Many allow themselves to get trapped in the grasp of past events. Fact: Nothing that took place in the past can be changed. Stop agonizing over mistakes or bad decisions you made. All that does is cause you to beat yourself up and damage your self-confidence and self-esteem. You have to stop living in a world full of should haves, could haves or would haves. All you can – and must – do is learn from the past and use that knowledge to benefit you on a going forward basis.
Avoid at all costs allowing your mind to wander too long in the future. When you do this, you are destined to follow one of two paths. The first path is “worry”—you become obsessed with what could go wrong with any action you might take. This path eventually causes you to overload on fear, which usually results in you doing nothing, which leads to stagnation and eventually failure.
The second future path is “exhilaration” and false optimism over what you will or might do. Again, don’t allow your mind to spend too much time here either. You become obsessed over all of the great things that lie ahead. When this happens, you leave yourself open to missing warnings of an approaching problem or worse. Want an example? Google Leon Lett, former player for the Dallas Cowboys. Leon became so obsessed over “what” was about to happen that he missed the crisis rapidly approaching in the form of Don Bebe of the Buffalo Bills.
So what’s left? The “present” is.
To be productive and effective in your role, you have to focus on “staying in the moment” (the present). Why? Because “in the moment” is the only place where you can act and bring about real and significant results in your life, career or business.
The lesson: Be sure you find and maintain a healthy balance and relationship between your past, future and present. Enough said.
We’re rapidly approaching the halfway point for 2016. Time goes by fast, when you’re having fun and painfully slow when you’re not. So, the obvious questions are:
Are you on track to achieve your business/revenue goals for 2016?
Is your team properly aligned with your strategy and vision to give you a competitive advantage in your marketplace?
Is your marketing working effectively generating new business as well as incremental business from your existing customers?
Are you feeling stressed, frustrated or anxious about your current circumstances and what problems might lie ahead?
Depending upon your responses, it might be a good time to conduct a strategic review of the relationships between your organization’s strategy, structure, systems and people to make certain they are in sync with your profit objections. Or are you willing to allow an unhealthy status quo drive you into the worst business killer out there: Complacency?
It might just be time to do something different before you are forced into doing something different.
Paula and I had a fun trip in March to California, where we visited with our son Andrew, his wife Gina, and our newest – and 7th – grandchild, Allison Kate Ruisi, born on 3/11/16.
On one day of our visit we took a trip to the Kids-R-Us section of Toys-R-Us to pick up some baby supplies.
While Paula and Gina searched for supplies, I roamed the aisles and eventually gave in to one of my deepest addictions: I cannot resist pushing the “try me” button that toy manufactures include on their packaging to engage prospects and “lure” them into buying. Continue reading →
An important part of successful entrepreneurship is crafting your marketing message—also known as your value proposition message.
It’s a universal truth that it doesn’t matter how much you know about what you do; it only matters how much other people know about what you do. As a result, the point of your marketing message is to educate as many people as possible about the value of what you do and how it addresses their needs and solves their problems. The right message will make your phone ring off the hook. It’ll make your door swing open repeatedly as people reach out to you and seek you out.
You shouldn’t have to sell your services; people should be compelled to buy from you. A good marketing message helps you accomplish that by attracting more potential “buyers” to your business.
Each year around this time, my wife and I go through the house finding everything that needs to go. Some of the “stuff” is donated to various charities and the remainder goes off to the dump. Anything deemed “dump-able” (I think I invented a word) is collected in one place in either the basement or garage for pick up by the “1-800-Got-Junk” folks.
So, after my wife and I collected the “dump-able” stuff, I went online to the Got Junk website and scheduled my pick-up for Wednesday morning, December 30th between 8 am and 10 am. The site is very clean, instructions are clear and the site overall offers very simple navigation. I did my scheduling in less than 5 minutes.
The Got Junk folks say that they will call you when they are within 30 minutes of arriving at your home. As planned, at around 8 am on the morning of the 30th the phone rings and the driver tells me that they are in route and should be arriving no later than 8:45 am.
What happened next was a pleasant surprise: the driver says to me, “Hey Mr. Ruisi, we noticed that this is the 13th time that you have used our service!” (Now let me clear up one thing: my wife and I are not hoarders! Our past use was for our NJ home and properties that we have or had in Rhode Island and Florida).
The driver went on to say – and here’s where it gets even better – “We wanted to thank you for your past business and, we’re stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts on the way over to your house and would you and your wife like us to bring you breakfast?”
They wanted to bring us breakfast!!! A simple act of genuine interest and kindness! How many times have you experienced that in your travels?
