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Mike's Blog

Mike's Blog
Welcome to my blog site. Feel free to contact me with any of your own ideas and discussion points regarding ideas and strategies for Building A Better Workforce, increasing employee engagement, and productivity, and building leverage for small business leaders.






Would you like to contribute as a guest blogger? Or, would you like me to submit a post on your blog? Generally speaking, if you serve small business, I may be interested.

contact me


Relentlessly Focused - Understanding What's Worth Fighting For.
The most successful people and organizations are relentlessly focused. They can be because they have identified things worth fighting for. More importantly, they know which battles aren't theirs to fight.

(Free Download here with no optin required. )

When you know the difference between the two your levels of success, focus, productivity, and fulfillment
dramatically improve .

Unfortunately, far too many of us pay too close attention to the things we don't like or want to really understand what it is we are willing to fight for. Oh sure, we can complain about all of the injustice in the world and in our lives, but rarely are we willing to go to battle for something we value.

Have you ever really thought about what you would fight for? Here's a test - you have five seconds to finish this sentence:
My name is __________ and this is what I stand for___________.

How did you do?

Very few people can answer that question on the spot. So why is this important?

(Free Download here with no optin required. )

It is important because when you identify the things you are willing to fight for, you unblock your path to greatness. This is especially true of the Small Business owner.  When you build your company based on values that you would fight to defend, you attract all of the right resources to make that happen. The right candidates apply for open positions. The right strategic partners arrive to help broaden your reach and strengthen the relationships you already have.

So what now?

In honor of March Madness, I have put together a Core Values Bracket exercise that will lead you to the things you value most. This exercise will immediately impact your ability to pick your battles and passionately fight for the ones worth fighting for.

More importantly, it will remind you of the arguments to stay out of. Your pride is never at stake when you choose not to defend something you have previously decided isn't worth defending.

You can access it here with no optin required. 

It's my gift to those of you willing to invest a little time on a bracket that can make you a Champion, rather than cheering on some college kids competing for something nobody will care about in a month.




(Posted 3/18/2013 by admin)
Ready to Make Your Next Move? Consider some Drucker wisdom before you do...










 "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently 
that which should not be done at all."
I have a client that asked me to help him design and grow his business. He is currently working full-time for someone else and managing the startup phase of his business in his spare time.

The last time we talked, he shared how he was dealing with some challenges at his full-time job. Based on his side of the story, they seemed like legitimate concerns and I had some suggestions for him. But before I shared my suggestions, I shared with him the above quote by Drucker and asked him a simple question; "Where are we going?"

Here is the exchange that followed:
Client: "I just wanted to feel appreciated!"
Me: "No you don't!"
Client: (perplexed) I don't?
Me: "No! You couldn't care less if they appreciate you. Does your cable company care if you appreciate them? You just want them to continue to pay you while you grow your business. You're not here trying to earn some big promotion. In fact, that's the worst thing that could happen to you right now. A big promotion would only delay your own launch."

The discussion that followed led to a redesigned business model with the realistic potential to quadruple his income in the next 18 months.*

So what's your next move? Is it going to get you closer to your ultimate goal, or is it a self-imposed roadblock? Are you trying to, "do efficiently that which should not be done at all?" Before you make that next move, take a look at your vision statement. Consider where you are right now in relation to your vision and draw an imaginary line in your head between the two points. Does your next move have a line through it? If not, wouldn't it be useless to do it?

Remember, your vision is unique to you. Avoid the tendencies to always do things "the right way." For you, the only right way is the imaginary line you just drew in your head.  Anything else is someone else's dream. 

Try not to let pride get in the way. When given the choice of defending your pride and defending your vision, always choose your vision. Every action that moves you in the direction of your vision will feed your pride from the inside and soon you'll realize you don't need to defend yourself to people and things not on your course

So if that next move will get you closer to fulfilling your vision, what are you waiting for? Go For It!

*Note: Every situation is different. The point was not to slack off. In fact, I suggested just the opposite. I asked him to think of his current employer as his current client. I encouraged him to get used to thinking as a business owner. As a business owner, his high standards made their low expectations irrelevant.
If you need help creating our vision, or drawing the map from where you are to what your vision represents, call me and schedule your complimentary business building strategy call. 



 









(Posted 2/28/2013 by admin)
Are you Emotionally Intelligent? Should you be? Should you worry about it?





 



Last night I was the emcee at the HRMA WNE (Human Resource
Management Association of Western New England) and the presenter for the
evening was Sue Miller, Director of Learning and Development for the Employers
Association of the North East. The topic was Emotional Intelligence.



Sue discussed the importance of Emotional Intelligence for
Leaders and how it benefits employees, as well as the organizations they belong
too. One exercise asked us to describe the traits of someone that we believed
would be considered to have Emotional Intelligence, or a high EQ (Emotional
Intelligence Quotient).  Not surprising,
the traits of someone with a high EQ are the same traits you would use to
describe the "best boss in the world" (not named Michael Scott for all you the Office fans).



EQ, we discovered can be learned and increased.  A good leader is able to increase the EQ of
the people that report to him or her through modeling, and often in a fairly
short period of time with the right commitment and attention.  In fact, one need not be in a leadership role
to improve their own EQ and the people around them. It turns out, that positive
emotional behavior is, for lack of a better word, contagious.



So, this is a pretty big deal in today's corporate world, but
how does this affect us?  What can we do
to take advantage of Emotional Intelligence? In smaller organizations like
yours, this seems a bit complicated. The truth is, EQ, like core competencies, (another
Corporate HR buzz word) is completely dependent on who it is you are in front
of.  If you surround yourself with people
you love and respect and are committed to serve the people that energize and
motivate you, your EQ will peak effortlessly. On the other hand, if you hate
your employees, they hate you and you both hate your customers, your EQ may not
matter.



When you find yourself serving the people you are meant to
serve, the results are magical. You're more energized, you're a better
listener, your attention to detail is laser like.



So how often are you serving the people you are meant to
serve? More importantly, how much time is spent with people you would rather not
serve?



Leave your comments below.



Are you spending enough time with your ideal clients? If
not, why not?





(Posted 2/26/2013 by admin)
Voting Day - Your vote matters more than you know...
Today is Voting Day. It is the day we all must make a decision about our future leadership and the direction our lives are going to go. I encourage each and every one of you to go and cast your vote and make your choice count.

However, I am not talking about the Presidential Election, I am talking about your life.

Make today the day that you decide once and for all that what happens in your life is up to you and the decisions you make, not government elections and political agendas.

Regardless of today's election outcome, we all win because we are all Americans. No government policy or agenda can take away your ability to make better choices and improve our lives every day in every way.

You see, every morning you can make a choice. There are many options to choose from. You can choose success; failure, status quo; among many other options.

The problem is, most if us don't cast our vote. Most of us go through life on autopilot completely enslaved by our horrible habits and vices.

Today, I choose success.

Here is the simple truth. Now is the only moment that matters, and you can only live one day at a time. Every morning we have the opportunity to vote on how we want our day to go.

We can choose what kind of attitude we are going to "take to the marketplace" as Jim Rohn would say. We can choose how much time we want to put into preparation; self-development; physical and mental fitness; building our businesses; and parenting our children.

The problem is, most of us don't take the time to vote. Today I choose success.

Eben Pagan, in his Wake Up Productive Program talks about designing daily rituals for the first 90 minutes of each day that allow you to "make yourself strong first." By designing a daily ritual that allows you to start each day strong, you are choosing success. You are casting your ballot each and every day.

What rituals can you develop that will remind you that you have a choice? You can choose success today. What you will discover is that success is not the cars, and the money, and the clients. Those things are the result of you being successful.

"Success is not something you achieve, rather it is something you attract by the person you become" Jim Rohn

I encourage you to follow the advice of Eben Pagan and develop those early morning rituals that lead you towards becoming a successful person.


Today, I choose success!

Did You Vote Today! It's Not Too Late.

So whether your candidate wins or loses today, the choice for your success and happiness is still yours.

The mistake is thinking that either outcome can change that.

And yes, for some of us the path to success and happiness may feel like a change, but nonetheless, the path is still there. Once you find the path, you will be amazed how wide it really is.

Michael J Stone
www.BuildaBetterWorkforce.com

Category: Personal Development

(Posted 11/6/2012 by admin)
Losing Objectivity for Better Employee Engagement
Objectivity: At what point do we lose it?

One of the things I love most about the debates is it offers each and every one of us a glimpse into our own psyche. Most glaring is our own inability to be objective, no matter how hard we try.

You need look no further than your Facebook page to see "friends" debating who won the debates. Some will confidently argue that "their man" won while supporters of the other side will argue the same.

There are two important points to capture here and both offer tremendous opportunity for you. The first point is to admit that you are incapable of being objective. It's okay! It doesn't make you a bad person. Just add it to the list of the things you can't do.

Like:
Tickle yourself
Keep your eyes open when you sneeze
Open the marshmallow bag without using your teeth.

So how is this an opportunity?

Acknowledging this factory default, allows you to recognize where your brain might be playing tricks on you. Maybe, just maybe (dear) "everything" is not your husband's fault.

In order for us to grow as leaders and thinkers, we need to recognize that our brain is overruled by our subconscious all the time. Our subconscious, more specifically, our ego is only concerned with certain facts - the ones that prove us right.

If left unchecked, your ego will try to get your brain to "not see" anything that might prove your argument wrong. Let me clarify here because this is dreadfully important. Your ego is not trying to get your brain to dismiss opposing arguments. It is trying to get your brain to not see them at all in the first place. It is trying to make any object that goes against your argument to be invisible to you. Unfortunately for those that consider themselves objective thinkers, the more emotionally connected you are to the outcome, the less likely you are to "see" evidence counter to your argument.

I became aware of this phenomenon when I was a teenager watching a boxing match. I realized that I was watching a different fight than everyone else in the room. In my mind, every single punch that landed on "my" fighter's body was a glancing blow masterfully avoided, while every punch he threw connected in the exact manner it was intended. "My fighter" never lost a round, Ever! Somehow, he lost the fight.

These debates are an important reminder that if we want to maintain our own ability to think freely, we need to keep our ego in check. The best way to accomplish that is to experience life as individual moments without trying to connect them to our past, or our future.

Remind yourself that the goal is not to prove yourself right, but rather to become more informed. Look for lessons rather than supporting arguments. Make it your objective to increase your knowledge rather than validate what you already know.

The second point is to recognize that nobody else can think objectively. Understanding this point is powerful when you look to build your "tribe."

The best way to manipulate this in your favor is to identify your enemies. If you're a small business owner, what is it that your products and services are out to destroy? As witnessed in the debates, an enemy increases the emotional connection to the outcome.

By now, we have all learned that there are only two things that cause people to move -> The desire to increase pleasure, or the desire to decrease pain. More often than not, the desire to decrease pain trumps the desire for increased pleasure. That is why so many people know exactly what they don't want but don't have a clue about what it is they do want.

An enemy offers us the opportunity to increase pleasure and eliminate pain simultaneously. Despite the potential for negative outcomes, an enemy can be a beautiful thing.

Imagine if your most passionate employees defended your company as hard as they defended their candidates or sports teams. (Just make sure they aren't too annoying)

Enemies are often the easiest tool to use if you want to increase productivity and engagement in your business or your life. Are you looking for more ways to make your employees more engaged and more productive? Go to my homepage and enter your email to access the first three chapters of my book for free.






Category: Employee Engagement

(Posted 10/12/2012 by admin)
The Big Bird Principle. Media Mind Control
If you have spent any time on Facebook since the first Presidential Debate, there is no doubt that your page has seen it's "fair share" (pun intended) of Big Bird pictures. The message by the Democrats is that Mitt Romney wants to "kill" Big Bird.

This offers a great example of how media shapes the mind of its audience. Let's be clear, this is no small affair and it is not to be taken lightly. Based on hours and hours of brain research, the media delivers information in such a way to manipulate you away from logical and critical thinking. And I am not just talking about the liberal media. Both parties are guilty.

Supposed non-partisan, unbiased, honest reporting agencies now use the same tactics Advertisers have been using for years. Where advertisers would use these "mind manipulators" to influence buying decisions, media now is using these same tactics with a much more dangerous and sinister objective.

Media today is using those tactics to manipulate how you think. Worse than that, they are taking things to a higher level of exploitation. They are using these tactics to literally trick your mind into abandoning logic and reason.

Let's look at the Big Bird Principle a little more closely.


The Headline of this story I found on Facebook is Big Bird in the Crosshairs.

Big Bird Is so sad in the picture. We all grew up with Big Bird and it hurts us all to see him so sad. Of course, Romney is very serious and looks a little angry.

So who is this story written for - who is the audience? There are only two groups this article is trying to reach Democrats that hate Romney and need more reasons to hate him, and undecided voters.

Look at the picture and read the headline. Does it matter what is actually in the article? The media knows that most of the people that see that picture and read that headline will never read a single word of the actual article. For the most part their job is done.

Obviously, Republicans, and Romney in particular Hates Big Bird! Worse than that, he hates children! Worse than that, he hates Your Children. There is no way you could possibly vote for someone that hates your children and wants to kill Big Bird.

At this point, I would like to step back into reality. Sesame Street has been on the air since November 10, 1969. Right now it is shown in 120 countries and has 20 different international versions. Sesame Street licensing generates $17 Million/yr.

