Thursday, December 31, 2009


Win-Win or No Deal

By Brian Tracy

In successful negotiation, both parties should be fully satisfied with the result and feel that they have each "won" or no deal should be made at all. Consistent with your determination to enter into agreements that preserve long-term relations between the parties, you should always seek an outcome that satisfies both. Remember, you always reap what you sow. Any settlement or agreement that leaves one party dissatisfied will come back to hurt you later, sometimes in ways that you cannot predict.

Tough Negotiating
A very tough negotiator told me proudly about a hard deal he had wrung out of a national organization for the distribution of his company's products. He had demanded and threatened and negotiated an agreement that paid him considerably more, both in up-front payments and in percentages of sales, than any of the other clients for which his company distributed.

The businessman had negotiated a deal that was a "win-lose," with him winning and the other losing. But those on the losing side had no incentive to fulfill the implied commitment to market the products. They had no real incentive to go forward with this person again, you should be clear in advance that you are committed to reach a solution that is satisfactory to both. If it does no entail a win for both parties, you should simply refuse to make any deal at all.

When you are determined to achieve a win-win solution to a negotiation, and you are open, receptive, and flexible in your discussions, you will often discover a third alternative that neither party had considered initially but that is superior to what either of you might have thought of on your own.

Make Yourself Clear
Once you have decided that you are only going to agree to a settlement that is satisfactory to both parties, this doesn't mean that you have to accept any arrangement that you consider best. With your values and your intentions clear, you are now in a position to utilize every strategy and tactic available to you to get the very best deal for both of you—one that assures that you both end up happy with the arrangement.

Action Exercise
Think win-win in all your interactions with others, at work and at home. Actively seek a middle way that satisfies the most pressing desires of both parties. Be creative in suggesting alternatives that get both you and the other person more of what you want.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top 7 Personal Competencies of a Successful Entrepreneur

By Amitabh Shukla

An entrepreneur has to have certain cultivated and inherent qualities in him or her in order to make a success of his or her venture. Not any person can be a successful businessman or woman. Hard work and determination to win have made many successful business people to reach their aspired goals.

Personal competencies of a successful businessman or woman

Leadership qualities

A businessman or woman must be able to lead his or her staff members as well as other associates. He or she must be able to guide others in carrying out business and make a success of it.


A successful businessman or woman has to be very decisive. He or she has to take many decisions sometimes on the spur of the moment. Any vacillation in decisions could affect their business. They have to be very firm in their decisions. Also, while taking decisions they must not get influenced by others. They should be able to take decisions independently.


Business involves many risks, which a business person must not hesitate to take. Lot of financial involvement is there and obviously one has to be careful with investments. Yet risks have to be taken in money matters as well. Sometimes a businessman may lose out on his or her venture, but when he or she make a success of it then he or she has much to gain, both financially and from a personal satisfaction point of view.


Achieving success in business requires confidence. A businessman or businesswoman has to be sure of him or herself about reaching the set targets of success. Diffidence does not help. Self-image is enhanced, when one is confident.


A businessman or woman must be willing to undertake any matters concerning their business venture. He or she must not hesitate for personal or other reasons. Willingness to extend a helping hand is very essential.


One has to be enterprising in order to achieve significant results in business. He or she has to have the zeal to do things. A laid- back approach will not help.

Innovative New ideas help make a business venture successful. A successful businessman or woman must be innovative and always strive for something better. New concepts must be formulated and new ways of doing business must be thought of.

A businessman or woman has to very competent to achieve scale the ladder of success. Certain attributes are essential for him or her to establish their business on sound footing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

5 Selling Tips to Increase Your Sales

Here are 5 selling tips to help you increase your sales. All 5 work for any business. They're effective for both online and traditional offline marketing. And they won't cost you anything to implement.

  • Promote One Thing at a Time

    Promote only 1 product or service at a time. It limits your prospect's buying decision to either "yes" or "no". Every "yes" answer produces an immediate sale.

    Avoid promotions requiring prospects to make more choices after making the decision to buy. Some won't be able to make a clear choice. They'll avoid the risk of making a wrong choice by making NO choice -- and you lose the sale you already had.

    You can develop separate promotions for each product or service you sell. Or you can combine several products and services into one package for one price. But always make your prospective customer's buying decision a simple "yes" or "no". It produces the maximum number of sales.

  • Lead with Your Biggest Benefit

    What's the biggest benefit you offer to customers? That benefit is your strongest selling appeal. Use it to attract prospects to your promotional message.

    State your biggest benefit in the headline of your ads. Put it in the first sentence of your sales letters. Include it in a title at the top of your web page. Use it as the opening of your audio or audio-video promotions.

    Leading immediately with your biggest benefit captures your prospect's attention and provides a compelling reason to continue reading or listening to your message.

  • Personalize Your Approach

    More people will buy from you when they feel you are talking directly to them about their individual needs. Develop customized versions of your sales message to cater to the specific interests of prospects in each market you target. Use the language and style of prospects in each market to communicate your message to them.

    It's easy to use different versions of your sales message when you control who gets it. But how can you personalize your web site to appeal to prospects in one market without losing your appeal to other prospects visiting your site?

    One way is to create special web pages for prospects in each market you target. Customize the content of each to appeal to prospects in that group. Then add a link to each of these special pages on your home page.

  • Provide Specifics

    Marketers often describe their product or service with words like, "It's fast, easy and inexpensive". But a specific description of how fast, how easy and how inexpensive will generate more sales.

    For example, a general statement like, "Our clients get more sales", is dull. It won't produce sales. Replace it with a specific statement like, "Most of our new clients enjoy at least a 17 percent sales increase in the first month". This statement creates excitement. It motivates prospects to sign up now so they can start enjoying that 17 percent increase in THEIR sales.

  • Dramatize Feelings

    Customers usually buy on impulse, not logic. They base their buying decision on how they feel about your product or service. Get them excited about using your product or service and you'll increase your sales.

    Revise your ads, sales letters and web pages to dramatize the emotional rewards your customer will experience when using your product or service. Use vivid word pictures to help them imagine themselves already enjoying those benefits. For example, a financial planner could describe what it feels like to enjoy an affluent lifestyle without debt.

    Each of these 5 selling tips will help you increase your sales. They produce immediate results. And they won't cost you anything to implement.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Setting Goals and Objectives - 3 Awesome Tips to Set Goals and Objectives the Right Way

Why is setting goals and objectives so important? Why do individuals and companies alike take it so seriously?

The truth is, much of whether you'll succeed or fail in life depends on how well you set your goals. Goals give you a sense of direction as well as a sense of purpose. Objectives help you stay on track and keep you from straying too far from your destination.

In this article, you will learn some powerful tips on setting goals and objectives. Doing things the right way can help you achieve all your dreams more efficiently. And who knows? You might just pick up on other lessons along the way.

Tip # 1: Be Positive.
When setting goals and objectives, it is important to keep everything positive. Don't focus on what you want to avoid, but rather on what you want to have. It will help if you write them all down as positively as possible.

For example, instead of saying "By age 50, I will not have any physical deficiencies (negative)," you could say, "By age 50, I will still be in tip top shape (positive)."

Read these two statements aloud and observe how you react to them. Notice that you are more motivated when reading the positive statement. Your subconscious reacts to these statements even if your conscious doesn't really feel the difference. Be aware of these little details.

Tip # 2: Fill in the Blanks.
Goals that aren't specific are prone to cancellation and extension. Objectives that are too vague don't really present any value to you or your company.

For example, saying you want to have "a new job" is not as effective as saying you want to "become an editorial assistant at a fashion magazine."

