Sunday, February 26, 2017

Key Idea for Improving Your Writing: Listen to Great Speakers



Have you ever read something from so-called “writers” and asked yourself some variation of the question, “What in the heck made THIS person decide to become a writer?”
I admit that writing and speaking are not identical skills, but do you notice yourself feeling MORE excited after listening to a talk given by someone really moving, or it included an idea that made you think of things just a little differently than before you heard him (or her)?

Have you ever had a similar feeling after you READ something really entertaining or thought-provoking?

There are a lot of things great writers and great speakers have in common…or at least there are several similar things that most of the best ones seem to do.  Here is my list…
(Below, I also include some video examples that help demonstrate my point.)

Monday, January 2, 2017

8 Things Leaders Do (even if they are NOT the Boss)



Anyone can be a leader...YOU CAN BE ONE--definitely!

Often, it makes sense to follow the orders of your boss…or your boss’ boss…or your boss’ boss’ boss, etc.

However, have you ever noticed that some people follow someone…even though they are NOT the boss.  In fact, they might not have any authority at all.  Yet, several people, if not many, seem to hang on their every word…almost mindlessly follow their direction. (not always a bad thing)  This is especially true within social media platforms.

See Also: Ways to be a Leader in Social Media

While watching a couple of videos, I heard Simon Sinek, the famous leadership and management speaker, use a phrase that caught my attention:

“Leadership without Rank”

I’ve often noticed this of others…and occasionally even thought this about myself, but those words never hit me.  It definitely made me think and remind myself about different times I noticed this in my life...that I was able to remember.

Here are some of the leadership traits I’ve noticed from the “truest” leaders:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Do you impress me? 50+ Things about You That Will



You do not need to impress me, and you do not need to impress anyone else.  Yet, it (almost) always feels good when we impress others, but do we always know what it will take?

This is probably a good exercise for all of to do, but honestly, it occurred to me that this would make for an interesting discussion topic…and exercise.  Imagine asking other people what about others impress them.

In no particular order, here are some of the things about you that impress me:

You do an exceptional job of listening.
You took time to get to know some things about me in advance.
You are quick on your feet.
You think things through thoroughly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

7 Top Reasons You’re Not Getting Sales



Are you getting enough sales?

If you’re like most business owners and managers, you’re always looking to find ways to get more sales.

Lately, I’ve been trying to help different contractors get appointments to try getting work, and some of them seem to be better than others.  So, of course, I try to figure different reasons for sales doing well…and reasons they do not.

I definitely get more frustrated by lost opportunities, and I spends my time (maybe too much?) figuring out potential ways me and my team can improve.

From my (limited) experience, here are the most common reasons I see sales opportunities slip through the cracks.

1. You’re too expensive
2. You’re too slow
3. Your timing isn’t good enough
4. You’re not special enough
5. You’re not trustworthy enough
6. You don’t understand what they want
7. It’s too hard to buy from you

Let’s take a look at some of these a little more closely.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Someone wants you to join their business? Some Questions I (Want to) Ask



If you’re in business long enough, people will eventually approach you and ask you to join their business…either an established business or a new business idea or concept.

Some proposals will be better than others, and what they are proposing MIGHT be good.  However, there are plenty of bogus deals out there.  There are also some bogus people, whether they intend to be that way or not.

Ultimately, I need to figure whether this is a business venture that I want to pursue (a) at all, (b) with this person, and (c) at this time.

Here are several questions that are important to me, no matter the business proposal:

1. Why are you so excited about this opportunity?
2. What do you see me bringing to the table for you?
3. What keeps you from doing all of this yourself?
4. What makes you think there is a demand for this?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

6 Quick Tips to Make People Enjoy Reading Your Stuff



Growing up, I was not a good writer.  I really wasn’t!  Some people today might read my stuff and ask why I put that last statement in the past tense, but…

Assuming that you’ve gotten this far, you’re already proving that I’m a better writer today than when I was a kid.  (You would have stopped reading somewhere around the middle of the first sentence…from self-preservation.  I really wasn’t very good.)


To this day, writing does not come easily for me, but I’ve done a lot during my adult life to improve.  It’s definitely been a conscious effort, opposed to some people who were just “born to write.”  So it’s probably easier for me to explain (to you) specific things I do that seem to work for me.

Here are a few writing tips that I’ve taught myself over my adult years.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blogging Ideas for Non-Writers or Non-Experts



Most people think that you have to be a writer to have a blog.  (I’m teaching a class that will address some of this; so I figured I’d write something about it…and maybe organize some of my thoughts around it.)

See Event Link: Blogging Like It’s Easy

The other misconception is that you have to be an expert to write a good blog.

Of course, each of these things helps, but neither is necessary to publish a blog that people want to see or read.

Key Question: So what if I don’t know how to write or know what to write?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Usually motivate or lead others but sometimes feel empty?



One of my most awesome friends is really motivating.  He’s always chock full of ideas and delivers them with incredible, charismatic energy.

Often, in the middle of giving me or someone else advice, he asks rhetorically, “Who motivates the motivator?”

“Who motivates the motivator?”

It’s a really good question, because no matter how much energy you might have, you only have a limited supply of it.  It’s awesome to help people.  Frankly, it’s one of my favorite things to do, but most people cannot (completely) return the favor.  They need your help, and even if they would like to help; often they don’t have the capacity to help.  Plus, many people are outright selfish and only want your time when you’re helping them.
Teaching and leading are often among the greatest things we can ever do for someone else…and ourselves.

The problem is, sometimes, as people who usually lead, we might need that leadership, too!