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  • Whether You Believe It or Not, It’s Probably True

    Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

     

    “Whether You Believe It or Not, It’s Probably True.” That’s actually one of my very favorite quotes because I actually do believe that.

    true

    What I have found in my own personal life is that when I believe I can do something, I typically find a way. If I don’t really believe that something can happen, I rationalize my way out of trying to make it work.

    Have you ever done the same thing?

    Here’s the biggest question for this week’s blog:

    What do you believe that is actually possible in your life?

    Now that’s a really big and somewhat vague question because it could be personal, professional, or about your fitness life. It could even be about your financial life, your career, or your relationships. But the question remains the same.

    What do you believe in your life that you actually think can come true?

    That’s what I want to pause and think about this week.

    It’s Sunday night and I’m actually driving to a study with some of my girlfriends. As I sit and think about that question to myself, one of the things I notice that happens quite often is I immediately go to the realistic.

    I immediately go to things that are already in motion. I already think, “What are things that already have a track to run on and what do I just need to finish?” I wonder about the things that seem possible.

    I rarely think about the things that seem impossible. What are the things that could happen with a little creativity and ingenuity? Who are the people in my life who could help me make impossible things possible?

    Regardless of where you are and what, you believe on this stance here’s one thing I know to be true:

    Mind really does overcome matter.  

    If you believe something, more than likely you can find a way to make that become a reality.

    I also believe the opposite. If you don’t believe something is possible, you’ll never give it enough attention, effort, or resources for it to even become a glimmer of hope in your imagination.

    As you read this blog this week, I hope it helps you challenge your thinking with one thing:

    What is potentially impossible that actually could be possible with a little creativity, a little willpower, and the right people coming together to help you?

     

     

    Amanda Johns Vaden is a founding partner, executive coach and senior consultant at Southwestern Consulting. She has worked with over 400 sales offices nationwide.  Amanda is the author of the upcoming books Unspoken: Redefining Expectations Between  Men and Women in the World of Work and 4-Dimensional Follow up: Increasing Client Retention and Customer Loyalty Through Follow-Up.

    To visit Amanda Johns Vaden’s website, click here.


  • Teamwork

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

     

    blueangels
    When I think of the ultimate in teamwork, I think of the Blue Angels flight team.  These pilots must be not only perfect but also precise in their daily performances.   They do this not only entertain, but to stay alive.  They raise the bar in a multitude of ways.  Their passion for what they do along with the amount of preparation and dedication to being the best is remarkable.  Regarding teamwork, when it is at its best, amazing standards are being set daily.  What level do you think your team is currently operating?  I am referring to the team you work with, and perhaps your family unit as well? Where do you and your team and need to raise the bar?  What areas do you think need the most improvement?
    Below you will find a few common characteristics seen in teams that work well together and achieve significant successes, both together and as individuals.

    teamwork

    Teams that rock, or are wildly successful, tend to share certain common values.  I find these teams typically have very focused goals along with a passion for succeeding.  You can ask any member of that team what is the focus of their team.  Each member of the team will know the main goal and they will all answer in a similar fashion. These teammates are so committed to their shared goals and success that they will put the success of the team first and be willing to make personal sacrifices in order to help the team.  One person on the team may purposefully take a back seat for a short while and let another teammate succeed.  They realize that a short-term sacrifice of glory and ego, today will help the entire team in the long run.

    When you are a part of a top team, teamwork is not something you only do part time. You live your life by doing what is best for the team.   I like to teach the concept of either/and instead of either/or. Top leaders of top teams must have a team first attitude and mentality.  Also, they must make sure they are performing at their very best.  When you are at your very best, in most cases you are helping the team as well.

    Top teams tend to consist of several leaders, leaders that are confident and skilled enough to walk the talk, not just talk the talk. In all areas both personal and professional you will see top teams whose leaders lead by example and set the pace. They are proactive, rather than reactive and plan on winning no matter what.

    Yet another part of teamwork to be aware of is trust.  Teams that have a great chemistry also have amazing trust for one another.  This comes from amazing communication amongst the team.  Often teammates will carve out  time to communicate when challenges arise.  Typically the type of situations that may threaten the bond and success of their team.  Often, trust is broken when communication is poor.  People who want to grow their teamwork skills must make good communication a priority.

    Teams that succeed are the teams that prepare the most. They often work harder and more diligently than anyone would imagine. Whether its additional hours of work in order to prepare, or tenacious effort during the hours of preparation, strong teams do the work. Ask yourself this question: Does your team put, less, the same, or more work when preparing for success than the average team?  The answer probably lies in your results.  If your team isn’t where you want it to be, it is because you need to work on becoming more prepared.