When setting goals and objectives, you have to be specific so that you can create commitment. Otherwise, you run the risk of selling yourself short or making do with what comes closest to your original plan (even though "closest" is actually a poor substitution for your original goal).

Tip # 3: Think in the Present Tense.
Goals and objectives are more effective when written down in the present tense. Remember that your subconscious plays a big role when it comes to processing your intentions and making them come true.

So when you say, "I will make it big in the industry," you are actually pushing your goal farther and farther into the future. To remedy this situation, tell yourself "I am making it big in the industry." It's such a small thing, but it immediately creates a shift in your subconscious.

Setting goals and objectives is important. But it is just as important to know how to do it effectively. Now that you have learned a more positive way of setting intentions, you are now well on your way to achieving all of them.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Beliefs Can Change Your Life - 4 Things You Must Know to Have a Successful Life

Success in life means different things to each person. No one can tell you what success looks like for you. But one thing that is true for every person is that what you believe about yourself and about life will determine your success or failure.

  • The first of the four things you should know in order to achieve what you want is to know what you really desire in life. The biggest problem most folks have is they are too vague when they describe what they want. When we are growing up most of us do at least some daydreaming and we picture in our minds exactly what we want. Go back to dreaming of the things you want to have, do or to be. Then find articles or pictures of those items in your dreams. Create a bulletin board filled with these pictures and never stop believing that you will get them.

  • None of this matters unless you get to step two. Keep putting yourself in those pictures until you believe you are worth it. Develop a mind set that says you deserve them. Here is where picture repetition is important. Put that bulletin board where you will see it every day until you know that it is yours, whether it is a car, house, a cruise or an accomplishment you want to achieve. That is how many of the world's great athletes win their gold medals.

  • Next step is to know that you can do it. Who cares what others think of your goals and dreams? It is your life, not theirs. Too many people let others live their life for them.

  • The last of the four steps is to "just do it". Once you believe what you are capable of then put your mind to taking action. Planning is the key to this step because nothing worthwhile achieving is accomplished overnight. Make a list of action steps you can take to reach your goal. Always have another goal worth aiming for so that you do not have to ask, "What is next?"

Do not make excuses such as, "If only..." or, "I do not have the talent". If you really want to have, be, or do something then you have the ability within you. If the talent needed is hidden you can find it when you look hard enough.

Remember the words of Napoleon Hill, written in 1928, "You can do it, if you believe you can". These are just as true today as they were when he wrote them. And finally, always SHOW UP TO WIN. You cannot win unless you are in the game. But just showing up is not enough. Many very talented athletes and their teams lose the game because they did not believe they could win. When you expect to win, you will. So believe it and just do it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

10 Tips On How To Sell Your Product

By Karen Cheong

It’s not just about the product you know.

I realised maybe there was going to be a problem with my ability to run a decent business when I found that I was buying more products than I was selling! So I vowed to not buy the next product that I saw advertised, and stop to analyse why I wanted to buy it instead.

I used to think a good product sells itself. Well, it doesn’t. Others have sold the same products I tried selling with far greater success.

Here’s what I’ve learnt.

1. It’s all about marketing. Would you buy glue that doesn’t stick very well? What if you put the same product on the back of little pieces of paper and call them post-its? What about an anti-bacterial solution that isn’t strong enough to kill germs on furniture surfaces? No? What if the seller changed it to an antiseptic mouthwash that cures bad breath and called it Listerine?

2. Target your audience! You may win some new converts by trying to get as many people to see your products as possible. But if you have a limited budget, it helps to try to market to those who are already looking for your kind of product. Notice most ads have very positive, hyped up words that target hopes, dreams, greed etc? You are selling a want, not a need. You have to turn the want into a need.

3. Give a call to action. Do not let them just read the advertisement and move on.

4. Give a free gift, or bonus.

5. Notice most ads have very positive, hyped up words that target hopes, dreams, greed etc? You are selling a want, not a need. You have to turn the want into a need. Can’t expect to sell millions of products by saying please buy, you don’t really need it but have pity on me, I have 12 kids to feed. Please, please please. Help me.

6. Learn to face rejection. I hate this part. I’d really rather not even try. But then, I’d have failed before I’ve even started. Oh, and learn why you got the rejection and how you can change that into a yes, rather than blame the grumpy lady who told you off.

7. Articles are to entertain first, not to provide information. You have to write what the customers want to read, not what you want to write. They can find information very easily these days.

8. Sell yourself. It’s all about you. The seller. You make the product look good and convince people why they need it too. Your reputation is at stake as well. I always thought a model’s job was to look good. It isn’t. I learnt it from America’s Top Model. The model’s job is to make the product look good.

9. It’s all about building up a relationship. Robert Kiyosaki uses himself to teach his lessons and sell his products. People buy Rich Dad Poor Dad because of him. He always said he was a best-selling author. Not a best-writing author!

10. Keep bugging them. Get an email contact or something. Send regular updates. Eventually they will buy something. Don’t spam though. Turns people off. And if emails keep bouncing, it may be an abandoned account. Don’t waste your time.

Karen Cheong believes we all have it in us to be rich - ridiculously rich. We just need to learn to unleash the potential.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Developing a Powerful Sales Personality

By Brian Tracy

Becoming excellent in closing sales is an inside job. It begins within you. In sales, your personality is more important than your product knowledge. It is more important than your sales skills. It is more important than the product or service that you are selling. In fact, your personality determines fully 80 percent of your sales success.

Take Charge of Your Life
The biggest mistake you can make is to ever think that you work for anyone but yourself. From the time you take your first job until the day you retire, you are self employed. You are the president of your own entrepreneurial corporation, selling your services into the marketplace at the highest price possible. You have only one employee—yourself. Your job is to sell the highest quality and quantity of your services throughout your working life.

View Yourself as Self-Employed
In a study done in New York some years ago, researchers found that the top 3 percent of people in every field looked upon themselves as self-employed. They treated the company as if it belonged to them personally. They saw themselves as being in charge of every aspect of their lives. They took everything that happened to their company personally, exactly as if they owned 100 percent of the stock.

Winners Versus Losers
The difference between winners and losers is quite clear. Winners always accept responsibility for their actions. Losers never do but instead always have some kind of explanation for why they are doing poorly.

Don't Waste Time
The average salesperson today wastes a fully 50 percent of his or her working time. According to research, he comes in a little later, works a little slower, and leaves a little earlier. He spends most of his working time in idle chitchat with coworkers, personal business, reading the paper, drinking coffee, and surfing the internet. Winners arrive a little earlier, work a little harder, and stay a little later.

Develop Empathy and Understanding
Top salespeople have high levels of empathy, i.e., they really care about their customers. Ambition, the desires to achieve, combined with empathy, the genuine caring for the well-being of your customers, are the twin keys to top sales performance. A person with empathy makes every effort to get inside the mind and heart of the customer and to understand his situation and needs.

Keep Your Word
Top-selling salespeople are impeccably honest with themselves and with others. There is no substitute for honesty in selling. Earl Nightingale once said, "If honesty did not exist, it would have to be invented as the surest way of getting rich."

Do What you Love to Do
One of the secrets of success in selling is for you to do what you love to do. Top salespeople love what they are selling. They believe in it passionately. They will defend it and argue over it. They will talk about it day and night. When they go to bed, they think about their product. When they wake up in the morning, they can hardly wait to talk to prospects about it. Look at the top salespeople in the very best companies, and you'll find that these people are fanatical, about their products and services.

