The Problem Is Not The Problem

The Problem Is Not The Problem


Problems get in the way of us doing things. They create stumbling blocks or insurmountable mountains. They make us feel like we can never get where we need to go.


It’s true if you wait for a problem to go away or hope it will go away or decide there’s nothing you can do about it and give up, then yes, the problem will definitely stop you from achieving your goal.


However, what if you decided to think of each problem as an opportunity. An opportunity to try a different approach. To talk to different people. To learn something new.


So often things that start out as problems turn out to be inspirations. They lead to things and situations that are better than our original plan.


Life and how you feel about it and what you get out of it are all a matter of perspective. When you run into a problem. Instead of worrying about how you’re going to get around it, search for the opportunity buried inside it. You might find buried treasure.



Becoming a Top 20% Salesperson

Becoming a Top 20% Salesperson


You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule, that states that 80% of the results in a given situation can be attributed to 20% of the people working towards those results. That means the top 20% of the salespeople in a company will make 80% of the sales.


Take control

Top twenty percenters have certain attributes. They don’t hope for the best they commit to being the best.  Holding no illusions that they’re somehow going to magically rise to the top, they decide they’re going to get there and then hold themselves accountable every step on the way. There’s a grand canyon between hoping for something and deciding you’re going to get something. One leaves the achievement of the thing to outside forces. The other takes control.


Acknowledge successes

They look at everyday as another opportunity to learn something that’s going to bring them closer to their goals. They implement what they’re learning and keep on working away on that skill like a sculptor on stone, until that skill or the sculpture inside the stone is revealed. When those skills lead to successes they don’t just let them pass like ships in the night they stop and acknowledge the accomplishment. They reward themselves in some way to keep themselves incentivized.


Not afraid of fear

Fear is the great stopping point to so much success. The two things that people most fear are: failure and looking bad in front of others. Those fears are what prevent so many people from giving their careers 100% of their energy and dedication. You can’t fail 100% if you’re only putting in 60% or 70% effort.


Top twenty percenters do not let fear get in their way. They are as afraid as anyone else, but they go ahead and put themselves out there anyway. As Henry Ford said, “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”


A personal commitment to results

Top twenty percenters are not giving lip service to their company or their product, they are speaking with 100% conviction and commitment. To be a strong salesperson you have to believe in yourself. To believe in yourself you have to believe in what you’re doing. You can’t believe 60% or 70% or even 99%. It has to be 100%. If you don’t have 100% believe in yourself and your company then why are you there?


Clear direction

A lawyer never asks someone on the stand a question without knowing the answer. Top twenty percent salespeople are fully prepared and versed on every aspect of the their product and the people they’re selling that product to. They may never say the same thing twice, but they have a clear, defined system for what they’re going to say.

Iceberg Career Advice – Motivation Monday

Iceberg Career Advice - Motivation Monday


What you may wonder, do icebergs have to do with career advice? Well it’s all about that whole faking it to you’re making it thing.


No one can see what’s going on below the surface

As an iceberg, the only thing anyone can see of you is the tiniest tip at the top. No one can read your mind, no one saw how flustered you were on the bus this morning. All they see is you right now in the moment you are interacting with them.


Show your best face

So don’t worry about how you spilled coffee on your shirt when you were running late this morning. Change the shirt and act like you woke up with plenty of time to spare and you’re having a great morning when you get to work.


Don’t worry if you’re having a meltdown internally. It doesn’t matter if you want to cry bitterly into your desk because you’re so stressed out. So long as you are not actually crying bitterly into your desk, you are successfully faking and making it.


Ask questions when you need help and anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, or under-qualified, take a deep breath, and remember you are an iceberg and all anyone can see is that kickass professional tip and none of the insecure beginner stuff underneath.


You’ll be great.

Sales Pitches That Deliver



The term sales pitch is sort of misleading because it assumes the action is entirely dependent on the salesperson. Like the salesperson has a stock of pitches, the fastball, the curveball, the grounder and he or she chooses the one that best suits the circumstances and throws.