If PBS was unfunded right this second, how long do you think it would take for a network to pick up Sesame Street? Too late, it's already been picked up. And oh by the way, the overall viewership, revenues, and licensing revenues will all likely double.

The liberal media and their mind control tactics have really smart liberals truly believing that a successful entity, operated by the government will die and disappear forever if government spending goes away. That is simply not the case.

In fact, when government stops funding something, if it has value, as perceived by the people the government is supposed to represent, it will likely become more efficient at every turn.

Regardless of your views and party alliance, beware of the mind-altering tricks media is using to trick your brain into abandoning logic and reason. Look at the real-life outcomes of the stories you read. Understand going in that the agenda is not to inform. The agenda is to control they way you think.

Keep in mind that the more emotional you connect to a story, the more likely it is that you share it, "like" it, and become a fan of the source. This of course leads to the only purpose media serves- to sell advertising. All media exists for the sole purpose of selling advertising. More readers means more people to advertise, which means higher revenue from advertising.

If you know ahead of time that someone is trying desperately to manipulate you away from logical thought, wouldn't that change the way you look at what you see on Facebook?

You would think so, but I am not so sure.


Category: Media Relations

(Posted 10/5/2012 by admin)
Small Business Success - Ryder Cup Style!
The Ryder Cup is one of the most anticipated events of the golf season for fans and pros alike. What makes it so special and what does that have to do with your small business?

Employees, or more specifically top performers, are a lot like professional golfers. Top performers take full responsibility for their success, their income levels and the time commitment necessary to become successful.

All top performers, despite their title, job description or current salary, see themselves as independent professionals. Even though they have may a boss and might punch a time clock, they know that they really only work for themselves, and their families.

Like professional golfers, top performers supplement their income through relationships. Whereas a professional golfer may sign an endorsement contract, a top performer builds a network of connections to "endorse," in exchange for referral business or even a finder's fee.

So what can we learn from the Ryder Cup?
Professional golfers from all around the globe see The Ryder Cup as one of the most important events of the year. Why? In a word.

Enemies!

The Ryder Cup increases the enthusiasm, energy and engagement of the entire world-wide golf community.

This weekend we were able to witness the power of momentum as it relates to teams. Once the ball started rolling in the right direction, even the less than top performers were suddenly making shots and winning matches they had no business winning.
Here is what an enemy can deliver:
-The passionate pursuit of a common goal
-A sense of patriotism (or company loyalty)
-Pride (No longer are these players/performers playing just for themselves)
-The team concept
-A feeling of being there for one another


Have you identified an enemy for your business?

Typically there are two types of business enemies. The first is the pain your product and/or service is trying to eliminate.

For my company, that enemy is disengaged and unproductive employees and the overwhelm they create for small business owners.

The second type of enemy is the people or organization forming the biggest obstacle between you and your ideal client - in other words, your biggest competitor.

Sometimes your biggest competitor is not a company, rather a belief. Again, I will use my own company as the example. The biggest obstacles between me and my ideal client are (1) the belief that good employees are hard to find, and (2) the belief by small business owners that they represent the flaw in the current leadership/workforce development.

If you are using traditional leadership/workforce development strategies, the flaw is not in you. The problem lies within a system that demands results from criteria with no correlation to desired outcomes.

Prior work experience, interview skills and education do not lead to job success. If that is all you are looking at in your candidates, you will never achieve more than the national average of less than 30% employee engagement.

If you want better results,
Order your book today (click on the "book" tab) or Register for this Thursday's live event.(click on the "event" tab)

You will be automatically entered into our $20K Giveaway where one of my readers and one of my partners will each receive a $5,000 Grand Prize. at 6 Simple Steps to Building a Better Workforce (with little or no money) Complete 90-Day Makeover.
Category: Workforce Development

(Posted 10/1/2012 by admin)
Corporations Are Smart To Be Dumb! Should you be too?


Corporations are dumb!


But they are dumb by design.  Many corporations build infrastructure designed to deliver consistency and conformity.  They are willing to sacrifice efficiency and productivity to micro-manage virtually.  The systems and procedures limit free thought.  They eliminate the risk of poorly executed and designed plans by people not quite ready for primetime.


If you are a CEO who never actually meets, never mind interacts with the front line employees, this is probably a well-calculated risk.  It’s much less likely that you are sitting on a $Million idea than it is that a few overly enthusiastic employees overstep their bounds and embarrass the company.


Unfortunately, far too many small businesses unnecessarily fall into the dumb trap.  They follow the corporate lead and over estimate the risk.  They initiate strict, corporate-like policies and procedures to eliminate tiny risks, therefore sacrificing enormous competitive advantages.


In most cases, your biggest asset is that you are not a corporation.  In other words, you can react more quickly and more precisely when opportunities present themselves.  Your ability to change course, introduce new products, customize offerings and deliver personalized results is what sets you apart from your larger, regional and national competitors.


In the real world of big corporations, it is good to eliminate free thought.  The very last thing in the world any middle manager wants to hear is a “good idea” from someone that reports to him or her.  They hate when that happens.  Here’s why…


The middle manager knows:

1.     No one above them wants to hear it.

2.     The idea will never be implemented.

3.     The person who shared their idea wants to be recognized but won’t be.

4.     The only person that seems to care about results is a couple of weeks away from being pissed off when he/she realizes no one cares what he/she thinks.

5.     All of this will have an adverse affect on morale, productivity and engagement.


For you, experimenting with potential good ideas can be the most exciting part of your development.  Seth Godin, in his book Poke the Box, introduced me, and many others to what I consider to be the best four words any small business leader can ever say to his team, “This might not work.”


You have the opportunity to model risk for your team.  When you incorporate a, “this might not work” attitude, your team will be more willing to fail, and therefore much more likely to succeed well beyond expectations.


Sounds simple, right. 


Unfortunately, it is not that simple.  In order to reap the greatest benefit from your competitive advantages, you will need to build a foundation of understanding amongst your employees.


Here is a quote from the book:

 Empowerment without direction often leads to disaster. If your brand message is not clear to the people that are empowered, their decisions could be completely counterproductive to the company objectives.

In my humble opinion, the 6 Simple Steps to Building a Better Workforce (with little or no money) is the best way to build that foundation.


That is why I am giving away $15,000 worth of products and services. In order to be eligible for the  giveaways, all you have to do is buy the book or attend one of my live events.


Order your copy of the book, 6 Simple Steps to Building a Better Workforce (with little or no money),  today and be eligible to participate in the $15,000 Giveaway.


Or…

Register today for the Hartford Club event scheduled for October 4th from 3-5pm in Hartford CT.










Category: Small Business Leadership

(Posted 9/20/2012 by admin)
A Dream is Dying...
Is Your Dream Dying?

Today, according to Employee Engagement survey results, less than 70% of the American workforce is actively engaged in the work they do. It has been estimated that this costs this country over $350 Billion per year in lost productivity.
If you are a small business owner, it's costing you a lot more.

Do you remember the dreams you had for your business when you first launched your idea in your mind even before you had your first customer?

How does that compare to today's reality?

Chances are, people problems are the biggest roadblock separating you from your dreams.

You know, if you could solve your people problems and build the kind of workforce people RAVE about, your American Dream would be fulfilled.

The solutions to these issues can't be found in traditional practices, philosophies and systems. Are you wasting time, energy, resources Throwing Away Your Dream trying to get better at something you shouldn't be doing at all?

"There is nothing so useless as trying to become efficient at something you shouldn't be doing at all." ~Peter Drucker

It's time to take a new approach to Building a Better Workforce. Together, we can change the face of the American worker and get you back on course in the direction of your dream.

You can start by buying the book here.

Better yet, come join me, October 4th at The Hartford Club for a 2-hour, interactive Business Building Symposium. . Register here

Registration is just $25 and just $5 more for the second person in your party. Bring a client or potential customer. They will thank you for it.

Imagine a world where 70% of the American workforce did what they loved and did it well.
Imagine:
The increased productivity
A greater customer experience worth raving about.
The reductions in turnover, absenteeism and work-related injuries
Larger profits
No more feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated
Less hours at the office

No one wants to spend most of their lives doing work they hate, for people they hate. And you certainly don't want to be the one giving them paychecks and benefits every week.
Come to The Hartford Club on Thursday, October 4th and you will discover:
One Simple Secret for developing a team of problem solvers who instinctively "do what you do." No More babysitting!
The #1 "Myth" regarding employee productivity and engagement. If you do this wrong, this common motivation strategy can actually Decrease overall productivity and morale.
Two Simple things you can do today that will Explode your results while reducing the hours you commit to the office; increasing personal freedom and giving you more time for the things and people most important to you.

Register here

Your Dream is the reason my company exists. I know you what you and your company mean to your community and the people you are meant to serve. I also know that traditional methods will never get you there. Starting and running a successful business is the most admirable thing a person can do. For far too many, the risks far outweigh the rewards.
That's about to change.

With your help, together we can, as Steve Jobs put it, "Make a dent in the universe."

I am ready to start banging.
Are you?
Let's get started Today! We will redefine your Small Business Workforce
And recapture Your Dream!

To find a career to which you are adapted by nature, and then to work hard at it, is about as near to a formula for success and happiness as the world provides. One of the fortunate aspects of this formula is that, granted the right career has been found, the hard work takes care of itself. Then hard work is not hard work at all. ~ Mark Sullivan?





Category: Events

(Posted 9/10/2012 by admin)
BEGINNER'S LUCK
BEGINNER'S LUCK AND BUILDING A BETTER WORKFORCE

Beginner's Luck!

When it happens to you, it is one of the purest feelings of accomplishment. We have all felt that unbelievable adrenaline that comes from being successful at something you have never done before. The energy and emotions of instant success transcend the immediate experience and allow you to get a glimpse of your own potential.

You say things like, "I'm Good!" and you believe it. You feel confident and are comfortable taking risks. Soon, you can't help but wonder, "What other success am I missing out on?" Besides all of that, it is an awful lot of fun.

But then, you make the ultimate mistake. You start asking for advice and looking for guidance from someone with experience. Immediately, what seemed so easy no longer works. You start questioning everything. Worry and doubt take over and before too long; it's not so much fun anymore. It's about at this point when logical thought comes forward and reminds you of how silly you were to think it would last.


Here is the irony. If our logical minds were really, well logical, wouldn't it make more sense to stop doing the thing that sidetracked you? Wouldn't it make more sense to go back to, as Steven Pressfield suggests, "Staying Stupid."

"A child has no trouble believing the
unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman.
It's only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts,
who doubt and overthink and hesitate."
-From Do The Work

Instead, we look for more information and more advice. We look for more of what got us off track, stressed out and mediocre. The emotional connection to our work is gone and we are no longer having fun.

This is exactly the case when it comes to Building a Better Workforce. We look to the experts for solutions. The problem is, when 70% of the American Workforce is either under engaged, or actively dis-engaged, there are very few experts!

When it comes to Building a Better Workforce, very much like the beginner, the very worst thing you can do is look to standard practices for answers. Nothing about standard practices will lead to anything but less than mediocre results.





Category: Workforce Development

(Posted 6/1/2012 by admin)
The Process of Productivity
Being productive! What does that mean to you? For some people being productive is an impossibility a constant battle with procrastination, fear and worry. On the other end of the spectrum are the people that make being productive a pre-determined outcome based on habit.

All of us, throughout our lives experience moments at both ends. Which is more likely to happen next? That depends are you a victim, or are you a creator?

The differences between the two are thought and action. The procrastinator thinks first while the producer acts first.



Category: Productivity

(Posted 5/16/2012 by admin)
The American Dream - Broke and Broken (a.k.a. 60-Minutes off course)
60 Minutes - Trapped in Unemployment (aired Feb 2012)
We live in the greatest country in the world. Hidden beneath the everyday realities of recessions, unemployment and economic crisis lay opportunity after opportunity for positive growth, personal success and fulfillment.


60-Minutes recently ran a piece on the long-term unemployed called Trapped in Unemployment that absolutely outraged me. They had a panel of about eight long-term unemployed "educated professionals." 60-Minutes highlighted Joe Carbone, the founder of Platform to Employment as the hero.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying Joe Carbone is a bad guy. I'm not even suggesting that he shouldn't be considered a hero.

What I am suggesting is that he STOP suggesting any connection to the American Dream and having a job. As Joe himself suggested I should be, I am outraged and I am angry and I am doing every thing in my time I can to restore the American Dream. But how dare anyone suggest that the only answer is to re-enter the system that just destroyed you.

Here is an excerpt from one of the subjects of the 60-minute piece, named Vernon:

"I was very angry. I was very bitter. I was fed up with society; the
Corporate world; the lies; deceit, the greed."

I applaud Vernon for expressing himself that way. He should be fed up with society. We all should be. Joe Carbone himself said the following:

"We ought to be angry. We ought to be giving every moment of our time
figuring out how we are going to restore for them The American Dream."

I couldn't agree more with Joe's statement. I couldn't disagree more with his solution. I appreciate his emotion as he talks about the affect his work has had on him and the stories he has heard. However, teaching people how to, "Claw there way back to employment," as 60-Minute correspondent Scott Pelley suggests isn't the answer.

Diane, another subject talked about, "how this has become about my dignity." How far have we fallen that our dignity is tied to someone else accepting us? By definition, that is the opposite of dignity. "Self"- respect only comes from someone respecting themselves for their talent, determination, resourcefulness and effort.

