Thursday, June 30, 2011

Self-Help: Work Hard, Play Harder

By Shyam Cholayil

Article Source:

Nothing is truer than the above quote from Edison. However, just working hard all the time may not give you the sense of achievement you are looking for. You need to play hard too. In fact, you need to play harder.

All the successful people I have interacted with, not only work hard, but also play harder, finding time to pursue their passions, hobbies and interests. This is a form of self-motivation and a very effective one too. Make sure that you allocate time for play when you plan your activities. It does not necessarily mean that you start playing when you are at work, but by setting aside an hour for doing something you really like, gets you to achieve your goal faster. I know a group of friends from the San Francisco Bay Area, all senior IT professionals, who work really hard during the week. However, come Saturday, they meet at a local gym for yoga lessons and then they wind down at the Starbucks nearby over a good coffee. This really keeps them motivated.

Some organizations really care about creating an atmosphere of work and play. While I was working with Microsoft in Singapore, we had a corporate gym membership. Working out at the gym during the day was encouraged. I actually found that I was more productive during the second half of the day, if I went out for a one hour workout around noon. The mornings also ended up being more productive. Since I knew I had to go to the gym, I made sure that my meetings ended on time and was more efficient with my work. In fact, more organizations are encouraging an environment of 'work hard, play harder' as part of their corporate culture.

Some tips from my experience, to help you work hard and play harder:

1.Always, stretch your goals. This way, you will need to work really hard to achieve them, but you will end up playing harder too. This has been my personal experience.

2.If you are a team leader or a manager, make sure your entire team works harder and plays harder too. Lead by example. Ensure that you finish off your work on time and then take time to pursue your interests/hobbies. This way, your team will also be encouraged to do the same. Also, make sure that there is a team reward for achieving something. This could be a trip to the cinemas or an evening at the local bowl. If budget permits, include the spouses or partners of the team members. This is a very effective since you will now have spouses of your team members encouraging them to work hard.

3.It is highly recommended that you include 'play' in your lifestyle on a daily basis. After a hard day's work, make sure you spend some time doing something you like. If this does not sound practical, at least make sure you spend time during the weekend for your favorite activity. This really refreshes you to resume work on Monday.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are You Ready To Live Your Life?

By Jayne Warrilow


Why is it so easy for us to live according to what other people want and expect? Why is it so effortless for us to give away our power and live a life someone else wants us to live?

Part of the reason of course, lies in the many pressures we all face in our every day lives. It is too easy to forget ourselves in the hustle and bustle of all the things which need to be done, achieved and ticked off our to-do-list. Who we are today is the clearest indicator of who we are becoming.

There comes a time in all our lives when we begin to wonder about ourselves; the inner person who resides deep within. It is an inescapable quest for the truth that lies within us at the heart of our very soul. An essential part of being human. It is an adventure which can lead us down many different paths, uncover countless dimensions of the truth, until one day we rest in the knowledge that what we know about our inner self, for now at least, is enough.

Most of us live our lives standing outside of ourselves, ready to judge our physical bodies, our feelings and our thoughts from an external standard. Practically everyone I know and every client I have ever worked with, has lost track of themselves at some point in their life. This is true of myself too. There was a time when I found it easier to listen to the people around me to discover what would be the right decision, or the best way forward for me. I gave more credence to the views of others than finding the space to listen to my own intuitive voice which remained hidden deep inside of me. I defined myself through the feedback from others and lost myself along the way. I accommodated, shaped and molded myself to serve others, often at my own expense. I was too busy in the doing to ever wonder about who I was being.

Let me share a Buddhist teaching that asks us to be mindful of how rare it is to find ourselves as a human on Earth. It requests that you look about you and notice the many other forms of life around you, the bird and the butterfly, the loyal dog and the fierce tiger, to the one hundred year old oak and the ancient mountain. It asks us to understand that no other life form has the consciousness of being that we are privilege to.

Just think about it for a moment, of all the many different species of plants, animals and minerals that make up the Earth, it is only us as humans who can enjoy the wakefulness of spirit we know as being conscious. And you and I were both lucky enough to have been born human. You could have been a fly, I could have been a spider. But we were blessed, that in this time and in this place we would be alive in ways we often take for granted.

•Be grateful for who you are today. Notice how you feel. Go within and reconnect to your inner self, find your inner voice and listen to what it has to say. Explore who you are and who you are becoming.
•Go for a walk outside and notice all the life which is around you
•Breathe slowly and consider all of the other life forms you come across - what can you do that they can't?
•Count your blessings.
•So what will you do with this day, knowing that you are one of the lucky ones who gets to make a conscious choice?

Article Source:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reading Makes You More Creative!

By Joseph Benn


There are plenty of ways you can raise your creativity levels. However the one way that everyone forgets is one of the most simple. Reading. I am a voracious reader (most creative people are) reading on average a book and a half a day. For me it is a habit I developed when I was very young. I believe that this habit has vastly increased my creativity and turned me into the "ideas person" I am today.

Why do I believe this?

When you begin reading regardless of whether it is fiction or nonfiction you are automatically using your imagination turning the words into pictures and other things. You are training your imagination to visualise, smell, feel and to grasp new ideas. Reading is like a workout for your mind! For me reading has also taught me to focus and more importantly it is one of the best ways I know to induce the flow state. The flow state is where everything becomes effortless and automatic and you are totally immersed. I tend to get into a rythym with my reading in terms of breathing and turning pages and these two things induce the flow state which is ideal for creativity. The flow state also increases you receptivity which in this case is important.

Whatever book you sit down to read you are basically taking in their ideas. Its very very rare that we come up with ideas without input from others whether we realise it or not. The ideas you read about will brew in your mind and combine with your own to come up with new ones. This will snowball and you will have even more ideas.

When you read a book you are accessing information that potentially you did not know before. This new information as well as connecting with the information you already know to make new ideas adds another layer of complexity to you as an individual. Contrary to popular belief simple is not always best or good. Complexity really only means a lot more connections. Creative thinking is all about making new connections so the greater the complexity of your mind the more fertile it is for ideas to grow.

So now that we know how reading increases your capacity for creative thinking what are the best books to read?

It my seem obvious but you really want to choose books that deal with concepts and ideas. Science fiction and crime or detective novels are excellent for this. In terms of non fiction anything dealing with philosophy, business or of course creative thinking and ideas are really good. Depending on where you want to take your creativity you may want to consider religious texts or self help. The aim is to expose yourself to books that you would not normally read and absorb the information they contain.

If you read very little then make an effort to read more. Before you sleep, in your lunch time at work where ever is convenient for you just as long as you can read and digest what you are reading. Who knows you might actually find that you enjoy reading and get interested in a new topic. What you will do, probably without even realising it, is increase your creativity.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Communicate Your Trust in Others - 2 Important Factors That You Must Remember

By Luke Bong


Trust is the currency of relationship. Therefore, it's important that we both gain the trust of others as well as communicate our trust in others. After all, trust is a two-way street. To let someone know we trust them, we sometimes tell them the following.

"I just want you to know that I really trust you."
"I trust you more than I trust myself."
"You are the person I trust the most on this team."

Do these sentences really mean anything in a relationship? In other words, if you say these sentences to someone, will it really convince the person that you trust them? There isn't a straightforward answer to this question because there are many factors that will influence how your message is being perceived by the listener.

One person may believe you while another person may just brush it off as empty talk. Why is that so? There are several factors that affect trust building in someone.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say."

This means that if you don't show you trust someone, just saying it will have totally no effect on that person because your action speaks louder than your words. So the first factor is, if you want to let someone know you trust him or her, reinforce your words with real actions. For example, allow the person to get on with a task without micromanaging. You may also want to refrain from questioning each and everything the person does (feels like being interrogated for some wrong doings).

The second factor is how you convey the message. Very often, how something is said is more powerful than what is said. Apply the 3Vs of communication: Verbal, Vocal and Visual.

Verbal refers to the words you use. Vocal refers to the tone of voice you use and Visual refers to your actions. Let me illustrate this for you. Let's say I tell you, "You know, I trust you a lot and I want you to head this project team."

How you interpret this message will depend on the following:

Verbal - Does the word "trust" really mean what it is supposed to mean or is it a sarcastic remark?

Vocal - When you say "You know" do you sound like you were mocking me or reassuring me?

