I believe it is a tragedy that most people never spend a few hours thinking about where their life is headed, what they are doing and how they could...
Do You Ever Think?
I believe it is a tragedy that most people never spend a few hours thinking about where their life is headed, what they are doing and how they could do it better. I took the picture in this blog post a few minutes ago as I prepared for a day of “Thinking.” Today I want […]
I believe it is a tragedy that most people never spend a few hours thinking about where their life is headed, what they are doing and how they could do it better. I took the picture in this blog post a few minutes ago as I prepared for a day of “Thinking.” Today I want to challenge you with a simple task. Take out a blank piece of paper and a pen, sit down somewhere quite and ask yourself the following questions and then write out the answers:
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What am I most stressed about or what major challenges am I currently facing in my life?
Underneath each of these items, write down, what action step you will take on each issue and when will you take that action step.
When I actually sit down and think about my “Stress List” I am usually surprised by how short it really is and also by how simple and practical the next action step would be.
This simple process will reduce your level of stress and anxiety and allow you to focus on the tasks at hand.
If I could only accomplish one thing in the next month what would that be? Then ask the same question for the next 12 months.
Underneath this, write down at least 10 things that you can do during that time to achieve your goal and decide when and how you will do them.
This is a mental exercise I learned recently from Brian Tracy and it is very effective. Make sure you print this “One Thing” out and hang up in your office, on your computer or more effectively as your phone background so you see it constantly.
If you are really brave, try writing down 20 things, by the time you get to 20 it is really tough and it will challenge your mind to come up with incredible ideas that you never even considered before.
Write down your core assumptions about your work and relationships and challenge them.
This is a tough one to explain but it is so vital. Think about what you do and basically ask, “Why do I do that?” or “Why do I do it that way?” Ask, “What are my core assumptions that are making me act this way?”
For instance, how many hours per week do you prospect? Why do you prospect that many hours? What is the core assumption you have.
Some of you feel that there are only about 4 hours per day when business owners are in a good mood to talk. You need to challenge that assumption because it is not true.
Some of you feel that you are too busy with administrative tasks to spend more time prospecting. You need to test this core assumption and ask yourself, “Are these tasks really necessary and more important than prospecting?” Being honest with yourself is so powerful and is really the first step to improvement. If the truth is that you don’t like prospecting, that is a different issue. You need to get some motivational sales audio programs and listen to them for an hour each morning and/or have a friend or family member hold you accountable but be honest with yourself about why you do what you do.
Maybe you look at one of your important relationships and realize that one core assumption that you have made about that person is effecting your relationship. “They don’t really care about me.” or “They just want to hurt me.” when in reality, this person has totally different, personal reasons for the way in which they have interacted with you and your core assumption about that relationship is destroying it.
In business, I am constantly challenging my assumptions. For instance, I have been challenging one of my core assumptions about our touch screen point of sale program. This program has been very popular but many agents have not actually closed a sale yet. My assumption was that agents needed more knowledge in order to sell the systems and that until they get that knowledge they just refuse to pitch it.
After speaking with front line people, I came to realize that my assumption was dead wrong. By only offering one Point of Sale Solution, we were missing some of the functionality that specific types of clients want and our price point was just high enough that many of these clients didn’t want to pay cash but also didn’t want to take out a loan or couldn’t get approved for financing. These are very different problems than what I assumed.
The Agent team loves the idea of selling Point of Sale Solutions and loves pitching this to their merchants to add value. they just don’t have the right solution at the right price for many of their merchants. Because of this, we are very soon rolling out two new Point of Sale Solutions with specific functionality that our current system does not have for specialized merchants and both of these systems are at a lower price point.
My point here is that I could have spent the next 6 months trying to create more training on how to sell our one system based on my false assumption but that would not have helped much. Instead, I am focusing all of my efforts on rolling out 2 additional POS Options and creating the basic training on how to present each of them.
If you are not careful, you will find yourself driving forward at 100 mph only to realize that you are going in the wrong direction if you don’t test your core assumptions on a regular basis. Take some time this weekend or schedule some time next weekend to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and a pen and think! You will be amazed at how smart you are when you get your mind in gear and ask yourself some tough questions.
Have a great weekend!
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