The confidence these people are experiencing is false confidence. They are being set up with false hope and expectations for the future. They are all one bad day in the market from unemployment again and I guarantee some of them won't survive another hit.

We, as a country have to dis-engage from this belief that the ultimate goal in life is to get a job to be employed. The concept of The American Dream has many meanings to many people. For me, it's a reflection of being in the "land of opportunity." It has to do with the fact that each one of us, despite our current situation, has the opportunity to raise ourselves from poverty to great wealth and success. It means business ownership. It is self-reliance and hard work. It is a belief that what you are doing serves the greater good and allows you to share your true gifts with the world.

My definition of the American Dream is Never Having A Job.

We have created a system in which, by any measure less than 30% of the participants are actively engaged in the work they do. That represents, in my opinion a 70% fail rate. Employee Engagement studies around the world confirm this.

The answer to regaining your dignity does not lie in helping someone else fulfill his or her dreams. Dignity is restored when you break free from a society that creates victims and you create the life you want to lead; when you serve those you are meant to serve.

If you are prepared to blow leaves for $8.00 and hour, as Vernon was, why not start your own leaf blowing company and blow leaves for $35 an hour? Sure it's not easy, but it's easier than being unemployed for 99 weeks. The worst possible outcome is the gap in your resume is filled.

What if while you looked for a job, you read one book a week about a topic you were passionate about? If you haven't found a job by the time your unemployment benefits run out you will have read 99 books on one single subject and fully qualified yourself as an expert in your field of choice.

Abraham Lincoln insisted that the greatness of the American North was that industry allowed all men to prosper:

"The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land, for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This.is free labor--the just and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all."
The long-termed unemployed are not to be blamed. This is not a "U.S." problem it is a "us" problem. There is no finger pointing. It is not a party line argument. There is no "them," just a collective "We." We as a society are all contributors. It begins in our school systems. I recognized long ago that our schools are not designed to create successful people. Our schools are simply designed to create successful employees but only for those that manage to stand out amongst their peers and fall in line.

Many kids are labeled as early as second grade as "the ones that aren't going to make it." For them, the immediate and pressing goal is to prepare them to flip burgers so they at least have a job.

In many of our poorest cities, it is not uncommon for High School graduation rates to hover around the 50% mark. If you are someone that has failed to achieve a degree you are immediately labeled as a failure. I have a novel idea how about we don't label these kids as failures and encourage them to follow their dreams in self-employment.

American History is overflowing with uneducated; born into poverty; sickly and handicapped Industrial Giants and business success stories. Here are just a few:
Thomas Edison 3 months of formal education
Andrew Carnegie Elementary School Dropout
Charles Dickens Elementary School Dropout
Milton Hershey 4th Grade Education
Mark Twain 5th Grade Education
Henry Ford 8th Grade Education
Walt Disney Dropped out of school at 16
Peter Jennings dropped out of school in 10th grade
Anthony Robbins did not attend college
Steven Spielberg dropped out of college
Steve Jobs Dropped out of college
Bill Gates dropped out of college

And although not American, it's worth mentioning:
Richard Branson dropped out of High School at 16
Simon Cowell dropped out of school at 16.

Every American needs to wake up to today's reality. As Seth Godin, the brilliant thinker, social visionary and author recently pointed out:

"The recession is a forever recession. There's a cyclical recession
that comes and goes. But then there's this other thing. And it's the
end of the industrial age.

"It lasted for 80 years. For 80 years you got a job, you did what you
were told, and then you retired.

"And now, it's over. That's no longer how the world works."

Until we as a country recognize this change we are going to continue to struggle. I fear the worst is yet to come. Our schools (a.k.a. employee factories) are churning out people at such a rapid pace while every large employer is struggling to get smaller. Something has to give. According to the 2010 Census, 89% of American companies employ less than twenty employees. Most of these companies will never grow - ever period.

Even our MBA programs are not churning out business owners. As Cameron Herold, the CEO of 1-800 Got Junk so wonderfully points out in his March 2010 TED speech entitled, Teaching Kids to Be Entrepreneurs, our MBA programs are teaching people how to get jobs at big corporations. In his presentation he asks the one question our future is riding on:

"Who is starting these companies?"
I would add. Who is creating these jobs?

We all need to recognize that there are other options. Your life is no longer defined by the name with the big font on the top of your business card right above your name in the smaller font. Your dignity and self-respect should not be tied to the recognition you get from your manager -who by the way, 50% of you hate.

I want to be crystal clear here. I am not saying if you have a job you are a bad person. I am not saying if you don't think you have what it takes to start your own business, or you have no desire to start your own business you are a bad person.

All I ask is that a society, we start recognizing business ownership as a more than viable option for most Americans. According to the 60-Minutes piece, about 25% of the Americans out of work have been out of work for over a year. Many of them, like the members of the panel, are smart, educated professionals. Do you have any idea how many dumb, uneducated self-employed millionaires there are in this country?

I'm just sayin.'

Consider this fair warning: If you are currently one of the "lucky" ones currently collecting a weekly paycheck you had better start preparing for the day your "luck" runs out. Start planning your next business now. Ninety-nine weeks is a good head start for launching all kinds of businesses.

And by the way Start Reading!








Category: Career Management

(Posted 3/1/2012 by admin)
"Raising Kids to Be Entrepreneurs."
I grew up as an intelligent kid with bad habits in school. In High School I received average grades, made some lifelong friends and had a lot of fun. I was always good at math so once in a while, when I was really bored, I would try and get kicked out of class to see how well I could do on the quizzes without the help of the teacher. (Don't worry, as you read further you will see where I received payback...)

Looking back on it, it is clear to see that my high school experiences contributed greatly to the work I am so passionate about today. Like 70% of the American workforce, I had all the skills to do the work but I simply was not engaged.

Having the required skills for any assignment, whether it be school, work, business or service to community is rarely a factor of success. In fact, in some cases it may be proven that starting an assignment without the required skills produces better results. Often times in those cases it is determined that, "the way we always did it," is no longer the best way to do it.

I was so naive that I was convinced that my average grades would have no affect on my ability to get into a good college or university.

This experience gave me a unique perspective 20 years later when I found myself in Bridgeport, Connecticut teaching Reading and Writing to inner city 7th graders. (Payback!)

It soon became clear to me what I had intuitively known for years: The educational system is not designed to create successful people; it is designed to create good employees.

I want to share with you a video from a TED Conference by Cameron Herold. Cameron touches upon that very subject as he talks about Raising Kids to be Entrepreneurs. Watch this video and then leave me a comment letting me know what you think.

PS - This is a "Must Watch" video if you are a parent, employee or entrepreneur

Tell me what you think
Post your comments here







Category: Entrepreneurs, Parenting, Education

(Posted 11/7/2010 by admin)
MasterMind of One
Trying to figure out that next step? Consider a MasterMind of One

Do you have a great idea for a new business, project or product but just can't figure out how to make it work? Are you 100% (or at least 65%) convinced that your idea is a winning one? The problem is ideas never amount to success unless they are implemented. And here in lies the problem. You have no idea what to do next.

This is a problem I run into constantly. Often times thinking about my idea only makes the problem worse because I have this tendency to expand my idea rather than shrink my idea into actionable items for today. Instead of thinking about how to start I imagine world wide distribution, celebrity endorsements and shaking hands with Oprah in front of a live studio audience. Suddenly the task seems to daunting and before I know it that incredible million dollar idea slips into the abyss for eternity.

Perhaps your difficulty is a step removed from the dilemma just described. Maybe your challenge is the idea itself. All you know is that you don't want what you have now. You are convinced that implementation will not be a problem. You just aren't able to come up with any viable options.

Does any of that sound the least bit familiar to you?

We all experience these types of situations on a regular basis. It is a normal process of expansion. It also the biggest cause of frustration, doubt and fear for most people in search of something better.

That is why it is so important to put systems into place that will help give you direction and guidance. The need for this assistance is so great that the entire business coaching industry has been founded to fill that need. The number one objective for any business coach is to help their clients figure out "what to do next." If you do not have a coach now you should look one up. (I have several coaches now and always will and oh, by the way, it is very likely that every successful person you have ever aspired to be has one too.)

Many successful professionals rely on mentors to help guide them through their lives and careers. The mentor/mentee relationship is a little less formal. The objectives are a lot broader. Dictionary.com defines mentor as, "a wise and trusted counselor or teacher." You may work alongside your mentor every day or you may call your mentor every couple of months to ask a question or to get feedback or guidance. According to Oprah Winfrey, "A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself."

Another effective solution is Masterminding. Mastermind groups are forming all around the world. Business people with similar goals and ideals gather together and discuss ways to further their projects, products, or businesses.

According to Karyn Greenstreet, author How to Start a For-Profit Mastermind Group:

"There is synergy of energy, commitment, and excitement that participants bring to a Mastermind Group. The beauty of Mastermind Groups is that participants raise the bar by challenging each other to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion. Mastermind participants act as catalysts for growth, devil's advocates and supportive colleagues."

I am a huge advocate of Masterminds, however groups of this nature could take months to form, and even longer to develop into synergized catalysts for growth - especially if you are still searching for that initial idea.

Well, believe it or not, there is a way to streamline the Mastermind Process.

Better still you can invite some of the smartest and most influential people in any field depending on your specific need and they will show up every time without fail for free.

This practice I have used myself on many occasions and have suggested it to many clients with consistent results. The technique I recommend is a slight adaptation from the Invisible Mastermind developed and written about by Napolean Hill in his all time best selling book Think and Grow Rich.

I call my technique MasterMind of One and here is how it works:

Step One: Define your problem
Having a problem is not enough. If you want to solve your problem you must be able to define your problem. If you can't define your problem, remember your sources of power and ask yourself, "Is this a Time problem, Money problem or Energy problem?"

If this is an implementation problem then ask yourself, "What do I want my final outcome to look like?" "What parts do I have now and what parts are still missing?" (Remember; some parts may be independent of others so if you eventually need all the parts don't worry about the order in which you develop them)

Step Two: Create your invitation list
This is the fun part. Imagine you somehow got a hold of God's Rolodex and suddenly you had access to everyone in history. Who would you want to ask for help with this problem? Who do you respect and consider being the expert in the field for the issue at hand?

(Here is a list of some of my favorites: Napolean Hill; Bob Proctor; Stephen Covey; Wayne Dyer; Michael Port; Timothy Ferriss; Steve Little; Tom Peters; Sun Tzu; Joe Vitale; Jeffery Gitomer; Jack Canfield, Keith Ferrazzi, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer, Frank Rumbauskas and others.)

From your invitation list choose the 6 most relevant advisors to your current situation. I find that six is a good number. Less than six may limit your solution options and more than six can become a little hard to manage. If you are having a hard time narrowing the list this is a good time to practice using your intuition.

Step Three: Gather up your invitees
Go to your bookshelf and/or library and gather up your "advisors." To do this I simply grab a book by each of the authors on my invitee list. It is a good idea to read at least one book by the author so you can get a good sense of their thinking styles and conversation style. To increase your overall experience you can search the internet for audio files of your advisors and invest the time to listen.

Step Four: Schedule your Meeting
Grab your Calendar and block off a 30-60 minute block of time that you will not be disturbed. It is very likely that you will not need the entire hour but that last thing you would want is to cut your Mastermind meeting short.

Step Five: Facilitate your MasterMind of One
My technique is simple and effective. Place each book in a chair; at each place sitting of a table; in a circle on the floor in your office or bedroom. Create a quiet and relaxing setting. If you meditate on a regular basis create the same atmosphere that you do when you meditate. I like to listen to alpha or theta wave audio files with headphones to facilitate deeper relaxation and freedom from distractions.

Take 3-4 deep relaxing breaths: inhale through your nose for a count of six, hold it for a count of 12 and exhale for a count of 18 and close your eyes. Once you arrive at a relaxed meditative state begin to prepare mentally for your MasterMind session. Once prepared simply invite your attendees to come and sit.

Visualize each advisor entering the room one by one and see yourself greeting them with a firm handshake and a friendly professional smile and escorting them to their assigned seat. Once everyone is present and seated simply explain your situation to your advisory board and let the discussion begin.

What you can expect.
Outcomes will vary however in my experiences a very lifelike circumstance is created. There is a genuine connection felt between me and my advisors and a great deal of trust is established immediately. In most cases one advisor will step up to volunteer some guidance often assuming the role of spokesperson for the entire group. The direction is clear and concise. Action steps are clearly defined and there is a sense of accountability created between you and your MasterMind of One.

Suggestions:
1.) It is a good idea to have a notepad or journal and a pen nearby. It may sound strange but your first experience can be a little overwhelming. My first experience was so enlightening that I was overcome with excitement; so much so that I almost forgot the content of the meeting.

2.) Take one action step toward the completion of your project. Even the smallest step, no matter how insignificant it may seem can increase the chances of success greatly: make one phone call; send one email; write one paragraph. Just do something before you go officially close the meeting.

3.) Make this a part of your problem solving systems for growth and development..

4.) Try it today!

Good Luck and as always.
Do Great Things!

Michael J Stone


Category: business development

(Posted 12/10/2009 by admin)
What Success Means to Me
My son is filling out College appllications and one in particular requested a personal definition of success. His mother asked me to help him with it and I though I would share some of what I came up with.


Success is recognizing that you are doing the best you can every minute of every day based on the circumstances that surround you while dedicating yourself to improving your circumstances at every opportunity.