Visual - Do you look me in the eye when you say it (which means you are sincere)? Do you keep me in the email chain so that I am in the loop of all communication? Do you inform the top management about my contribution to the team?

Trust is the currency of a relationship. When you build trust in others, you are laying the foundation for a great team. So, take the time and invest trust in the lives of the people around you. Make sure that your words and action are congruent. Then, when you tell someone, "I trust you," they can believe in you.

Article Source:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

5 Methods To Help You Memorize Quickly

By Paul A. Rogers


Is your memory retention hugely weak and you're looking for methods to easily fix it? Numerous ways have been derived that you can utilize to fix your memory problems. Thus, this article is ideal for folks wishing to learn about how to memorize quickly.

Loci Method

The loci technique is known for its effectiveness which is a testament of its popularity as being on the list of well-known memory improvement tips. In accordance with the loci method, memory professionals teach people how to visualize locations within their minds which can in turn be used to memorize other details. The familiarity of a place is the key element in this particular method. Supposing you have to buy custard for dinner, just try to picture the custard and how it would look on your dinner table. Similarly, you can also attempt to picture large bowls of custard on your dinner table in order to recollect to purchase custard. It just takes you a little time to adjust to using the loci method but once you're up and running it really is very useful.

Making connections

Relating what you already know to what you just found is another practical as well as efficient way of improving one's memory. Sometimes the info that you're trying to memorize might be large and for that it is a first-class idea to break it down into little bits of data and then relate it with something that is already stored within your head. Most folks tend to forget names of the people that they've just met, using associations, you can just picture a celebrity with the same name as your new friend. Therefore, the same celebrity will always appear in your head when you meet him or her.


The utilization of mental images regarding ways on how to memorize quickly is one of the most popular techniques being used these days. The chief aspect to this approach is visualization of information. This is precisely why you need to use as many obvious details as you can. As an example, imagine a person having a head shaped like an apple, in order to remember it just visualize his or her having an apple for a head. Since it is helpful while studying, students are known for using it excessively. A graph or a chart is easy to retrieve and mental imaging lets you convert info into graphs. Diagrams are much easier to retrieve.

Write it down

One of the most effective techniques for memory improvement is writing things down simply because something scripted down is easier to retrieve. Consequently, numerous individuals employ flash cards. One of the easiest methods to recall a speech is to hold up a flash card with a particular part of the speech typed out on one side and clue or pointer on the other. The pointer on one side is a single word reminder of what is written on the other side. You should use intensely bright flash cards. The way to go about storing info through a flash card is to try to remember each one at a time. It should take you some time to completely store info of the first card into your head after which you should start with the rest.


Since it boosts your memory development, chanting out loud the data that you're trying to memorize is a popular technique. Using flash cards, try to memorize the contents of each by reading them out loud. This is definitely one of the quickest ways of memorizing data regardless of its size. You can even repeat the info out loud to other individuals. A proficient way to go about this is to have a conversation with someone.


Acronyms are used for storing list of items in your memory particularly when they are in a particular order. An acronym is fundamentally a word that is generated by using the first letter of each word on the list that you need to memorize. Individuals have been employing tricks like acronyms since a very long time. Here are some very common acronyms: NBA (National Basketball Associations) as well as SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus). But acronyms aren't that impressive when it comes to understanding items. Comprehending something is very distinctive from trying to burn something in your memory; the most effective way of committing something to memory is to comprehend it.

Some acronyms are pretty hard to produce. On the other hand, acronyms have to practical or acceptable enough so as to be easy to remember. An acronym is of no use to anybody if you can't recollect what the words stand for.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mood Management

By Aruna Ladva


Moods play a major role in our lives. They govern our feelings and actions and if not managed well, they can create havoc and chaos in our minds leading to depression and other mental illnesses. Do you find that something as simple as the weather or the morning headlines can alter your mood?

Moods are basic psychological states that can occur as a reaction to an event or can surface for no apparent external cause. A mood is an internal, subjective state. It is also a relatively long lasting emotional state. Moods differs from emotions in that they are less specific, less intense and less likely to be triggered by a particular stimulus. People speak of being in a good mood or a bad mood and this often lasts for days and not hours as in the case of a feeling or an emotion. Moods also differ from temperament or personality traits which are long lasting.

Moods can manipulate how individuals interpret and translate the world around them, and can also direct their behavior. In a study done by Niedenthal and Setterlund (1994), research showed that individuals are tuned to perceive things that are congruent with their current mood. Both the pessimist and optimist will prove themselves right as they manifest what they have interpreted through the lens of their mood!

According to psychologist Robert Thayer, mood is a product of two dimensions: energy and tension. A person can be energetic or tired while also being tense or calm. According to Thayer, people feel best when they are in a calm-energy mood, and worst when in a tense-tired state. The low energy arousal coupled with tension, as experienced in a bad mood, can be counteracted by walking. Thayer suggests walking as a means to enhanced happiness. (Wikipedia, 2011)

Research has shown that, contrary to the stereotype of the suffering artist, creativity is enhanced most by positive moods and happy thoughts.

People have often used food to regulate mood. Take for example chocolates, yes that dark gold bar of pure happiness! The benefits of dark chocolate come from resveratrol, an antioxidant and immune system booster. It also has the ability to boost brain levels of endorphins as well as serotonin, a mood-altering chemical on which many antidepressants act. The recommended dose however is only one ounce per day, so remember not to over indulge. Wine has been used for eons to create a romantic mood.

German researchers studying garlic's effect on cholesterol discovered that participants being treated with garlic experience an elevation in mood. Now this does not necessarily mean good mood, it also implies that one can become e-motional - 'energy is in motion' and perhaps not one in control! Pilots are advised not to eat garlic up to 72 hours before flying as it slows down concentration and doubles or triples reaction time. Knowing what to eat is an important part of food-mood management!

Music can also alter moods. Niedenthal and Setterland used music to induce positive and negative moods. Sad music was used as a stimulus to induce negative moods, and participants labelled other things as also negative. This proves that people's current moods tend to affect their judgment and perception in all areas of their lives. Surround yourself with music that will uplift your spirits and not one that will strip the light of your aura.

People who tend to be moody are less predictable and difficult to work with. They are needy, stroppy, self-centered, procrastinators and susceptible to sulking. People are less inclined to want to work with them as the other party is not always sure of how they may react and so they hesitate to even ask them for favours. People who have a stable and consistent mood make the best leaders. They have a focus and consistently keep their vision well oiled.

The difference between a response and a reaction is that a 're-s-ponse' is thought out or pondered over whereas a re-action is to re-enact something that has taken place previously. For example... you begin your day with an argument with your spouse. As you drive to work, you mull over this incident in your mind. By the time you get to work, the receptionist greets you with a big bright smile (as she is trained to) and at that moment you ask her in an irritated tone, what has she got to smile about! The anger built up from an earlier incident is brought forward to the present incident; you have brought forward the anger. Part of learning to manage moods is to be able to segregate incidents in our mind and not to let them overlap.

Sickness and ill health can also make a person short fused and less tolerant. We become vulnerable and susceptible - knee jerk reactions. When the body is sick, we have to ensure the mind is not! And so for times like this, we need to be sure that we have acquired enough power through meditation that will assist us at a time of need. The healing process will be faster if we maintain the right attitude!

Hormones also play a major part in understanding why certain moods erupt at certain times. Coupled with modern day stress, it creates anarchy in the soul. Learning to understand the workings of the mind and body is the key to prevention.

The atmosphere of a place can also induce certain moods. Walk into a church or hospital, funeral parlor or shopping mall and you certainly won't be feeling the same way inside. Know what you want and surround yourself with healthy and positive people and be selective about the places you frequent.

It's time... to take responsibility and not allow external factors to affect your mood. As a master of your mind and body, take time to understand what triggers your moods. Play some light music every day to soothe your soul. Eat your meals in a mindful state. And slow down before you end up in a mood ditch that is hard to get out of!

Article Source:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

8 Step Basic Goal Achievement Theory

Original Post here:

by Gordon Bryan

Over the years, I have had many people say to me that although I keep harping on about the magical power of goal achievement theory, they don’t know quite what it is I’m referring to.

Although they can see the results it has brought for me, and the sense of well being that goes along with it, I haven’t explained the theory to them in a way that they can easily sum up.

