Diet, Myself

Locks: A Blog Post

by Jemal Yarbrough

It amazes me how freeing it can be when you acknowledge the locks you have in your life.  From hesitating on working out in the mornings to blindly charging over $100 in Starbucks coffee, I am slowly seeing the things that are holding me captive to a financial flat line.  I see the locks now, and now each action of mine is becoming deliberative and it hurts my heart to see how much I have wasted on value-less items.  It was is I was filling up my world with things to give myself value when deep down I knew that my worth was more than the blue tooth headphones I use at the gym.

Marriage can do that to you.  Sharing finances with someone who I love so much was scary at first but her kindness and gentle humor at the silly things I used to spend as loosened the lock of fear I had.  Now I just have to stick to a budget so we can truly accomplish the things we want most in this world: security, charity and maturity.

Brownness

Food For Thought For August 31st, 2011

Best Procrastination Tip Ever
Post written by Leo Babauta <http://leobabauta.com> .
Your first thought as you look at this article will be, “I’ll read this later.”

But don’t. Let the urge to switch to a new task pass. Read this now.

It’ll take you two minutes. It’ll save you countless hours.

I’ve written the book <http://zenhabits.net/un-procrastinate/>  on ending procrastination, but I’ve since come up with a very simple technique for beating everyone’s favorite nemesis. It is incredibly easy, but as with anything, it takes a little practice.

Try it now:

Identify the most important thing you have to do today.

Decide to do just the first little part of it — just the first minute, or even 30 seconds of it. Getting started is the only thing in the world that matters.

Clear away distractions. Turn everything off. Close all programs. There should just be you, and your task.

Sit there, and focus on getting started. Not doing the whole task, just starting.

Pay attention to your mind, as it starts to have urges to switch to another task. You will have urges to check email or Facebook or Twitter or your favorite website. You will want to play a game or make a call or do another task. Notice these urges.

But don’t move. Notice the urges, but sit still, and let them pass. Urges build up in intensity, then pass, like a wave. Let each one pass.

Notice also your mind trying to justify not doing the task. Also let these self-rationalizing thoughts pass.

Now just take one small action to get started. As tiny a step as possible.

Get started, and the rest will flow.

Brownness

Food For Thought For Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Seven Personality Traits of Top Salespeople

by Steve W. Martin | 

If you ask an extremely successful salesperson, "What makes you different from the average sales rep?" you will most likely get a less-than-accurate answer, if any answer at all. Frankly, the person may not even know the real answer because most successful salespeople are simply doing what comes naturally.

Over the past decade, I have had the privilege of interviewing thousands of top business-to-business salespeople who sell for some of the world’s leading companies. I’ve also administered personality tests to 1,000 of them. My goal was to measure their five main personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and negative emotionality) to better understand the characteristics that separate them their peers.

The personality tests were given to high technology and business services salespeople as part of sales strategy workshops I was conducting. In addition, tests were administered at Presidents Club meetings (the incentive trip that top salespeople are awarded by their company for their outstanding performance). The responses were then categorized by percentage of annual quota attainment and classified into top performers, average performers, and below average performers categories.

The test results from top performers were then compared against average and below average performers. The findings indicate that key personality traits directly influence top performers’ selling style and ultimately their success. Below, you will find the main key personality attributes of top salespeople and the impact of the trait on their selling style.

1. Modesty. Contrary to conventional stereotypes that successful salespeople are pushy and egotistical, 91 percent of top salespeople had medium to high scores of modesty and humility. Furthermore, the results suggest that ostentatious salespeople who are full of bravado alienate far more customers than they win over.

Selling Style Impact: Team Orientation. As opposed to establishing themselves as the focal point of the purchase decision, top salespeople position the team (presales technical engineers, consulting, and management) that will help them win the account as the centerpiece.

2. Conscientiousness. Eighty-five percent of top salespeople had high levels of conscientiousness, whereby they could be described as having a strong sense of duty and being responsible and reliable. These salespeople take their jobs very seriously and feel deeply responsible for the results.

Selling Style Impact: Account Control. The worst position for salespeople to be in is to have relinquished account control and to be operating at the direction of the customer, or worse yet, a competitor. Conversely, top salespeople take command of the sales cycle process in order to control their own destiny.

3. Achievement Orientation. Eighty-four percent of the top performers tested scored very high in achievement orientation. They are fixated on achieving goals and continuously measure their performance in comparison to their goals.

  Selling Style Impact: Political Orientation. During sales cycles, top sales, performers seek to understand the politics of customer decision-making. Their goal orientation instinctively drives them to meet with key decision-makers. Therefore, they strategize about the people they are selling to and how the products they’re selling fit into the organization instead of focusing on the functionality of the products themselves.

4. Curiosity. Curiosity can be described as a person’s hunger for knowledge and information. Eighty-two percent of top salespeople scored extremely high curiosity levels. Top salespeople are naturally more curious than their lesser performing counterparts.

Selling Style Impact: Inquisitiveness. A high level of inquisitiveness correlates to an active presence during sales calls. An active presence drives the salesperson to ask customers difficult and uncomfortable questions in order to close gaps in information. Top salespeople want to know if they can win the business, and they want to know the truth as soon as possible.