Success is treating every circumstance and experience, good and bad, as a gift wrapped in foil ready to be opened in order to find the lesson inside that will lead me to my greater good.

Success is not measured by what you have, rather by how many you serve.


Take this opportunity to really decide on your definition of success. You don't have to decide for the next forty-five years. If your definition of success carries you through this month, then work your butt off to achieve it this month. Mastery is repeatable. Whatever you do to achieve success can transfer to anything you ever want to do for the rest of your life - Even if you change your path every 10 years.

Here is what I believe. If you sit still and listen to your heart, you will discover that you already know what you want to do. Your heart won't lie to you. Follow it! And follow it with all you've got. Don't look outwards for direction, listen inward. Don't be afraid to fail. You can do, have, or become anything you set your sights on. You were born perfect, you are perfect still, and you will remain perfect for as long as you live. Don't listen to anyone that leads you in a direction away from your dreams (especially that little voice inside). Be Bold! It takes no more effort to Dream Big than it does to dream small. Accept the course that your heart has chosen for you. Any other course will not lead to fulfillment. Don't be afraid of your dreams. God would not mock you. They are your dreams for a reason. Don't settle for the easier road, or the safer choice. Find your true purpose and set your course in that direction and you will not fail

Tell me what you think
Post your comments here




(Posted 12/4/2008 by admin)
Voting Day - Time to Make a Choice
Today is Voting Day. It is the day we all must make a decision about our future leadership and the direction our lives are going to go. I encourage each and every one of you to go and cast your vote and make your choice count.

However, I am not talking about the Presidential Election, I am talking about your life.

Make today the day that you decide once and for all that what happens in your life is up to you and the decisions you make, not government elections and political agendas.

Regardless of today's election outcome, we all win because we are all Americans. No government policy or agenda can take away your ability to make better choices and improve our lives every day in every way.

You see, every morning you can make a choice. There are many options to choose from. You can choose success; failure, status quo; among many other options.

The problem is, most if us don't cast our vote. Most of us go through life on autopilot completely enslaved by our horrible habits and vices.

Today, I choose success.

Here is the simple truth. Now is the only moment that matters, and you can only live one day at a time. Every morning we have the opportunity to vote on how we want our day to go.

We can choose what kind of attitude we are going to "take to the marketplace" as Jim Rohn would say. We can choose how much time we want to put into preparation; self-development; physical and mental fitness; building our businesses; and parenting our children.

The problem is, most of us don't take the time to vote. Today I choose success.

Eben Pagan, in his Wake Up Productive Program talks about designing daily rituals for the first 90 minutes of each day that allow you to "make yourself strong first." By designing a daily ritual that allows you to start each day strong, you are choosing success. You are casting your ballot each and every day.

What rituals can you develop that will remind you that you have a choice. You can choose success today. What you will discover is that success is not the cars, and the money, and the clients. Those things are the result of you being successful.

"Success is not something you achieve, rather it is something you attract by the person you become" Jim Rohn

I encourage you to follow the advice of Eben Pagan and develop those early morning rituals that lead you towards becoming a successful person.


Today, I choose success!

Did You Vote Today! It's Not Too Late.

Michael J Stone
www.MichaelJStone.com


Category: Personal Growth and Development

(Posted 11/4/2008 by admin)
Three Levels of Learning.
A few days ago I brought to you a story that I hope you were able to relate to. Often times the roughest patches of our lives seem to offer the most poignant lessons, if we choose to look for them.

Believe it or not, we are confronted with "pop quizzes" every single day often disguised as problems. It is the way of the Universe. If we choose to ignore the lesson, and blame circumstances, other people, or bad luck, the Universe has a way of repeating that pop quiz over and over again until you take notice.

Does that sound familiar?

Let's use an example of someone you might know.

We all know someone who is perpetually unprepared. Day after day, they simply "go with the flow." They take little responsibility for tomorrow yet always seem to have excuses for when things go wrong.

This is a good illustration of what it means to mature. Many young adults fail to plan for tomorrow and are often caught off guard by upcoming, unforeseen circumstances. However, eventually, as they mature, they begin to learn the lessons from that experience and start to change their habits to reflect a more prepared existence.

Thus I offer to you the second level of learning.

I hear you "Wait a minute! Where was the first level?"

The first level of learning was in the second paragraph of this entry. Learning begins when we are exposed to new ideas, or reminded of old lessons learned. The explanation of "pop quizzes" from the Universe was a new idea for some of you, or a reminder of lessons learned before. In either case, that is a representation of the first level of learning. This is a surface level of learning. The concept makes sense and you feel as though you understand it. It is at this level where you might say something like "That makes sense! I understand what you mean by that."

The second level of learning is when you can witness the concept in the lives of others. As you consider your laid back friend, you begin to see the lesson in action. Often times you can use the wisdom of the lesson to predict future outcomes, and often times even manifest them in others. (We will discuss this principle in future posts.) At this level of learning you achieve a deeper understanding of a surface level experience. This allows for a more conceptual type of learning that will further your personal wisdom as you develop the ability to notice characteristics in others that will help you to predict future behaviors and outcomes.

The third level of learning is where true learning occurs. When we begin to take the wisdom we acquire from the second level of learning and point it inward toward ourselves we can begin to manifest positive changes in our lives, and the lives of the ones we love.

This is a critical level that must be attained in order to make Massive Breakthroughs in your life.

Massive Breakthroughs come from a concerted effort, not only to change, but also to understand the need for change and the direction to move.

Massive Breakthroughs can take years (like the ten year Overnight Success) or they can happen at a rapid pace. The rate at which you manifest positive change in your life will be in direct proportion to your ability to pass those "pop quizzes" presented by the Universe.

Remember, those pop quizzes are often disguised as major obstacles, or major setbacks. Don't dismay. These, after all, are signs that there is a path for you. You have just simply wandered off of it.

Regardless of your circumstance, remember that in this moment, everything is OK. Your job now is to find the lesson, and then find the path toward the third level of learning.

Remember, it's not enough to understand the concept of the lesson.

Next, time I will share why this is so much more challenging than it seems. This will bring you to the third level of learning and speed up your Massive Breakthrough!

Keep at it.

Do Great Things!

Mike
Category: Personal Development

(Posted 10/27/2008 by admin)
Life Lessons
There is a lesson in everything.

After a long absence I am so excited to come back to you and share with you all of the amazing discoveries that have unfolded in front of me. Over the next few months I will share with you all that I have discovered in the areas of Self Development, Leadership, Human Potential and Taming and Harnessing the Awesome Power of the Subconscious Mind. It has been such an amazing ride. Let me tell you what it feels like.

I have lived in the Northeast my whole life spending most of my childhood in Connecticut. My boyhood winters were filled with snow sledding with my friends and family. I have so many fond memories of the days I spent in my neighbors front yard sledding down what seemed to be a steep slope at a heart beating pace time after time. I am reminded of that experience now as I recall those first few years when I was 5 or 6 years old.

Maybe some of you can relate to the following scenario. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was cold and there was a lot of snow on the ground and falling from the sky. My brother, as always, was the first to challenge "the mountain" and hopped on his sled without fear or hesitation and swooshed down in front of me. I was a little more timid and waited while my older friend went next. Then it was my turn.

I began to push myself down the mountain and my heart began to beat. As I picked up speed my heartbeat kept pace. Within seconds I was flying down the mountain and it didn't take long for me to realize I was going to lose control. As I looked up, I realized that I did not know how to maneuver the sled in order to make the left turn to safety as I approached the street. The mound that was created by the plow was right in my path. Picking up speed, and losing control of my sled I began to panic and in a last ditch effort to save myself I tried to bail out (unsuccessfully). I was absolutely terrified and convinced I was going to die. Despite all of the stimulus around me, I could feel my heart ready to pop out of my chest. As I began to roll off the side of my sled it crashed into the snow bank surrounding the street. In my attempts to bail, I had turned the sled just enough to prevent myself from flying into the street, but as I bounced about in a ball of legs and feet, my mittens, hat and sled all shot out in different directions.

After what seemed like several rolls, I ended up in a seated position, covered in snow. I was hatless; my face red, wet and cold, looking up at my brother and friends at the top as they ran down to me. Sitting there, I realized that despite the pure terror I just experienced, I was OK! Suddenly, I had this exhilaration recognizing that the experience I just had was FUN!

That is very close to what I feel right now. That terrifying slide down a slippery slope is what my life has felt like for most of my adult life. I was not in control and unable to stay on course to safety. Now, at 44 years old, I realize that every day I was given the opportunity to learn a lesson. Every failure, missed opportunity, wrong turn, or tumble was an opportunity to grow.
As I sit here now, all safe and sound, knowing what I now know, I can look back on all of my setbacks and disappointments and look for the lessons. Once I learn the lesson, I will no longer need the experience, and I can let it go. I can enjoy the challenge of looking back to find the lessons that can lead me to the life I want. I do not have to relive the experience. I can simply choose to observe..

Here is the deal.right this second, regardless of your current circumstances, you are safe and sound. In other words, you are OK!

I challenge you to look back and "observe" your challenges and setbacks and look for the lessons. I guarantee you will discover that they are easy are to find. Don't ignore the lessons. If you do, you will continue to have those experiences until the lessons are learned.

Please stay tuned for some exciting opportunities to make Massive Breakthroughs in your life.

Next time I will share the three levels of learning that you must apply to your lessons that will lead to positive change.

Welcome! I could not be more excited for you.


(Posted 10/24/2008 by admin)
Win Within!
Where does success come from? Recently I was listening to an audio file of Kim Kyosoki talking about success. She began her presentation by asking the audience the following question:
"How many of you out there could use a little more success?"

Could you use a little more success?

It's a pretty dumb qustion isn't it?

We all could use a little more success. That is why we work so hard, read so much, and always look for the extra edge over the competition. Those kind of advantages are hard to find. Especially when you are looking in the wrong drection.

You see, what most searchers fail to realize is that success is not something we seek. Success is not something we achieve. Rather, success is something that we tap into from the omnipotent power we already possess.

The truth is that every success you have ever experienced came from within.

Think back on your life. As you recall all of the times you felt successful, didn't that power come from within.

Keep in mind that I am not suggesting you did it alone. Someone else may have put the bat in your hand, showed you how to hold your hands and swing, but you were the one that hit the ball.

This is an important distinction. Jim Rohn reminds us that most of us have it backwards. "Having the cars and the homes doesn't make you a successful person; being a successful person allows you to have the homes and cars."

This will be a recurring theme in the coming weeks. Keep checking back. If what you want is a little more success then that is what I will promise.

Do Great Things
Michael J Stone

Post your comments here



(Posted 10/8/2008 by admin)
It's been a while...
How was your summer? Mine was hectic, and exciting. I have been doing a lot of unscrambling, and rescrambling my business and my business model. I am excited about the expected outcome and future.

My most recent book project has begun and you shoud expect a late spring release.

As time goes by I will occassionally request feedback and commentary so please stay posted.

I am so excited about this project I can hardly stop thinking and talking about it. The concepts I am writing about are simple, yet the positive outcome is swift and seemless.

You wil finally be able to maximize your potential everyday, while at the same time maximizing the potential of everyone you come in contact with.

Includinng, your children, your parents, your boss, your employees, and every person you come in contact with.

The best part is, you don't even have to share with them what you are doing in order for it to be effective.

I can't tell you how it has already changed my life, and the lives of the people I love. Some are aware of the concepts, while others are merely aware of the benefits.

Keep checking back.

You do not want to miss this launch. Nobody is doing what I am intending to do. You won't believe it when you see it.

Stay Tuned!

Thanks for checking in.

Do Great Things!
Post your comments here



(Posted 9/9/2008 by admin)
The Great Debate: What makes a great Coach?
We are down to the final days of the second round of the NBA (National Basketball Association) Playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers are leading their series with the Utah Jazz 3 games to 2. The Lakers are led by controversial coach Phil Jackson.

Phil Jackson has won several NBA Championships (9) in his career. No coach has ever won more championships than he has. Yet, whenever people discuss Phil Jackson there is always a debate over how good of a coach he really is. The doubters always claim that he could not have won the first 6 championships without Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player ever; or the next three without Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. I would have to admit; I think it is a discussion worth having.

However, not today.

You see there is a follow up argument that I think is more telling. Many supporters of Phil Jackson think he is a great coach. They argue that he could make any team better. Others say that without top players, he would not be as effective. They claim he needs top players in order to win.

Those of you that know me might be able to guess my opinion. Not only do I agree with the latter statement, I risk my reputation on it, and I have some evidence to back it up. I agree that Phil Jackson is a great coach. However, I do not believe that he could take a team with mediocre or poor talent to greater heights.

He is a great coach of great players. When he is coaching players with less talent, he is less of a good coach.

Why do you suppose that is?

Before I tell you why that is, I want you to consider how this relates to the Transition2Wealth philosophy.

Phil Jackson is a great coach of great players because he is inspired and energized by coaching top players. For Phil Jackson, he is meant to serve top players. When he is coaching mediocre talent he gets frustrated, tired, and loses his energy and enthusiasm for coaching. That is why he "retired" from coaching coincidentally right after Michael Jordan retired. When he was presented the opportunity to coach Kobe and Shaq, suddenly the fire was back.

You've heard it before from me It's not skill. Phil Jackson's coaching skills do not diminish when he is faced with the task of coaching mediocre talent, but his potential for success is greatly affected.

