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. 

Helpful Hints

Don’t Let Opportunities Pass By

There are handful of different ways we can give.  We can give with our time, with our skills, and with our money.  There are also different seasons when we are able to give in some of these ways or in all of them.  For me and my family, right now we don’t have the ability to go above and beyond financially, but as we have been looking for ways to give of our time and skills, opportunities to do so have been popping up.

The strangest part about these recent opportunities is that I have not been actively seeking them out.  Now that is not to say that I am not prepared for them, but rather that I am not pestering my network to do more.  It is interesting… when I take a step back from what I feel I am “called to do,”  the opportunities that seemed so illusive keep coming my way.

Recently I was asked to be one of a handful of folks to help with the welcome and close of the service at my church.  This isn’t the gig that will set me up for a life of luxury, but I don’t care.  It is a tangible way that I can serve and give back, even if it only takes up 3 minutes of my time.  The other opportunity is that I have also been asked by my alma mater, Kennesaw State University, to speak at one of their Lunch-N-Learns.  

I feel confident that I can step into these opportunities because they not only fit right into my gifting, but I have been taking small steps towards moments like these for awhile.  It’s small steps and focusing on relationships that lead to these moments.  The real lightbulb moment for me though was when I was listening to the Elevate Experiences Higher Level Podcast and one of the hosts mentioned an idea.  That idea that he mentioned was to step out and take opportunities when they come your way, especially as they align with your skills.  

What opportunities have come your way that you need to say yes to?  Better yet, what do you need to be doing to prep yourself to fully use your skills to help others? 


The Year of ASK Part 3

I’m not sure about you, but if I had to choose between a toxic or healthy culture, I choose healthy everyday.  The real question is, if you find yourself in a place that breeds distrust, anxiety, and broken teams, how can you counteract that and fight against that toxic culture?  Today we are going to look at the third thing we need to do to start shaping and shifting the culture of where we find ourself.  If you missed the first post… just click here, and if you missed the second post… click here.

We are finally at the K in the year of ASK.  The K is by far the hardest yet most rewarding step in this whole process.  The K stands for Keep moving forward.  Keep pressing into those relationships we have been building by asking questions and commenting on what we are seeing.  When we ask those questions and focus on the relationship over the opportunity, it starts to shift and shape the culture.  When we comment on things we are seeing others do, those actions, if positive, get repeated or, if negative, stop happening.  

The K is difficult because we want to see instant results, but real culture shifting ideas and actions don’t always happen overnight.  Culture shifting ideas and actions take time.  We need to constantly be pressing into those relationships we are building because we don’t know what is going on in the other persons life.  We don’t know what story they are living and what is happening behind the curtain.

No matter a persons title, position, or circumstance, they have a story that needs to be heard, and the only way to do that is by living out the year or ASK.

Helpful Hints

You’ve Got Time:  Why Living Forever Isn’t Such A Bad Thing

This is not a post about how I found the fountain of youth on one of my many adventures with my son, but this is a post on how you need to realize your have plenty of time to do all that you want to do. 

I personally believe I am going to live to see my teen years again.  To give a little bit more context to this, I am 31 years old which basically means I will leave three more lifetimes.  I know this may seem a little childish and farfetched, but after having breakfast with one of my good friends, I no longer think I am as crazy as I originally thought.

When I was having breakfast with Gary, he mentioned that his mentor had a similar way of thinking.  I was intrigued and he pressed on.  The reason why his mentor had this same long tail view of his life was because it literally shifted the way he thought about everything, especially as it related to his career.  Since he was planning on living so long, that meant he had plenty of time to do what he was setting out to accomplish.  He didn’t have to rush through activities or titles and positions because he had plenty of years left accomplish all he was setting his mind to.

It’s funny really, I have always thought about seeing my teen years again, but it took having a breakfast with a friend and hearing about a fellow crazy person to put my dream into perspective.  For so long I have thought that I needed to have it all figured out by my 30’s and start my own company, which I have and it is coming to a close at the end of the year.  Me closing down this business is a failure and it is all mine, but I don’t regret it.  I have learned quite a bit for the next round and I also have 92 years left to get it right.

We all need to stop rushing through life trying to get to the next phase.  What we need to do is find out how and where we can serve and gain as much experience as possible.  In becoming this practitioner, it sets us up for our next adventure, whether that is owning our own business or starting a new position.

Helpful Hints

What Costs More Means More: The Impact Of A Handwritten Note

Have you ever noticed that things that cost more are seemingly better?  The bottle of wine that cost $50 has a better aroma or is more full-bodied than the two buck chuck you get at the grocery store.  The made from scratch cookies are infinitely more scrumptious than that round little dough boy could ever bake. A handwritten note is more impactful and moving than a text or an email.

The reason why the bottle of wine, cookies, and handwritten note hold a much richer experience for us is because of the cost.  Things that cost more: more time, effort, and or  money,  are more valued.  

I know some people reading this will say that a well thought out email or text is just as meaningful in today’s culture as a handwritten note, but that’s not the truth.  Emails and texts may be similar, but they are not the same as writing a note to someone.  When you take the time to buy the note card,  put in the effort to write the same message, purchase a stamp and send it U.S.P.S., it shows.  It shows  that you put more time, effort, and money into your words and it creates a much richer and more meaningful experience.

In a world that craves and longs for second mile everything, you just may want to rethink your viewpoint on the “out-dated” handwritten note.