The focus and the concentration and the attention to detail that flying takes is a kind of meditation. I find it restful and engaging, and other things slip away. -Harrison Ford

Well said, Indiana Solo, well said. The Falcon had that effect on ALL of us.

It DID  all sort of fade away, you know?  All sound. All distraction. Eye catchers, drift magnets, time leeches disappeared this morning, as I hunkered down to own material in my office like I haven’t since third grade.  Make that fifth grade– you know when they MAKE you learn all 50 states, their capitals, mottos, birds, trees, flowers, and flags? Mr. McCandless at Stony Lane elementary, your tutelage until now was limited to my shocking the Shizzle out of friends during Trivial Pursuit.

Regressing, digressing, walking away from that gong show of a paragraph, it’s another lesson as today was a success in concentration, focus, and drive.

Man, is it fleeting.

Already writing this blog I’ve checked Facebook 12 times, taunted friends about procreation and Googled the set list of the album Chicago 17 by Chicago. Putting away all distractions and just getting work done, son took effort.

Learning the words, the plays, the exercises took drills, took practice. The same way I learned the states and such:

  • I repeated each sentence as I read it as fast as I could 25 times each, keeping tally on a whiteboard, with a chess-clock running, and recording the practice for review, and keeping an eye on body language and Lebon movements
  • After each page, I’d repeat glancing at notes 10 times, then from memory towards camera 10 times until I could do it from memory. Each 12 pages took roughly 45 minutes, with the first section totally 96 pages
  • Yikes. That reads Tim Ferris-y. Ferris-like. Save Ferris. You can read what I was up against, eh?

I’ve taught and learned scripts, policy, theory, and strategy this way my whole life. It’s not glamorous, there’s no silver or magic bullet, and certainly no magic silver bullet, save for the one that  starred  Corey Haim where a kid in a wheelchair defeats a werewolf. (Also had Gary Busey in it, stunning)

You gotta say it out loud, or you’re just reading, folks.   You go through this trance where the words have no meaning in the beginning, then you start to get into a rhythm of how it should sound to connect with the listener, years of being trained by marketing and TV Newscasters runs through your mind. Books on tape you once thought were the easy way out are now raising their hands in your subconscious saying ” holy crow, he LEARNED something.”   Yes, it sounds weird.  Better during practice than in front of a client.

Keep Score of your practice. Helps you see where you are, what you’ve done. If you’re not a carpenter or a builder, sometimes it’s hard to leave work with your chin up when you don’t have a barn to look back on and say, “Hey man, nice barn I built.”

And you’re tempted to short cut. You test your integrity as to how close you’re going to learn it, and whether the rest of the office will wait for you to go to lunch. You skip lunch.

And you skip lunch because you’ve gotten in the zone, you’re finally unlearning the words because you’ve learned them so well.

A mentor and a good friend used a great teaching moment with me (read: slight reaming) on poor presentation. Paraphrasing, he said you need to know the material, inside and out, so you that you CAN stick to it. It’s powerful enough as it’s prepared, and WHEN you’re prepared.

“Don’t make love to it up there.”  Like people making out in a hotel hot tub, the staff and guests and everyone else don’t want to see you mauling something, pawing all over it and ruining life for the rest of us.

So I built a workout. And it’s draining. And I move past the “i gotta learn this fast or else” to “how fast can I learn this as I’m loving it?\

Welcome to the Zone. (someone call Kenny Loggins)

If you’ve got like 3 minutes to watch, here’s a montage of me, doing this above.  Over 60 percent of us are visual. So I should probably put this at the top, too.

ImageCalm. Calm. It’s just an airline. Remember the first headline in any article is designed to……get you to the second line. Yes it’s a writing device, and just like the riddles that your uncle used to tell you that you scoffed at, you’ll turn around and use it in your next article, so “you’re welcome.”

Every second with this company made me feel better about flying than I ever have.  The stewardude even called my computer bag a “purse”, and I’m still on board.  And while EVERYTHING looks cooler while lit softly in purple, let’s do that for the rest of the article. (i’ll check with my intern on this)’

Let’s get to it:

1)  Staging Works: Based on perception, environment, lighting and the stage set (including music) changes the experience.