    Lastly, great teams have great attitudes. Attitude stems from what and how teammates talk to themselves when no one else is around.  They have clear affirmations and the words they said whether to themselves or to their team.  Of course, things happen in life and having a good attitude and good self-talk can help everyone bounce back fast from the challenges one may experience.

    You don’t see winners walking around defeated and down.  It’s because they have mastered the self – talk and attitude skill set.

    What type of team do you want to build? When do you want to start? What are you and your teams biggest growth areas to Turn It Up A Notch in your teamwork abilities?

     

    Gary Michels is a co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is a keynote speaker, sales trainer and business consultant and has motivated nearly 1,000,000 people to achieve their highest potential nationwide. Gary spent 19 successful years as a sales representative for a national fund-raising company.


  • Control What You Can: Attitude and Effort

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    attitudeOften we get frustrated in life when we try to control things that we actually have no control over.

    We get frustrated when the traffic is bad and we are late to work.

    We get frustrated when somebody doesn’t buy from us, or they don’t show up for an appointment.

    We get frustrated all day long with little things that are happening, that we forget that we cannot actually control some of those things.

    What can we do to keep from feeling this way?

    There are only two things each day that you actually can control. Only two things!

    They are your attitude and your effort. That’s it!

    When something bad happens you control how you react to that something. You can control what attitude you choose to put on. Choose to put on a good one!

    You can also control how hard you work. How many hours you put in. You control how hard you work during those hours, how many phone calls you make, if you pick up the phone and dial again and again and again.

    There are things that you can influence, like how well you have a conversation. You can influence if somebody buys or not, but you can’t really control the outcome at all.

    You can control a lot of what you do in terms of how many appointments you set, etc. You can have a great amount of control over that. Two things we can work on controlling is how hard we work and our attitude.

    If you focus on controlling the “controllables,” controlling what you actually can control, and just surrender the rest, you will have a lot less frustration and a whole lot more peace!

    Emmie Brown is an executive level coach and an expert in the Psychology of Scripting. Emmie started her career with The Southwestern Company as a student intern at the University of North Carolina. She continued to work with Southwestern over the next 10 years as a top producing sales manager until joining Southwestern Consulting in 2009. Emmie has spent the last 4 years traveling the country as a professional sales trainer, executive coach and business consultant with Southwestern Consulting and the Success Starts Now! conference series. She is also the author of the audio series Talk Less, Sell More and a breakout presenter at the Success Starts Now! sales training conference.


  • The Two Types of Motivation to Know About

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    Most of us are motivated by contests and incentives or earning recognition. We like to work towards goals. This type of motivation is called “Toward Motivation.” There’s another very powerful type of motivation that often gets overlooked. “Away Motivation.”

    Let’s say it’s 3 o’clock in the morning, on a very cold night in early spring, you’re laying in bed and your phone rings. Your buddy down the street is calling you to say, “There’s a big sale happening at the end of the street. They’re selling patio furniture and grills for really cheap. I know you really wanted to buy those. Come down here now!” And you’re thinking, “It’s 3 o’clock in the morning why would I get out of bed?”

    Let’s look at another example. In this scenario, you’re laying in bed at 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s freezing cold, and you get a phone call from the same buddy who says, “Hey, there’s someone on your back porch stealing your patio furniture and your brand-new grill!” Would you get out of bed? Most people say they would pop out of bed and chase the thieves out of their yard right away! “Away Motivation.”

    Everybody is motivated a little bit differently, but typically the fear of loss is an even more powerful motivator than excitement for gain. We overlook the type of motivation called “Away Motivation.” We are away motivated when we are trying to avoid consequences.

    Here is an example in your business realm. One of our clients was having a really hard time asking for referrals. He would either just forget to ask, or often times would not ask because he was afraid to. We really needed to get him to ask for those referrals. Now we have the “Toward Motivation.” The opportunity to earn more business, the opportunity to get more results and get mores prize. But this really wasn’t motivating him. We needed to put that “Away Motivation” in place. What we did for him was ask him who was someone that he really did not like. Unfortunately, he really didn’t like his assistant. This person wasn’t his assistant by choice, this was a company chosen assistant that was decades older than him, didn’t report to him, and didn’t respect him in his eyes. So, what we decided to do was every time he forgot to ask a referral he had to write her a check for $50. He had to tell her he was giving her that because he didn’t do what he said he was going to do. That was embarrassing enough to him that it only took one time of forgetting to ask for referrals, and he never wanted to experience that again.