5. Lack of Gregariousness. One of the most surprising differences between top salespeople and those ranking in the bottom one-third of performance is their level of gregariousness (preference for being with people and friendliness). Overall, top performers averaged 30 percent lower gregariousness than below average performers.

Selling Style Impact: Dominance. Dominance is the ability to gain the willing obedience of customers such that the salesperson’s recommendations and advice are followed. The results indicate that overly friendly salespeople are too close to their customers and have difficulty establishing dominance.

6. Lack of Discouragement. Less than 10 percent of top salespeople were classified as having high levels of discouragement and being frequently overwhelmed with sadness.  Conversely, 90 percent were categorized as experiencing infrequent or only occasional sadness.

Selling Style Impact: Competitiveness. In casual surveys I have conducted throughout the years, I have found that a very high percentage of top performers played organized sports in high school. There seems to be a correlation between sports and sales success as top performers are able to handle emotional disappointments, bounce back from losses, and mentally prepare themselves for the next opportunity to compete.

7. Lack of Self-Consciousness. Self-consciousness is the measurement of how easily someone is embarrassed. The byproduct of a high level of self-consciousness is bashfulness and inhibition. Less than five percent of top performers had high levels of self-consciousness.

Selling Style Impact: Aggressiveness. Top salespeople are comfortable fighting for their cause and are not afraid of rankling customers in the process. They are action-oriented and unafraid to call high in their accounts or courageously cold call new prospects.

Not all salespeople are successful. Given the same sales tools, level of education, and propensity to work, why do some salespeople succeed where others fail? Is one better suited to sell the product because of his or her background? Is one more charming or just luckier? The evidence suggests that the personalities of these truly great salespeople play a critical role in determining their success.

Brownness

Food For Thought for Monday, August 29th, 2011


On
ce upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content.

  One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked.  This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy.

  The King asked the servant, ‘Why are you so happy?’

  The man replied, ‘Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don’t need too much – just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our  tummies.’

  The king was not satisfied with that reply. Later in the day, he sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the King’s woes and the servant’s story, the advisor said, ‘Your Majesty, I believe that the servant Has not been made part of The 99 Club.’

  ‘The 99 Club? And what exactly is that?’ the King inquired.

  The advisor replied, ‘Your Majesty, to truly know what The 99 Club is, place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant’s doorstep.’

  When the servant saw the bag, he took it into his house. When he opened the bag, he let out a great shout of joy… So many gold coins!

  He began to count them. After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were 99 coins. He wondered, ‘What could’ve happened to that last gold coin?  Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!’

  He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive. Finally, exhausted he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete his collection.

  From that day, the servant’s life was changed. He was overworked, horribly grumpy, and castigated his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin. He stopped singing while he worked.

  Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was puzzled. When he sought his advisor’s help, the advisor said, ‘Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.’

  He continued, ‘The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never contented, because they’re always yearning and Striving for that extra 1, saying to themselves: ‘Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life.’ We can be happy, even with very little in our lives, but the minute we’re given something bigger and better, we want even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, we hurt the people around us; all these as a price for our growing needs and desires.

 
T
hat’s the "Club 99". Are you a member ?.


 

 

Brownness

Food For Thought for Monday, August 29th, 2011


On
ce upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content.

  One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked.  This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy.

  The King asked the servant, ‘Why are you so happy?’

  The man replied, ‘Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don’t need too much – just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our  tummies.’

  The king was not satisfied with that reply. Later in the day, he sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the King’s woes and the servant’s story, the advisor said, ‘Your Majesty, I believe that the servant Has not been made part of The 99 Club.’

  ‘The 99 Club? And what exactly is that?’ the King inquired.

  The advisor replied, ‘Your Majesty, to truly know what The 99 Club is, place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant’s doorstep.’

  When the servant saw the bag, he took it into his house. When he opened the bag, he let out a great shout of joy… So many gold coins!

  He began to count them. After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were 99 coins. He wondered, ‘What could’ve happened to that last gold coin?  Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!’

  He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive. Finally, exhausted he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete his collection.

  From that day, the servant’s life was changed. He was overworked, horribly grumpy, and castigated his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin. He stopped singing while he worked.

  Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was puzzled. When he sought his advisor’s help, the advisor said, ‘Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.’

  He continued, ‘The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never contented, because they’re always yearning and Striving for that extra 1, saying to themselves: ‘Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life.’ We can be happy, even with very little in our lives, but the minute we’re given something bigger and better, we want even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, we hurt the people around us; all these as a price for our growing needs and desires.

 
T
hat’s the "Club 99". Are you a member ?.


 

 

Brownness

Food For Thought for August 28th, 2011

If You Bring Love 
Joseph Campbell


At a certain moment in Nietzsche’s life, the idea came to him of what he called ‘the love of your fate.’ Whatever your fate is, whatever the heck happens, you say, "This is what I need." It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge.

If you bring love to that moment – not discouragement – you will find the strength is there. Any disaster that you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true.

Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not.