Business

Be Mindful Of Your Expectations

I recently went to my first Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals event.  It turned out to be a much better networking event then I had expected, which was pleasantly surprising, and I was able to meet a handful of pretty awesome folks.  There was a handful of great things about the event and I may post about those things another time, but for today… I wanted to talk about my expectations going in.
Let me ask a question before I go further.  Have you ever been to a movie and had extremely high expectations going in, only to in the end leave the theater disappointed?  Yet, when you talked to your friends about the movie the next day they were blown away.  One of the main reasons for this is because of expectations.  I have gone into movies with low expectations and been pleasantly surprised and I have gone in with high expectations and been sorely disappointed.  Last night was more of the disappointed for me, but that is on me.
I was connected to this group by a friend and I went in with the purpose to talk to a few key people about an idea that I had to add value to the group. I know… stupid.  That thought process is against all that I always talk about, but sometimes impatience and our past lives can get the better of us.  The one saving grace though is that I was texting a friend before the event and as I was doing this I caught myself about to make a big mistake… going in looking for the sale.  Since I caught myself having too high of expectations I was able to temper them a little, but not fully, and that is why I walked away a little disappointed in the whole thing.
No matter the event you are going to, even if you are the keynote speaker, make sure you temper your expectations.  A guardrail that I am going to have in place is to go in wanting to share in at least one persons story. That doesn’t mean that I will do business with them eventually, it just means that I will pay attention to them and actually let them be heard.  If I can offer advice, fantastic.  If it leads to us connecting later on, great. If I can offer a smile, awesome.  The outcome doesn’t really matter.  I just know that from now on I am going to go in expecting to share in at least one persons story and let the rest fall where it may.
I am glad that I had that conversation with my friend beforehand because if I would have went in hot with barrels blazing, I would have missed the opportunity to connect with two pretty awesome guys that work five minutes from where I do.
Remember to check your expectations at the door because you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good experience.
Helpful Hints

Put Away Your Distractions

Whether you are on the job or behind the wheel, put away those distractions.  One of the areas I am most guilty of is having my cellphone out on top of my desk while at work.  Yes, my job requires that I have it with me almost at all times, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be in plain view.
Now I can hear some of you thinking and mumbling right now, “Well he doesn’t have my job.” “He doesn’t know all that I do and I need to see my phone at all times.”  Let me just stop you right there can call bull on that.  Most people reading this blog are not saving lives, so let me assure you that your phone doesn’t need to be in view at all times.  Even if you are saving lives, your mind needs time to rest and relax.  If it is constantly on and looking at that glorious screen, it will never be able to recharge.
When we are constantly distracted and are minds are always going, it makes it so that we are never giving anything our best.  We find ourselves tired and stressed because our minds are constantly wandering.  Oftentimes we complain that we never have enough time to complete big projects, and a huge part of that issue is that our concentration is constantly being broken up by buzzes and dings from our greatest addiction.   Once we are distracted, it takes time to get our focus back and be fully engaged.  When we are constantly being distracted and drawn away, it adds unnecessary time to our projects and puts us behind on all that we do.
Please, do yourself a favor and store your phone in a drawer on silent during those big tasks.  Keep it out of view for the bulk of the day while you are working. When are distractions are put at bay, it is amazing how much more we can get done and how we actually feel refreshed because our minds will have a moment to wander and recharge.
What are some of the tips you use to stay focused and keep the distractions at bay?
Business

I Am Not A Hunter

What are you great at?  I know if you asked me that question, I would say building relationships and sharing in peoples stories.  I love getting to know people for who they are and seeing how we can best partner up and help each other.  Not everyone is wired this way and that is what this article is all about, sorry outdoor enthusiasts or folks who love posts about gun regulations.
We need to fully understand what we are great at, which is part of our personal brand, if we truly want to  make the most sales and have the biggest impact.  If you find yourself as the proverbial “hunter” in sales, then by all means, go out and do your quick kills and bring that back to the “family” so we can eat.  If you are a farmer,  then understand you still have great value for the “family.”  You are playing the long game as you cultivate relationships.  You are the ones that have the opportunity to yield more than what you have “planted.” 
Please do us all a favor and be uniquely you.  Learn what you can from others and books, but apply that with your own personality, shake it up, and see what comes out.  If you want to have more sales, a giant impact, and know what opportunity to choose, first figure out what your great at and then do all you can to do more of that in your job.  Don’t try and be someone else.   Be you through and through and opportunities will start to come about.
Business

