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Overcoming the negativity in your mind

This week, we’re talking about overcoming negativity.

So often, whether it’s at work or at home, we are fearful that we can’t compete, we can’t achieve success, or what we’re doing isn’t good enough, but most of the time, these thoughts come from our own minds…

Nobody wants to have negative thoughts, and just like an unwanted dinner guest, you can choose whether or not you want to entertain those thoughts.

These thoughts are born out of fear, and as one of my favorite authors, Jon Gordon always says - Fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.

Have you ever heard somebody say you are your own worst enemy?

So how do you overcome these negative thoughts — these fears?

When negative thoughts come into your head, you have three options -

Option one - indulge them, get bogged down in the negativity, and believe what the fears are telling you.

Option two - you can ignore these thoughts, and move on with your day, but this is probably the hardest of the three choices.

So that’s why, your best bet is option three - speak truth to the lies.

Your brain is telling you you’re not good enough? Well, give it evidence to the contrary. Write down all of the things your fears are saying to you — you’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not rich enough, you’re not happy enough…

And then, right next to those lies, write down the evidence against them.

You’re killing it at work, you have 2 happy and healthy kids, you have a roof over your head, and you’re doing well in life.

Sure, could you be better? Of course, and you should strive to be that way, but use the evidence you have to prove that you’re in a good place today, and it’ll be much easier to combat those fears we all have.

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Good Customer Service

This week, we’re talking about customer service, and how important it is to treat your clients well.

Did you know that American companies lose 1.6 trillion dollars in business because of bad customer service?

Or that 55% of consumers say they’re willing to spend more money with a company that gives them good customer service?

It’s incredibly important to my business, and to yours, so here are a few tips for making sure you’re giving top notch customer service.

It may sound cheesy, but always deliver service with a smile. Sure, the customer may drive you crazy, but make sure you don’t show it.

Be friendly, show respect to your customer and their time, and always thank them for their business.

Did you ever notice how everybody working at Chick-Fil-A ends every interaction with “my pleasure?”  That’s intentional, and it works.

Next, know your product. There’s no faster way to lose a customer than not knowing what you’re talking about. If it’s a complex issue, and you genuinely don’t know the answer, don’t be afraid to admit it, and tell the customer you’ll find the right answer. But don’t ever make something up.

Finally, ask for feedback at the end of the transaction. Ask what you could have done better in your customer service… and then actually listen to the feedback and implement it.

This is not rocket science - it’s all about being nice to people, and truly showing them how much you appreciate their business.

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Mastering a New Skill

This week, we’re talking about mastering new skills.

Have you ever heard that it takes 10-thousand hours of doing something to truly master it?

Well, it’s a good theory, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

Recently, I read an article by Brendon Burchard, one of the world’s leading high performance coaches.

He suggests that by following what’s called “the principles of progressive mastery,” you can get there in way less than 10-thousand hours.

First - set a very specific goal. You want to learn how to plan an instrument? Which one? Then, set specific stretch goals. Ones that aren’t too easy to check off, but aren’t completely out of the question.

Attach high levels of emotion and meaning to those goals — why is it so important to master this new skill?

Identify the specific things that will be critical to your success… Learning to read music, carving out an hour a day to practice. Whatever it is.

Then, visualize your success. What will it look like when you’re successful? Maybe you’ll be on stage playing for people you care about, or maybe, you’ll be able to play your favorite song.

If you’re competitive, and that drives you, figure out a way to compete with other people on developing this skill, and then continue to set higher and higher goals.

Finally - measure your success. Sure, you won’t be able to play Hendrix on that guitar in the first week, but take stock of where you are… It’s the only way to know how far you’ve come.

And this is a great one — start to teach others. The better you can explain it to somebody else, the better you’ll be at it yourself.

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Be Intentional

This week, we’re talking about setting intentions.

Many of us wake up each morning, get ready for work, do what we’re paid to do, come home, and start all over again the next day. We don’t have any real plan — we just bounce from one commitment to another.

But have you ever thought to take a minute each day and set your intentions? Today, I want to accomplish this. Or I want to live by these certain principles.

The most successful people in life always have a plan… And it may not be a perfect plan, but they’ve got some kind of guiding principle every day.

So as you look at ways to be more successful in your life - whether it be at work, at home, spiritually, or in whatever way is important to you - be intentional.

Before you go into a meeting, set an intention for how you want it to go.

Before every email, think to yourself about what you want to convey to the recipient, and do your best to get there clearly, and concisely.

It takes a lot of self pep talks in the beginning, but set reminders on your phone at two or three different times during the day that say things like - be intentional, or be patient, or be kind.

Every time you sit down at your desk, use that as a reminder to ask yourself - what’s the most important thing I need to do right now, and be intentional with your actions.

You’ll be more successful for the effort.

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Be Relentless

A few months ago, we did a Chasing Excellence on picking one word to define your new year, instead of a lofty new year’s resolution.

I’ve picked my word for the year, and it is — relentless.

So let’s dive into what it means to be relentless.

Do you keep pushing yourself harder, when other people give up?

Do you know exactly who you are?

What about pressure… Are you intimidated by it, or do you thrive on it?

All of these things make you driven…. They make you successful. They also make you relentless.

I’ll bet you don’t like taking no for an answer, or if the answer is no, you can usually find a different way to solve the problem. You’re driven by coming up with solutions, rather than just complaining about problems.

This defines me, and how I live my life, and it’s why I chose the word relentless as my one word resolution.

Have you picked yours yet? If not, it’s not too late… And of course, pick a word that resonates with you, your value system, your work ethic and your family.


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Bringing Your A Game

Whatever you think about him, most people agree Tom Brady always brings his A-game.

So what does that mean if you’re not a famous quarterback, married to a super model? How do you make sure you’re always bringing your A-game?

First of all, it’s important to establish what your goals are. Where do you want to be by this time next year at work? What kind of husband or wife do you want to be to your spouse, or what kind of parent do you want to be for your kid?

Once you decide what you want to be, it’s time to set out to deliver on those goals.

Tom Brady wants to win more Super Bowls than any player in history, and he sets out to do that every single day.

Think about the specific steps you need to take to accomplish your goal. If you want to be a more attentive spouse, what actions can you take today when you wake up to get there, and be specific.

Want to grow your business in a certain vertical? Take concrete steps every day to move ball forward.

Figure out what your triggers are to remind yourself to keep moving ahead, and put them on a post it note, or the lock screen on your phone. In my case, I got my trigger words tattooed on my arm.

Have you ever heard the saying “get out of bed in the morning with so much intention that the devil says “damn, he’s up?”

Live that way every single day, and make intentional steps towards your goals, and that’s how you can bring your A-game.

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