2) Small gratuities subdue any beast. They stop/silence petty objections and one-up the clients expectations as well. And gives the staff something to brag about. (this is your front line in marketing, if they’re bragging, your future clients aren’t expecting and are impressed.)

3) Clients treated incredibly  will yearn to please you back. Remember the 6/20 rule, where if you do well, someone tells 6 people, and if you do wrong they tell 20? The internet kind of changed that. You want new clients that are A+++++++++++++ awesome? The ones that are ushered in on a cloud of compliments by your current clients.

4) Top-down coolness. Everyone on staff “has it.” From the captain down to the tech, their SMS, their marketing to the barf bags (read: risk management plan)

5) They’re not putting the man on the moon, this is just an airline.   There’s not Cristal pouring from each of the faucets, nor is it the nicest plane.  Small changes/small effects are what bring the comfort and value up.

6) Good hearted marketing: There is nothing negative about other airlines in their marketing, just trendy reminders of why they rock, mainly because it wouldn’t be cool  to be negative.

Eavesdropping-life-mate that she is, Heather heard a portion of an talk today about reorganizing a business, and setting some ground rules. She thought it was good, great actually, which is saying a lot, because she’s spoiled. What I said, though I’m not the first guy to say it, and not the best at living it,  though I can recognize it in the blink of an eye was:

In life, in health, in finance, the most sure way to get good is  5% a week. Realistic. Steady as she goes, constant increase, and with creative strategy, yet keystone goals.

SIDE NOTE: Others have said this. Like when Mama said, Brush your teeth do your chores. She did not invent, or coin the phrase, nor was she looking for credit. I’m my mother’s son.

The 300% in a month ‘ers may have killer goals, yet strategy that’s going to leave them high and dry, or broke, or disappointed. Much like the Fast and Furious movies. Which I own. I’m not ashamed.

Coaching is about setting a plan for conditioning that improves you AT LEAST 5%-10% constantly.  If you want to lose 10 pounds of ugly fat quickly, cut off your head.  Want to make a Million bucks? Get up early, work hard, strike oil.

The rest of us? Set Kick Ass Creative Goals, and build monumentally iron clad strategies to get there.  You can go to the moon. Just make sure the methods are believable or your zip code and your attitude?\

Ain’t changing.

Pirates on TV: always plundering other ships, meeting new folks, net-pirating, reminds me of independent contractor-ship in real estate (oh yes. I did!):

1. they only hang with other pirates,
2. their fashion is straight up messed up,
3. their ride is sweeter than their house,
4. they hang around with animals who repeat everything they say (take notice, RE star groupies).

Its the way they manage wealth that draws attention though.

The good ones?

Hid their booty (couldn’t wait to write it) in stockpiles, hidden from their more “nefarious” staff, while the fly-by-night buccaneer pillaged then squandered, pillaged then squandered, often leading to HUUUUUGE risk ,  that got them killed or caught (Tortuga’d).

Not unlike us as a group:

Take a look at your last commission: do you still have it? Was it nestled away, knowing you could make more, or did you invest in faster ships, more crew, and sharper swords?

Or did you really invest it? Women and wine, new boots, and a sweet new tattoo?

Bad pirate.

Everybody likes Scooby Doo and the gang. Most do. I do, and I’ve got fantastic and popular taste. Stay with me…. It’s a simple T.V. premise:

For whatever reason, three out of the four kids forego partying to go out and drive around during the 1970′s, a fuel starved economy, and solve mysteries.  No dating. No fashion updates (kerchief on the guy, bright orange turtleneck on the homely girl), just solving crimes on large commercial property.  With no payout in sight, which should make my Republican/management friends happy (you gotta learn before you earn, right?).

So my temper’s up already as a consultant. I start to pick through the show to find other faults and come across a HUGE epiphany through playing devil’s advocate. And I figure out why the janitor or the old handyman is always the villain.


He’s been sweeping up the confetti for parties that should have been in his honor. OR he’s left cleaning up alone.

Simply stated, he’s had to clean up all the mess for 40 years.

Every party? He’s had to clean up. He’s been sweeping up the confetti for parties that should have been in his honor. And probably doing so, alone. That’s got to sting.

Every over-expenditure that nearly threw the company into debt? He’s scrubbed the books.