Action Exercise
Resolve today, that you are going to become one of the hardest-working professional salespeople in your industry; start earlier; work harder; stay later.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Importance of Maintaining a Positive Attitude in the Workplace

In the current scenario, the real challenge in a workplace is to handle and overcome the obstacles and learn from hard and tough experiences. The problems can be tackled by a person only with positive attitude, with focused mind, and with efforts to overcome obstacles. A person with positive attitude can easily survive in many tough situations of life.

When a boss or superior comes to a person and asks for some work to be done, and if the response from employee is "I don't think that I can do this" or "What happens if I fail?" shows negative attitude of a person and boss may keep the person away and ignore him in further projects. But if the person responds in positive way like "I will certainly put my total efforts and get work finished by the end of the day", then the boss will consider him as worthy person. The person with this attitude will become a role of encouragement to others. Developing positive attitude helps in overcoming stress, increases self esteem, confidence, and makes a person more productive or dynamic. There are many advantages of positive attitude at workplace.

Creates A Positive Environment:

In general, employers put effort to make their employees happy, keep their principles high, and strive to create a positive environment for them to work so that they can experience the benefits of higher productivity and as a result, higher profitability can be achieved. Issues at work place should not be treated as problems, they should be considered as challenges. This helps in creating positive environment and gives benefits to both employees and employers. Always try to think on how you can make something easier or more enjoyable. A positive approach in setting goals and in overcoming challenges by leader makes other colleagues to inculcate positive attitude. A positive attitude is more catchy.

Helps To Achieve Goals :

Persuading a customers is much easier for a person with positive attitude. Research has also confirmed that sales professionals who think positively and trust in the benefits of their product have improved sales performance. If a person has positive attitude about achieving goals and success, they are more prone to take action in order to achieve it. Positive thinking is conspicuous in an achiever. Positive thinking with motivation helps in reaching different goals. It earns more benefits even after the goal is achieved.

Increases Productivity Levels:

Negative attitudes cause a mean cycle that deteriorates productivity. A positive attitude can be achieved by improving relationships with colleagues in positive way and remembering the job's "good side". By rethinking the "good side" of a job, it is possible to regenerate enthusiasm in it, which results in increase in productivity. Change of perception or thinking about something more positive, can remove stressful feelings. If stress is reduced among the employees, then better health can be achieved, as stress can have a serious negative impact on health. This results in less sick days, and better productivity.

Positive Attitude And Team Building:

Many business leaders have an impression that promoting and instilling positive thinking in the workplace will help in team building. If ideas of members are encouraged and a positive attitude is taken up, team members will get along with one another more frequently, leading to fewer conflicts. At workplace, if a person is not positive, co-workers are not interested to be around him. Therefore, if a person has good attitude towards work and others around, then co-workers can feel that is a pleasant person to be around.

A 'Can do' in oneself exemplifies positive attitude and has an impact in the workplace too. Being positive makes a person stronger, happier, and healthier. The power of positive thinking is crucial for happiness in life and a successful career. You will love your work more and achieve your goals at workplace more easily and faster with positive attitude.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Law of Competence

By Brian Tracy

You can increase your efficiency and your effectiveness by becoming better and better at your key tasks. One of the most powerful of all time management techniques is for you to get better at the most important things you do. Your core competencies, your key skill areas, the places where you are absolutely excellent at what you do, are the key determinants of your productivity, your standard of living, and the level of achievement you reach in your field.

Work Excellence
The market pays excellent rewards only for excellent work. You are therefore successful to the degree to which you do more things better than the average person. Your great responsibility in life is to determine what things you can and should do very well and then develop a plan to become very, very good in those vital areas.

Key Question
Here is the key question: What one skill, if you developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on your career? Your weakest important skill sets the height at which you can use all your other skills. Be honest with yourself. What is your limiting skill? What is the one skill that determines the speed at which you complete your major tasks and achieve your goals? What is the one skill, the lack of which may be holding you back?

Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle, the 80/20 Rule, applies to those skills that are limiting to your success. Eighty percent of the reasons you are not moving ahead as fast as you want is explained by the 20 percent of skills and abilities that you lack. This rule also says that 80 percent of your limits in life are contained within yourself. Eighty percent of the reasons you are not achieving your goals as quickly as you want is because of the lack of a particular skill, ability, or quality within yourself.

Look Within Yourself

The underachiever always looks for the reasons for his or her problems in the outer world. The high achiever looks within. The high-achieving person always asks, what is it in me that is holding me back? Successful people look into themselves for the answers to their questions and for the solutions to their problems. Unsuccessful people always look outside. Who do you think finds the solutions first?

Ask Others to Evaluate
Ask people around you to evaluate you in your critical skill areas on a scale of one to ten. The more accurate you can be about this exercise, the easier it will be for you to focus on the one or two skill areas that help you the most.

Action Exercise
Identify the one skill, the most important skill, the one that, if you developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on your career. Whatever it is, set a goal, make a plan, and go to work to become excellent in that area. You will be absolutely amazed at the difference it will make in your career.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Manage the Crisis

By Brian Tracy

In a fast-changing, turbulent, highly competitive business environment, you will have a crisis of some kind every two or three months. You also could have a financial crisis, a family crisis, a personal crisis, or a health crisis with the same frequency.

Take Charge Immediately

When the crisis occurs, there are four things you should do immediately.
  1. Stop the bleeding. Practice damage control. Put every possible limitation on losses. Preserve cash at all costs.
  2. Gather information. Get the facts. Speak to the key people and find out exactly what you are dealing with.
  3. Solve the problem. Discipline yourself to think only in terms of solutions, about what you can do immediately to minimize the damages and fix the problem.
  4. Become action-oriented. Think in terms of your next step. Often any decision is better than no decision.

Practice Thinking Ahead

One of the key strategies for business and personal success is "crisis anticipation." This strategy is practiced by top people in every field-executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and leaders, especially military leaders. You practice crisis anticipation by looking into the future three, six, nine, and twelve months ahead and asking, "What could happen to disrupt my business or personal life?"

Develop a Contingency Plan

You need to have a contingency plan for possible emergencies and crises. What steps would you take if something went seriously wrong? What would you do first? What would you do second? How would you react? Develop a scenario—a storyline and a plan—describing how you would handle a negative situation, if it occurred.

Prevent the Recurring Crisis

A crisis, by definition, is a once-only, unexpected negative event. If there is a recurring crisis in your company or your life, one that repeats itself regularly, especially cash crises, then you are dealing with a deeper problem, usually incompetent or poor organization. To ensure that the crisis does not repeat itself, after you have resolved that crisis for the first time, do a thorough debriefing on the problem. What exactly happened? How did it happen? What did we learn? What could we do to make sure it doesn't happen again?

Action Exercise

  1. Identify the three worst things that could happen in your business in the next year. What could you do today to minimize the damage from these crises?

  2. Identify the three worst things that could happen in your personal and family life, and then take steps to make sure they don't happen.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Habits That Can Repel Abundance

Even as we are trying to attract greater abundance into your life, we may also have a few habits that could be pushing it away.

Below are three of those destructive habits and helpful tips for turning them around.

Denial is Never Beneficial

When our financial picture looks bleak, we may be tempted to bury our head in the sand and refuse to face reality because it seems so frightening. Unfortunately this fear can cause us to react in unproductive ways, like stuffing overdue bills into a drawer because we can't pay them, or avoiding balancing our checkbook because we're afraid to see the balance.

Eventually we learn that avoidance only makes negative conditions worse. If we instead make a commitment to face our current situation, we often realize that it isn't as bad as we feared. Taking it a step further, we can also decide to get organized and create a plan for improvement in the future - and that is often enough to make us feel empowered. Taking just one step in faith is often enough to get the ball rolling in a more positive direction.

Worry Begets More Worry
We usually worry because we think it will help us avoid disaster - but all it really does is contribute more energy to the very things we are worrying about; and it doesn't end there, either.