I think this is because it is so ingrained in me, that I assume everyone understands it. That’s a mistake on my part, so here goes, the 8-part theory of goal achievement.

1. Define your goal. It may be a new car, house, a certain amount of money, a job, whatever. Define it as precisely as possible.

2. Visualize. You need to visualize the goal coming true. Picture yourself after the goal has come true.

3. Write the goals down. Write the goals on a little card, and look at it often throughout the day, certainly morning and night, preferably repeating them out loud.

4. Believe it will happen. If you doubt you goals, they won’t happen, because you are admitting defeat. You also need to believe that you are worthy of the goal.

5. Gain the knowledge. Find out what other people did to achieve the same goal. It is highly unlikely that you are the first. There will be many different routes, and the knowledge is there.

6. Work out a plan. Look at where you are now, look at where you want to be, and work backwards, step by step, until you can see what the first step is, that you need to take to get to your goal.

7. Take the first step. This is often the hardest of all the steps, but can be the most powerful, unleashing amazing energies, both within you, and around you.

8. Keep going. Once the initial enthusiasm wears off, once the going gets tough, keep going! No-one said it was easy! This is where you find out if you are really prepared to pay the price or not.

That’s it! Simple. Eh? No, of course not, but the theory *is* simple, yes.

All the steps need to be followed, you can’t miss any of them, but if you follow them, believe me, the world is your oyster!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Three Ways to Minimize the Negative in Your Life

By Jennifer Whitaker


Did you know we have 60,000 thoughts a day? The problem is we have the SAME 60,000 thoughts every day. So whatever you are thinking today will be the same thoughts you will experience tomorrow.

When I ask clients what it is that they want I am often met with a deafening silence. However, when I ask them what they DO NOT want, it suddenly becomes difficult to get them stop talking! They don't want bad employees, they don't want to be overweight, they don't want to worry about money or retirement, they don't want to work long hours and they don't want an empty or vacant marriage! The list goes on and on. Guess what? What you focus on truly expands. That's why I encourage clients to focus on what they WANT and not on WHAT THEY DON'T WANT!

Here are three simple ways you can focus on the positive and minimize the negative in your life:

Observe Your Thoughts

Simply notice what you are thinking and ask "does this thought serve and help me or does this hinder and hurt me?" We are often unaware of how negative or self-defeating our thoughts may be due to our thinking patterns being so ingrained. Others around us are aware of our thoughts because those thoughts become our actions. Not aware of what you are thinking? Ask your trusted advisors and associates to provide candid and honest feedback about your actions.

Keep the Good Thoughts and Lose the Bad Ones

This is easier said than done. Changing our thought process is one of the hardest things we ever do. However, if the pain is deep enough we CAN and WILL do it. It can be as easy as repeating a positive phrase that you firmly believe in to yourself. I know for me writing daily in my journal often helps that 'stinking thinking' to transition to a lighter, happier place. Having someone to support you in healthier thinking can be valuable. The point is - try something that allows you to change the bad thoughts and keep the good ones is essential to your well-being.

Article Source:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Make Greatness Your Goal!

by Chris Widener


If greatness is your goal, whether in your business life, your personal relationships or your own personal growth, here are some guidelines to get you on your way. Greatness is possible! You can achieve the goals you set for yourself and you can make a difference in your own life and those who live and work around you! Set greatness as your goal! Here’s how:

Identify greatness for yourself. While there are some basic generalities that most people would consider great, there are broader definitions of greatness, ones that each individual sets for him or herself. For example, most people would consider Mother Theresa great while only some would consider Donald Trump great. Helping humanity is a broad generality while building a real estate fortune isn’t. So what you need to first do is ask, “What does greatness look like for this company, organization, family or for myself?” From there you can develop values and a mission statement etc. But if you don’t first identify it, you’ll never reach it.

Maximize targeted end results. As Covey says, “begin with the end in mind.” What end results do you want. Be specific. Come up with all of them. Maximize them. Leave no stone uncovered. Set out for yourself all of the goals or end results you must hit in order to reach greatness. Write them down, memorize them and distribute them broadly (if doing this for a group). Maximize your targeted end results!

Make distinction your endeavor. What is the endeavor of the great? Usually it is to distinguish themselves from the average. They seek to rise above the rest by the quality of their product or service. Everything goes toward the goal of making themselves distinct from the run of the mill. That is their mission. And in doing so, they make themselves great!

Map your effort thoroughly. The three most important words in real estate are “location, location, location.” In reaching a goal, the three most important words are “plan, plan, plan.” Okay, “execute” and “persevere” work too, but go with me here! Too many people wish they would achieve something but never write down a plan for getting there. When I want to go on a long trip I don’t just wish to get there. I plan on how to get there. I get a map, I figure out distances, times etc. Map out your goal thoroughly. This will help you achieve greatness.

Regularly take time for regeneration. Achieving greatness is hard! You will care more, work harder, and take more lumps and setbacks than the rest. So you will need to take time to regenerate so you can fight again another day. Your body needs rest. Your mind needs rest. Your emotions need rest. Your spirit needs rest. I firmly believe that a person who rests well can do more in less time than the one works without setting aside time for regeneration. You may be able to reach goals without rest, but somewhere along the line, you will fall harder and longer if you aren’t regularly regenerating yourself. So take your vacation time this year!

Have a strict evaluation process. Every plan and goal needs an evaluation tool. And it should be a strict evaluation process. This is how you objectively decide whether or not you are proceeding toward your goal. If you have the right evaluation tool and you look six months into it and you aren’t hitting the goals, perhaps you need to change the goal or the way you are going after it. The evaluation process is not to be underestimated in its importance!

Take somebody else with you. True greatness is not individual. The one who becomes great spreads the reward of greatness around. Incorporate many people into the plan and let them eat of the fruit of success. I live in an area that has literally thousands of millionaires created by a company that had a vision of greatness. And while yes, they experience the reward, the rewards then go out many levels through the whole community, from businesses that support our community to non-profit groups, churches, and schools. True greatness blesses those many levels away.

Learn to party! Party? Yes! What good is greatness if you can’t enjoy it? And not just the final destination but also the entire journey. Be sure to stop along the way and relish in your movement. Celebrate small and large victories. This keeps the sprit high and the big mo rolling! Spend the money, buy the food and blow up the balloons – it’s time to celebrate!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Doing the work that you love

by Vered (Tanmayo) Neta


As a child, I remember my father, sitting in his room, surrounded by his books, writing.
His work was his love. Later in his life, when most people have retired, he was up early in the morning, busy with his work. It gave him, both a meaning to life and kept him young.

My mother never liked her teaching job, although she was very successful. She retired early and kept searching for satisfaction, without success. She became bitter and sad.

Until today I cherish the lesson I learned from them:
"Find a job that is your hobby, your art."

As children we all wanted to be somebody. A fireman, a pilot, an artist.
As we grew up, we realized that our job must also pay our financial and social bills.
So we sold our passion and love for stability and security.
We rationalize by saying that 'work is work', and pleasure will come later.
But does it?
When was the last time you found the time and energy to do the things that you really care for?

What if your work could follow your heart's desire? What if you could really do what you love to do?
Finding it might be difficult, as we have lost touch with what we enjoy most.
It has been too long since we have given ourselves the chance to connect to it.

So, how about taking some time off and instead of complaining about your job, start searching what it is that you love doing.
Find out what is it that you are good at, where your talents lie and what comes both naturally and easily to you.
Recall childhood activities that you once loved.
Become aware of the situations that bring out the best in you.
Discover what values are important to you and what you would like to see manifested in your work.

Once you have created a framework for those activities, talents and abilities, in which you excel (as well as those values that you wish to express in your work), start investigating what sort of work expresses them to their fullest potential.
Allow yourself to be creative; don't dwell in the area of "sensibilities".
Allow yourself to be open; as opposed to reasoning everything.
Communicate to the world the type of work you wish to have. You will be surprised at how much support you will receive, once you clarify your wishes.

When you do the work you love, it becomes easy and effortless, because work becomes a source of energy rather than a drain. You continuously grow and develop while creating for yourself a space of love and friendship. You tap into your creativity therefore remaining young and alive.

