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?

Culture

For Better or Worse, In Sickness and in Health

 

These past 11 days have been rather unique.  I recently had surgery on my hip… yes, I am 31 years old and had to get some work done on my right hip.  Even though it was outpatient surgery it still shook things up quite a bit.  I have been on crutches, unable to drive, limited in some of my functions and mobility, and have had to be far less active than I normally am.  Through all of these changes and issues, my wife has been a freaking beast and has killed it.

“For better or worse, in sickness and in health.”  Most of us whom are married have uttered these words, and over these past 11 days my wife has perfectly executed on them.  I am blown away at her level of service and how she so deeply cared for me.  She met my every need and then some. She was always there asking what I needed and offered up help and solutions to problems and wants I didn’t even know that I had

It’s in these inciting incidents, these moments of giant change, when we as people can really shine and make an impact, and that is what my wife did.  It has encouraged me to take my game up to 11 and serve her not because of what she has done for me, but because she is more than worth it.  When you are served and loved in this way, it only encourages you to do the same.  So please let this blog not only honor my wife, but be an encouragement to you to honor those words, “For better or worse, in sickness and in health.” Let this blog be an encouragement to look around you and serve well those that are in your life.

Who is in your life that you need to serve well, and how can you live it out today?

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?

Helpful Hints

In Sales, You Are Never The Hero:

I was recently having a talk with a friend, who is a carrier, when he brought up a predicament he was in.  He said he could think of about 4-5 potential customers that he couldn’t get beyond a certain point.  With each of these relationships he was forming, he didn’t know if he should continue pressing into them, put his focus elsewhere, or go straight to the head decision maker.  I am sure this scenario may be sounding familiar to you, especially if you are in sales.  There could be a million and one reasons why these individuals he was talking to kept on pushing the decision down the road or were not even bringing up the solutions that he was offering to their boss.  Whatever those reasons may be, figuring out how to get over this obstacle is crucial.

The only way, I repeat, the only way you can get over this obstacle is by making that individual you are talking with the hero.  That person needs to be the hero of their company that helped save $100,000.  That person needs to be the hero that brought the solution that solved all of shippings issues.  That person needs to be the hero that came up with the idea to simplify the supply chain.  As a salesman, if you want to get to the decision maker, you need to make that initial contact look like a hero to their boss.

You need to change the way you bring up those great little facts about your company.  That individual that is keeping you from getting to the next step honestly doesn’t care that you are saving them money, time, effort, or the fact that you are almost always on time.  That person does care however that you are giving them the opportunity to let there boss know that they just saved their company $100,000 over the course of the year as the markets are tightening up and most companies spend is going up by 15%, or that their end customers will have a better experience of service and as their trust grows in the company, they will end up purchasing more product, which means more sales.You need to learn to start framing facts so that the potential customer is the hero.  Remember, you are there to make them… look… good.  

What if, after all of this, they still don’t bring your proposal to the real decision maker?  You need to frame this next part carefully.  You need to show empathy for their situation and ask them if you can go directly to the decision maker yourself.  You need to see if you could email or call that person directly, BUT before you go ahead and do that, you need to learn how to frame whatever you are about to say in such a way that still makes the initial contact look like a hero to their company.  You can’t call the real decision maker and talk down about your initial contact.  That is a sure fire way to never get the business.  You also shouldn’t just go over their head because the story that may end up being told about you to the real decision maker may be one that is fabricated and keeps you from ever getting the business.

No matter which route you choose, you need to make that initial contact look like an absolute hero to their company.  If you can do that, and you make it to the real decision maker, you will start to close on more deals and earn more customers.