Worrisome thoughts also have a large impact on the actions we take - or don't take - on a daily basis. In this context, we see clearly that negative thoughts are destructive on many levels. Once we have begun to realize the true power of our thoughts, we have a responsibility to use them wisely by consciously choosing to focus on abundance, hold positive expectations, and demand the success we deserve.

Fear Paralysis

Have you ever been too frightened to grab hold of an opportunity that was presented to you? Maybe you worried that it must be "too good to be true" so you didn't trust it. Perhaps someone close to you warned that you weren't capable of achieving such a thing, so it would be better not to try at all. Whatever way it played out, you can probably still feel a sense of disappointment about not taking the chance when you had the opportunity.

While it may be too late to take advantage of the chances you left in the past, there is nothing stopping you from making a promise to yourself right now that you will grab hold of present and future opportunities without a second of hesitation.

Friday, December 18, 2009

5 Checks to Keep Focused on Success

Success requires focus because in our effort to improve our live legitimate problems and justifiable excuses will happen at various stages and times. If you are not focused when your moment arrives you may miss it. The problem is that too many times we have the mentality that the moment will come if we wait for it. However the reality is we must work toward what we want.

In the real world of success focus creates the moments and allows us to see opportunity when they present themselves. Many times when people have the mentality they will wait for success they are not focused on success. Waiting creates stress, pressure and strain because if we are not taking action our mind is not in the right place and time can cause us to waver in our efforts.

As you focus success and work toward it by improving your performance you develop the confidence necessary use your skills to make things happen. Focus ensures you have a clear idea of where you are going and where you want to be and what you need to get to that place of success.

The following five tips will help you stay focused on success:

Check you.
Is what you are doing true to who you are? Is your effort to achieve success developing you into a better person? Are you connecting to your future and making a positive impact on your life?

Check your Purpose.
Is your focus motivated by something deep inside you. Are you trying to impress others, be popular or be liked? If this is your motivation your focus will be temporary.

Check your mental clarity.
Educate and learn to gain knowledge that gives you an advantage. Stay sharp and push yourself to change and improve through the application of information.

Check your goals.
Your goals must be genuine and sincere not selfish and shallow. Is your goal satisfying or is it based on greed?

Check your motivation.
Find the will to overcome mistakes and enjoy the process of learning from them. Reward yourself and celebrate victories on a regular basis.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

9 Surprising Secrets of Natural Organizers

Here is no denial that some people have the gift to get themselves organized and get their feet in getting things done. Before we ponder about the gifted abilities, are there really secrets that they posses, that made them more efficient and organized? Some so-called secrets that you are going to read in a moment will shock you. We got to say that, even a person that is disorganized in his life can learn from the tips and become more efficient in whatever he do.

Just do it!
Follow the Nike tag line. Just do it and now. Procrastination leads to getting work piled at the later part of your day and life!

Throw your stuff away (without thinking)!
Organized people do not hesitate about throwing things away. They won't be tempted to keep old worn out appliances around "just in case". They keep whatever can be use now.

Get into routine.
Make it a habit of doing things at one shot. Clean the basin when you are using it. Shine the mirror after brushing your teeth. No we are not being clean freaks here. It's about doing things at that point of time which won't be left for a later date.

Put things where it should be.
Disorganized people tend to dump things everywhere. Literally everywhere. Organized people on the other hand keep things in organized manner and they know where to retrieve them in future.

Write important dates on the calendar.
Remember to check the calendar for important events. Organizer people do it everyday to keep updated of the event up coming for the day.

Pick up yourself.
If things are left all over the place, take the initiative and pick things up, place it where it should be. Put them away before the mess gets out of hand.

Invest in organizing tools.
But be sure that you like it and you use it frequently. If the system is unrealistic or unhandy, you won't use it.

Spare the little energy on small tasks.
Many times the small tasks of putting things away and keeping things clean take much less time and energy than we think they will. Always remember, every little tasks completed is a contribution to complete a major task. While the task is small, it may be significant in the long run.

Get yourself a daily planner.
Daily planner can be anything from a decent calendar to just a piece of paper. The key thing is to use it CONSISTENTLY.

Anyone, literally anyone can do it. They are in matter of fact, little things that we can do everyday with minimal effort. The real secret is the discipline in keeping your toes up to these little things. For those of you who are struggling with disorganization, such simple tips can really give you the real boost in efficiency.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Look at the Qualities That Every Good Salesman Should Possess

Succeeding in the field of sales cannot be achieved in a wink of an eye. To excel as a salesman, you need to possess some qualities to ensure that the deal will be closed. This guide to being a good salesman will help you determine the qualities required to be successful in this field.

A Good Salesman Should Be Confident

Confidence is helpful not just in sales but in almost any aspect of our lives. When delivering your sales pitch, you should be confident with your skills as well as with the product you are selling. Otherwise, you will not be able to successfully close the sale. Confidence can help you become reliable and more relaxed.

A Good Salesman Should Be Client-Centered

Every salesman should be focused on offering a product that caters to the needs of their customer. One of the most common mistakes that a salesman commits is selling their product even though the customer does not need it. So as much as possible offer your product to people who need them. Pushing your item to the right person guarantees a wise investment of both your time and effort.

A Good Salesman Should Be Emotionally and Physically Fit

Being emotionally qualified may play a major role in succeeding in sales. Having sense of humor, cracking jokes from time to time, praising clients - are skills that can contribute to a successful deal. To become successful, you need to be open to changes and should have the ability to accept rejections from clients. By maintaining a positive outlook, you will be able to find clients who will be open to purchase your product. In addition, a good salesman should never lose their cool and stick to their goal despite the odds. Resiliency is another helpful quality that an emotionally stable salesman should possess. They should keep on trying until they get the sale.

A Good Salesman Should Be Optimistic

A single rejection can break a salesman's motivation and confidence. However, this should not be the case. Remember that talking to people or finding prospects is part of being a salesman. A salesman should always think positive about the product and most importantly about their skills. This should be a good starting point. Positive energy can usually help turn what is already a lost sale into a favorable result. So stay on course, do not lose let frustrations ruin your sale. Think positive.

A Good Salesman Learns From the Experience of Others

If you have doubts about what you are doing and seek the help of more experienced salesmen, there is nothing wrong with asking help from other salesmen. In fact, there are various resources that can provide the budding salesman with professional help. Examples are Internet sites, books, or training manuals. Likewise, managers who provide high-quality information concerned with marketing and sales of a certain product are still unsure and have no knowledge of what to do. If the knowledge that you know is already outdated and obsolete, learning new techniques and getting more trainings can be helpful in widening your experience.

By following the above guide to being a good salesman, you will be able to successfully close out a deal.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

3 reasons potential customers may distrust you

By Jeff Mowatt

Interesting to hear the response from managers when asked about what factors impact sales. Many will reference the economy, customer demographics, competition, and recent innovations. While those factors certainly play a role, I often find, when brought in to train sales and service teams, that employees inadvertently chase away new potential customers. It usually happens within the first 10 seconds of customer communication, and most employees have no idea that they are committing these offenses. See if this is true in your organization. Consider these three reasons potential customers may distrust you or your team members.

  • Faking Familiarity - Imagine that you are relaxing at home at the end of a long day. Supper's cleared away; at last it's time to relax with cookie, blankie, remote. The phone rings. You drag yourself off the sofa to answer. The voice at the other end replies, "Hello, is this Mr. or Ms. So-and-so?" "Yes," you answer. The caller's next line, "And how are you this evening?" Thinking quickly you turn to your sweetheart, extending the phone, "Honey, it's for you!"