So how about making your hobby your work?!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Winning Sales Proposals

Written by: SecondaryAdmin

Your proposal is selling for you when you're not there, so it must reflect your standards of professionalism.

Like it or not, sales proposals are a tool of the trade, and writing a well-crafted proposal can mean the difference between winning and losing a client's business, especially if you are selling to major accounts. Decisions can take months. Multitudes of people at different levels in the customer's organization have input and influence. Even in less complex selling situations, the buyer may request a proposal.

In the audio book, "Sound Advice on Sales Strategies," Tom Snyder of Huthwaite, the creators of SPIN Selling says that when it comes to sales proposals, "It's important to keep in mind that a proposal must sway key decision makers and influencers you haven't met, not just the ones you have."

"Consider how you will ensure that these people actually read your document," says Snyder. That means making it as easy as possible for people to read, and focusing the document on the client and their needs. "Build a strong business case that justifies the cost and addresses the client's business issues," says Snyder. "Show how your solution meets the needs and delivers benefits." And, he adds, don't pile all of the technical detail into the body of the proposal.

Decision makers weigh all of the risks before bringing a new solution into their organization, and won't purchase until those are resolved. Face it head-on. "Assess the risk inherent in the decision," says Snyder. "Show how your solution will minimize those risks." For example, the risk of implementation is always a primary concern. Your sales proposal should provide clear implementation plans that show how obstacles will be overcome.

You may need to work through a number of iterations when writing a sales proposal. "Make sure you're hitting the mark," says Snyder. "Check your draft proposal with your sponsor - your internal champion - before submitting the final version. "

Finally, when it comes to winning sales proposals, Snyder says it's helpful to remember an old adage, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. Your proposal is selling for you when you can't be there, so it has to reflect your standards of professionalism."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Set Real Goals for Real Success

By Joseph R. Byrd


We all have goals. At least we all have things we want to achieve. What is the difference? There is actually a big difference between a goal and something you want. Something you want can become a goal, but you have to make it a goal.

It takes a specific action in order to achieve something. There are the steps it takes to start moving in the direction you need to move. There are the many challenges that you will have to overcome and finally there are the ideas that you will need to generate in order to solve these problems and continue to progress despite the many challenges you face.

If you just want something, you can't possibly go through these steps. It takes more than wanting something to start making changes, analyze and overcome challenges. It takes more than just wanting something to achieve it.

What does it take? It takes a goal. Actually it takes a series of goals that will take you progressively through the steps you need to create new habits and change your lifestyle. But it all starts with one goal. If you have a goal, just one goal, you can achieve anything you want to achieve.

I know this may sound quite dreamy and even a little "pie in the sky", but in fact it is the exact opposite. The dream is for you to think that by wanting something you can have it. By simply wanting, hoping and wishing, you can and even feel that you should have something. That is the mindset that many people have these days and it is leading us down the wrong path.

What path is that? Well, health is my thing. I think it, talk it and live it every day. Naturally, the path I am talking about is the health of the average person. I don't have to site statistics or show you any scary details about what is happening right now. You know as well as I do that our country is suffering from many epidemics that we have brought on ourselves. We brought them on ourselves despite knowing exactly what we need to do to stop them.
We can prevent everything we are dealing with if we can change our mindset. Right now our mindset is something like this:

"I want to live a healthy lifestyle."
"I want to look and feel good."
"I want to live a long and happy life."
"I want to hear good news when I go to the doctor."
"I only want to see the doctor for routine check-ups to make sure everything is STILL GOOD."

These are all great things to want. They are even great things to say. They are statements that we are all saying every day. Unfortunately, they are rarely goals. They are nothing more than statements about things we want. The things we want are important, but at this point, they don't seem to be important enough to achieve.

We all want to make these statements true. What will it take to start achieving these things and making them true? It will take goals. Each of these statements is an opportunity to set a goal. A goal is nothing more than a destination or a point that you desire to reach. In health it may be a weight, size or simply a feeling. It can also be a specific number of days, hours or even minutes of exercise. A goal can be eating a certain food or not eating at a certain restaurant. No matter what you want to achieve, there is a goal that can help you achieve it.

What happens if we don't set real goals? Well, that is even more simple that when we do set goals. There are very few options here. When you don't have a goal, you don't succeed. That is all there is to it. Can you take a trip without a destination? Well, you can certainly drive around, but until you decide where you are going, you aren't really going anywhere. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to life, I am an "enjoy the journey" person. I am certainly enjoying the ride as I go, but I am on my way to somewhere that will bring me great satisfaction.

This is where most people get hung up and give up on their goals. They look at the destination and feel like it is too far away to reach. It is easier to say, "I would love to be there." but it is more challenging to say, "I want to be there and I will take action in order to get there."

That is the difference between wanting something and having a goal. When you have a goal, you have a plan to get something. When you just want something, you are not taking the steps needed to actually get it. You have to want something before you can decide to take action, so it is a good thing when you can identify something you want.

When you want something enough, you will take the steps necessary to get it. When you really want to achieve something, you will set a goal to get started in that direction. The most common mistake that people make is trying to look at each achievement as something that they have to do in one step or with one goal. Actually, most habits are many goals wrapped into an entire series of habits. Once you set one goal and start making progress, you can handle each challenge as it comes. If you just sit back and hope that something will happen, you will keep seeing the whole picture and it will never appear to get easier. It will always look like this big daunting thing that you don't think you can realistically achieve.

Once you can set a goal, even one goal, you are able to start breaking down each thing you want and taking it step by step. Nothing worth doing is easy. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that living healthy is easy and you should be able to do it with no problems. That would be mean and would actually keep you in the mindset that it can't be done.

In fact, that is happening all over the country as we speak. Someone just read another article or saw another report on what they should be doing. The remembered that they are not doing it and it felt even further from reality when they saw yet another story about how they should be able to do it. The reality is, we know what we should be doing. We know what we can do and we want to do it, but we are not doing it because we have yet to go beyond wanting.

We are still making statements about what we want, but we are not taking action. Once you take action, you can take statements like this:

"I want to live a healthy lifestyle."
"I want to look and feel good."

You can turn these statements into real action. The difference between wanting and doing is the practice of setting a goal. These statements can be goals with some slight adjustments. They could look like these instead:

"I am going to exercise before work on one day."
"I am going to bring lunch from home a few days this week so that I don't eat fast food everyday."

These statements are simple. They don't take a ton of effort, but they will make a big impact on your lifestyle. If you can make these statements, you are on the right track to setting real goals. If you can make these statements true, you are achieving those goals and succeeding.

What is the difference between simply wanting something and actually achieving it? It comes back to goals. Wanting something is great. We all want things in life. Some of us are getting what we want, while others just keep on wanting.

The only difference is goals. Setting a goal means that you are actually going to do something to get what you want. If you set a goal and reach a goal, you are succeeding. So when you break it down, setting real goals leads to real success.

Business Health Expert Joe Byrd uses his passion and expertise to bring business and health together. He integrates health education in lifestyle topics such as Stress Management, Weight Management, and Smoking Cessation into businesses in order to accomplish the following:

Improving Employee Health
Decreasing Health Care Spending
Increasing Your Employee Productivity
Improving Employee Satisfaction and Retention

Article Source:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Launch your business to the next level

Boost Your Leadership Skills


Article by Brent Filson

I'm often asked to come in to organizations and give a motivational speech to their employees. I reply that I'm not a motivational speaker. Never have been. Never will be. Don't want to be. I do something else. I teach their people how to become motivational leaders. That's a far more productive endeavor.

The concept and application of motivation are misunderstood in most organizations. The motivational industry is based on a fundamental contradiction; because the focus of motivation is misplaced. After all, leaders (salespeople included) should be motivated. If they aren't, they shouldn't be leaders.

Here's where the focus should be: not on the leaders themselves but on the people they lead. Can those leaders transfer their motivation to other people so those people are as motivated as they are about the challenges they face?

Furthermore: Can those people who "catch" the motivation of their leaders then go out and motivate others -- and those others go out themselves and motivate still others.. and on and on?

Finally, can people at each phase of this "cascading of cause leaders" translate motivation into action that achieves results -- and not just average results but more results faster on a continual basis?

All my books, articles, courses, seminars, workbooks and interviews are based on that simple sequence of ideas.

I have written many articles on motivation and how to transfer your motivation to others.

