Wake Up Call

About 5 years ago, I weighed about 280 pounds which is almost 100 pounds heavier than what I weigh now. I don’t think many of you have ever been that severely overweight. Not only is your health at risk but your social skills and personality are warped. I was extremely shy, depressed, introverted, and very uncomfortable with myself yet I didn’t do anything to ever change or improve. I kept saying I wanted to change but also kept making excuses.

My family and friends did what they could but ultimately because I didn’t really want to change, their efforts were wasted.

One day, I went to a minor league baseball game and naturally enjoyed all the ballpark foods and snacks. While I was shoveling funnel cake in my mouth, a girl passed me. I cannot remember anything about her other than just being beautiful. I just remember thinking to myself, “Wow! How do I get a girl like that?”

Right then – it dawned on me that funnel cake and unhealthy living was never going to help me. I actually pushed away the cake and from then on, slowly lost 100 pounds and kept it off. While she will never know it, that girl at the ballpark completely changed my life and built my confidence. The life lesson I picked up from this experience was the idea that if you are unhappy with anything, stop making excuses and change it.

OK, not my story.

But it is the story of a student in the class I teach at Rutgers University. The assignment was to write about (and ultimately speak about) a person that changed your life.

What is it in your life that you want to change? Is it your weight? Fitness level? Landing a job? Changing your career? Spending more time with your kids? Or growing your business?

All of these changes require a drastic shift in how you spend your time. And how do you spend your time? What are the 5 little things that you can do EVERY DAY that will improve your condition over the next 90 days?

Here’s an example of what you might do EVERY DAY if your focus is growing your business.

Send 5 handwritten notes to referrals sources. There’s power in a handwritten note (as opposed to an email). Emails get deleted whereas handwritten notes and letters get remembered forever. Often, they are displayed for others to see. Get them made with your company logo or just buy them in bulk at a card store. Hello Dave! I hope this note finds you well! It’s been a long time. Would love to connect for a coffee and to catch up. Lots of ways we could help one another! Look forward to seeing you! That’s really all you need to say. So say it!

Make 5 phone calls to clients to discuss new products, offerings, or opportunities. Let clients know that there are new programs and products available and that you want their ideas about how (or if) they can benefit from them. Ask them who they know that would be interested in learning about some of these ideas and if they would introduce you. Naturally, ask how you can help them too. Remember it goes both ways!

Initiate 5 “connections” through LinkedIn. Be strategic about who you connect with and why. Are they in your target market? Work for a target company? Or work for Target? (Kidding.) Yes, you want to be targeted and ultimately transform a LinkedIn connection into a phone meeting and hence a real discussion. The 500 plus ‘connections’ you have on LinkedIn don’t mean a hill of beans (or a ballpark frank) if you don’t leverage them into more personal interactions. And please, when you look to connect with someone on LinkedIn, write a personal note rather than the canned version that’s offered. Just saying.

Send a book or small gift to a current or past client. Better yet, send them my book. Kidding aside, a book, small gift, gift certificate (Starbuck’s), or other personal gesture that a client would like goes a long way. Try to consider the client’s interests, favorite sports teams, and personality. Pick and choose while doing what makes sense and cost effective.

Call 5 A-Z connections. An A-Z connection is the name of a person in your database that you don’t contact often or not at all. Maybe they’re a name from the past. Or a past client, friend, or associate. We all have them. By contacting your A-Z connections a few names at a time (simply start from the top and work your way through the alphabet), you get to update your database, get caught up on what’s happening in people’s lives (not bad if you happen to be a financial advisor!), maybe get some good gossip, possibly exchange other connections, and have some fun. Really, what’s better than that?

Again, these are just examples of what you can do every day that will make an impact in your business almost immediately. They’re simple, not very costly, and don’t take up a lot of time. Simply perform your MUSTS first thing in the morning to get your day off on the right track. Think of the momentum you could create!

Imagine what would happen over a 90 day period if you perform your MUSTS every day? Of course, tailor your MUSTS to align with your goals but they must be targeted, collaborative (you help me, I help you), and actionable. Your MUSTS should also be ambitious but not too ambitious where they will be a drain to perform every day. Remember, it’s the consistency that wins the day.

When are YOU going to drop the funnel cake?

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One thought on “Wake Up Call

  1. Peter Beeson

    Brilliant writing and love the take action with concrete examples in this column. Cheering wildly in Seattle and am very grateful for the coaching and the call to action. Cheers and many thanks! Peter II, Seattle Insurance Agency Inc.


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