Here’s the point: great customer service and great customer experiences are best found in the little things handled well. What are you doing to make your customers feel special? Probably not enough!
All of us have an idea or vision of what success looks like in our lives. Our “vision” may include good health, financial security, the type of home we live in, maybe a second home, the health of our family, a promotion, or whatever we think will bring us that positive feeling in our lives that we all want.
As most of us know (or think we do), success requires hard work. Nothing happens because you want it to happen. Only Master Yoda could use the Force; you cannot just will yourself into success. Let’s be honest, each of us will encounter an obstacle, barrier or some pain on your journey to your success.
Along with the obstacle or barrier comes varying degrees of discomfort. And, that feeling of discomfort will be your test or defining moment that will determine just how much pain and sacrifice you’re willing to take on to achieve your goal of success. In fact, we could make the argument that your road to success isn’t based as much on how hard you work, but how much discomfort you’re willing to take on and push through to get to where you want to go: your vision of success. Continue reading →
Last week – on January 1st – you had before you a fresh and clean blank canvas for you to draw your future success. What did you draw?
Did it show more of the same or a bold picture of what you are truly capable of achieving?
Did you draw a future that is below your capabilities or one that will offer you growth and success?
Did your picture show your knowledge and skills getting stale or did you draw what it looks like when you truly invest in yourself and your future?
Did your picture show you being victimized by distractions or did it depict you as a master of your circumstances?
Did your picture show how you will be different in 2015 or did it show you “stuck in the mud” re-living all of what you wished you could change last year?
Wait – maybe you didn’t draw your future. If so, then it’s not too late. You can start with the questions I shared.
There are many more questions that only you can ask and only you can answer. But…what will you draw? The choice is your’s. Your future success is your’s also, but you have to define it first for it to become a reality.
Don’t miss this opportunity to be bold today and every day that follows. Take the first step now – start drawing, the canvas of your life is right here.
As I look at the most successful clients I have worked with, the one common link between them is their ability to make timely – and even quick decisions – even in the face of incomplete or imperfect information. They know that decisions result in action which can lead to the growth of their business. Hence, the quicker they make the decision and act on it, the faster they will be able to put their business on a growth path.
Given how quickly the competitive landscape changes, taking too long to make needed decisions can be a business killer. Some will justify their reason to decide and act slowly as their need to “get it right”. In fact, they are really showing their aversion to risk and their need to want to be perfect. Trying to be perfect is also a business killer. Continue reading →
Change is hard work. It is usually preceded by a crisis or challenge and represents a defining moment for each of us, especially if we are in a leadership position. Why? Simply put, effective leaders are responsible for results. And, in order to achieve the right results, they are often called upon to challenge the “status quo”. When that happens, the need to change is right around the corner.
When a leader is reluctant to challenge the status quo because they are “comfortable” with where they are and the results they are achieving, they are positioning themselves and their company to a future disaster. They mistakenly think that their current status quo will continue into the future “as is”. This is usually referred to as “legacy thinking” and a failure to recognize it can be deadly to any business—big or small. Continue reading →
Getting your team successfully engaged in the “work at hand” has been a challenge for all leaders since the beginning of time. Having your team engaged is especially important as employers of all sizes work to meet the challenges brought on by today’s competitive economic climate.
Employee engagement is defined in many ways including, “we know it when we see it.” One thing that I can tell you with a high degree of certainty is that to successfully create a culture of employee engagement involves three key and related components:
Let’s first talk about vision. Companies where “healthy” employee engagement is alive and well share these common characteristics:
They have a specific and well-communicated vision that is constantly kept it in front of and discussed with their team; it’s action, not just words.
Their employees are able to describe correctly and consistently why the organization does what it does and who they do it for.
Their employees are emotionally attached to the vision, believe in what they do, and are committed and loyal to the organization.
So, you need a “great” vision that your team can willingly buy into and adopt. For that to happen, every member of your team must know:
What they do
How to do it consistently well
Who they do it for (internal and external customers)
Why they do it – the most important factor
Where they fit in within their company – so they know that what they do is important and their contribution is valued
Now, if you can correctly “educate” each member of your team on these five points, here is what you will have accomplished: your team will understand how what they do will help to make the vision a reality, and in turn they will realize that achieving the vision will fuel their internal motivation to make it happen.
Think about it: do you have a vision? Does your team truly understand it and do they understand the “why” of what they do? Answering these initial questions will put you on the road to building an engaged team. In future Wake-Up Calls, I’ll be talking about the other two key components: leadership and tactics. Watch for them.