But there is another way of transforming your motivation to others that doesn't take much explaining. It's surprisingly simple, easy to use, and effective. Yet few leaders I've encountered use it, and those who use it, don't use it well.

It's the Way of the Question Mark. A "way" is a course of life one undertakes to advance in a particular discipline.

So it is with the Way of the Question Mark. It is not simply a technique; you'll find it is actually a disciplined course of life. (I've been using it for years and am still a long way from mastering it. Because the question mark is often particularly appropriate in a highly charged emotional situation. However, in such situations, when strong emotions are getting the better of me, it takes practice and discipline to step back, gather my thoughts, and ask a question.)

Practicing the Way of the Question Mark can enhance your relationships with the people you lead so you get a lot more results as a leader.

From now on in all your leadership endeavors, make a conscious effort to put a question mark at what would otherwise be declarative sentences.

Asking the question rather than using a declarative is usually more effective because it gets people reflecting upon their situation. After all, we can't motivate anyone to do anything. They have to motivate themselves. And they best motivate themselves when they reflect on their character and their situation. The question prompts people to answer, and when they are answering, they may engage in such reflection. You may not like the answer; but often their answer, no matter what it is, is better in terms of advancing results than your declaration. Also, their answering the question may prompt them to think they have come up with a good idea. People are less enamored of your great ideas than they are of their ideas, even if those ideas are simply average.

For instance, your organization needs to have people to from point A to point B. An order leader might say, "Go from A to B."

Practicing the Way, one might ask: "Tell me what you think about going from A to B?" or "What's the best way for you to go from A to B?" or "Tell me how I can support you going from A to B?" or "How will you take leadership of others going from A to B?"

Mind you, I'm not talking about pandering to people's whims. I'm talking motivation, motivating people to get more results faster on a continual basis. (In fact, you can't order people to get more results faster continually. Only motivated people can do it.) I'm talking about challenging people to undertake extraordinary things, to be better than they think they are.

The question mark, as opposed to the simple declarative, opens up a world of results-producing possibilities. And it's a world predicated on their choices.

Make the Way of the Question Mark your way. Discipline yourself to ask questions rather than make statements. You'll start getting more results.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

14 Signs You're a Sales Zombie

14 Signs You're a Sales Zombie

Let's Do A Whole Body Smile!

Written by: JanTincher

Here is an technique that will help you feel better any time of the day. Get ready to relax and use your imagination.

Keep your back straight, but relaxed. Close your eyes and press your tongue against the top of your mouth gently. Put your hands together on your lap.

Now, remember a time that you felt caring or loving. Feel the love flow through your body as you relax. Draw the energy of love into the place between your eyes. Experience it as a limitless source of energy flowing to and through you, flooding your whole body. Experience it as a smile. Can you do that? Do you feel it? Great.

Feel the relaxation as the smiling energy flows across your face. Take the smile into your neck and throat. Smile into the thyroid gland. Smile down to the thymus gland in the upper central chest area. From there spread the smile back to the heart. Allow your heart to relax as you say "Ahhhh." Flow the smile out on each side to the lungs. "Ahhhh," fill them with beautiful healing light. On your right, flow the smile down through the liver. "Ahhhh," fill the liver with beautiful healing light. On the left, flow the smile through the pancreas. Then the spleen. Fill them with beautiful healing light. Flow the smile back up to waist level, flooding your kidneys with the beautiful light.

Finally, flow the smiling energy down through the urinary bladder, and through the male/female organs. Now, flow the smile to a place just below the navel and a couple centimeters in from the front. "Ahhhh."

Doesn't it feel like each organ is smiling back?

Now, take that smiling energy back between your eyes again. Now, let it flow down your nose and mouth into the digestive tract. Swallow and imagine the saliva you swallow is also full of the smiling energy.

Smile through the stomach, just below the ribs, and through the intestines. Now, down through the whole digestive system, then draw the energy back to the center below the navel. "Ahhhh."

Now, back up to the middle of your eyes again. Let the smile circle your eyes nine times clockwise and nine time counterclockwise. Draw it back through the brain itself, smiling deep into the brain tissue. Now, down through the spinal column and through the neurons out to every part of the body. Imagine your smile surrounding you, and flowing out into the room, even as it stays around you.

Is there any tension left in your body? Draw the smile to that area if there is. See how that works? Don't you just feel invigorated?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Daily Success Habit Tips

Written by: TheaWestra


Here are a few of my daily habits that have contributed to my success:

Read, read, read! I could not begin to tell you how many personal development books, articles, blogs and sites that I have read. I love to keep up with the latest. Information being disseminated is prolific and the personal growth 'conversation' is growing exponentially.

Stay in communication. Each day I am connected with others who are in the personal growth world. We find things out from each other and share each others' experiences. "Learn from the mistakes of others, you can never live long enough to make them all yourself." ~John Luther~

Participate in programs. Since the 1990's through to today I have been on many personal or business development program weekends such as Landmark Education, Anthony Robbins, Christopher Howard, various one-hour or half day programs, evenings led by a very diverse range of people such as Brad Sugars, Mal Emery.

Take consistent action. Never, ever give up. Do what you love to do and do it daily. I love to share resources and personal growth tips with others. My daily blogging reflects that. Whenever I find something useful, I share it with others. Sharing knowledge is what expands an empowered environment for us all to grow.

Develop clarity. Get more and more clear on what I want for my life and what I want my life to be about. Sharing these kinds of posts with others helps to get me more clear about what I love and what I want to contribute. I constantly search for the 'footprint' I want to leave on Earth and move toward that direction, daily.

Visualize with emotion. Spend time every day, a few moments before sleep and on waking, to see in my mind's eye and feel, with every fibre of my being, how it is for me when I fulfill every one of my personal goals.

Vision board. Yes, I have created one of these and it is posted up on the inside of my wardrobe door so that I see it each day when I dress for the day. Here is a little more about vision boards for those of you who would like to create one as well -

Have systems. For all the things to which I need to attend daily, I have systems in place to keep me organized. I have templates that I can personalize for emails that are repetitive. I have filing systems so that I always know what to do with the bits of paper that cross my path! I have a calendar that throws up reminders on my computer screen. Any promises, appointments, requests are immediately entered into that calendar with an advance reminder set in place. Wherever I can, I automate and organize so that it saves me time.

Be discerning. I am becoming more and more selective and attend only to those things that move forward my vision. There are less and less low quality and time wasting activities that grab my attention, the more success that I experience. As success levels increase, so do the number of requests in my email in-box and other places. I am more vigilant with productive, high leverage use of my time.

Create personal time. Greg (my partner) and I have set aside Saturday afternoon through to Monday morning as our time. We both have our own businesses and unless we schedule time together, it is very easily to allow external influences to keep us in activity 24/7 so we must set aside deliberate time that is ours to do with as we please.

Good friends. Have people around you who know you well and will tell it to you straight! "I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better." ~Plutarch~ I have phone calls and coffee meets scheduled with those friends, every week.

Focus on the good. This one takes me a lot of practice. Keep the focus on what is working and what is right, rather than what is wrong and not going the way I'd like it to go. My best tool for this is a poster at my desk, "Whatever you focus on WILL expand." It reminds me to 'switch' and replace a negative thought immediately.

Be aware and present. I am so much better at staying in the present moment, noticing my internal hunches and going with those than I used to be years ago. This is as a result of committing to being that way and being vigilant. It takes practice.

Value myself and my contribution. I trust that I make a difference. I believe in myself and value myself as unique. I take space because I have a right to do that. No human is of lesser or greater value than another and I include myself in that equation.

Learn and explore. I stay curious. It's amazing the things I discover when I give up that 'I already know'. I hear the gold in the communication from other people and can weigh up if something is for me or not, by staying open to the new. It keeps me flexible and OK with saying yes or no. It helps me forgive myself moment by moment when I change my mind about a direction I'm traveling.

Know when enough is enough. I am finishing my article here because I can see that I could go on forever. There are so many things I could choose to share which contribute to my success. So this paragraph is my cut-off, and I decide to be content and complete with what I have written here. I trust that others will fill the gaps with items that I have not shared here!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Motivational Change

Article by Michael Dylan


If you have ever tried to quit smoking or to change some major behavior that you have habitually done for many years, you will know how powerful our habits are. Human habits are a tough nut to crack, but like any tasty nut in a hard shell, it is very rewarding to break through the barrier holding you back.