    The telemarketer made a common mistake—faking familiarity. It's true that customers want to be treated in a friendly manner, but managers and employees need to recognize that before you can foster friendly feelings, you need to create trust. The telemarketer lost trust in the first five seconds when they asked a stranger, "How are you?" The potential customer realizes that the caller had never met them, so really doesn't care how they are. One of the techniques I share in my training sessions for salespeople on cold calling methods is to never ask a stranger, "How are you?" Instead, salespeople get better results by opening with, "Hello, is this So-and-So? Hi, I'm So-and-So with ABC Company. We've never met. The reason I'm calling is…" In other words, you'll get better results by saying, "We've never met" (which proves that you are up front and honest) than by insincerely inquiring about the health of a total stranger.

    Today's consumer is more educated, streetwise, and, frankly, way more cynical about salespeople's motives than ever before. Consumers seem to be taking the advice that parents give their children: "Come straight home, and don't talk to strangers!" That means that beyond telling employees to be friendly with customers, managers need to quip their staff with tools for establishing trust.

  • Evasive Answers - Which person would you trust in this scenario: Picture yourself as a customer asking this simple question of two employees: "When can you deliver this?" Employee A's response: "This is the busy season for us and the plant is operating at about a two-week turnaround. That means it will be delivered by March 15th." Employee B's response to the same question, "By March 15th. This is the busy season for us and the plant is operating at about a two-week turnaround. That means delivery by March 15th."

    As the customer, you're likely to have more confidence and trust (there's that word again) in Employee B. That employee answered the question with a direct answer, then elaborated. Employee A sounded as though they were avoiding the question. That's also referred to as sounding like a politician. When trust is our primary objective, better to opt for instant honesty. In other words, answer the question directly, then explain. It's a subtle technique that's often overlooked.

    Speaking of up-front honesty, let's look at a third reason strangers may not be receptive to our ideas.

  • Slight exaggeration - I have spoken at conventions for three major real estate corporations who each claim that they are number one in the industry. While you and I know all three companies can't be first, when we read the fine print, we find that each is using different metrics to rank themselves at the top. My comment for those three organizations -- so what! What does the client care if you happen to have the most sales, most realtors, or most offices in the country? At best, those are features - not benefits -- that aren't particularly meaningful to the average customer. All they've done by claiming to be number one (when others are doing the same), is raise the skepticism of the customer. This use of slight exaggeration, or "puffery," is the third reason customers distrust us.

    Customers have become so inured to organizations claiming to be the first, best, and biggest, that they often tune-out when they hear it from employees, advertisements, the media, or read it on websites. To influence the customers' buying decisions, we'd better provide more than just grandiose claims. Fortunately, there are three pieces of information that do help to sell ideas, products or services. Your message should convey: 1.What the benefit is. 2.How you are unique 3.The evidence. Together the benefit, uniqueness, and evidence are known in marketing circles as a Unique Selling Proposition or USP. Your USP helps to remove doubts and raise buying interest.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of reasons/excuses for sales not meeting expectations. Before blaming external factors, managers would do well to look at their customer communications to see if there's room for improvement in building trust.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Motivational Leadership

By Brian Tracy

Motivational leadership is based on The Law of Indirect Effort. According to this law, most things in life are achieved more easily by indirect means than they are by direct means. You more easily become a leader to others by demonstrating that you have the qualities of leadership than you do by ordering others to follow your directions. Instead of trying to get people to emulate you, you concentrate on living a life that is so admirable that others want to be like you without your saying a word.

The Most Powerful Motivational Leaders
Perhaps the most powerful motivational leader is the person who practices what is called "servant leadership." Confucius said, "He who would be master must be servant of all." The person who sees himself or herself as a servant to others and who does everything possible to help them perform at their best is practicing the highest form of servant leadership.

The Leader of Today
Today's leaders are the ones who ask questions, listen carefully, plan diligently, and then build consensus among all those who are necessary for achieving the goals. The leader does not try to do it all alone. The leader gets things done by helping others do them.

Qualities of Leaders
The following are important qualities of motivational leaders. These are qualities that you already have to a certain degree and that you can develop further to stand out from the people around you in a very short period of time.

The first quality is vision. This is the only single quality that, more than anything separates leaders from followers. Leaders have vision. Followers do not. Leaders have the ability to stand back and see the big picture. Leaders have developed the ability to fix their eyes on the horizon and see greater possibilities.

Motivate Others

The best way for you to motivate others is to be motivated yourself. The fastest way to get others excited about a project is to get excited yourself. The way to get others committed to achieving a goal or a result is to be totally committed yourself. The way to build loyalty to your organization, and to other people, is to be an example of loyalty in everything you say and do.

The Ability to Choose
One requirement of leaders is the ability to choose an area of excellence. Just as a good general chooses the terrain on which to do battle, an excellent leader chooses the area in which he and others are going to do an outstanding job. The commitment to excellence is one of the most powerful of all motivators. All leaders who effect change in people and organizations are enthusiastic about achieving excellence in a particular area.

Action Exercise
Try a new attitude toward your employees; show up on Monday morning and be positive and cheerful. If you are motivational, your attitude will rub off on your employees and they will work more efficiently.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Five Rules for Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is the art of finding profitable solutions to problems. Every successful entrepreneur or business person has been able to identify a problem and come up with a solution to it before someone else did. Here are the five rules for success.

1. Find a Need and Fill ItHuman needs and wants are unlimited. Therefore, the opportunities for entrepreneurship and financial success are unlimited as well. The only constraint on the business opportunities available to you are the limits you place on your own imagination.

2. Find a Problem and Solve It
Wherever there is a widespread and unsolved customer problem, there is an opportunity for you to start and build a successful business.

Once upon a time, before photocopies, the only way to type multiple copies of a letter was with carbon paper places between sheets of stationary. But a single mistake would require the typist to go through and erase the mistakes on every single copy. This was enormously clumsy and time consuming.

Then a secretary working for small company in Minneapolis began mixing flour with nail varnish in order to white out the mistake she was making in her typing. Soon, people in other offices began asking for it. The demand became so great that she quit her job and began working full-time manufacturing what she called “Liquid Paper.” A few years later, the Gillette Corporation came along and bought her out for $47 million cash.

3. Unlimited Opportunities
There are problems everywhere. Your job is to find one of these problems and solve it better than it has been solved in the past. Find a problem that everyone has and see if you can't come up with a solution for it. Find a way to supply a product or service better, cheaper, faster, or easier. Use your imagination.

4. Focus on the CustomerThe key to success in business is to focus on the customer. Become obsessed with your customer. Become fixated on your customer's wants, needs, and desires. Think of your customer all the time. Think of what your customer is willing to pay for. Think about your customer's problems. See yourself as if you were working for your customer.

5. Bootstrap Your Way to Success
Once you have come up with a problem or idea, resolve to invest your time, talent, and energy instead of your money to get started. Most great personal fortunes in the United States were started with an idea and with the sale of personal services.

Most great fortunes were started by people with no money, resources, or backing. They were started by individuals who came up with an idea and who then put their whole heart into producing a product or service that someone else would buy.

Action ExerciseLook for business opportunities everywhere, develop, an entrepreneurial mind-set, and continually be open and curious about the needs not satisfied and problems not solved.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sales Team Motivation - Sales Management For Tactical Vs Strategic Salespeople

When you assess the make-up of your sales team, what do you see? Are they consistently going after the easy, low hanging fruit? Do they stop their follow-up and follow-through after only one or two calls? Or do you have salespeople who take their time in selecting the right prospects and then do their homework and prepare?

