7 Easy Steps To Move Your Comfort Zone

Often times you might find yourself sitting in traffic on the highway stopped, just stopped, on road that should be flowing steadily at 60+ mph. The stop and go process ensues. A few miles into it, the brake & gas foot/ankle exercise, you come upon what it might possibly be. Usually it’s the aftermath of a fender bender that has moved to the side of the road, or a trooper with lights flashing giving a driver a “safety citation” to redeem in court at a future time. After that, things open up and traffic flows as usual. For me, as I mash down on the gas pedal and let all eight cylinders light up and let the Challenger run free for a bit, I wonder why the hell people have to slow down and “rubber neck” the scene when in fact there is nothing left to see. There are a few events happening in some linear order that created this mess in the first place. Continue reading “7 Easy Steps To Move Your Comfort Zone”

How To Set Goals In Two Easy Steps

If you have not noticed, there are small changes in format and functionality made to this website every few weeks. Not only do I try to come up with valuable and creative content, I also learn how to make this website easier to navigate and increase its functionality. For example, this week, I fixed the iPhone/iPad interface bug that now allow comments from those devices. The previous week I added the search box that actually works. Whenever I am about to make a code or layout change to the website, I go through a backup procedure and keep a copy of all of the files and code off line, just in case I did something stupid and can quickly go back to functional version. After the change, I test everything I possibly can and have the patience for.  This week’s task was to stress test the search box, and just for fun I typed the word “Goals” and learned there are ten articles that reference goals.
One of the common underlying themes on articles about goals is that most touch systematic methods to set goals, a system. Developing systems and workflows is a professional approach to establish habits. Changing or adapting new habits requires a change in behavior.  Changing behavior is difficult if one does not recognize that a particular behavior needs to be changed, especially if it is identified as a possible root cause. Let’s look at an example of changing a behavior.
There are a couple of blogs that were written to help the reader observe and identify behaviors. One in particular, was the post on tracking your spending for a week on food, transportation and entertainment for one week.  How many of you actually made the efforts of collecting receipts every time you made a purchase?  Collecting receipts is one step of a simple system. How many of you summarized the purchases using a note pad or the excel sheet that was provided?  Not many, based on the comments and conversations I’ve had with a few readers, and here’s the reason why.  There is a saying in sales that applies to behavior changes.
“A customer won’t make a purchase until the cost of the problem outweighs the cost of the solution.”
The same principle applies to breakthroughs that create behavior changes.  No amount of “would of, should of, could of” will change a behavior until a level of discomfort is more unbearable than implementing a system and creating an action plan to solve a problem or achieve a goal.  Even if blog writers or coaches provides tools, techniques and systems and lays them out and explains how to use them, no one ever will use tools and techniques until a necessary reactive response comes into play, like a decision to change a circumstance or a habit. Developing systematic methods to set and achieve goals creates a more proactive environment, which to me, is certainly more enjoyable than constantly reacting to things. Much worse, solving the same problem over and over again and expecting a different result.
Continue reading “How To Set Goals In Two Easy Steps”

Why You Should Share Your Financial Information

Going paperless offers convenience and flexibility when it comes to managing bills and financial statements.  I remember the days of getting my monthly 10+ page bank statement in the mail and using it to balance my check book. At one time, before computers and scanners, the bank would actually send your canceled checks back to you to where you stored them and referenced them for your income tax preparation. I had a file cabinet for managing all of these paper statements that came through “snail mail” which used to include credit card bills, utility, mortgage, property tax etc.  There used to be quite the paper trail. Today, going online eliminates the paper and more importantly allows one the option to monitor things in real-time.  Here’s the downside: Continue reading “Why You Should Share Your Financial Information”

Why Would You Pay More?

Every six months or so I prepare to negotiate what I am paying for my satellite TV and internet/phone service. When the previous “promotion” ends, the monthly rate will change, usually after 6 months.  When that happens I would call up and politely complain that my price increased and ask, politely, to return me to the promotional rate. The professional agents would ask a few questions and reply that the specific promotion has ended and I am now going back to the regular rate schedule which is about 22% more. I would thank them for their time and asked to be transferred to the customer loyalty department which they will do, sometimes reluctantly. Continue reading “Why Would You Pay More?”

The Five Books You Must Read

 

When I started my technical sales career at Pharmacia Biotech, the sales department had a well-planned sales and product training program that to this day remains my gold standard of training.  It consisted of comprehensive course: two weeks at headquarters for sales/marketing product lectures, hands on product training and Professional Selling Skills training. After the second week, the trainers sent you into your territory with your manager for two weeks applying everything that you just learned.   After that, back to HQ to focus on different product areas and more selling skills for another two full weeks and then back into your territory.  This cycle repeated for over four months and the team selling/coaching sessions with your manager lasted another three or four months after.  During this period, it was also expected that you continue with your own self-study on the products and your customer’s business. On top of that, you were required to hit your monthly sales targets and complete your admin duties consistently.  It did get a lot easier once you mastered the product line, your customers, and learned what’s important to manage your manager. (See the 80/20 rule.)    This methodology of constant and never-ending improvement became part of a very healthy corporate culture and a team driven to lead the market in best in class products, technical sales and customer satisfaction. The lifelong skill that this method taught me is not only learn new skills and how to apply new developed skills. Knowing is not enough, one must apply. Continue reading “The Five Books You Must Read”

Time Travel Made Easy

Time Travel. I’ve always been fascinated by time travel themed movies and having the ability to change just one thing that would affect my future.  Not the Back To The Future, Marty McFly stuff that messes up the space-time continuum and the whole alternate 1985 bit either.  I’m talking about going back in time and give advice to myself of a certain age.  For me it would be 1977, right after the photo was taken that was used in the Leader List Article  http://www.fromthebachrow.com/the-leader-list/.   I’ll cover that advice to my 16 year-old self in May. It turns out we can do selective time travel when one interprets the code messages in   blogs like this one and the one in the link below.  Continue reading “Time Travel Made Easy”

This Training Will Make You Make You Rich

 

Creating valuable content for the blog allows me to pull threads of different themes that have become growth enablers for myself.  Years ago, I came across several authors who during their era, were the motivational champions of the business person: Dale Carnegie, Earl Nightingale, and Napoleon Hill.
I discovered their work in the “books on tape” section of the library. During my sales career, I would listen to books on tape as I traveled around my Midwest sales territory.  Today, podcasts are the tool, and the concept of learning and laughing on the road has never been easier.  Continue reading “This Training Will Make You Make You Rich”