A powerful way to reach inside and create new habits or behaviors is to learn why we do what we do, and how much better it would be if we didn't do it!. We simply do not change long held beliefs or behaviors unless we are somehow shocked by how bad our behavior is or we are motivated to change by seeing the benefits or rewards for our new actions. Another way of looking at it is that we act like donkeys: We run after the tasty carrot in front of us, or we run from the whipping of our behind.

Motivational Change with the Whip
Organizations like the animal rights group PETA understand very clearly how the whipping works on our habits and behaviors. On their PETA TV website they have very graphic and shocking videos that show the negatives of wearing fur or eating animals. Their aim is to shock us into changing our way of thinking about animals and the way they are treated in the fur or abattoir industries. In order to get us to stop eating meat and wearing fur they show us the most worst possible images that these behaviors create, urging us to change.

Motivational Change with the Carrot
With the opposite extreme, advertisers are very good at showing us carrots and changing our buying behaviors by bombarding us with images of pleasure and happiness. Their advertisements tell us that if we buy their products we can also have the carrots they are showing us, whether it is a beautiful woman in a new car, or amazing profits from a financial product, or a naked woman holding a beer. They want us to change our behavior by showing us how much better our life could be if we bought their products or services.

Motivational Self Change
To make our own personal changes we have to get very clear about what is negative (whip) about the habit and what benefits (carrots) we will gain by changing. List as many whippings and carrots as possible. Negatives can be reinforced with images and life experiences like visiting a cancer ward if you are trying to change your smoking behavior. While positives can be reinforced by images and life experiences like taking your dream car for a test drive or walking through display homes similar to your dream home.

We have to continually reinforce both the whipping (creating intense pain if we DON'T change) and the carrot (creating intense pleasure if we DO change). The more ways of emphasizing the good and bad associated with the behavior we want to change, the more likely we will continue with the new positive habit. Pain and pleasure are powerful driving forces when we learn to focus them and use them properly.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Secrets of Successful Teams

Article by Chris Widener


To be a success is not always to be a success individually. In fact, most of the time we achieve our successes as part of a team. That is why I want to devote this issue to the secrets of successful team.

We are all part of teams. Our family is a team. Our place of work is a team. The community groups we belong to are teams. Sometimes we are the team leader or “coach,” while other times we fulfill the role of follower, or “player.” It is so important then for us to understand teams and how they work, especially those who achieve success – the achievement of their desired goal.

In my life I have been on some successful teams, and some not so successful teams. This includes both athletically as well as professionally. When I was growing up, I worked for seven years with the Seattle Supersonics, our local National Basketball Association team. They were at times unsuccessful, and, in 1979, my second year working there, the most successful team in the league, winning the World Championship. I have been able to see firsthand what makes the difference between the unsuccessful teams and the successful ones.

Here are some principles that I know, when implemented on a regular basis, can turn any lackluster team into an outstanding one! These principles can be applied to your family, your business, your organization, and yes, your sports team. Enjoy.

Communication Leader
The leader needs to communicate the vision. If they are setting the pace, they need to let people know where they are going so that the team can follow. The coach always does a pre-game talk, laying out the vision.

The leader communicates the vision frequently, so as to always be updating the team as to where they are at and what changes need to be made. The coach doesn’t relegate the direction he gives to the pre-game, he coaches and communicates all the way through the game.

Watch a good basketball team. They are talking to each other all of the time. Helping one another out, encouraging one another, praising one another, and telling each other how they can make changes so the same mistakes aren’t made again. The same is true of successful teams in the professional world and in life in general.

The truly great teams are teams that are committed to excellence. In everything they do, their goal is to achieve at the highest level. And this commitment is held throughout the team and at every level. A successful team cannot have members who are not committed to excellence because in the end they will become the weak link.

If you want a fascinating read, pick up The Power of Followership, by Robert Kelley. The author basically makes the point that the secret to getting things done lies not only in great leadership, but in how well the rest of the people, 99% of the team, follows the leadership. Good teams are filled with people who are committed to following and getting the job done.

Understanding Roles
Pardon the Chicago Bulls analogy, but it is so clear. When the game was on the line, with only one shot left, everyone, the coaches, the players, the 20,000 people watching in the stadium, and millions watching on TV, knew who would shoot the last shot. That was Michael Jordan’s role.

Every team works best when the members of the team have clearly defined and understood roles. Some do one thing, others do another. One isn’t better or more important than the other, just different. When teams operate out of their strengths and their roles, they win.

Strengths and Weaknesses
This brings me to strengths and weaknesses. Every team member has strengths and weaknesses. The successful teams are those who on a regular and consistent basis enable the members to operate out of their strengths and not out of their weaknesses. And what is one person’s strengths will cover another’s weakness. This is teamwork, enabling all of the bases to be covered.

The team that plays together stays together. Is your team all work and no play? If you’re smart, that will change. Get your team out of the office once a month and go have some fun. Enjoy one another. Enjoy life. It will bring a sense of bonding that can’t be made even in “winning.”

Common Goals and Vision
I have found that these need to have three aspects. Short, simple and clear.

Can you say it in less than 30 seconds? Is it simple? Can you and others understand it? Does the team all know what they are working together for?

All through the “game,” successful teams appreciate one another and show it in a variety of ways. The coach shows it to the players, the players show it to the coach, and the players show it to one another.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Direct Sales

By Heather


Why some companies, with leading products and services prices, thrive in a market where price competition is an important point venda?

Companies and individuals sales staff can learn to overcome sales objections to price and sell at higher prices in any market. Check out the ideas and points of view below, and consider how they can be adapted to your market and your customers.

One reason that we have in common venda a price objection is that the customer sees the price we are asking as greater than the value of the product. The best way to deal with sales objections is to prevent and to vaccinate their venda against the objections before they happen.

Sellers of advertising clients ask how much each venda, that the ad generates is worth the penalty for them. Here are a few of the ad sales must generate to pay for itself before it starts making a profit for the client. They in turn profitability advertising contained in a measured and compared with the cost of investment. Here is how to overcome objections to the price of venda to sell very expensive and not proven advertising services.

At present the economic value of the product by the buyer will do the work in many markets. You can build the value of products that save time convert the time savings in a monetary value. This works well for business and domestic markets. The goal is to build the product value to something higher price in order to advance to the sales prices of many charges.
In direct sales to the public can change the time saved by the product or service, something more valuable than the customer could do with that time. Spend with children doing something they enjoy, or simply relax. Good questions from the lifestyle buyer is a direct consequence of how people overcome sales objections sales prices.

Do not hide the money, make a key point of his venda, and be proud that you do not sell cheap products. You sell products that have a value above that price is loading.

There is a great TV ad in the UK for a premium lager beer. Instead of trying to sell it at a low price to compete with competition, make the high price of a product benefit. They use phrases like 'reassuring expensive. Think about how you might use the same strategy for their products. There's a way package that could add to its value, and use the money as venda point?

If the car venda parents and families focusing on people who prefer a cheap act, or a price that was reassuring, because you do not want their customers to drive unsafe vehicles cheaper. Security is another factor when it is presented to overcome sales objections to price.

A key factor to sell at a price profitable is to ensure that the buyer is aware compared to that of the product when assessing its value. If your are so expensive, compared to a competitor's product, make sure you also can see that this offer additional benefits.

Prove that is not comparing like-for-like. In the UK there is a very competitive price in the market hall furniture. Each company has special discounts and sales that never end. Furniture stores in cutting rates is good, not like any new furniture.

I know from experience personal reason why they can sell so cheap is what is inside. This is where it reduced the production cost. The customer making a purchase only voice abroad, luxury and beautiful materials. Smell the newness. This is what I imagine at home when deciding to buy it.

Imagine you're a Independent distributor of children in this market, which sells quality furniture. How to overcome objections to its customers when comparing prices in stores cheaper?

You could buy the cheapest three-piece suite sold locally cut price competition, take a chainsaw to it, and cut in half. After put it on open display at the entrance to their showroom. At his side could show one of the highest quality, higher price, well done suites also halved. This system is based on the value of your furniture and give customers a reason to buy from you ..