There are two types of salespeople that I will cover in this article: tactical and strategic.
Tactical salespeople go after the quick sale - usually low volume, low margin sales... the easy ones. Strategic salespeople go after the more complex sales - the ones that can take longer, are more difficult to navigate through, but yield much greater results.

Tactical salespeople will typically rely on external factors for success, such as appearance, personality, favorite sales technique, etc.

Strategic salespeople bring much more to the process like: emotional maturity, patience, analytical problem solving skills, asking great questions, etc.

Bottom line: Strategic salespeople are different than tactical salespeople because they view their roles from different vantage points.

As a result, strategic salespeople have a better chance of achieving great sales volume, higher levels of credibility and better quality clients with long-term customer-loyalty.

Can the Tactical Salesperson Become Strategic?

Salespeople who rely mostly on their personality typically can gain quick favor with a prospect. However, they can easily falter later in the sales process when faced with complex issues from the prospect. Many times they lack the ability to think strategically about the prospects issues because their natural charm and persuasion is no match for sophisticated solutions.

Personality-driven salespeople can sometimes get into the door quicker... and get an invitation to leave just as fast if they lack the wherewithal to demonstrate competence and effectiveness for the prospect.

Professional sales requires that your salesperson put themselves into the shoes of the prospect or customer. If they view their sales tactics from the perspective of, "They're going to love me" or "I hope they love me", it can be quite limiting to their success.

Mentoring salespeople, who rely solely on their great personalities for success, enables you to elevate their portfolio of experiences. Watching you navigate through a complex sale is invaluable. Watching you do it 8, 10 or 15 times, is career changing. Once they accumulate more and more "team sales" experiences with you, then you can wean them off and allow them to take a larger role in the "team selling" sales process... and eventually have them take complete control over larger sales opportunities.

How Do You Mentor a Tactical Salesperson?

How you mentor a tactical salesperson combined with the nature of your relationship with them really makes the difference.

Here are a few tips on mentoring your personality-driven salespeople into Sales Champions:

  • Help them to think strategically - Don't allow them to only go for a quick tactical sale. Demonstrate that there is more credibility when you continually probe and listen to the needs of the prospect. From a senior decision-makers perspective, all aspects of his/her business are connected. Your salespeople need to know this so they don't get so focused on product features and benefits alone. Instead, they must take a consultative approach but you need to show them how to do this. They need to watch you and learn from you that company executives want an advisor who listens, understands and then makes appropriate recommendations - not a charming salesperson with hopes of making a quick sale.

    Encourage patience - The bigger the deal, typically the longer the process. Even though it may take longer, senior executives also have the means to pool resources and acquire money much easier than a lower level manager. When your salesperson finally gets to a top level decision-maker, don't let them blow it by attempting to put together a low-level, tactical deal. Help them to expand their sights, raise their expectations, meet the executive where they are and then focus on bigger and better opportunities. Eventually they'll get it. Remember, senior-level executives aren't just product/service buyers - they're strategic solution buyers.

    Define their role - Your salesperson needs to know the value of the education they will receive by watching you. Help them to understand how import these team sell experiences with you are and how it will help them in the future when they go it alone. Since you are the one driving the sales process during these mentoring experiences, and not them, they need to understand that their secondary role is still important to the process, but their education and experience will be their greatest reward.

    Debrief often - Ask pointed question about each sales call: What did you learn today? How did you feel when the prospect said or did this? What did you see me do? Why do you think I handled it that way? What would you have done previously in the same situation? What will you do differently when faced with the same situation in the future? Why? How can you prepare for that situation again? How do you think making that one change will impact your sales career?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Challenge For Your Interpersonal Leadership Skills - The Toxic Effects of Moody People

The moody person is one that's easily recognised by negative changes in behaviour in temperament because of emotional pressures. These emotional pressures can have external origins that have a negative effect on the behavior of the person. The behavior is often characterised as being sullen, sulky, withdrawn, aggressive, vindictive, irrational, unreasonable, silent or uncooperative.

From leadership point of view, this is very frustrating because the cooperative person has suddenly become uncooperative. The real problem with moody people is that they infect the rest of the team with their negativity. It is like a nasty virus in the workplace.

From a leadership point of view it may help to understand what has actually happened to the person and to immunise yourself against their negativity. The stronger your bond with that person, the harder it is to deal with their moody behavior. The very presence of a moody person with their negative feelings will effect yourself as the leader and the rest of the group. This happens even if the moody person doesn't say anything.

Moods are contagious. A good mood is contagious but only remains contagious provided it is stronger than the bad mood. Intuitively, we know this and this is where we make our mistake. We take a person who is sulking and think that if we jolly them along they will just snap out of their bad mood. Now, this is may work with very young children but unfortunately, it has exactly the opposite effect on adults and older children.

With adults and older children any suggestion that their behavior is inappropriate will be interpreted as criticism. Because we all seem to have a bit of a teenager in us, no matter how old we are, we will not conform. This is not done consciously because it is part of our complex make up as human beings.

With moody people you may have tried various approaches like, telling them to snap out of it, being jolly, telling them off or being sarcastic and putting them down. I guarantee that your success rate has been much lower than you would have wanted.

What you need is some different strategies for dealing with moody people. Why don't you try some of the following. Validate their mood. This means that you accept that's how they are and show them some sympathy. A validating statement might be, "So you're feeling a bit down. That's not much fun, is it?"

Do not give it too much attention.

  • Do not take personal responsibility for it. (I must have done something wrong)

  • Don't take responsibility for getting them out of their bad mood. If you try and fix it, they will assume it is up to you to help them, and lose the motivation to help themselves.

  • Try and shift your own attention to something that is not present, while they work out what to do. Leave them alone and find someone cheerful to talk to. This will rid you of the negative effects of the moody person

All these suggestions are ways of getting some emotional distance from their negative mood, so that you can neither be infected by it nor judge it. Pick your time to cope with the moody person carefully. If you want a discussion with that person about their mood and it's toxic effects on you and the rest of the team, wait until the person is feeling better about life in general and much more receptive.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Top Ten Ways to Stay Focused on Your Objectives

People often ask me what I think are the most important keys to achieving successful outcomes. There are many, but the one thing that I see as being the most essential—and often ignored—is consistency.

Any worthwhile, challenging goal requires sustained effort.Doing the things necessary for a day or two isn't hard. Where most people fall down is in stringing those days together and thereby creating the progress, the momentum, and ultimately, the successful accomplishment.
What follows are ten ways to maintain your focus, your energy and your optimism while pursuing your goal. They've worked for me and they'll work for you. When I've employed all of these components, I've never failed to achieve my intention.

1. Have Powerful Reasons. With a strong enough reason you can and will find the how and the wherewithal to achieve your reward. Reasons plus belief keep you motivated. When you're excited about your goal, it doesn't seem like work. If you're not excited, your efforts will require more discipline and energy. Make sure it's YOUR goal. Make sure it excites you. And then act enthusiastically.

2. Write Your Objectives Down. This is a critical step. Don't think it, ink it. When you write your goals down, they appear not only on paper, but they become indelibly written upon your consciousness.

3. Visualize. "See" your objective already in existence. Nothing can withstand the power of a clear, multi-sensory vision of what you are intending. What does it look like? What will people be saying about it? How will you feel? The more detailed and "real" you can make your vision, the more powerful it will be. It will operate like a magnet and draw forth all kinds of things you never thought possible.

4. Affirm Your Success. Speak your goal into existence. An affirmation is a present-tense, positive statement of your intended outcome. I now have achieved ______________ (fill in the blank). The more sensory rich you can make your affirmations, the more effective they will be. All of these techniques help you to feel the presence of your objective and build belief.