Now lets look at the other side of the equation, and another great coach. Bill Parcells is another Hall of Fame coach and his success is also dependent on the type of player/team he is dealt. Unlike Phil Jackson, Bill Parcells is energized and enthusiastic when he takes over a seemingly poor performing, yet talented team.

Every team Parcells has coached went from mediocrity to the playoffs within just a couple of years. Even the Cowboys, a team he left before they flourished, flourished with the talent he produced. One might argue that Bill loves to turn players into superstars, yet has little patience for them once they get there.

You see, it's not what we do that makes us happy it's what we do, coupled with who we serve, in alignment with our core values. Your potential, and the potential of your employees is more affected by the people they serve, than it will be by what they do. That is the key to engagement.

So how can you bring that into your organization? Decide right now Who it is you serve that energizes you and inspires you, and serve them in alignment to your core values from now on. Then when you speak to your employees, make sure that they are inspired and energized by the same clientele that you are targeting.

If they are in it for any other reason, it is likely that their potential will diminish with every passing day.

It's just too bad that Bill Parcells and Phil Jackson don't coach the same sport. They would make a great team.

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(Posted 5/19/2008 by admin)
Making Good Decisions: What we "know to be true" vs. the truth.
Wisdom is one of my favorite words and one of the things I value most. (Those of you that know me well or have seen me wearing shorts might already know that.) It leads to the fulfillment of many other core values. Wisdom can lead to:
  • Peace of Mind
  • Inner Strength
  • Self Awareness
  • A Sense of Presence

Dictionary.com defines wisdom as, "knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action."

Wisdom is something we acquire through our own experiences, or an understanding of the experiences of others. Wisdom is also a skill. The more we practice good judgment, the wiser we become.

Identifying the "knowledge of what is true" is also a skill. There are a lot of things we believe to be true despite the lack of supporting facts. Just as practicing good judgment leads to wisdom, ignoring evidence of truth in order to uphold our beliefs in what we "know to be true" is a roadblock to wisdom.

I know some of you might be wondering what the heck I am talking about so let me explain myself using some of my favorite examples.
  • Everyone knows "you need a college degree to be successful," yet we also know that's not true
  • Everyone knows "you need good grades to be successful," yet we know that's not true,
  • Everyone knows "You need experience to be successful," yet we know that's not true.

The fact is we all know people who are wildly successful at what they do despite poor grades; lack of degree; and no prior experience in their present field. If you are a small business owner your earliest discovery just might have been how little you know about owning your own business. Yet, you survived, and sometimes thrived in areas you had no formal training or experience with. Most of what you learned, you taught yourself.

As leaders it is your responsibility to, as Tom Peters (Best Selling Author, In Search Of Excellence; Thriving on Chaos) would say, "Focus in the soft stuff: People, Values, Character and Commitment." As you lead, be sure not to be sidetracked by "what you know," and focus on the truth.

Do you want to become a better leader? Contact us for some One-on-One CEO Leadership Coaching, or our next Group CEO Leadership Coaching Programs.
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(Posted 5/15/2008 by admin)
Are your employees working to their full potential?
Yes they are!
In fact we all are, all the time.

Let me explain

Throughout my life I have always been interested in the human interactions with each other. Even in my early days as a retail manager I recognized that customer service, however hard to find, was the easiest and cheapest way to increase the experience for everyone involved. Yet, to this day good service is so rare that the positive impact can last several days. What's worse is that we have come to expect bad service and when we get it we are hardly phased.

I have come to learn this "Everyone is loving to the highest degree possible all of the time."

This realization is something I need to share with you so you can remember that the next time you run into someone that you just can't seem to get along with. Always remember that those people are doing the best they can under their current circumstances, and perhaps you can try to improve their circumstances by loving back a little bit more.

Recently I came to realize that human potential works in exactly the same way. Our potential is not a fixed line in the sky that is predetermined at birth. Our potential is in direct proportion to our circumstances.

If you have a salesperson that regularly performs below the quota you set for them, perhaps you need to look at their potential.

If you consider they hate:
-Their Job
-Their Boss
-Their Product
-Their Customer
-Their Spouse

the fact that they can produce 50% of quota is actually quite astounding.

In order for us to perform at peak levels we must:
-Be Happy
-In Service to those we are meant to serve
-In Alignment with our Core Values

As Leaders it is your responsibility to create an atmosphere of peak performance.

You can do this by saying Loud and Proud
"This is who we are, this is what we stand for, and this is who we serve!

Your ability to communicate that message to your employees when you hire, train, and communicate to them will increase your organization's overall potential.

Your employees are always working to their highest potential and it is your responsibility to raise that bar for them. As you create the vision for your company, be in service to those you have inspired to make that vision come to life.

Remember - No one wants to hate their job - we all want to be engaged and energized at work and it is up to you to create that.
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(Posted 4/29/2008 by admin)
Let's Be Realistic.
The Economy is tough; the job market stinks; nobody is hiring; talent is hard to find; nobody is spending money.

The excuses are everywhere. What I find interesting on how consistently the talk is always negative.

Up until just recently, you couldn't go a day without hearing about the shrinking talent pool. All the workforce conversation was about the loss of 64 million workers to retirement, and the massive skills gap.

Now of course, all the talk is about the economy, and the loss of jobs and opportunity. I just wonder how much of this is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We can read all of the articles we want about the struggling economy, and the shrinking talent pool, yet we all know of people and companies that never seem to be affected by outside influences. The fact is, for every situation it is all too easy to find the negative, but the fact is there is always another side to the story.

For example, try, I mean it, really try to go 24 hours without hearing about the housing "crisis." Then consider all of the people looking to buy a new home. Guess what No crisis for them.

When you focus on service more than sales your value increases in times of flux. When you build relationships based on trust and value you can create opportunities to strengthen those relationships as the trusted advisor. You are also presented with new opportunities to serve the people you are meant to serve as changes always present different needs and new opportunities.

Consider the people you are meant to serve. How are their needs evolving in these trying times? When you discover their potential needs and offer solutions you will win today, and tomorrow.


(Posted 4/16/2008 by admin)
Success is not Something You Achieve.
Success is something you attract by the person you become."

I heard this quote from Jim Rohn. If you are not familiar with Jim Rohn, he is the motivational speaker that all other Motivational Speakers look up to. According to Mr. Rohn, this quote is not his own. When Jim was just 22 years old, his mentor shared this quote with him.

As a CEO Leadership Coach, I think of this quote often, for myself, as well as for my clients. Owning your own company is so personally demanding. To be successful you have to satisfy the demands of:
Your Customers
Your Company
Your Employees
Your Community
Your Government
Your Family

and of course. yourself.

The problem is, as you look at the list, it seems as though it is written in the order of importance we place on it.

We sacrifice our families and ourselves in order to better satisfy the others.

Here is the catch.

You can never be the "World's Best Boss" (reference to Michael Scott form the hit TV Series the Office intended) until you have mastered yourself.
Self Mastery is the key that will open the door to improvements in all the other areas of your life.
Yet far too often, we worry about our own needs last.

Your intentions are noble, yet detrimental to your full potential.

I recently received an e-mail from one of Jim Rohn's colleagues, Chris Widener suggesting a self imposed boot camp.

Click Here for the article.


Here is a brief synopsis. The purpose of Boot Camp is to instill permanent, positive changes in the most effective, and efficient way possible.

In order to achieve positive change, you must shake up your normal habits of behavior until you create new ones.

So I invite you to become your own personal Drill Sergeant. Throughout your day, imagine if your drill sergeant was standing behind you "eyeballin" your every move.

What would you do differently?

If you need more help, sign up for One-on-One CEO Leadership Coaching, or our next Group CEO Leadership Coaching Programs.
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(Posted 4/1/2008 by admin)
Are you a True American Business Owner?
Many American Business owners are founded on the traditions of our great forefathers. This country was founded with the spirit only a true entrepreneur can appreciate.

Can you imagine the guts it took to leave the comfort of the established system?

Can you imagine how these mavericks felt about being told what they can and can't do?

How everything they earned would be taxed?

What religion they could or could not worship?


Of course you can!

These emotions mirror the emotions you felt when you finally decided to go off on your own and establish your own system.

Like our forefathers, you decided you were going to be different!

You were going to be better!

Also like our forefathers, things turned out to be pretty much the same.

Think About it-

How many of the things that you ran form as an employee have you incorporated into your own business? Didn't you just recreate a smaller version of the "old country" you got so tired of being a part of?

Sure your title has changed, but the systems rarely do. Your past experiences influence your life, and far too often the habits we were taught and trained through our education and past employers resurface in our current situation.

Could that be the cause of your lack of fulfillment?

Is that why more than 50% of the American workforce is not engaged in the work they do?

Is that why you are overworked, and underappreciated?

Could Be.
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(Posted 3/17/2008 by admin)
Wake Up!
50% of the World's Income is in the hands of 2% of the People.
That means that 98% of us are doing something wrong!



Consider this: If you are doing the wrong thing, does it matter how good you get at it?

Billionaire Richard Branson, owns and operates 11 Businesses, yet he has been quoted as saying "If I prioritize correctly I can accomplish all my work in the first fifteen minutes of every day." So why is it that it takes the average business owner 15 hours to accomplish all of his days work? Seriously, When was the last time you finished everything you set out to accomplish?

The fact is traditional ways of thinking and doing business won't ever lead to wealth.

Do you know that more than 50% of Americans hate their jobs? According to Gallup Management Journal one out of every 6 employees is actively, and knowingly sabotaging your efforts.

Did you know there is something you can do about it?
Wealth is a mindset. Wealth comes from separating your work from your productivity, and living with abundance in all things. Contrary to popular belief you don't need to choose between wealth and well-being. You truly can have it all.

When you make the Transition2Wealth you can enjoy all of the things you wanted when you launched your business in your imagination long ago. Go to Transition2Wealth.com to Register for the upcoming workshop.

You will discover how to separate your work form your productivity, and how to increase the joy and passion that has been fading from your life.

How many times have you said, "There has to be a better way?" There is a better way. There is way that will help you to stop chasing customers and dollars, and start chasing your dreams and experiencing wealth today, and everyday.



Take this Self Assessment
Please Rate the Following Areas of your life and Business based on current circumstances (1 being poor 5 being Great)

Poor (1) Fair(2) Good(3) Better (4) Great(5)
Category
Work/Life Balance ____

Stress Management ____

Time Management ____

Number of Clients ____

Quality of Clients ____

Love What I do ____

Still Love Doing it ___

MY life is filled with
Joy & Passion ____

My Exit Strategy ____

When you make the Transition2Wealth you can expect an increase in every one of these categories. The Transition2Wealth is not a business strategy as much as it a life strategy. Wealth is represented by abundance in all things. The Transition2Wealth system allows you to experience abundance in your relationships, your personal freedom, and fulfillment, as well as financial freedom. When you make the Transition2Wealth you will increase the Joy and Passion in your life for years to come.

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Category: finance

(Posted 2/28/2008 by admin)
I have a Secret
I know the meaning of life!

It's really quite simple. The meaning of life is to be happy and seek fulfillment.

In other words do more of the things you like to do, and less of the things you don't.

Being happy is simple, but it isn't easy. There is so much to complain about, and so much that we have to do that we don't want to do.

The Transition2Wealth system can help you both be happy, and find fulfillment.

There is only one way to truly understand and appreciate what it means to experience fulfillment.

Here's the good news!

You can experience fulfillment every day.
You see fulfillment can only come from service to others.

The closer you get to serving those you are "meant" to serve, the more fulfillment you will experience.

Join us in Wallingford starting March 5th for our Live Transition2Wealth Workshop.
Click Here for details.
Go to Transition2Wealth.com to find out more about my Transition 2 Wealth Workshops.
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(Posted 2/22/2008 by admin)
The New Paradigm
The American Workforce is changing. We are in a time where the company needs the employee more than the employee needs the company. With the Y Generation entering the workplace, coupled with the soon-to-be-retiring Baby Boomers leaving the workplace, the landscape is beginning to change.

This may very well be the first paradigm shift that is not technology based. Because of that, it poses some drastic challenges for today's employers. Those who don't act quickly will likely suffer some consequence regardless of current size, and market position.

With technology paradigms it is often safe, even recommended to wait for the early adapters to carve the new landscape for the massess. With the shrinking talent, and new expectations of the Amercian workforce, the companies that wait for the early adapters will be left out in the cold.

The days of arrogantly "qualifying" candidates are over. It is now your turn to prove the your entire workforce, day in and day out, that you "qualify" as a valid employer.

It is time to rethink everything you do, and ask yourself Why? It is up to you to reshape what it is going to mean to work for you. We can help you to understand the challenges ahead, and help you to the forefront of change.

This is the first time in a long time when the smaller business has the upper hand. The spoils will go to the organizatons that can act quickly to the increased demands and expectations of their employees, as well as their customers, and shareholders.

We are here to help!





(Posted 2/21/2008 by admin)
No time to Grow?
Business is good. You are busy and you have a nice stream of revenue, and clients. From almost every perspective things are going well. So what's the problem?

Why is it that you are beginning to feel this little knot in your stomach? As things continue to go well, why is it getting harder and harder to sleep at night?

Are you holding back?

I don't blame you!

After all, you already work way too many hours now. You missed Suzie's game last weekend and you haven't been on vacation in years. You have so much work piled up on your desk, now just is not the right time to grow.