    Think about this for yourself. What are some consequences that you can put in place that will help you to be more motivated and hit your goals? Would it motivate you to have to donate money to the political party you are not a fan of? Would it motivate you to have to cancel a trip if you don’t do what you say you will do? Would it motivate you to give sales to your competitor? Think about those consequences, put them in place, and watch how things will change for you.

    We need to have consequences in place, not just rewards in order to sufficiently motivate ourselves. Make sure you have “Toward Motivation” and “Away Motivation” in your plan to achieve your goals!

    What are some things that have helped you? Share here, tweet me @emmie__brown

    Emmie Brown is an executive level coach and an expert in the Psychology of Scripting. Emmie started her career with The Southwestern Company as a student intern at the University of North Carolina. She continued to work with Southwestern over the next 10 years as a top producing sales manager until joining Southwestern Consulting in 2009. Emmie has spent the last 4 years traveling the country as a professional sales trainer, executive coach and business consultant with Southwestern Consulting and the Success Starts Now! conference series. She is also the author of the audio series Talk Less, Sell More and a breakout presenter at the Success Starts Now! sales training conference.


  • Being Positive vs. Positive Self-Talk

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    The wealthiest man I know once told me the key to success is having amazing self-talk. I remember feeling disappointed when receiving this advice over a nice dinner. What a conundrum that I’m getting advice from the a man who was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the most successful people alive and I’m having a negative response to advice about positive self-talk.

    I decided to investigate further what he meant by “you have to have amazing self-talk”. He went on to explain that self-talk is defined as what you say about yourself to yourself, and what you allow others to say about you that you believe. Then it hit me, my whole life I thought being positive is what having positive self-talk was all about. But after my conversation with Spencer, I realized that my self-talk had nothing to do with being a positive person. It had everything to do with looking in the mirror and honestly saying what I think about myself.

    Most people have the wrong idea around what self-talk is all about. Most people, myself included before this dinner, consider being a positive person as what it means to have positive self-talk. I think of a funny Saturday Night Live skit like this one when I hear motivational speakers talk about having a positive attitude and living in a van down by the river.

    Your self-talk is the most important thing in your life. The core of your self-talk is your belief system. Your beliefs construct your attitudes. Your attitudes determine your actions. Your actions come from your feelings. Your feelings come from your self-talk. If someone stuck a recorder inside your brain over the past 24 hours, I’m willing to bet the things you tell yourself about yourself would be scary. Most people spend their entire lives telling themselves what they can and cannot do. And as Henry Ford said “whether you think you can or you cannot, you are right.”

    Your self-image is directly tied to your self-talk. When you look in the mirror, do you see someone who is fat, ugly, dumb, a failure, a bad husband, a lousy father, a victim, a martyr, a jerk, a nag, a mediocre worker…Or do you see someone who is fit, sexy, smart, a winner, the world’s best husband and father, someone who will go over, under, around or straight right though any obstacle in their way!?

    In 1st grade, I flunked phonics, then in 2nd grade I flunked spelling, then I proceeded for the rest of my schooling to make F’s in any subject that had to do with reading and writing.  I developed a very real self-talk issue around the topic of reading and writing. I would say things like “can someone else read instead of me, I’m good at other things and not good at reading.”  One day a sales manager at the Southwestern Company challenged me when he said, “You know as long as you keep saying you aren’t good at reading, you never will be.”  I went home that night and made a decision that I would never again say anything about being less proficient at reading and writing.  Instead, I would say things positive about reading and writing.

    I created “Positive Affirmations” around reading and writing, and I started saying them everyday.  My affirmations included “I am a wordsmith”, “I am an author”, “I am an avid reader”, “My lexicon is vast”, and “I am the world’s best Scrabble player”.  After a few months of saying these “Positive Affirmations”, I found myself picking up a book and started reading every day. Additionally, I opened up a Word document and started writing every week. More than 14 years later, I’ve read over 100 books and am the author of several books.

    As humans, we are programmed to think a certain way, whether we like it or not. Either you choose to give up control of your own programming and let the media, society or your friends and family program you with what you believe about yourself and the world…or… you take control of your self-talk and start programming yourself with the things you want to believe about yourself and the world. If you want to take control of your self-talk, the most impactful exercise you can possibly do is to take out a piece of paper and write out a minimum of 10 positive affirmation and then make copies of your affirmations and carry them with you, post them on your walls, share them with other people and, most importantly, say them to yourself out loud every day.