When faced with an objection price does not immediately start looking for ways to offer cheaper. A reduction in price you can get the venda, but also eat into their benefits. Free site how to construct the value that is offering customers.
Find ways to package the product so is seen as different the products of its competitor. Change the overall package may give a price that is hard to compare with the competition.

Practicing these skills in sales, collecting more tips on sales to resolve the objections of sales prices. You can then increase or maintain their prices and stay out of price wars cut into its market.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

10 Ways to Instantly Build Self Confidence

Written by Editor Pick The Brain


Build Self Confidence

1. Dress Sharp

Although clothes don’t make the man, they certainly affect the way he feels about himself. No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are. When you don’t look good, it changes the way you carry yourself and interact with other people. Use this to your advantage by taking care of your personal appearance. In most cases, significant improvements can be made by bathing and shaving frequently, wearing clean clothes, and being cognizant of the latest styles.

This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot on clothes. One great rule to follow is “spend twice as much, buy half as much”. Rather than buying a bunch of cheap clothes, buy half as many select, high quality items. In long run this decreases spending because expensive clothes wear out less easily and stay in style longer than cheap clothes. Buying less also helps reduce the clutter in your closet.

2. Walk Faster

One of the easiest ways to tell how a person feels about herself is to examine her walk. Is it slow? tired? painful? Or is it energetic and purposeful? People with confidence walk quickly. They have places to go, people to see, and important work to do. Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self confidence by putting some pep in your step. Walking 25% faster will make to you look and feel more important.

3. Good Posture

Similarly, the way a person carries herself tells a story. People with slumped shoulders and lethargic movements display a lack of self confidence. They aren’t enthusiastic about what they’re doing and they don’t consider themselves important. By practicing good posture, you’ll automatically feel more confident. Stand up straight, keep your head up, and make eye contact. You’ll make a positive impression on others and instantly feel more alert and empowered.

4. Personal Commercial

One of the best ways to build confidence is listening to a motivational speech. Unfortunately, opportunities to listen to a great speaker are few and far between. You can fill this need by creating a personal commercial. Write a 30-60 second speech that highlights your strengths and goals. Then recite it in front of the mirror aloud (or inside your head if you prefer) whenever you need a confidence boost.

5. Gratitude

When you focus too much on what you want, the mind creates reasons why you can’t have it. This leads you to dwell on your weaknesses. The best way to avoid this is consciously focusing on gratitude. Set aside time each day to mentally list everything you have to be grateful for. Recall your past successes, unique skills, loving relationships, and positive momentum. You’ll be amazed how much you have going for you and motivated to take that next step towards success.

6. Compliment other people

When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling on to others in the form of insults and gossip. To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people. Refuse to engage in backstabbing gossip and make an effort to compliment those around you. In the process, you’ll become well liked and build self confidence. By looking for the best in others, you indirectly bring out the best in yourself.

7. Sit in the front row

In schools, offices, and public assemblies around the world, people constantly strive to sit at the back of the room. Most people prefer the back because they’re afraid of being noticed. This reflects a lack of self confidence. By deciding to sit in the front row, you can get over this irrational fear and build your self confidence. You’ll also be more visible to the important people talking from the front of the room.

8. Speak up

During group discussions many people never speak up because they’re afraid that people will judge them for saying something stupid. This fear isn’t really justified. Generally, people are much more accepting than we imagine. In fact most people are dealing with the exact same fears. By making an effort to speak up at least once in every group discussion, you’ll become a better public speaker, more confident in your own thoughts, and recognized as a leader by your peers.

9. Work out

Along the same lines as personal appearance, physical fitness has a huge effect on self confidence. If you’re out of shape, you’ll feel insecure, unattractive, and less energetic. By working out, you improve your physcial appearance, energize yourself, and accomplish something positive. Having the discipline to work out not only makes you feel better, it creates positive momentum that you can build on the rest of the day.

10. Focus on contribution

Too often we get caught up in our own desires. We focus too much on ourselves and not enough on the needs of other people. If you stop thinking about yourself and concentrate on the contribution you’re making to the rest of the world, you won’t worry as much about you own flaws. This will increase self confidence and allow you to contribute with maximum efficiency. The more you contribute to the world the more you’ll be rewarded with personal success and recognition.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Recharge Your Creative Energy

Written by: JonGordon


Where are you when you get your best ideas? This was a question posed by Michael Gelb, author of "How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci". Most people say the shower, bed, garden, the walking path or treadmill. Hardly anyone says great ideas come at work. In fact Robert Frost once joked "The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and doesn't stop until you get to work". While it may not be that bad, from our own experiences we know that at work we feel more stress, pressure and frustration. We often try to fight through fatigue, hunger, and deadlines to get the job done. We push harder, work longer and challenge ourselves every day. But unfortunately the harder we fight the less our energy flows.

The harder we think the less our great ideas will appear. Like being in a dating slump, batting slump, writing slump, sales slump, mid life crisis slump, mommy slump, or daddy slump the more you fight it the further you fall. Many of the great scientist would tell you that their world changing break through ideas came about not when they were thinking about their projects but rather during moments of silence or by doing tasks unrelated to their project. Great ideas come to many of us during a shower because this is when we are usually most relaxed. Think about it. You're in the shower singing (hopefully where no one can hear you) and bang an idea pops into your head. I bet you also have great ideas when you are on vacation.

They also probably come to you when you are driving in your car with the radio off. Or it is likely that your best ideas whisper in your ear and wake you up in the morning. Mine often do. Wherever and whenever your best ideas strike, it is important to understand that it is not by accident. When we take breaks during our day and allow ourselves brief moments of silence we allow the natural flow of energy to flow through us. Where stress, anxiety, pushing and fighting block our creative energy, moments of silence, fun, play, and exercise allow us to relax, recharge and connect with our creative force.

We are naturally creative beings. We were born to create. And great ideas were meant to pop into our heads. The only thing that stops this is us and our energy blockers. So the next time you're stumped at work, have writers block, get fed up with the kids, feel burned out, or need to break out of a slump remember to do what Leonardo da Vinci did. Take short breaks to recharge, rejuvenate and refocus. Try the following action steps to recharge your creative energy and tap the amazing ideas that want to flow through you.

1. When the pressure mounts and the last thing you want to do is take a break, acknowledge that this is probably the time that you need one the most. Then do it. Do something completely different from the project at hand.

2. Take a 10 minute silent break each day. Schedule it or it won't happen.

3. Shut the cell phone off. I have been doing this lately. You'll be amazed at the ideas you come up with when you don't have someone talking in your ear all the time.

4. Take a day for yourself and do nothing but relax and read or watch rented movies.

5. Journal each night before you go to bed.

6. Practice Yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong in the morning.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Develop Your Personal Brand

by Dayo Olomu


How can we stand out from among our competitors, focus on our personal abilities and positively influence our targets? The answer lies in the concept of Personal Branding, a professional and effective way to present ourselves to others, which is another key success factor.

In these highly competitive times, people are constantly upgrading and updating their training in every field. Therefore, you need to market yourself properly to obtain a new contract, or the job or promotion you are looking for. Your personal knowledge, experience and abilities are essential, but you also need to present them as effectively as possible. You can do it by developing your personal brand, a mark that distinguishes you from all other people.

Dare to Be You

A personal brand is nothing more than the public projection of your personality and skills. For you to develop a successful personal brand, you need to dare to design it based on the way you want to be seen by the world rather than on what you believe others may think of you.

You have the power to influence people to see you exactly the way you wish to be perceived simply by defining who you are � your strengths, values, goals and personality � and presenting these points in a compelling, persuasive manner.

Dare to express yourself according to your own values, strengths and unique traits. Create a magnificent concept of who you are and present it to the circle of people and organizations with which you interact.

A Good Image is not Enough

Personal branding is not only having a good image. It's successfully showing how you can contribute as a member of a team. Whether it�s at work or anywhere else, it requires investing time and talent in designing a proposal of what you offer, along with the ability to deliver it.

Once you have decided what you have to offer � your experience, abilities, and strong points � you must establish and define your goals as clearly as possible, as well as the strategies you will implement to make yourself known.

If you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve in your professional life, designing your personal brand will give you the impetus you need to attain success. But you must also deliver what you promise.

The Eight Laws of Personal Branding:

To be able to excel in any market, Peter Montoya, author of The Brand Called You, recommends applying the following ideas, called the Eight Laws of Personal Branding.