Every promotion that rightfully should have gone to seniority went through the “Haunted Tunnel of Nepotism” and came out with Junior getting the Vice Presidency.

He kept the place going, kept the money coming in, yet he got overlooked more than Susan Lucci.

In every team, business, society, social group, there are the ants and the grasshoppers,  and the limelight favors the grasshopper. Mr Jenkins, however, who’s stayed to the model, who’s repeatedly shown a gain, and done his 20% lacks the bright and shiny sequins he needs to make the stage.    He gets angry, he dons a plastic mask, some technical harnessing, and starts to sabotage the business, usually leaving what was holding the company afloat to drift, and hijinkies ensue.

____________________________________

Looking at your business plans for the quarter, the next year, the next week, you’ll be looking through your cast of “ideas” to promote.  More SEO. A new PPC campaign. Maybe a fancy Virtual Assistant to post your classified ads.  An auto dialer.

Don’t overlook your janitor,  your staples, your meat and potatoes that have gotten you this far.   Book a solid three months at 1200 contacts.  Create a relationship plan that  draws out 3 years for each client you meet. Do the Raving Fan thing with your current clients before you go screaming from the minarets to billions of people that you’re ready for the big time.

Because bad case scenario? They’ll hear you, won’t care or believe you. Worst case scenario? They’ll do both, and you won’t have the company to back it up.

Great phrase to get you into action,yes?   Yes.     A nation covered in Snuggie, mixing protein shakes in a Magic Bullet after working the ab roller will defend my position while you gather facts for  yours.

It works because it gives you a sense of urgency. Puts a deadline on you. Deadlines word. Look at Mad Men. Or Santa Claus.

“If you don’t act now, you’re going to miss out on this great opportunity.”

You’ll lose money, motivation, opportunity.  Miss out on this product. And it’s going fast because other people who’re realizing the exact same message that you are, have it within them to act now, without further information to take hold of their destiny and……it’s getting pretty heavy for a blender commercial , right?

Wrong.  There’s an infomercial going on in each one of our lives right now, that if we don’t wait, we’ll miss it, and while we laugh at most of these feeble attempts at business models, they don’t.  That’s for another blog. This one’s about the strongest postulate out there: for a limited time only.

“You’re invited to act for a limited time only.   Act now, and you’re receive Progress, Achievement, and a sense that you did something today.”    One of the studies the late Steven Covey,  Brian Tracy, Jeffrey Gitomer, and Anthony Robbins all cite in their talks and text is that the best leaders are the ones that take action in the next five minutes to get shizzle done.  It keeps getting dragged across our desk because we’re not doing it often enough.

  • For a limited time only, we’re on Earth.
  • For a limited time only, we’ve got time with ones we love and learn from.
  • For a limited time only, we’re ahead of our competition because they’re sleeping in.
  • For a limited time only, clients trust our punctuality, judgement, motives, and methods.
  • For a limited time only, our employees’ jobs are bright and shiny, haven’t had their dreams dashed with criticism, and still want to give solid, honest input without repercussion.
  • For a limited time only, we’re willing to try, try again, even though the first time we fell? Effing hurt. A lot. Wake boarders, snowboarders unite on this one.
  • For a limited time only, its you’re idea, and nothing can stop you.

The next lesson I got from infomercials was that it CAN’T stop there….. you have to tell people, clients, employees, AND yourself what the next step in the next 5 minutes should be…..     so Stay tuned and read tomorrow’s blog.

Well, you nailed it, Chris. Tell me the relationships that take work. I’ve got a bunch of stuff going on, and let’s face it, I’d like to thin out the herd a little bit on who I have work on this week to build relationships.

It’s a lot like Dianna Kokoszka said once, and I’ll carry around forever: when her kids asked her which teeth they should brush, she replied “Only the ones you want to keep.”

So which clients should I call this week?

                            Only the ones you want to keep.

Which leads should I call this week?

                            Only the leads you want to keep.

Which of my family members, girlfriends, kids, friends, coworkers should I call, meet with, or send notes to?

                            Only the ones you want to keep.

As a business coach, tech consultant, I’m posing the same for your social media and web page staff:

You mean I have to post on these sites, recheck the keywords, traffic, and tweak them for success?