Oh! I understand. As soon as you "catch up" you are going to start growing the business. That makes sense - for you!. What about your employees, your customers, your probable purchasers, and your company?

Don't confuse your personal issues with your business issues. As a business leader it is your responsibility to guide your company to success, not hold it back. Your time management issues should not be your company's problem.

If they are, "that sounds like a you problem." If it is, what are you doing about it?

I have an idea that can have an immediate impact in your life, on your business, and with your family. It is really simple, but I must warn you that you may not like it.

Turn off the television.
Go to Transition2Wealth.com to find out more about my Transition 2 Wealth Workshops.
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(Posted 2/17/2008 by admin)
Would you Sell to a Bigot?
I just responded to a blog entry on BNET entitled "Would You Sell to a Racist Bigot?" (Click the link to see the article)

Click Here to see my response.

Choosing who you serve, and in turn who you spend time with is by far one of the greatest benefits to Building a Better Workforce and making the Transition2Wealth

We all have those people in our lives that we would just rather avoid. Sometimes they are in our business, sometimes in our personal lives, and sometimes they are in our family. Often times they are nice people with good intentions, but they just rub us the wrong way. Often times it is just a matter of incompatible core values.

No matter how hard we try, we know that when we are around them we have to put on a face. We also know that this "act" is on a timer. The time is specific to each person, but it is very accurate. As the buzzer is about to sound, all of your energy is focused on getting away from this person. It is frustrating, stressful, uncomfortable, and sometimes difficult.

If your client base is full of people like this, your ability to serve is extremely limited. The level and quality of your work is always affected by your attitudes and emotions. Ask yourself "how good of a job can I be doing if my attitude and emotions are screaming at me to get out of here before the buzzer goes off and I snap?"

Ah! The contrary. Luckily, we all have people in our lives that just naturally make you smile. You just can't help it. When you see them you always make time to say hello, even if it is for a few seconds. These people add joy and energy into our lives. It is hard to explain, but impossible to ignore. We just feel better around certain people. When these people are also the people you do business with, the fulfillment in your life goes far beyond what your bank account says.

But consider this. When the person that makes you feel that way is a supplier to your family or your business, you hardly think twice about how much you spend. The thought of going to a competitor is out of the question. They become your trusted advisor, and together you both add value to the people you are meant to serve.

Go to Transition2Wealth.com to find out more about my Transition 2 Wealth Workshops.
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(Posted 2/13/2008 by admin)
Do You love what You Do, and do you still love doing it?
Think about your answers. For some of you the answers might be obvious, but I assure you they are not all the same. There are a lot of people who aren't crazy about what they "sell," but enjoy selling it. A rare and lucky few still love what they do and still love doing it. If you fall into that category I offer you many congratulations. If you have yet to begin experiencing wealth, it would be my pleasure to help you get there.

The truth is far too many of you love what you do, in fact can see yourself doing nothing else, yet you no longer love doing it. Are you confused about your future? Have you ever wondered why you haven't been rewarded the way you think you deserve to be? Are you buried in "minor emergencies" that steal your energy and enthusiasm for your work, and your life?
Has the business that you thought would energize and inspire you taken over your life and at times overwhelmed you? Are you still waiting on that personal freedom that you thought was on its way? Does it sometimes seem difficult to get out your own way?
Despite the fact that you devote everything to the success of your business, do you feel unappreciated by your employees, and your customers (and perhaps even your own family)? When was the last time you were able to take three weeks off to re-energize?

If any of these thoughts have entered your mind rest assured. You are not alone, and there is a solution.

The life you are looking for is available to you, and more if you just focus on three simple principles:

1.What is it you stand for?
2.Who is it you were meant to serve?
3. Stop Selling and start serving!

When it is all said and done are you going to stand at the pearly gates and say
"I sure did sell a lot." Or would you rather say, "I sure did serve a lot."

The choice is yours.

Go to Transition2Wealth.com to find out more about my Transition 2 Wealth Workshops.

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(Posted 2/11/2008 by admin)
You Will Never Be Rich.
At least you will never feel like you are.

I recently read an article on the Wall Street Journal Wealth Report entitled A Rich Person's Definition of Rich. I encourage you all to Click here to read it.

In the article, it points out that "Previous studies have shown that when people are asked how much it takes to be rich, they always give a number that's twice their current net worth or income. Those with $100,000 in incomes say $200,000, while those worth $5 million say $10 million."
This is a point that bears mentioning. In my Transition 2 Wealth Workshops, I discuss the difference between experiencing wealth and chasing riches.
I ask you this question: How much money does it take to experience wealth, compared to how much money do you need to experience riches.
Chasing riches is a game you cannot win. According to the Wall Street Journal Wealth Report, riches is always defined as more than you have. When you embrace abundance, you can experience wealth every day, like I do.
Go to Transition2Wealth.com to find out more about my Transition 2 Wealth Workshops.

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(Posted 1/28/2008 by admin)
Do You Have a Dream?
What is your dream?

In my book (6 Simple Steps to Building a Better Workforce) I suggest that if you build your business around your core values then you will attract like minded people in the form of customers, business partners, and employees.

Today we have the opportunity to reflect on the core values of one Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered for so many incredible and positive things, but it is his speech that we think of most.

His "I have a dream" speech is the culmination of one man's wonderful example of understanding what you believe, working towards that end, and attracting like-minded people.

There is another lesson here for us to reflect on. Martin Luther King's life's work was from the perspective of service, not of sales. In other words, everything he said, thought and accomplished was to "serve" the people he was meant to serve.

His life was not about personal gain (how can I sell more, earn more, grow more, etc.), but rather how much more can I help others (customers) live better lives.

To facilitate the transition to wealth, one must stop chasing sales, and customers, but look for more opportunities to serve the people you are meant to serve.

I urge you to spend some time considering the people you are meant to serve, and stop thinking of ways to sell them more, but rather ways to serve them more.

(hint: pretend there are no limits to what you can do - because there aren't.)

Call me or Send Me an Email and let's talk about strategies that can help you stop selling and start serving today.
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(Posted 1/21/2008 by admin)
Are you a DIYer? (Do It Yourself)
This past summer I attended my 25th High School Reunion. It was a great weekend full of opportunities to reconnect with old friends. We retold stories from our past lives and told new stories of our lives since High School. When I told friends about my book (6 Simple Steps to Building a Better Workforce) I heard all sorts of negative attitudes toward Building a Better Workforce:

"I'll tell you how to build a better workforce, just get rid of everybody. You're better off doing it yourself."

I can certainly understand why so many people share that sentiment. Honestly, what was your reaction to that statement?

Well I am here to tell you that you are not better off doing it yourself. It may seem like the best short-term solution, but it is also the biggest cause to long-term, deep seeded problems.

For starters, the more things you do yourself, the less leverage you have and the more you risk losing in the event something happens to you.

Think about that. If you decided you were better off doing everything yourself, what happens when you get sick? I am not even talking about an emergency. Even a minor illness can impact your productivity. You may "work through it" but your illness is likely to last longer than if you simply listened to your body and took a day off.

Has that ever happened to you? Has your business ever suffered because you, or a family member has had a minor illness?

The fact is very few of us have created enough leverage to overcome every emergency. However, leverage is one of the key elements of wealth creation. In order to create wealth, you must be able to separate your work from your productivity. There is a direct link to this ratio. One very important aspect of wealth is determined by the production to wealth equation.

Great wealth comes from the highest levels of production with the least amount of effort.

OK! Let me repeat that.

Great Wealth = High Levels of Productivity + Low levels of effort.

You will not achieve true wealth until you acknowledge that equation.

So let me ask you a question. Do you still think you're better off doing it yourself?

Don't go it alone. Call me or Send Me an Email and let's talk about strategies that can help you start experiencing wealth today.
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(Posted 1/19/2008 by admin)
What's your Story?
I just read a terrific article on ERE regarding your employment branding strategy.

Of course, if you know me, you know how the whole concept of Employment Branding makes me crazy.

However, this is a great read.

Read the article here

In case you are wondering, "employment branding" drives me crazy because I believe that if your message come from your core values, whether you are a person, a department, or an organization, then there should only be one message.
In other words, you should not have separate brands for customers, and employees.
I love this article because it allows you to demonstrate your core values through how you treat your employees. By having your employees share their stories, you are sharing experiences that demonstrate what it means to do business with you, whether you are a customer, client, employee, or neighbor.

It is a great concept that you can implement today!
Go check it out right now.
Call or Send Me an Email so we can share ideas on how to include this strategy into your business model.

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(Posted 1/16/2008 by admin)
"Not exactly what I had in mind."
Think back to your childhood. Can you recall your first aspirations? Maybe you wanted to be the President of the United States; a Baseball player; a firefighter; a scientist, or an astronaut. When I was real young I wanted to be the President, then an athlete, later I wanted to be a lawyer. I remember how much I enjoyed dreaming about my future when I was young. Of course, this was long before I knew what limitations were.

You know, I can't remember when I started to recognize limitations and let them ruin my fun. Maybe it happened during those teenage years when it becomes so important, as a parent, to make sure your kids are afraid of everything in order to keep them safe.

Now think back to the day you launched your business in your imagination. Wasn't that just the greatest feeling? If you're like me, you felt as if you transported back into that child daydreaming, without limitations, what your business could turn into. I remember how with each passing second I became more and more excited about each new idea and each new direction that idea took me.

Sadly, most small business owners, like the teenager's spirit shackled with a new realization of limitations, look at where they are and say, "This isn't exactly what I had in mind." The image of themselves smiling, happy, and stress-free is replaced with images of cash flow problems, people problems, and system problems. Every second away from the office translates to more work later and a constant flow of phone calls with "situations" that require your attention.

I have an idea.

Grab your Blackberry, Palm Pilot, or open your Outlook and schedule an appointment with your inner child. Sit with him/her for an hour, and dream again about the limitless possibilities the future has in store for you. When you are down to the last ten minutes of your meeting, invite your future self to join the meeting, and ask that person what your next move should be.

If it makes sense, and I think it will, then do it "Within One Week." (WOW!!)

If he says contact me, then do it sooner.

Because I can't wait to share in your success!
Call or Send Me an Email so we can share ideas on how to make work fun again.

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(Posted 1/14/2008 by admin)
Peanut Shells on the floor.
I hope by now everyone has had the opportunity to go to a pub, or bar where they encourage you to throw your peanut shells on the floor. If you haven't yet been, then consider this a weekend challenge to talk to your friends, find the closest one, and go there by Monday.

I love that concept for three very important reasons:
It is.

Memorable: People talk about the bar that lets you throw your peanut shells on the floor. I have been to hundreds of bars, pubs, and restaurants in my life and I remember just a handful. Among the select few that I remember are the one's that had peanut shells on the floor. I may not even remember the name of the pub, but I remember the experience, the people I was with, and that I had fun.

Consistent with Core Values: When a pub owner allows customers to throw peanut shells on the floor he/she is sending a clear message that they want customers to relax and have a good time; to have fun, and loosen up. It helps the patrons feel welcome, comfortable to be themselves, and wanted back tomorrow. What friendly neighborhood restaurant wouldn't want to send that message?

Simple and Inexpensive: I would imagine it takes a little longer to sweep the floor at night, but you have to sweep the floor anyway. Compare that to the money you budget every year to let people know what it means to be your customer, client, or partner.

If your goal is to Build a Better Workforce: to make more money by working less, to create leverage for yourself through the success of your employees, and to transition from chasing dollars to chasing your dreams and experiencing wealth, then ask yourself this question.

Is Working for me memorable?

If the answer is no, then change it. Focus on your core values, and keep it simple. When you create an environment that is memorable, consistent to its core values, and simplistic in it's execution you create an opportunity to increase employee and customer engagement like no other.

Other Benefits: By expressing your core values in a memorable way you are helping to set expectations to your customers, and future employees. If someone is in the mood for white glove service, elegant atmosphere, and expensive champagne they will know not to enter the pub with peanut shells on the floor.

When working for you is memorable, your employees will share their stories with everyone they know and meet. Every time someone asks them about their job they will share the cool things you do to be different and in the process reveal the core values that drive your business.

You will begin to attract new customers, business partners, and grow your talent pool from sources you never had the opportunity to explore or even think of.
Call or Send Me an Email so we can share ideas on how to make working for you Memorable.

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(Posted 1/11/2008 by admin)
Your Company knows no limits:
My wife recently had emergency Oral Surgery. The Doctor suggested partial sedation, and my wife was more than willing to accept his recommendation. However, this required her to arrange for a ride home, and I was more than happy to accompany her in her hour of need.

I was actually a bit surprised when the nurse came to get me from the waiting room just a short time later. She informed me that everything went well, and it was my job to keep my wife awake and alert so we could go home. When I walked into her little recovery room, it was clear I had some work to do. Awake and alert seemed a long way away. I reached out and held her wrist, and started to raise and lower her arm. It was as limp as freshly cooked pasta. I doubt if she even realized that I was touching her.

About a minute later I sat her up and because her muscles were so relaxed, her head fell back and banged against the wall. (She doesn't know that so if you meet her, be sure not to mention it.)

I continued to try and engage her in conversation and I told her that I was there to help her get ready to leave. Immediately, She tried to stand up and said, "I'm ready. Let's Go!"
I convinced her that she was not quite ready, and that it was all right because we weren't in any big hurry. Soon enough she was able to make it to the car and I drove her home. She slept the whole way home and as I drove I was reminded of here trying to stand up while proclaiming that she was "ready to go."

