Business

How Capturing To-Do’s And Ideas Can Help You Accomplish More

I don’t know about you, but I am incredibly forgetful.  I can think of something I need to do or think of a “brilliant” idea and in the matter of five minutes I get completely distracted by the fact that someone brought in the most scrumptious and delectable donuts from Tip Top Donuts. 

Since I am so forgetful and I have a million ideas running around my head, I take a 3 by 5 index card and write down those to-do’s and ideas with a little checkbox next to them.  Yes yes I know, how archaic it is that I am using pen and paper when I have an iPhone in my pocket. 

You don’t have to use pen and paper, but the reason I personally do is because it does something extra for me.  Physically writing it down, instead of typing it out, adds one more thing to help me remember it.  However you capture down these to-do’s and thoughts, whether with a chisel and little stone tablet , pen and paper or a phone, make sure it is something that doesn’t add stress and that fits who you are. 

Why should you start capturing to-do’s and ideas in the  throughout the day?  Let me list a few: 

  1. It declutters the mind and allows your brain to focus on the task at hand without getting distracted.
  2. Helps you keep track of what is most important and allows you to see some quick wins you had throughout the day.
  3. Allows you to be intentional, set a plan, and accomplish more throughout the day.

This isn’t a new idea.  In fact, it is actually multiple ideas that I grabbed from a couple different folks and meshed into something that works for me.  Please, take the time to try this out over this next week.  If you like it great, if you don’t… well at least you tried something new.  I just know the positive impacts it has had for me as I have accomplished more and freed up my mind to focus on what truly matters. 

Business

Make The Call: Grow your community and knowledge by genuinely caring about others.

Life is infinitely better together and I think that is something we can all agree on. As true as that is, it still seems that people are living their lives more and more in isolation and behind screens.  Let me encourage you to do something a little cray cray… pick up the phone and make a call.  I honestly don’t care to whom, just make the call.

Good, now that we have started to loosen up, I want you to do something really crazy.  What I need you to do is think about the people you interact with on social media or those you work with, but have only talked with through email.  Narrow it down to one person, and give them a call.  Don’t have their number? Doesn’t matter.  Reach out and ask for it.  Don’t make this some weird awkward hopeful date thing.  This is a you genuinely caring about another human being that you have done life with kind of a thing.

I have been able to do this a handful of times over the past couple of months and it has been such a great learning opportunity.  Here are just a handful of things I have learned:

  1. Know your personal brand. This gives clarity for the big and small decisions we’ll make.
  2. Patience, mixed with realistic expectations, is what will help you as you navigate business and the need to not only provide for your family, but also close deals and provide for your customers.
  3. Vague beginnings lead to chaotic endings.
  4. Culture is everything.  Make sure it is their from the beginning of your business and not something you halfheartedly add at the end.

These four brilliant nuggets of gold are what I have learned from others.  Please, do us all a favor and grow your network and community by authentically caring about others and getting to know them.  One last word of caution.  Don’t go into these conversations trying to dig out some brilliant life lesson.  Go into the conversation with some general questions and direction, but let it go where it goes.

Who do you need to call? What did you learn?

Business

Don’t Ever Say Never:

You want to know why you are losing sales? It’s because you don’t think that deal is possible.  Heck, we all do it. We have that conversation, look over the details, crunch the numbers, fail time and time again and we decide that whatever it is, is just impossible to get.

The real issue, it’s that we don’t have realistic expectations of what it will take to accomplish that goal / task / ambition.  Plus, we try and push too fast in the relationship and instead of finding out their actual needs and how we can help, we just make the offer… which falls on deaf and/or angry ears.

Please, take a moment to read to this quick story because I promise it will help, even if not right now.

I just closed a deal with someone who has become a great friend over the past few years. His name is Bo Cordell and he is a freaking champion, you should get to know him.  Around three years ago he stopped by Tip Top and it was a great meeting.  He left with no business in hand, BUT he had started some key relationships with our company.  As time went on, I became the traffic manager with sole responsibility of bringing on new carriers and the needs of our company started changing.  Beyond that, we spent about a year and a half getting coffee once a month just to shoot the shit, talk shop, and get to know each other even better.