5. Make a Plan of Action. To achieve and stay focused upon your objective, create an action plan. What are the steps you will take to get you from where you are to where you want to be? Your strategies will likely change as you go along, so set your goals in concrete and your plans in sand. Keep your eye on the goal, but remain flexible in your path to it.

6. Measure Your Progress. You can't change what you don't measure. Create mechanisms that will allow you to see your progress. Use charts. Log your actions. Use anything that will encourage you by allowing you to objectively track your progress. We all need feedback—it's the breakfast of champions.

7. Maintain a Support system. Have a Master Mind Group. Use the Buddy System. Surround yourself with people who will encourage and challenge you. Be accountable to someone other than yourself. Read positive books. Review past successes.

8. Focus On Only a Few Goals at a Time. You can achieve anything you desire, but not EVERYTHING you desire. Concentrate your efforts and your energy on just a few. I might have dozens of goals and projects, but I keep three key goals in the forefront of my mind.

9. Take Action Every Day. An important objective warrants daily attention. A 400-page novel is not written all at once. To many, writing a 400-page novel would be overwhelming. But a little over a page a day will get it done in a year. Every goal can be broken down into doable tasks done consistently.

10. Celebrate Your Milestones. Mark your successes and acknowledge yourself for your progress. As you achieve one goal, you can see better and believe more easily in the accomplishment of others. You deserve to succeed and you deserve to celebrate your successes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Time Management Tools and Techniques

By Brian Tracy

There are five time management tools and techniques that you should practice for maximum productivity and good personal organization. Each of them takes a little time to learn and master, but pays you back in greater efficiency and effectiveness for the rest of your life.

1. Use a time planner.

The first time management tool that you need is a time planning system that contains everything you need to plan and organize your life. The best time planners, whether loose-leaf binders or electronic versions, enable you to plan for the year, the month, the week, and for each day. A good time planner will contain a master list where you can capture every task, goal, or required action as it comes up. This master list then becomes the core of your time-planning system. From this master list, you allocate individual tasks to various months, weeks, and days.

2. Always work from a list.

Every effective executive works from a daily list. It is the most powerful tool ever discovered for maximum productivity. When you create your daily list, you begin by writing down every single task that you intend to complete over the course of the day. The rule is that you will increase your efficiency by 25 percent the very first day that you start using a list. This means that you will get two extra hours of productive time in an eight hour day from the simple act of making a list before you start work, of everything you have to dothat day. You can bring order out of chaos faster with a list than with any other time management tool.

3. Organize your list by priority.

Once you have a list for your day's activities, the next step is for you to organize this list in order of priority. Once your list is organized, it becomes a map to guide you from morning to evening in the most effective and efficient way. This guide tells you what you have to do and what is more or less important. You will soon develop the habit of using your list as a blueprint for the day.

4. Use any time management system you like.

The variety of personal digital assistants (PDA's) and computer-based time management systems available today is absolutely wonderful. No matter what you do, in whatever field, there are digital time management systems that you can tap into or load onto your personal computer or mobile device to help organize every part of your life.

5. Set up a "45-file system."

There is a simple method of organizing your time and your schedule for up to two years in advance. It is called the "45-file system." This is a tickler file that lets you plan and organize your activities and callbacks for the next twenty-four months. This is how it works. First you get a box of forty-five files with fourteen hanging files to put them in. The forty-five files are divided as follows: There are thirty-one files numbered one through thirty-one for the days of the month. There are twelve files for the months of the year. January through December. The last two files are for the next two years. This is a wonderful system that you can also use with hanging files in your desk drawer.

Action Exercise

Get a time planner of some kind, whichever format you are most comfortable using (eg digital or paper), and invest the time necessary to lean how to use it. The payoff in saved time and increased productivity will be enormous.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Einstein Had it Right

Thank you! Two simple words, so powerful, they can make a huge difference in your life. It doesn't matter whether you give thanks to your God, the Universe, or your higher self, just say "thank you." By expressing gratitude on a regular basis, you can attract more of what you are grateful for.

If you want better relationships, say thank you for the good relationships with the people in your life right now. If you to want to lose your negativity and create more joy in your life, saying thank you for the joy you already have will bring more.

Saying thank you for your vibrant health will create it. You will smile more, your eyes will shine, you'll stand taller and straighter. Showing gratitude has been known to relieve pressure. If you want more money, be grateful for what you have now. Even if you're broke; there's always someone worse off than you. Be grateful and you'll attract more good into your life.

One of the best ways to show gratitude is to list five things to be grateful for and write them in a gratitude journal before you go to bed at night. For fun, you could decorate each page with colorful stickers. How about the people who make your life easier? The person who held the open door for you when you had your arms full of packages? The waiter who went the extra mile to make your meal enjoyable. The driver who stopped to let you cross the road.

You don't have to give thanks only to people. Other blessings from the Universe come in for their share of thanks, too. How about the warmth of the sun on your face? The wind that makes the trees dance? The rainbow arcing across the sky?

Albert Einstein said thank you every morning when he got out of bed. He continued to say it all day long and went from abject poverty to having one of the greatest minds in the history of the world. He knew all about the power of gratitude. By midday he admitted to having said thank you several hundred times. When asked why, he said he was thanking all the scientists who had gone before him, making his way easier. Say thank you for all the blessings in your life, and who knows what you will achieve.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Create Your Personal Brand

By Brian Tracy

Just as surely as building a powerful brand is the key to differentiating a product in the marketplace and thus building a successful business, so creating a strong personal brand is the key to differentiating yourself from your competitors, thereby ensuring your own success as well as that of your business. Your personal brand determines how people respond to you, whether they listen to you, buy from you, how much they buy, what they are willing to pay, and so on.

Promises You Make

Your personal brand makes a promise: “If you buy from me, you will receive a specific value in return.” This promised value will be born from the values, virtues, qualities, and attributes by which you become known. For example, you may want to create a personal image—a brand—of a person who always operates at a high level of integrity, consistently walks the talk, is an exemplary leader, and goes the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Who is your ideal customer? What values, virtues, qualities, and attributes will he be looking for in a supplier of your product? Do you match this profile? If not, do you have a burning desire to be this kind of person? These are the key questions you must ask yourself when beginning to build your personal brand.

Promises You Keep

Unmet expectations are the arch enemy of any relationship. This is no less true in the relationship between you and your customers. Your brand as a person is determined in large part by whether you consistently deliver on your promises. Do you keep your word? Do you follow up? Do your words and actions match with the image you want to create—that is, with the values, virtues, qualities, and attributes you claim as your own? Constantly examine your behavior. When you slip, resolve to get back on track. To build and sustain a powerful personal brand, your message must be an accurate reflection on you, the messenger.

The Whole Package

Pay close attention to your entire image. Of course, your character is of paramount importance. But you make an impact on people in other ways as well. Your appearance—the clothes you wear, your personal grooming, your posture—has an enormous emotional impact on how other people see you, think about you, and relate to you. Your attitude is vital. If you are genuinely pleasant and cheerful in your interaction with others, they will enjoy being with you. They will be more inclined to trust you and do business with you.

Overall Behavior

Your overall behavior strongly influences the impressions others have on you. Be punctual for meetings and appointments. Be absolutely reliable, always keeping your word and your commitments. Should you fail in this area, communicate with the other person as quickly as possible, offering your apology, explanation, and assurance that it will not happen again. Pay close attention to the quality of your work. In the long run, there is nothing that will so determine your success in building and sustaining a powerful personal brand as turning out high-quality work, over and over again, and over a long period of time.