I had a thought. It occurred to me that although drugged up pretty good, her brain was free of distractions. Her brain ignored her body and said, "I can do this." This was fascinating to me. I couldn't stop thinking about how her brain ignored the obvious limitations of her body. It began to make sense to me. Our brains are capable of so much more than the rest of us allows for. It has no limits and when distractions are out of the way (namely your own negativity) your brain knows you are capable of so much more than you are currently achieving.

As I continued to ponder how our bodies are limiting our brains, I began to wonder how much my company is being held back.

I imagine if my company were a living, breathing thing, it would tell me that it was "ready to go;" that it was capable of so much more.

I am going to listen to my company. After all, I think it is smarter than me.

What would your company say?
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(Posted 1/10/2008 by admin)
"I love what I do!!!" (Are you sure?)
"I love my job" is a phrase that may be used more in jest than in truth. In fact if you have ever said "I love my job," I am going to offer you some food for thought today.

If you think you love your job (and I hope that you think that), I ask you to really consider all the aspects of your job. Do you love the hours? Or the people you work with? Or the travel; the commute; the slow payers; the no payers; the people problems, and the systems problems?

How about your suppliers; the tax man; worrying about the future; the burnout; the shrinking talent pool; retirement; family life; personal time?

I will be the first to admit I cherish the opportunities I have to serve my clients. But there are a lot of things I have to do as part of my "job" that I hate doing.

I'll tell you what I do love...

I love the result. I love the feelings and emotions associated with that result. I love it so much that I can rationalize that the "work" is great. I can convince myself that all those tedious, and annoying distractions that I have yet been able to delegate or outsource are actually enjoyable. (But they really aren't.)

So what does all this mean? To me, it sheds light on an important distinction between being wealthy, and being rich. Wealth starts with the ability to separate work from productivity. When you are able to separate yourself from work, while increasing productivity, you begin to experience true wealth.

Wealth is confidently sticking to the parts of your job that you truly love doing with a high degree of assurance that all other aspects of your business are being taken care of by others.

So, do you really love what you do?

Here is a challenge for you. Think about all of the aspects of your "job." Make a list and mark each item with a L for Love; N for Neutral; and H for Hate. Begin to transition to wealth by eliminating, delegating, or outsourcing every H and N you can.

Here is the best part - Make it a new habit to appreciate and cherish every second that you find yourself feeling all of the wonderful emotions that result from you doing those "L" tasks. In time, every single time you find yourself doing an "L" task it will be like practicing wealth. Your attitude will skyrocket, and everyone around you will take notice.

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(Posted 1/7/2008 by admin)
Salesperson Wanted! Experience Required???
For many small business owners the task of bringing sales people on is very stressful. There are so many things to consider. Ask yourself if any of these thoughts creep into your head as you go through this process:
  • How much should I pay?
  • How should I structure the pay?
  • Should I restructure everyone's pay?
  • Do I need someone that is experienced?
  • I need to hire someone because I am too busy to get my work done, how am I going to find time to attract, and acquire the right person for me?
  • How do I know who is the right person for me?
  • I don't have time to manage these people.
  • I don't have time to train these people.
  • As the list goes on into eternity .


The fact is, it is an important decision that you must take seriously. Many of these are legitimate concerns for organizations of all sizes. Just this morning I was at my twice monthly networking group in Worcester, MA, when one of the members mentioned that he was looking to hire a salesperson. He insisted that he needed someone that he didn't have to teach how to sell. He acknowledged that the candidate did not need industry experience as long as he had sales experience.

I approached him after the meeting and we began to discuss the realities of sales experience. The fact is Sales is hard. You need to have a certain attitude to be successful in sales.

Here is the scary part In study after study of Successful People (not just sales people), future success has little to do with past experiences. Many of the most successful people in the world carry around a past chock full of failures.

Here is one other thing to consider. I think by now we can all agree to at least acknowledge the Pareto Principle, or what's most commonly referred to as the 80/20 Rule. This rule implies that 80% of your results come from 20% of your employees. This is especially true in sales. Each month, most of your sales come from the top 20% of your sales team.

Don't take my word for it. Look at the last year's results and determine what percentage of your sales force was responsible for 80% of your revenue.

Now consider what this means. It means that 80% of the people "with experience" combine to produce less than 25% of the sales revenue.

Are you sure you want to require experience?
In order to Build a Better Workforce and create leverage for yourself, you have to define what your business stands for and hire people that share your beliefs and passions.

Am I saying ignore experience? Well, maybe. (When comparing candidates certainly you should consider experience, but don't assume that just because someone has experience that they have had any training.)

I think closer to the point is to focus on the things that have proven to predict job success, and frankly prior experience isn't one of those things.

to find solutions for better sales hiring.


to find solutions for better interview questions.


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(Posted 1/4/2008 by admin)
You Have to Believe to Succeed.
Napolean Hill, in his best selling book Think and Grow Rich wrote "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve." In fact I wrote about this very idea a few weeks ago (see Why you missed your mark for 2007, and what you can do Today to improve performance and production in 2008). However, I failed to mention a very important caveat to this principle.

If you consider yourself a leader, this may be the most important thing you ever read from this site, or anywhere else for that matter. More often than not successful people start off lacking a strong belief in themselves and their value at work. Here is the kicker. Despite the fact that they did not believe in themselves, other people did. Often times that person was in a leadership role.

I recently heard a story about a young 19 year old athlete competing in Triple A baseball. At first he was excited. He had reached a level that few people his age had ever achieved. Things were going great, but it didn't last long. He soon realized that quality of pitching was gretaer than any he had experienced before. He struggled hitting the curve ball and he soon became very discouraged. Within a few months of the happiest day of his career thr fans started booing, and the press started to question his ability. Completeley discouraged, he wandered into his coaches office to tell him he was quitting the team. He explained to his coach that he didn't think he could play in this league and he was tired of hearing boos from the home crowd.

His coach just listened and smiled. He told the young player that he understood what he was going through, but he re-assured him that he was a good player with a lot of talent. He said to the young center fielder that he believed in him, and he encouraged the young man to begin to believe in himself. The words of encouragement, backed by a sincere belief in his future success convinced Willie Mays to not quit in his rookie year and he went on to have a Hall of Fame Career.

As a leader, you have to expect great things from your people, and you have to believe that they can achieve them. They may not believe you at first, but you have to be strong in your belief. If you look around at your team, and find that you don't believe in them you are left with only two choices Change your mind, or change your people. (Hint: It might be easier to change your mind.)

Call or Send Me an Email so we can start Building a Better Workforce for you.

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(Posted 1/2/2008 by admin)
Get a Better Job This Year!
I just looked up the most popular New Year's Resolutions over the last few years. The top ten lists I came across vary a bit, but for the most part they are very similar. Most lists included spending more time with family and friends; improving health (reduce stress, exercise more, quit smoking, etc.); improving ones financial situation (get out of debt, make more money, save more); and almost all lists included getting a new job.

Several months ago I read an article in Monster.com's Human Resource newsletter that suggested that finding a new job was the one New Years Resolution that most responders (more than 50%) failed to accomplish. Of course, this survey caught my attention. You see, the article was written in April, reflecting on the first three months of the year. If you're an employee I am sure that these numbers don't seem surprising, or disturbing in any way.

If you're an employer, there is an entirely different story here. In fact if you are a small business owner, these figures represent the biggest obstacle between where you are today and where you deserve to be. I am not just talking from a business standpoint.

What does all this mean to you? Consider this: Using these figures, if you have 25 employees making an average of $33,000/yr, when you include Benefit packages you are spending about $1 Million on payroll. If 50% of your people decided in December of last year that they wanted to leave, but stayed through March, you will have paid $125,000 to 12 people who have already quit your company, but continue to get paychecks and benefits.

That is just the tip of the iceberg. My most difficult challenge is also the most painful. It is painful for me, and it is painful for my clients. When people consider bad hires they envision the person who sends his/her evil twin to work on the first day. The person looks and talks like the person in the interview room, but he/she doesn't act the same. All everyone can say is "who hired this idiot?" The fact is those people usually don't stay very long. Here is the bombshell - for most companies your worst hire is still there. He or she has checked out a long time ago, yet continues to take home paychecks and benefits.

Want to see what I mean right now? Think of the last few "key people" that left your organization. Considering the overall scheme of your business strategy, are you better off with that person gone? Many Business leaders I speak with tell me "Bob moving on was the best thing that could have happened to us."

If you want 2008 to bring you better health; more time with your family and friends; help the people that work for you to find a "better" job.

Let us help you make 2008 the best year yet. Call or Send Me an Email so we can start Building a Better Workforce for you.

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(Posted 12/31/2007 by admin)
Calling All Leaders (out)!
Are you really a leader? Before you answer consider this: The Webster's Dictionary defines leader as: a person who has commanding authority or influence. OK, on the surface that looks good, but let's take a closer look. If that is the case, is leadership going to provide optimal growth and development? Are you creating leverage for yourself by following that definition? The answer is clearly NO!

If what you're looking for is optimal growth; more money with less work, and ways to leverage yourself for more time and personal freedom (in other words true wealth) leadership will not get you there. Before we go any further I want to set something straight. Leadership is important to your success. You need to continually develop and improve your leadership skills throughout your life to reach true fulfillment. However, your vision needs to shift to the future, and that future has to include you doing less.

Let me explain. Leadership implies, and requires your authority. If you want more time, and personal freedom you will have to appoint a new leader to take your place. Consider the Presidency of the United States. Like many companies, there is one clearly defined leader. When his term is up we choose a new leader and change direction. Often times we change to a whole new leadership philosophy. Now let's suppose we consider your business. If you continue to assume the role of leader, eventually you will be forced to do one of two things. The first is to choose your successor, who will undoubtedly put his/her own stamp on the business you built. It will lose some of your personal touch, and begin to evolve under the new leadership. The second option would be to sell your company. In either case you forfeit control of the business you have dedicated you life to.

Oh Wait! I almost forgot. There is one more problem with either of those options. You see, there is a direct relation to your leadership skills and the value of your company. However, the problem is; now listen to this very carefully: the stronger your leadership, the less valuable your company is in the marketplace without you? Ask yourself this question: If I were no longer here how much business would we lose immediately? Within the first quarter? Within the first year? Business Brokers know this and they devalue your company based on their perception of your leadership and involvement.

So what does all this mean? Simply put, you need a strategy that allows for leadership, growth and leverage at the same time. You do this by applying the 6 Simple Steps to Building a Better Workforce as you transition from leader to guide. Think about what this means. You maintain leadership control as you build leverage all while increasing the value of your company. Your ultimate goal is to separate your personal workload from the productivity and success of the company.

So it adds up to this. You create true wealth by leveraging your vision and dreams; building teams that believe in, and are committed to accomplishing your dreams with you. You have the option of staying as long as you want, in as limited a role as you want while building a legacy for your family and community; or you build an organization that can sustain itself without you, thereby increasing its value in the marketplace, if in fact you decide to sell.

Start the New Year off right and start guiding your company in the direction of your dreams. Whether your ultimate goal is to increase the value of your company for future sale, or to build a legacy for future generations, begin today to make the changes. If you haven't read my book, order it today. It provides a pathway that "guides" you to the financial freedom, and true wealth you deserve.

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(Posted 12/29/2007 by admin)
Honestly Make Your Resolutions for Greater Success.
With the New Year fast approaching I have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about taking things to the next level. It is the time of year when most of us look ahead and dream of bigger and better things. Those of us that have yet to give up on the idea of New Years resolutions try to imagine all of the things we want to stop doing and we imagine ourselves better off and "happier" with the new improved habits and results.

Visualization is so often mentioned in popular research on the topic of goal setting. Ironically, it just might be the biggest reason why 99% of us fail to accomplish our quest for betterment. "But Mike, how could that be?" Let me clarify Visualization can play an important role in goal achievement for many people. I use visualization as often as I can. The reason you fail at your well-intentioned endeavors year in and year out is because you aren't visualizing enough information. You are only focusing on the fairy tale ending and neglecting the journey.

In order for you to be successful, you must honestly visualize your preferred outcome, along with all the sacrifices you must be willing to make along the way. Whatever it is you choose to do less of, or more of is going to require new habits, and self-discipline.

Let's use the example of losing weight. When you proclaim that this year you are going to lose weight, or perhaps start going to the gym to lose weight, there is a pretty good chance you are visualizing yourself getting ready to put on that bathing suit, or summer outfit. And just like you learned in that goal-setting seminar you went to 10 years ago, you visualize yourself all happy and smiling, and slimmer. You imagine your friends; some old, some new, all commenting on how good you look. You think, "I can sign on for this. This summer is going to be great. I may even sign up for the local over 30 sports team this year."

Are you ready for this? This is the problem. At the first sign of trouble you are going to get frustrated and quit. If you want to be successful you should be visualizing the 9 degree mornings heading to the gym in the dark freezing your butt off as you are scraping the frost off the windshield. You should be imagining the sore muscles, and those sleepless nights dreaming of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. The image you want burned in your brain is you sitting at the St Patrick's Day festival eating cabbage and drinking water.