1. Specialization: Develop a personal brand that is precise and focused on a single core strength. Draft a plan to develop your abilities, attitudes and skills while concentrating on a unique service or product you can offer.

2. Leadership: Make sure your personal brand has authority and credibility. Both are necessary to achieve excellence and a recognized position on the market.

3. Personality: Build your personal brand upon your true personal characteristics. Aim at being your best, not perfect.

4. Distinctiveness: Express your personal brand so that it is different from the competition. Make your message so distinct that it will be noticed and remembered.

5. Visibility: Make your personal brand as visible as possible. Customers and clients choose products and services that are known to them because they have seen them or heard about them.

6. Consistency: Your private conduct must be consistent with your personal brand.

7. Persistence: Building your personal brand may take time, so be patient and take actions to develop it.

8. Good Will: Set collective and mutual benefits as the main values underlying the actions related to your personal brand. You will achieve better results for yourself and for the people around you.

Building your personal brand is a challenge, but it is possible and necessary. It is important to be creative and proactive and to know how to distinguish between your personal image and your personal brand. Remember that your personal brand goes beyond superficial matters. It's an excellent opportunity to increase your potential and the recognition you receive in your community and your world.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

High Performance Selling

Written by: JimMeisenheimer


High performance selling is available to anyone who desires it. Knowledge is power. Knowledge creates a competitive edge and powers salespeople to success.

There are four things you can do to achieve a measure of high-performance in your sales career.

1. Define your talent. What are you especially good at? What do you enjoy doing most in your work? What gives you the most satisfaction in doing what you're doing?

Everybody has talent. Nobody has zero talent. Identify your talents and use them on a daily basis. Do you like people, are you good with numbers, do you enjoy building relationships, do you thrive on closing big deals, are you good on the telephone?

What are you doing, if anything, to strengthen your talents?

2. Discover your hidden talents. Have you tried doing something for the first time and found you liked doing it and you were also good at it?

Do you take risks often? Do you experiment and try new things on for size? Push and stretch yourself to new limits. Keep raising the bar.

Another sales resource for you to consider is the talent that surrounds you in your daily work - most notably the people you work with. Having a do-it-yourself attitude that embodies Lone Ranger selling tactics is a no-win situation for anyone in a sales career today.

What works best is the art of delegation. Here is a big sales tip for you. Don't do anything you can get somebody else to do for you. Just because you can do a task better and faster than someone else is no reason for you to do it.

Delegation accomplishes two things. First and foremost it take something off your plate. Second and equally important it tells another person you trust them to do this task for you. This is how people grow.

This is how you grow too!

3. Develop your talents. Someone has to pay attention to your self development. It may not be a priority for the company you work for, but that's no reason for you to take a pass. The Japanese have a wonderful word, Kaizen, which means the process of continuous improvement. There are so many ways to develop your talents including advanced degrees, college courses, books, e-books, CDs, and articles.

Google and Amazon are excellent resources too. Simply type a keyword phrase into their search engines and you'll identify thousands of resources you can use to develop your talents.

4. Deploying your talents. It's not enough to have talent. You must use it. For example if you have good people skills use them to expand your network and to turn every sale into a steady stream of referrals.

If creativity is one of your talents be sure to tap into it as you're preparing a sales proposal for a big sales prospect. Use your imagination and creativity to impress your prospects and customers with your originality. Keep asking the question how can I make it better for my prospects and customers.

Your talents are a gift and should be used wisely.

Focus on your strengths and make them stronger.

You possess all the talent required to achieve a level of selling success that you never experienced before.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Leadership Motivation Three Pillars for Success


To understand leadership motivation and apply it daily, let's understand its three critical pillars. Know these pillars and put them into action to greatly enhance your abilities to lead for quality results.

PILLAR #1: MOTIVATION IS PHYSICAL ACTION "Motivation" has common roots with "motor," "momentum," "motion," "mobile," etc. - all words that denote movement or physical action.

An essential feature of leadership motivation is physical action. Motivation isn't about what people think or feel but what they physically do.

When motivating people to get results, challenge them to take those actions that will realize incremental results.

When you want to motivate people, you must do more than simply communicate information. Rather, you must help them believe in you and take action to follow you.

A key outcome of every leadership talk must be physical action, physical action that leads to results.

For instance, a newly-appointed director of a large marketing department wanted his department to achieve sizable increases in the team’s results. However, the employees were a demoralized bunch who had been clocking tons of overtime under her predecessor and were feeling angry that their efforts were not being recognized by senior management.

The new director could have simply tried to order them to get the increased results. Many leaders use this disastrous approach. In the long-run they tend to flounder in today's highly competitive, rapidly changing markets.

True leadership motivation occurs when a team, instead of completing tasks because they are ordered to, complete each task because they WANT to for the overall benefit of the team leader and the organization.

Team members "want to" work hard when they are motivated and begin to believe in the leadership.

The belief is instilled by regular communication from the leader.

One team leader stated, "I want them to know that I appreciate the work they are doing and that I believe that they can get the results I'm asking of them. I want them to feel good about themselves."

While this is a great start, believing is not enough – team members feeling good is not enough.

Leadership Motivation must take place. Physical action must take place. Don't give the vision talk until you know what precise actions you are going to set expectations around.

As an example, one team leader asked his CEO to come into the room after his leadership motivation talk. The CEO shook each employee's hand, and told each employee how much he appreciated their hard work - physical action.

After the CEO left, the team leader challenged each employee to write down on a piece of paper three specific things that they needed from him to help them get the increases in results and then hand those pieces of paper back to him - physical action.

Mind you, that one leadership motivation talk was not the equivalent of magic dust sprinkled on the employees to instantly motivate them.

To turn the department around so that it began achieving sizable increases in results, the team leader had to give many leadership talks in the weeks and months ahead. But it was a beginning.

Most importantly, it was the right beginning.


Emotion and motion come from the same Latin root meaning, "to move".

When you want to move people to take action, engage their emotions. An act of leadership motivation is an act of emotion.

In any strategic management endeavor, you must make sure that the people have a strong emotional commitment to realizing the end result.

Recently, a chief marketing officer of a worldwide services company said, "Now I know why we're not growing! Our senior leaders developed our marketing strategy in a bunker!”

The document was some 40 pages long, single-spaced. The points it made were logical, consistent, and comprehensive. It made perfect sense. That was the trouble.

It made perfect intellectual sense to all of the senior leaders. But it did not make experiential sense to middle management who had to carry it out.

Middle managers had about as much input into the strategy as the window washers at corporate headquarters. As a result, the document did not serve its intended purpose, or support executive management’s vision.

Middle and front-line employees are more effectively motivated when they can personally relate to the tasks necessary for carrying out the strategy. Only then does a business strategy have a real chance to succeed.


The English language does not accurately depict the psychological truth of leadership motivation.

The truth is that we cannot motivate anybody to do anything. The people we want to motivate can only motivate themselves.

The motivator and the motivated are always the same person.

We as leaders communicate, they motivate. So our "motivating" others to get results really entails our creating an environment in which they motivate themselves to get those results.

For example: a commercial division leader almost faced a mutiny on his staff when in a planning session, he put next year's goals (numbers much higher than the previous year's) on the overhead.

The staff all but had to be scrapped off the ceiling after they went ballistic. "We busted our tails to get these numbers last year. Now you want us to get much higher numbers? No way!"

The leader thought, "We can hit those numbers. I just have to change their belief system!"

The team leader set about to create an environment in which the team could motivate themselves. So he had each team member assess what activities got results and what didn't.

They discovered that they spent more than 60 percent of their time on work that had nothing to do with getting results.

He then had the team develop a plan to eliminate any unnecessary work.

Once his team experienced the joy of being put in charge of their own destiny, they got motivated!

The team worked together and developed a great plan. Most importantly, they began to experience improved results.

Over the long run your career success does not depend on what schools you attended or what degrees you have acquired.

Success depends instead on your ability to motivate individuals and teams to get results.

Leadership motivation is like a high voltage cable lying at your feet. Use it the wrong way, and you'll get a serious shock. But apply motivation the right way by understanding and using the three pillars, (plug the cable in, as it were) and it will serve you well in many powerful ways throughout your career.