Action Exercise

What words do people use when describing you? What words do you want people to use when describing you?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Using the Power of Other People's Help

Even "Super-You" needs help and support. There is no shame in asking for assistance. Push aside the pride and show respect for the talent others can bring to the table.

And, remember that there is no such thing as a single-handed success: When you include and acknowledge all those in your corner, you propel yourself, your teammates and your supporters to greater heights.

- Author Unknown.

Do you feel stressed and overloaded? Or that your career seems stalled? If so, then you may need to brush up your delegation skills!

If you work on your own, there’s only a limited amount that you can do, however hard you work. You can only work so many hours in a day. There are only so many tasks you can complete in these hours. There are only so many people you can help by doing these tasks. And, because the number of people you can help is limited, your success is limited.

However, if you’re good at your job, people will want much more than this from you.

This can lead to a real sense of pressure and work overload: You can’t do everything that everyone wants, and this can leave you stressed, unhappy, and feeling that you’re letting people down.

On the positive side, however, you’re being given a tremendous opportunity if you can find a way around this limitation. If you can realize this opportunity, you can be genuinely successful!

One of the most common ways of overcoming this limitation is to learn how to delegate your work to other people. If you do this well, you can quickly build a strong and successful team of people, well able to meet the demands that others place.

This is why delegation is such an important skill, and is one that you absolutely have to learn!

Why People Don’t Delegate

To figure out how to delegate properly, it’s important to understand why people avoid it. Quite simply, people don’t delegate because it takes a lot of up-front effort.

After all, which is easier: designing and writing content for a brochure that promotes a new service you helped spearhead, or having other members of your team do it?

You know the content inside and out. You can spew benefit statements in your sleep. It would be relatively straightforward for you to sit down and write it. It would even be fun! The question is, “Would it be a good use of your time?”

While on the surface it’s easier to do it yourself than explain the strategy behind the brochure to someone else, there are two key reasons that mean that it’s probably better to delegate the task to someone else:

  • First, if you have the ability to spearhead a new campaign, the chances are that your skills are better used further developing the strategy, and perhaps coming up with other new ideas. By doing the work yourself, you’re failing to make best use of your time.

  • Second, by meaningfully involving other people in the project, you develop those people’s skills and abilities. This means that next time a similar project comes along, you can delegate the task with a high degree of confidence that it will be done well, with much less involvement from you.

Delegation allows you to make the best use of your time and skills, and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential in the organization.

When to Delegate

Delegation is a win-win when done appropriately, however that does not mean that you can delegate just anything. To determine when delegation is most appropriate there are five key questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Is there someone else who has (or can be given) the necessary information or expertise to complete the task? Essentially is this a task that someone else can do, or is it critical that you do it yourself?

  • Does the task provide an opportunity to grow and develop another person’s skills?

  • Is this a task that will recur, in a similar form, in the future?

  • Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively? Time must be available for adequate training, for questions and answers, for opportunities to check progress, and for rework if that is necessary.

  • Is this a task that I should delegate? Tasks critical for long-term success (for example, recruiting the right people for your team) genuinely do need your attention.

If you can answer “yes” to at least some of the above questions, then it could well be worth delegating this job.

That being said, having all these conditions present is no guarantee that the delegated task will be completed successfully either. You also need to consider to whom you will delegate the task and how you will do it.

The Who and How of Delegating

Having decided to delegate a task there are some other factors to consider as well ;

To Whom Should You Delegate?

The factors to consider here include:

  • The experience, knowledge and skills of the individual as they apply to the delegated task.
    - What knowledge, skills and attitude does the person already have?
    - Do you have time and resources to provide any training needed?

  • The individual’s preferred work style.
    - How independent is the person?
    - What does he or she want from his or her job?
    - What are their long-term goals & interest, & how do these align with the work proposed?

  • The current workload of this person.
    - Does the person have time to take on more work?
    - Will you delegating this task require reshuffling of other responsibilities and workloads?

When you first start to delegate to someone, you may notice that he or she takes longer than you do to complete tasks. This is because you are an expert in the field and the person you have delegated to is still learning. Be patient: if you have chosen the right person to delegate to, and you are delegating correctly, you will find that he or she quickly becomes competent and reliable.

How Should You Delegate?

Use the following principles to delegate successfully:

  • Clearly articulate the desired outcome. Begin with the end in mind and specify the desired results.

  • Clearly identify constraints and boundaries. Where are the lines of authority, responsibility and accountability? Should the person:
    - Wait to be told what to do?
    - Ask what to do?
    - Recommend what should be done, and then act?
    - Act, and then report results immediately?
    - Initiate action, and then report periodically?

  • Where possible, include people in the delegation process. Empower them to decide what tasks are to be delegated to them and when.

  • Match the amount of responsibility with the amount of authority. Understand that you can delegate some responsibility, however you can’t delegate away ultimate accountability. The buck stops with you!

  • Delegate to the lowest possible organizational level. The people who are closest to the work are best suited for the task, because they have the most intimate knowledge of the detail of everyday work. This also increases workplace efficiency, and helps to develop people.

  • Provide adequate support, and be available to answer questions. Ensure the project’s success through ongoing communication and monitoring as well as provision of resources and credit.

  • Focus on results. Concern yourself with what is accomplished, rather than detailing how the work should be done: Your way is not necessarily the only or even the best way! Allow the person to control his or her own methods and processes. This facilitates success and trust.

  • Avoid “upward delegation”. If there is a problem, don’t allow the person to shift responsibility for the task back to you: ask for recommended solutions; and don’t simply provide an answer.

  • Build motivation and commitment. Discuss how success will impact financial rewards, future opportunities, informal recognition, and other desirable consequences. Provide recognition where deserved.

  • Establish and maintain control.
    - Discuss timelines and deadlines.
    - Agree on a schedule of checkpoints at which you’ll review project progress.
    - Make adjustments as necessary.
    - Take time to review all submitted work.
    - Considering these key points prior to & during the delegation process will find that you delegate more successfully.

Keeping Control

Now, once you have worked through the above steps, make sure you brief your team member appropriately. Take time to explain why they were chosen for the job, what’s expected from them during the project, the goals you have for the project, all timelines and deadlines and the resources on which they can draw. And agree a schedule for checking-in with progress updates.

Lastly, make sure that the team member knows that you want to know if any problems occur, and that you are available for any questions or guidance needed as the work progresses.

We all know that as managers, we shouldn’t micro-manage. However, this doesn’t mean we must abdicate control altogether: In delegating effectively, we have to find the sometimes-difficult balance between giving enough space for people to use their abilities to best effect, while still monitoring and supporting closely enough to ensure that the job is done correctly and effectively.

The Importance of Full Acceptance

When delegated work is delivered back to you, set aside enough time to review it thoroughly. If possible, only accept good quality, fully-complete work. If you accept work you are not satisfied with, your team member does not learn to do the job properly. Worse than this, you accept a whole new tranche of work that you will probably need to complete yourself. Not only does this overload you, it means that you don’t have the time to do your own job properly. Of course, when good work is returned to you, make sure to both recognize and reward the effort. As a leader, you should get in the practice of complimenting members of your team every time you are impressed by what they have done. This effort on your part will go a long way toward building team member’s self-confidence and efficiency, both of which will be improved on the next delegated task; hence, you both win.

Key Points:

At first sight, delegation can feel like more hassle than it’s worth, however by delegating effectively, you can hugely expand the amount of work that you can deliver.

When you arrange the workload so that you are working on the tasks that have the highest priority for you, and other people are working on meaningful and challenging assignments, you have a recipe for success.

To delegate effectively, choose the right tasks to delegate, identify the right people to delegate to, and delegate in the right way. There’s a lot to this, but you’ll achieve so much more once you’re delegating effectively!