Now this is the best part. The more difficult you imagine it to be, the easier it will be to overcome and conquer in real life. This quick story from Thanksgiving will illustrate my point. As you may know, my wife Lashanda and I were just married in the beginning of October. This Thanksgiving marked our first Holiday together as a married couple. We decided that we would spend the morning with my children in Connecticut, and then drive to see her parents in Long Island. All I could think of was the horrible Long Island Traffic. Let me tell you, the entire week leading up to our trip I imagined hours, and hours sitting in traffic. The trip usually takes us about 90 minutes. On thanksgiving we made it to our destination in 2 1/2 hours.

Here is the interesting part. When I talked to people about my trip, the traffic situation inevitably came up in conversation. Without fail, 100% of the time, I said the "the traffic wasn't that bad. In fact it wasn't bad a t all." When was the last time you spent an hour in traffic, and felt no reason to complain? Has that ever happened to you?

Remember the last time you imagined a bad situation. It almost never turns out to be as bad as you imagine. If it is easier than you anticipated, then you will feel like it's just plain Easy! Want more proof? Let's take a simple example of that last call you were hesitant to make. Maybe it was to a client, or a disgruntled customer. Did it turn out as bad as you thought?

Now let's suppose you write down all of the things you want to stop doing, or start doing. Go ahead and visualize 6 months out. Treat yourself to a wonderful colorful scene of you looking and feeling great. That is going to be a great reward for overcoming all the hard times ahead. Won't it be worth it?
That is up to You!

Happy New Year, Happy New Beginning.
Remember, if it can be done, it can be done by YOU!

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(Posted 12/21/2007 by admin)
Have faith - Be persistent.
A few days ago I talked about the importance of believing in yourself, and your teams. I stressed the importance of confidently taking things to the next level of success. Along with confidence comes persistence. Persistence is a true measure of your belief system. Often times we base our persistence on the responses we get from others. Confidence and persistence are easy when things go our way. It is when those things are challenged that the integrity of our mission becomes evident.

I know you have heard it before, but it's true. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. If you're trying to reach the next highest level of success in any endeavor, there are going to be challenges. Every challenge seems to be graciously welcomed by negative people and those that doubt greater things are possible.

I was recently "blessed" with a lesson in persistence while Holiday shopping for my mother. After spending what seemed like an hour checking the label on every woman's sock in the store searching for the ones that met Mom' s specifications, I heard a young boy near the register line start to complain. As I walked past looking to do a little more shopping the boy's complaining turned to screaming. In my lifetime, I have never witnessed such persistence. That boy screamed for what had to be 20 minutes or more. His mother continually told him that "it wasn't going to work this time" but apparently he did not believe her.

What I found most interesting is that the experience seemed to bring people together. Everyone in the store was, at first trying to ignore the boy. As time went by, smirks and glances were exchanged acknowledging what could no longer be ignored. After ten minutes or so, all the customers I came in contact with began to enjoy the experience. It was unclear who people were rooting for; the mother or her son, but there were obvious signs of audience participation. I was compelled to commend the mother on her persistent belief that her son would stop crying.

At the same time, I could not stop the hope for this kid to never lose that persistence. I thought how hard it is to teach persistence to a child when, as parents, we are often the victims and giving in is so easy. In my imagination, I pictured this young boy twenty years out in a suit calling on "potential purchasers" and could only imagine the levels of success he could reach if he was able to maintain his level of commitment.

Unfortunately, I never found out how the story ended because he walked out screaming with his mom smiling right behind him. I thought, "What a great holiday gift to give a child."

This all too familiar occurrence has stayed with me and this is what I have taken away from it:
1. Be persistent in your belief and faith in the result (not the means)
2. Don't be swayed by negative thinkers
3. If your belief is strong enough, any solution can work
4. No Solution will provide it's greatest result if you don't believe in it

Celebrate persistence in others and focus on the desired result, not the "way to get there." Obstacles and negativity are on the way, be prepared, be honest, and be persistent.

Good Luck

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(Posted 12/19/2007 by admin)
Commissions Only Sales Force
ERE, a recruiters online community recently posted this discussion regarding a company struggling to find talented people. They pay their sales force commissions only (no base, no draw, no benefits).
Click Here to see the discussion.
It's an interesting read (once there, scroll down to see my response).




(Posted 12/14/2007 by admin)
Why you missed your mark for 2007, and what you can do Today to improve performance and production in 2008.
So you didn't quite hit the sales number you were hoping for in 2007. It was a tough year for a lot of people. There are plenty of valid excuses why your team did not meet expectations. The housing market has attracted a "Black Cloud" mentality that has permeated into the fabric of our daily expressions of attitude. However, that's not why you didn't meet your goals. The reason why you didn't reach your goals in 2007 is the same reason why you will make your numbers in 2008, despite all the excuses your competition, and most of your peers will use for their poor performance this time next year.

You are the reason why you did not achieve those numbers. As much as it pains me to tell you this, you are to blame. In fact, it is safe to say that you are entirely to blame. There may be a few exceptions to this rule. A few of you may have teamed up with your superiors, and/or colleagues. In either case, you are to blame because you did not believe you would reach your goal. Most of you never believed you could.

Be honest! Think back on your beliefs, your actions, and your non-verbal and verbal communications throughout 2007. It may not have started that way. I am sure many of you, like springtime Cubs fans, really felt like this year would be different. But somewhere between then and now the "nay-sayers" got to you and stole your beliefs. Your belief turned to hope, then to doubt. Once doubt kicked in, you never had a chance.

I will admit that on occasion we are pleasantly surprised when our doubts are trumped by the beliefs of others. There may have been times in the past when your team bailed you out and exceeded your expectations, and company objectives. When that happened, do you recall the end of month discussions? I'll bet many of your top performers said things like "I knew we were going to do it," or "I told you we would do it."

The same thing goes for investing in solutions for your company. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but if you want to be successful it helps to believe you will be successful before you start. Take my company for example. I can deliver the best advice, consult, coaching and tools to help you Build A Better Workforce, but if you don't believe that you can Build A Better Workforce before you purchase from me, I would rather not do business with you. My success can only be measured by your success, and if you don't believe it will make a differece, then it is likely that it won't.

Author Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, talks suggests the companies that "make the leap" share two characteristics that are critical to reaching the next level of success. You must be brutally honest, while being perpetually optimistic. I encourage you to do that. Be brutally honest with yourself, and take responsibility for your lack of belief, and be perpetually optimistic that next year will be a successful one.

So as a Holiday Gift to all of you, I am sending you the gift of success for 2008. I am sending my strongest belief that if it can be done, it can be done by you. I believe 2008 will bring you success like no other. Let my belief encourage your belief, as your belief will encourage others to believe. You have a little over two weeks to strengthen your beliefs in yourself, your company, and your team. Start 2008 Strong and believe it will be your best year yet.

Happy New Year!

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(Posted 12/14/2007 by admin)
Sales Pros: Born or Made
Check out my response to a Bnet Blog on Sales Pros.
Click Here for the original article.

Click Here to see my response.


(Posted 12/13/2007 by admin)
Finding Motivation
It's been twenty-five years since Zig Ziglar reminded me that motivation follows action. Twenty-five years later I don't remember which book or tape the statement came from, but I remember the statement as if I read it, or heard it this morning. I think the reason that statement crawls in and out of my conscious thoughts is because it is so profound. Everything we hear and read about motivation is geared toward getting things started. Mostly, getting other people started.

True motivation must come from within. Each one of us makes the final decision on our "engagement." How engaged, or motivated we are about something can be influenced by outside factors, but like "The Donald", in the end, what we say goes. Unlike Trump, many of us don't take advantage of that opportunity.

One of the most important rules for success is "Control the Controllables." The ultra-successful people apply this rule using both sides of the coin. In other words, every aspect of their lives within their control that brings them closer to their goals, in business, or in life is taken advantage of. If getting to the office at 6:30 am will help them reach their goals, you can bet that they will be at the office everyday at 6:30 am. One critical point must be made. Because something is within our control, does not mean we are in control of it. You are not in control of anything until you take control.

The ultra-successful do not concern themselves with things beyond their control. Understanding what is beyond your control, and letting go of the things that stretch beyond your reach is critical to managing productivity, stress, and fulfillment. Regardless of your reach, you will never be able to reach back in time. The past is beyond your control. You cannot change it, but you can learn from it.

So what does this have to do with motivation? That's a good question! In order for you to make the leap to ultra-successful you have to start "Controlling the Controllables" including your own motivation. Before I go deeper, I want to re-visit the Zig Ziglar statement that motivation follows action. Let's stay with sports, and let's use golf as an example. Everyone who has ever played golf at any level is familiar with the feeling you get after hitting a great shot. It is absolutely true "you only need one" good shot to keep you coming back. Even when your scores were well above 100, there was no substitution for that one shot where you held that pose, and watched that ball fly over the fairway, and land inches from your target.

All your motivation to keep playing came from that action. Every time someone asked you to play you imagined yourself in that same pose, watching that same ball landing in that same exact spot over and over again until your next great shot took it's place.

Sometimes your motivation comes from seeing someone else's actions. If you witness someone else either succeeding, or failing, often times that gets our juices flowing to go after the same excitement we feel when we hit the 300 yard drive, or sink the double bender for birdie.

Controlling your motivation means taking an active role in managing it. Throughout your day, you are being offered by the world, many opportunities to springboard your own motivation to higher levels. Unfortunately, you're too busy to notice them. Take the time, energy, and effort to see what is offered to you by the world around you and use it to motivate you into massive action. Massive action will result in Massive results, if you continue to control the controllables, and let go of the things you can't control.

I urge you to look for those springboards and get a running start when you find them. Action leads to motivation. You don't need motivation to start something; you need it to finish. So finish what you started, and look for motivation, use it to your benefit, and re-live the joy of holding that pose as your shots get closer and closer to your target.

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(Posted 8/24/2007 by admin)
TEXAS HOLD'EM HIRING: DON'T GO ALL IN BEFORE YOU HAVE ALL YOUR CARDS!
The best part of Texas Hold'em is you get to look at some of your cards before you bet. It's kind of like looking at the application and resume. If you don't like what you see, throw 'em away and wait for the next hand/applicant.

If you're willing to keep playing, you can usually get away with a pretty small wager to see "the flop," or schedule the interview.

After the flop/interview, a lot of players just fold their hands and wait for the next hand/applicant. If you think you have good cards/candidate you're willing to wager a little more.

You make a large wager (job offer, training, and development), but you still have no idea what kind of hand/employee you'll end up with.

Soon the honeymoon is over and you hope your new hire is now motivated and competent. If you hired a good candidate you're in good shape. But what if things aren't progressing? You could fold, but you've already invested too much to give up.

On "the turn" you dump a lot of money into re-training, evaluations, and coaching. If your lucky you end up with a mediocre hand/employee with your "river card." If you lose, the cost of turnover is estimated to be anywhere from .5 to 2.5 times the original offer.

Before you make an offer, wouldn't it be nice to know more about your candidate? Wouldn't you like to know if your candidate has integrity, and a strong work ethic; that they are not likely to steal from you; that they have an aversion to drug use, and they are reliable?

Wouldn't you like to know that your candidate has a similar Thinking Style, demonstrates the behaviors, and shares the Occupational Interests of your Top Performers?

Risky decisions are always easier when you have all the information.
Call today and schedule your free sample assessment.
413-726-9095

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(Posted 8/21/2007 by admin)
TAKING INSANITY OUT OF THE HIRING PROCESS
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. I know, I know-You've heard it before. However, the fact remains, traditional hiring methods do not work-at least not consistently. In fact, some of the most comprehensive research ever done on the subject tells us that traditional hiring methods (I.e. application/resume, and interview) only lead to "good hires" 14% of the time. That means only 1 out of 7 people you hire are going to make you feel good about your decision.

That's not even good in baseball.

What makes this problem more devastating is the fact that one bad hire can easily have a negative affect on dozens of people -managers; coworkers; customers; and of course, you.

Despite all of this, we continue to use the same traditional methods of resume, plus interview, mixed with large portions of hope and guttural instincts when we hire the key people in our organization.

Let's get serious. I know it's not some great epiphany for you to hear that traditional methods don't work. We know they don't work, and we know why. Over 50% of all resumes are flawed, and one's ability to interview rarely translates to how well they perform on the job.

According to a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, in which 360,000 people were studied over 20 years, the clearest indicator for job success was job match - not education, or degree, not prior work experience, and not interview skills.

We know this intuitively. Think about top performers throughout history. Many experienced more failure than success in their immediate past, and few found success in their chosen field of study.

Perhaps even your own life is an example. Does your whole life's work experience include Top Performances, or did you flourish when you found your match? Is your current success related to your degree?

I am not talking "dream job." There is more to it than what the candidates want. Successful people are successful because of the combination of three traits, and how that combination coincides with job requirements.

To determine job match we measure: Thinking Styles; Occupational Behavior; and Occupational Interests. How these three traits "match" against the requirements of a certain position will determine job success.

We can deliver the tools to you that will create a Job Match Pattern for your key positions that will be dead on target for your organization. How do I know? Because we measure your current Top performers.

This process is completely non-judgmental. I am not going to tell you how your people should think, behave, or what their interests should be. You have Top Performers, You want more people like them. Therefore, I will tell you how your Top Performers Think, Behave, and what their Occupational Interests are.

This new benchmark, added to the traditional hiring methods, takes the guesswork out. These tools generate reports that now give you direct verbiage for employment ads, job description, and recognition plans. Compare candidates to your Top Performers and see if they match.

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(Posted 8/21/2007 by admin)




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