Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stop Saying Busy

It is easy to be busy.  As a matter of fact, I have found the "b" word the most overused in the current English language.  When you ask--literally anyone--how they are doing, the answer comes back, "I'm busy."  The ironic thing is, that answer has become the lazy response.  We say it whether we are or we are not, actually busy.  It's like it excuses us from things we don't want to do.  "Sorry, I'm really busy." 

I am guilty of it too.

In our business (and I am sure in yours) it is EASY to be busy.  We hurriedly head from meeting to meeting or from office to office and get to the end of the day and say "Wow, I was busy all day today." 

Great.  But what did you accomplish?

What I have found is that "busy" is an awful measurement for our day and our life.  It means totally different things to different people.  And it doesn't actually measure the accomplishment of anything. 

So two thoughts for the day:

1)  Stop telling people you're busy.  No one cares.  We are all "busy." 

2)  Start judging your day by asking yourself "What did I sell, create, achieve?" 

That's way more important...and probably more interesting too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Finding Perspective

I always say that I know when I need a "vacation" because little things start to really bug me.  You probably know what I mean.  The things that normally just roll of your back start to suddenly really make you angry.  Silly stuff.

For example, last weekend I went through McDonald's Drive Thru to get my family a surprise breakfast.  It seems everyone had the same idea.  That long line in the drive thru was fine until the person two cars in front of me spent 10 minutes trying to order.  I could hear her saying "I was 5, wait...6 wait...4."

I wanted to scream, "It's McDonalds!  If you have waited in a long line and don't know what you want, you are actually trying to be annoying!"

I know that it's silly to get annoyed or angry about that.  And when those things start to mount up, I tell my wife that I need a "vacation."

The fact is, I think it's more about just finding some perspective.  Vacation really just represents the idea of re-charging and re-gaining goals, drive and perspective.  The good news is, I don't really have to go anywhere to do that.  (Though if someone wants to take me to Hawaii I will go!).

We can find that perspective where ever we are.  We just have to take the time to breath in, breath out, and look for it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

3 Steps To A Better Frame of Mind

Though I am a positive person, not every day starts with a a smile.  Some days you wake up with a foul dream in your head, a bad taste in your mouth and a harsh thought in your brain.

Some days you feel like you are not going to hit the mark.  Everyone feels like that sometimes.  But there are lots of things that you can (pro-actively) do to get you on the right track.  Here are just three.

1.  Read something that inspires you.  When I wake up in the wrong frame of mind, I make sure I don't wallow in the negativity that surrounds us.  I actively seek out some things to read to get me going.

2.  Do some exercise.  Just 20 to 30 minutes of some exercise can and will improve your brain function and your mood.

3.  Keep swinging.  Nothing helps you get in the right frame of mind like taking action.  Sitting and doing nothing will help keep the negativity going.  Figure out the next right that.  Repeat.

Good luck peeps.  Let's make this day a great one!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Give First Economy

We have entered into a new phase of business.  It is just the beginning of this phase.  It is what I called the "Give First Economy." 

This is good news if you are the customer.  We know this because we have lived through the "Automation Economy."  This stage was (and in some cases still is) when companies do everything they can to automate everything from the phone systems, to customer service and everything in between.  This phase left the customer frustrated and annoyed much of the time.

This is also good news if you are a company that has always focused on service.  You want to provide a great customer experience all the way through.  This is great news for you because you are already ahead of the curve.

This is bad news for "the automators."  The large companies that are clearly more focused on the customer's dollar than the customer will struggle.  These companies are not only not concerned with the customer's experience, they seem annoyed the customer has an opinion about it at all!

This is happening because of the shift to the "Give First Economy."  Social Media has truly given power back to the Customer.  And it has just begun.  Customers have more information than ever before at their fingertips.  They have more options.  And because of that third group, customers have more cynicism. 

So as a business, we need to (you guessed it) Give First.  We need to provide value to the customer.  We need to show integrity, credibility, honesty, personality. 

Here's the funny thing: this has been brought about by newer technology but this is old fashioned business.  Get back to shaking a customer's hand and looking them in the eye.  Provide THEM a referral before you ask for one.  Share an article that helps them.  Send a thank you or a birthday card.  Be sincere.

Give First.  You will be thrilled with what happens next.