A Dream That Took 2 Years To Accomplish

A couple of weeks ago on June 6th, 2019 a dream was accomplished.  Even though to the handful of folks who heard about the event or attended may have thought it appeared in happen within the matter of a month, it took over two years to come about.  During this two year period I failed multiple times, frustrated a few people, made a handful of amazing relationships, and learned a ton along the way.  Part of me hates that it took over two years to have this event come to fruition, and the other part of me wouldn’t have it any other way.
The real question is WHY on God’s green earth should you or anyone else stick with something for two years or more? I believe that can be best explained from what I learned over this time period.
The first thing I learned is that to accomplish anything of impact you have to surround yourself with an amazing community.  This event all started with someone who has become one of my best friends.  This man is a champion and crazily enough has been supportive of all my harebrained ideas.  Bo Cordell is a huge reason why this event even happened.  It was because of our monthly coffees that we started having over 3 years ago that an idea, to help the logistics and supply chain community, turned into this event .  A little over a year and a half ago we tried to start this community, but our relationships, time and capacity we had to offer were not enough.  Even though we had a little success in the beginning, the momentum, support and knowledge wasn’t there to keep it going full steam.
The second thing I learned is that you have to be mindful that you are not sprinting past your family and friends.  There were a handful of times when I could have pulled this off earlier, but I would have had no one around me to celebrate with.  I remember countless conversations and nights having tough and frustrating conversations with my wife.  I was leaving hear and my kids in the wake of my dreams and ambitions and that only would have ended in frustration and pain.  I am so thankful that  if I listened to hear and took a moment of rest.
The third thing I learned was that to accomplish anything of impact or importance it is all about taking small steps.  From the very beginning I wanted to be surrounded by a huge community that made the other good ol’ boy clubs look outdated and weak, make an impact in legislation around logistics and supply chain, and have a large and well attended event.  All of these things are great, but to do them all at once and right away is ridiculous.  The bigness of the idea was too much for us to handle, and over time it was whittled down to the carrier community event that happened on the 6th.  It’s this last idea of small steps that actually saved this ambition from falling away for another two years.
Why stick with something for two years… because you have no idea of the amazing places it will take you, the lessons you will learn, and the adventures you will have along the way.  Without this experience I wouldn’t have realized those three lessons:
  1. To accomplish anything of impact it takes surrounding yourself with community.
  2. Don’t sprint past your family and friends towards your goal. You don’t want to accomplish anything and realize you are at the end all alone.
  3. Don’t go for broke. Instead, start walking and figure out the next small step that will be a great foundation for the next step and the one after that.

Business

5 Words I Despise

The five words that I hate the most are, “Let me have a chance.”  Whenever I hear these, and it happens frequently, it makes me want to hang up immediately.  Why should you avoid this phrase?  Let me explain.
This phrase comes up in sales all the time.  It is something that is taught and for the life of me I can’t understand why.  When I hear this, I hear extreme desperation and the possibility that what you are promising won’t come to fruition.  Then when something invariably goes wrong the follow up is “Let me have a chance to redeem myself.” To that the answer should almost always be “Ummmmmm Heeeeeelllll no.”
When this phrase is used, it means there are other fundamental things not being met for anyone in the conversation to feel safe and that this is actually a good idea.  The biggest ingredient missing is trust. Trust takes time and experience, both of which you clearly do not have when these worlds spill out of your mouth.
Do everyone in this world a favor and remove this phrase from your speech.  It doesn’t show grit or determination, but desperation and an ill guided hope.
Better phrases you could use are, “ What are the obstacles that are keeping you from using us? What is the best way to get an opportunity to do business with you? How can I build trust with you outside of doing X?”  These three phrases are massively better than the “just give me a chance,” one.  If you ask any of those three phrases, you need to make sure you listen and then deliver on what your contact tells you.  Then, and only then, do the fundamental building blocks for a sale start to form so that all parties feel comfortable and confident that this is the right decision.