    Here are some of my personal affirmations: 

    • God gives me all strength, courage and confidence… and with God anything is possible.
    • I always communicate with confidence, unwavering Relentless Truth.
    • I always put God first, Kyah second, Haven third, friends fourth, work fifth, and myself sixth regarding how I make decisions.
    • I am an athlete. I am consistent with working out at least 3 times per week and walk with Kyah 2 times per week, and eating a Paleo diet.
    • I raise the belief, energy and confidence level of every single person I interact with.
    • I empathize with others’ struggles, pains and regrets and help them embrace truth, forgiveness, mercy and love through God.
    • Most of all, my life mission and what God has called me to do is help others reach their God-given potential every day

     

    Dustin Hillis is the Co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is an expert in understanding buying, selling and management behavior styles and how to identify them and adapt to people the way they want to be communicated with. He also specializes in writing efficient and effective Customized Sales Scripts/Word Tracks. Mr Hillis consults companies on creating Compensation Plans, Recruiting Systems and Sales Strategies. Dustin is the author of the book Navigate: The Art of Not Thinking and co-author of Speaking of Success along with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield


  • Do Your Words Really Matter?

    I AM....Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

    Do you talk to yourself? I already know the answer to this, YES, you do!  We all do.

    But have you ever thought about if the things you say to yourself really make a difference in how you think, act or react?

    Do your words encourage you or discourage you?

    Do they give you confidence or do they make you self-conscious?

    Do they make you want to keep going or do they make you want to get back in bed?

    What you say when you talk to yourself is one of the most untrained on parts of being a sales professional, but one of the most important. It’s what we at Southwestern Consulting call “the power of positive self-talk.”

    Learning how to talk to yourself is a really powerful element of building confidence on the inside so it shows on the outside. If you don’t believe in yourself very few will believe in what you are selling.

    Positive self-talk is talking about yourself in present tense, which starts to create the vision of who you want to become.  Watching your words must be an intentional act of discipline to constantly reassure yourself that you can do this, you can learn this and it’s all possible.

    The benefit of positive affirmations can be life changing. It can change your personal life, your work life, your confidence, it can change everything about you.

    So here’s what I want you to do: make a list of all the things you want in your life.

    What are the things that you want to have?

    What are the things that you want to be and how do you want the world to see you ?

    Do you want the world to see you as a loving father/mother? A loyal husband/wife? A hard worker? How do you want to be seen?

    Writing positive affirmations allow you to physically see what you want written out giving you something real to look at and work towards

    Long before I was any good at sales, my affirmations said things like, “I’m a million dollar producer, I’m a great speaker, I’m the top sales person in our company, I am a top leader.”

    I may not of be all those things right now, but I want to be them. So I’m going to talk to myself like I am that person today.

    My husband is a great example of this. He’s such an inspiration to me in this very specific area, because when he puts his dreams on paper, his affirmations, what he believes about himself, it always seems to come true. Not always today and not always tomorrow but eventually everything that he puts on paper, he finds a way to make it happen.

    Years ago, my husband wrote down on his affirmations list “I am a New York Times best selling author.” He didn’t have a title, pages, or a topic of what he wanted to write. But he knew that’s what he wanted to be.

    Five years ago, I wrote, “I’m a million dollar producer” down on my affirmations list. And I was very far away from being a million dollar producer. In fact, my best year at the time was probably just over $300,000 in personal revenue. In 2012 the same year that my husband became a New York Time Best-Selling Author, I sold over a million dollars in revenue for our company.

    I believed it before it happened. I talked to myself as if it were already true, so when it came true it wasn’t that much of a shock. I’d been preparing myself all along to be the person I wanted to become. I spoke it out loud every single day.

    So, here’s what you need to do right now. You need to write down 10 affirmations of who you want to be, present tense. I am a marathon runner, I am a million dollar producer, I am a loyal and devoted wife, I am in fantastic physical shape, I am the best friend anyone could have.

    “I am . . . ” are the statements that you want to use. Present tense, to tell yourself that you are the person that, one day, you want to be.

     

    Amanda Johns Vaden is a founding partner, executive coach and senior consultant at Southwestern Consulting. She has worked with over 400 sales offices nationwide.  Amanda is the author of the upcoming books Unspoken: Redefining Expectations Between  Men and Women in the World of Work and 4-Dimensional Follow up: Increasing Client Retention and Customer Loyalty Through Follow Up