                                       Only if you want to keep it.

You mean I need to hit my blog goals this week? There was a holiday!   No. I’m writing,if you don’t want to keep your  followers, their attention span, and their interest and possible clientship, let them go.

If there’s a Social Media outlet you’ve subscribed to, let’s dissect your mindset, your motivation:

Don’t think of it as a savings account, think of it as a plant, a kitten, or goldfish. You don’t feed it? It doesn’t sharpen a stick and hunt for it’s food…. it waits to be fed.

And if it’s not fed, it ends up on a commercial with Sarah McLaughlin playing in the background, then ceases to be.

It’s Friday. It’s Diagnosis Day.  Time to take of the bandages and see how you’re doing. Grab your legal pad, hit your diagnostics. And if it don’t look good, change it.

I’m a reader. I read. Many large, leather bound books that smell of mahogany . And the occasional choose-your-own-adventure as I’m a control freak and like to see the hero get eaten by robots a lot.

Moving on– after my last behavioral assessment, a mentor of mine passes along this book called Whale Done!,   a business fiction written by Ken Blanchard, from Raving Fans,  another book I would create a suit out of and wear every day if I could.  I read it very quickly as it’s just good (and short, and has hugemongous font), and like most great points or concepts,

the point is simple:  we use negative reinforcement to no avail constantly, when positive reinforcement works, is easier, and just makes the earth a happier planet.

Works with kids, employees, dogs, departments, small business, and killer whales.

As we continually work with the idea of banner customer service, quickened and heightened skills to build rapport, and search for the silver bullet of web lead cultivation and conversion, I’ve got to wonder…  how often do we give our clients a “well done.”  We strive for approval everywhere, why not from our trusted advisors?

Your financial advisor calls and says, “Great job diversifying the rest of your funds, bud.  Shows you’re listening…keep it up. Notice the return you got from it.”

Your Doctor sends a letter to the fan “Just wanted you to know you’ll have more time with your Dad now that he’s quit smoking for the last three months. Enjoy high fives for many more years, starting today.”

Your mechanic drops a FB message: “Quick note;  thanks for keeping up on your oil changes and regular maintenance, shows you’re responsible about your car.”

Rarely ever heard…. and if searching for a product or a service is a long process that many stay silent during or quit early on, it may be because you’re not coaching them.

When’s the last time you didn’t just say “thanks” yet you said, “Pursuing your goal through research and being realistic shows integrity.  Thought you should hear it.”  Or “with all of the information and technology and choices that are out there, the last four visits to my site showed you’re quick to pick up on how to make them all work together.  Good on ya.”

You’re not pandering, you’re not manipulating. You’re addressing correct or admirable behavior in someone you’d like to get into a relationship with.

Maybe not a bad idea?

What’s got two thumbs and loves projects?  THIS GUY!

I should love puzzles, though. They have all the pieces, there’s a picture of the end project in mind on the box, and I can use the pieces’ correlating facts to put them together.

The pieces came to play together nicely.

In a project, it’s raw material….and they’re to be put together in a pretty primal way: there’s force, cutting, hammering, and for those that have done house projects, you calculate for “waste.”  Lost money, unusable material,  and that causes a need for additional cost of removal and storage.

When I look at people, teams, or businesses as projects, I’m thinking this. Subconsciously, I know that all the baby turtles aren’t making it to the ocean and I’m calculating for this, and that’s when I recognized the “waste” part.

And there’s the rub.  Looking at people/businesses accepts them as the organic beings they are….that quirky marketing I want to chop MAY be their strength. That gong show of an employee in the sales department MAY be the organizational whiz I’m currently scouting for.  The “Bob’s” from Office Space would have fired him in the first round, yet I see him as a part of the puzzle. Walk your staff through behavioral tests and models regularly.. helps with morale and retention.

That knack for talking to people is a puzzle piece, not waste, if harnessed.   Your inability to show up for work on time could stem from an attention to detail while getting ready at home that COULD SAVE a business if you don’t get fired first.

People are puzzles. Their business plans may be projects.

Make sure that no one is wasted on the job site.

That’s kind of a great rule, anyway. #truestory

Where is my DNA, personal contribution on this, and am I being real about it? Am I being honest about my fingerprints here?