With baseball, where the pitcher’s intention is to strike out, that might work, but with sales where you’re looking for the hits, each pitch is going to have to be customized for the person you’re talking to. A strong pitch isn’t something thrown at a customer, it’s part of a conversation, a relationship you’re building where two people talk to each other, discuss benefits and questions and how the product being discussed could be a solution.


Pre-pitch homework

Of course to get into that conversation you’re going to have to do your homework. Knowing everything about your product is only the beginning. Equally important is knowing how it can benefit different people with different lifestyles and sensibilities. You will discuss the benefits differently when you’re talking to a busy professional than you will if you’re talking to a stay at home parent. You need to know exactly how to appeal to the person you’re talking to, exactly how this product is going to impact them. Discuss specific features about the product that will address their situation.


Targeted, specific questions

By asking lots of specific questions to determine the life circumstances and sensibilities of the person you’re speaking to, you’ll be able to tailor the rest of your pitch accordingly. With the right questions you’ll be able to figure out if the person is a good fit for the product and what you can say to make it more attractive to them. Remember, questions are no good if you’re not paying close attention to the answers, so listen carefully to what the person is saying and respond accordingly. A strong sales pitch is a conversation between two people about the product at hand, not a one-way list of benefits and features.



In a perfect world, a dialogue about a product is a smooth direct line from introduction to interest to sale. In the real world there will be objections. If you’re a strong salesperson who’s done your homework those objections can work to your advantage as you overturn them and make the product even more appealing in the process. That means you need to have figured out every objection in advance and have the response appropriate to the person you’re speaking with ready.


Sales professionals at IBM realized that most objections fall into four categories, Budget, Authority, Needs, Time or BANT 


Budget: Can they afford your product? Will this product save them time or money in the long run or improve their life in some way that makes the expenditure worthwhile?


Authority: Can this person make the buying decision? Do they need to speak with anyone else first?


Need: Will this product improve their life in some way?


Time: If they’re in a hurry to get somewhere else they won’t be able to pay attention to you or your product. Do they have the time to listen to what you have to say?


The final push

Your conversation has come to an end. You’ve answered all the questions and have an interested, invested person in front of you. Encourage them into action while they’re still excited and motivated. If you are the point of sale, great. If they need to follow through at the cash register, explain what they need to do. If they need to follow through with someone else and get back to you then set a time for that.


By making yourself an expert salespitcher you can turn your strike-outs into homeruns!


Are you a visual learner? Here’s a detailed explanation of How To Deliver a Good Sales Pitch from wikiHow – with pictures!

Three Easy Steps To Increased Productivity

Three Easy Steps To Increased Productivity


Sometimes in the middle of trying to do all the things you need to attend to, it feels like all you’re doing is treading water while the to-do list floats all around you. We’ve got three small tips to help you get more daily tasks to shore.


Take control of your emails

Emails are like tiny time suckers. If you take the time to respond to every single one that floats into your inbox the second it floats in, you lose focus on what you’re doing, and then you have to take the time to yourself back into the swim of it things and the day gets away from you in small beeping chunks.


If you decide to respond later and then forget about the waiting emails, then that becomes a problem too.


The best thing to do is take control of the emails. Don’t stop what you’re doing every time one comes through, but do respond to them – at a time convenient to you.


Unless an email is absolutely urgent, deal with them in bunches at allotted times. That way instead of breaking your concentration every ten minutes, you’re dedicating 15 minutes chunks to emails throughout the day, and dedicating longer uninterrupted chunks to everything else.


Make the most of your commute

If you’re someone who has a long train or bus commute to work, that’s a great time to get through small chunks of work. Your commute is a great time to tackle a few emails. You answer them there and then  and save yourself all that time later.


No matter what task you tackle on the train, it will be a more productive hour than mindlessly trolling Facebook.


Determine your most productive hours

Different people are at their peak efficiency at different times of the day. Some are most productive after lunch when they’re full and happy. Others are most focused first thing in the morning. While others hit their peak efficiency after they’ve settled in and have been at work for an hour or two.


Figure out your optimum work time, and set yourself goals of doing larger or more demanding projects at that specific time.


Working according to your body’s natural rhythms is useful for getting things finished. Give yourself small easy tasks when you know your brain is on autopilot, and save the more complex things for when you’re at your mental best.