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

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. 

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.

Helpful Hints

Tips From A Newbie Conference Goer: How To Make The Most Of The Conference Overview

You know what problem I have realized? A lot of us suck at making the most of the conferences and events that we attend.  I recently went to my first conference this March and I realized after the event that the little prep-work I did wasn’t enough.  I had done some research and listened to a great podcast from Jayson Gaignard called “Community Made.” Episode 3 of Season 2: An Event Networking Guide had great content and info but I didn’t do a good enough of a job applying it.

Since I didn’t make the most of the conference, and I am sure many of us have found ourselves wondering if the money and time we spent going was worth it, I figured I would help us all.  Over the next few posts, I will put down some of the ideas and concepts that I have learned and experienced firsthand.  In the meantime, here is a general overview of what will be coming down the pipeline, and here is a video that lays it all out.

Prep-Work:

  • Find an attendees list, or hashtag to research, and pick 5-10 people you would like to meet.
    • Do research on the attendees and narrow the list to 3-5
    • Reach out to these individuals pre-conference and introduce yourself and create a no pressure invite to connect.
  • Plan out the morning of your conference
  • Do a mini work out
  • Leave with plenty of time to get there

Event:

  • Don’t follow your game plan so rigidly you walk around the conference looking like an idiot
  • Be prepared with questions to ask your list of folks or any of the other attendees.
  • Remember, everyone is a little nervous and no one is used to mingling in crowds this size
  • Be ready and willing to break the ice with folks
  • Have a handful of conversation enders in your back pocket.

Post Event:

  • Send brief email to everyone you grabbed a card from
  • Follow up on what you said you would follow up on
  • Follow up with those you ended up not meeting at the conference

Above all, this is about planting seeds of relationships.  This is not necessarily the time to ask for the sale or even go deep.  Plant the seed, water it, and see how it grows.

 

Leadership

Success Comes From Starting Small

Almost every single time that you ask someone to marry you on the first date, they are going to get up and run the heck out of there.  Why? Well one, it’s because thats a little cray cray, and two, because you went too big too fast.  Treat all opportunities like a runway.  You have to build up speed and velocity before you can go soaring into the air.  

No matter what we are doing, whether in life or in business, we need to start small before we can truly grow big.  

When I did my big manly bonfire, I had to start that off with the smallest of twigs and then eventually get it to the large raging inferno that it ended up being.  If I want to start an adventure company with my kids, it starts with taking the small steps right now by letting them splash in puddles and play in the creek.  If I want to write a book, it starts with writing hundreds of blogs, mulling over a ton of ideas, having honest conversations about ideas and concepts with trusted folks, and then eventually starting with one measly sentence.

No matter what you are going to do in life, it is going to take time.  Give yourself some grace and some room to breath.  I for one am the worst offender of this, but it’s when I can take a moment to reflect, that I am reminded that life is all about patience.  When we start small and build a great foundation for whatever we are working on, we actually create the momentum to have a fighting chance to not only accomplish our goals, but have the impact that we all long to have in this world.

Whether you are trying to craft the perfect s’more, or you are working toward a very large and significant project at work, it takes time and the ability to set a solid foundation by starting small.

What is a project or activity you need to start small with instead of going big and all in right away?