR department did not do a thorough job vetting me). After one year I had saved enough money to buy myself a car! I was doing so well that when the management found out I was underage they allowed me to keep my job if I promised to be very discreet and not tell anyone.

If you have never worked in a telemarketing call center, let me tell you, this is the definition of a high pressure sales environment. It was a lot like a few of the scenes from the movie “Wolf of Wall Street.” There were strict targets, cash prizes, high pressure, high energy, and often loud music and dancing. Every Friday several people would get fired and every Saturday several new people were hired. The few of us who lasted more than a couple weeks built a unique camaraderie.

I remained with this company (off and on) for about 6 years. I had enough success that whenever I quit I was always welcomed back when I wanted to return. It was in this environment that my eyes were opened to the magic of sales.

I was having a decent level of success, but there were sharks there who were doubling or tripling my paycheck every week, doing the exact same work that I was doing. I watched some of these people around me make so much money that they became like celebrities. I couldn’t understand how they could be so successful while some others could not even get started. Many people brought nothing but excuses to work everyday, and inevitably they failed. These people never believed they could succeed as a salesperson, and they doomed themselves from the beginning. It didn’t matter that we had seen less talented people succeed by working hard, taking instruction well, and believing that they had a chance. The ones who believed they could not succeed never succeeded.

 

Every day before work we would have a 30 minute “Energy Time” session, where we would review our sales and communication skills, talk about what is working well for us at the moment, and recognize the best achievers from the day before. We would set goals and targets, practice role playing games, turn up the music and dance our way onto the sales floor. “Smile and dial” was the motto.

I’m very glad I was paying attention during these training sessions, but if I could go back I would not even blink or go to the restroom. The skills I learned there and on the sales floor shaped this book, shaped my life, and I am very grateful.

I quit for a while and went to an out of town college called Chico state. Accidentally, and just for fun, I started a company even though I had no business experience. We threw parties, sold t-shirts and sweaters, and made a swimsuit calendar. My sales experience helped me to fill our parties, to get my t-shirts in stores all around town, and to find 13 sponsors for a 12 month swimsuit calendar. I even entered business pitching competitions competing against experienced business people (even Olympic medalist swimmers) When I pitched to investors my idea of a traveling swimsuit calendar I got more than a couple laughs, but I also got some great experience and sincere advice. I went into that competition with no fear of failure, and though I did not win the top prize, I won valuable experience and contacts. I knew that this was my first foray into a business pitching competition competing against older people with much more experience and expertise, but sales had taught me not to fear rejection.

But… this business was not meant to be…

My inexperience caused me to fumble the calendar, get distracted and to waste the money we made.

So I went back to the call center.

At that time the company had added solar energy products to their sales catalog, and my love affair with solar energy began. During this time my sales skills grew and so did my success. I was steadily promoted over time until I was a Senior Sales representative barely in my 20’s. I was handling the some of the biggest and most sensitive sales prospects—routinely selling systems worth between $100,000 and up to $350,000—as well as leading a team of sales agents in friendly competitions and occasionally helping with the training sessions.

During my final year at this company I achieved sales of over one million dollars, and over my final three years my sales total was over three million dollars. A lot of my lessons and anecdotes throughout this book will come from this time period.

One thing that became apparent is that our sales team was driving the company’s success but we were making peanuts! The owner had a speedboat with his face painted on the side of it, and we were making a flat rate of $100 for each sale!

I became determined to be more entrepreneurial so that I could get a bigger piece of the pie that I would be selling.

Around this time I decided to do my final year of university in Nairobi, Kenya. My father was living in Kenya and had told me about an American university there where my credits would transfer easily. I was a very distracted student and I wanted to finish university, so I went to Kenya, and I graduated from the United States International University in Nairobi.

My distracted and complicated journey through university took me nine years between my first day of college and my university graduation.

“A lot of people take 9 years in university” I told my dad… “Yeah, but they are all doctors” He replied.

Anyway I made it, I got my degree in International Business Administration with a concentration on Marketing.

During my year at university in Kenya I wrote a 70 page project titled “A critical evaluation of alternative sources of energy: The future of solar energy in East Africa.” I did extensive research about the climate, the economy and the state of energy production in the region. This research sealed the deal: I convinced myself there was an opportunity to sell solar equipment in Kenya.

I worked for a few existing companies selling solar but all the while I could hear a voice inside telling me that I could do better if I started my own company.

Fast forward to today and Tahoe Solar, based in Nairobi, has been in business for 4.5 years. We are still a small company but we have hit several milestones including 3 years business, $100,000+ annual sales revenue, a $150,000 grant secured for an NGO for which we consulted, hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide prevented from entering the atmosphere and other milestones.

All of our success has been on the strength of our sales and customer service, and strong relationships with our customers and suppliers, and Tahoe Solar is looking at a very bright future, pun intended.

 

Somewhere along the line I became a motivational speaker. It just happened. I am sure that my life of sales influenced that development as well.

Learning to have confidence and communicate well are common to sales and motivational speaking. Overcoming adversity, staying positive, believing in myself and helping others have been a continual thread in my life and I am passionate about helping others.

Now I do part time consulting as a life coach and sales coach, and I do public speaking as a guest speaker and as a host at my own events.

I have also started Inspired Impact Consulting, a sales and marketing consulting firm focusing on digital and traditional media. We are currently growing rapidly and expanding our client base and staff. Watch out for us!

 

But enough about me. I hope this brief background of myself makes it clear that sales has been a big part of my life. It is something I have studied academically, learned practically, and researched relentlessly. The lessons and stories complied herein come not only from myself, but from some of the best and most successful salespeople in the world as well, such as Ray Dalio, the manager of the world’s largest hedge fund and one of the 100 wealthiest people in the world, Jim Rohn, a successful motivational speaker and mentor to some of the most successful people in the world, Zig Ziglar one of the most famous salespeople of all time, Bob Proctor and Sandy Gallagher, founders of the Proctor Gallagher Institute and life expansions specialist, Brendan Bruchard the multi award winning author and high performance coach, Tony Robbins the acclaimed motivator, Grant Cardone the real estate mogul, Brad Lea sales exepert… And many more.

 

I put these stories and tips and lessons together here in a humble attempt to help people. I sincerely hope that you find something in this book that brings you greater success in your life, because as I stated earlier,

 

SALES SKILLS ARE LIFE SKILLS AND LIFE SKILLS ARE SALES SKILLS.

 

My goal is that this book helps you live a greater life, not just to have greater professional success as a salesperson.

 

 

 

 

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