About a year ago he received a fantastic promotion, just another reason that shows how much of a #boss that he is, and he moved back to his home town.  Since then, we have had fairly regular calls, one of which further cemented our professional relationship.

After three years, we just closed a deal with his company. It never felt forced, it always felt natural, and the whole time we talked biz we grew our friendship.  I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow, especially as we are potentially starting another exciting adventure together with a few others. More details on that to come at a later date. 

Business

Small Actions Make A Big Impact

This company that I visited does everything with excellence, and when I say everything… I mean everything.  They even care about the details so much, that their yard where they have all of their equipment looked like perfection with each truck and trailer lined up perfectly.  As some would say “There is a place for everything, and everything is in it’s place.”

Being mindful of the details didn’t just stop with the equipment in the yard.  Part of the reason I visited exactly when I did is because part of the process for them to deliver our product involves cross docking and loading trucks from various origin points.  Not only did they make this whole scenario look effortless, they made sure that as they were moving the product from one place to the next, that all the lids where on just right, that the plastic wrap didn’t look like hell, that pallets were in good shape, that the trailers were clean, and that everything looked at its best.

 

I know what I just described seems like a simple task, but it truly isn’t.  If it was, there would never be refused product for boxes looking like hell or that fell over because of a weak wrap job, or broken pallet shards all over a once clean trailer.  It’s these small actions of being mindful of ALL the details that make the biggest difference.  In talking with this company about all of this, they talked about their why behind it all.  “If the product looks nice and in place, when the doors are opened up for it to be inspected, it puts the inspector at ease and makes the process go more smoothly.  Not only that, the buyers hear about it and potentially start buying more of your product because it is consistently in great shape.  If they buy more of your product, you will need more trucks to ship it and everyone wins.”

It is a simple philosophy, but one that is truly overlooked time and time again.  It’s also a philosophy that takes humility and a heart of service to execute well.

What are the small actions that you can make within your day to day operations that will have a big impact and increase business?

Business

Keep Pressing Forward: A Simple Truth To Remember

 

Sometimes it’s the simple truths that have the biggest impact, yet it’s those same truths that seem to slip from our mind time and time again.

As I was reading one of my favorite bloggers / idea-guy’s, Jon “The Mythic Man” Acuff, he mentioned a simple truth that has been sticking with me ever since.  “Where you are is just for now… it’s not forever.”  In reading this, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  As I have been mulling this truth over in my mind a couple of examples started to form.

The first is with my kids. My wife and I are in an extremely tough season with whiney kids, whom we love dearly, that have so much energy and always seem to be hungry.  There are times we ask ourselves, “Do you think we will miss this stage?”  We always answer yes with the understanding that we won’t miss all the whining, but we will miss this stage of life that is so precious and innocent.  Soon and very soon we will blink our eyes and they will be in middle school with acne on their face. Then we will blink again and they will be in college and swooning over their “true loves.”  We will blink once more and they will be out on their own, carrying on the Stippich legacy and possibly have their own families.  As I said, where we are is just for now… it’s not forever.  

The other example is with my job.  I love getting to partner with so many people and have so many conversations about all sorts of topics.  I am also an avid learner and consumer of content which has helped me have better conversations with those I interact with.  Is my job perfect, heck no, but it has offered me unbelievable experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  In moments where I may be frustrated at my current standing, I go back to the simple truth that where I am is just for now…It’s not forever.  I have no idea how long I will be with my current company, but what I do know is that I am going to act as if it’s for 30 years, yet hold it loosely for whatever opportunity comes my way.  

 We all need to take a moment to breath in those moments of stress and realize that they won’t last forever.  Remember, that as long as you are learning and growing, pressing into relationships, and preparing yourself for the next opportunity, wherever you are is just for now…it’s not forever.