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‘Long-Term Planning’

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Stop Watching The News

Stop watching the news! Come on folks is this what we’re destined to become? A nation of bad news junkies? And the reason I say this is because every time I turn around someone is telling me how bad it is out there.

Well guess what, we’re the only ones who can make it better!

And I’ll tell you another thing, there are salespeople, entrepreneurs and business owners out there right now that haven’t even had the time to look up and witness a recession. Why? Because they’re too damn busy opening up new markets, capturing market share and beating out all the competitors who have been scared off by bad news.

Listen, for 26 YEARS, from 1982 until September of 2008 the U.S. economy was in a recession for a grand total of 16 months! In other words, we are coming off of 26 total years of economic prosperity; the longest economic boom in the history of the United States, which is amazing. But therein lies the problem.

Most salespeople and business owners have been order-takers for decades.

Let’s face it, when business was booming did you really have to sell? Or did you just sit around waiting for the phone to ring or the door to open?

The big problem for far too many salespeople and dealers is they only know how to sell this way. They’re still sitting there waiting for the phone to ring (which it’s NOT) or the door to open (also NOT).

What is needed right now is a strategic attitude change when it comes to goal-setting, client relationships and prospecting for new business.

I am in the business of motivation and aggressive business development. Getting professionals of all stripes to take action in their lives, careers and businesses is what makes me tick. And with all the negativity every where you turn, I want to make an extra effort to get my programs into the hands of people like you.

My programs will help you create a game plan for your life, career or business and get back that crucial confidence you need to make 2009 a big winner. I promise you that.

For the first business week of December ending this Friday, I am offering a 50% discount on all of my products. They can be found by clicking these links:

This includes all of my DVDs: Make My Life Easier (my definitive seminar on building client relationships), Goal-Setting Techniques That Work, and Prospecting Skills That Work.

This means you can buy my DVD Success Series which includes all three of my DVDs plus a bonus copy of my book for less than $75! Click here to order.

Simply click on any of the “add item to cart” links like you normally would to purchase with us, and the 50% discount will automatically be deducted from the order total.

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Look In The Mirror

Amid the growing world financial and credit crisis, the one thing we don’t seem to have a shortage of is finger-pointing. However, with so much blame to go around, nobody (especially politicians) ever seems to point the finger at themselves.

This point was emphasized quite clearly in a September 19th, 2008 Wall Street Journal article.

The article was about the surge in the number of foreclosures of million dollar plus homes. The beginning of the article talked about a man named Robert Provost, who in 2003 purchased a $2.5 million villa with its own boat dock in Sarasota, Fla.

Mr. Provost earned more than $250,000 a year working for an auto-sales chain and had an impeccable credit history.

Then he lost his job and missed one $10,500 mortgage payment, then another. This month, he put his house on the market for $3.4 million, but the listing has attracted very little interest. Mr. Provost expects to receive a notice of default- the first step to foreclosure in the next month or two.

I kept reading the article, looking for some reaction to this, and waiting to see if someone, anyone, was thinking the same thing I was. However, the only two quotes I saw from people trying to explain this phenomenon of million dollar plus foreclosures were an economist from Wellesley College, Karl Case, who said, “If you’ve got a lender who pushed them to the limit and you have some change in supply or demand, you’ll have foreclosures.”

Hmmm, “the lender pushed them to the limit.” Sounds a little like Flip Wilson’s old routine, “The devil made me do it.”

Next we had Tom Lawler, a housing economist in Leesburg, Va. who said, “Loans were unbelievably risky in every category. We’re seeing the results of that lending in the high end.”

Are you seeing where I’m heading with this? No one asked the simple question: What the hell is an employee (not a business owner) who is making $250,000 a year doing buying a $2.5 million house? Plus, the fact that Mr. Provost stopped making mortgage payments right after he lost his job tells me he went into this with no cushion. Whose fault is that?

Oh, and if you’re thinking that some unscrupulous lender talked him into this let me give you one more piece of info that I withheld till now: Mr. Provost’s job with the auto-sales chain was that of finance chief! No wonder he’s out of work.

Let me tell you what happened to too many people. They saw friends, neighbors and people on TV making what looked like “easy money,” just buying, selling and flipping houses. You didn’t need any money or income, because the prices would just keep going up (where, in fantasy land) and all you need to do is sell and use that money for the next purchase, or maybe even buy two. Why work for a living, when there’s such a sure thing staring you in the face?

As you know the bubble burst and many of these people want to be bailed out. What about the vast majority of people who paid and continue to pay their mortgages on time? Nobody was asking for a bailout when they were making money and they certainly weren’t going to share it with the homeowners who weren’t speculating.

Investing is a risk, whether it’s real estate or the stock market (I own 1,000 shares of AIG and you know what? This won’t be the first time I take a beating, nor will it be the last. I bought it. I knew the risk. Hell, life is a risk. If you want to be successful you have to take chances. Success is as much about failing as it is about succeeding. But when those chances blow up in your face (and sometimes they will), stop looking for scapegoats (that’s the job of gutless politicians), just look in the mirror and move on.

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It’s Never Too Late To Do The Hard

Two years ago, I posted a blog article titled, Consequences of the Easy Way Out.

It detailed the experiences of my son, Michael who was 18 at the time. It told how his penchant for taking the easy way out had put him in a position where he had limited his college choices. He ended up at a school he hated and while he did well, academically, in his one year there, his transfer choices were limited, to say the least.

I wrote in the article, “The good news for Michael is that these are not earth shattering or life threatening mistakes, and since he’s only 18 his actions, or lack of it, have become a valuable learning experience.”

Thankfully, I was correct.

Michael decided, since he couldn’t go where he wanted to go, he would take a year off from school and work full-time. Let me tell you something: there is nothing like a dose of the real world to really help you appreciate what it takes to be successful.

Michael worked hard as a Pizza delivery man for the local Pizza Parlor. He made a lot of money and saved a lot money. He invested wisely in the stock market and made a significant profit.

After a year, he decided it was time to go back. Through an acquaintance of ours, he was told about an excellent small private university 45 minutes to the west: Elon University. We checked it out; Michael loved it, applied and was accepted.

If he would have applied right out of high school, no way he gets in. But since he decided to “Do the hard,” his first year of college, those freshman grades got him accepted to a school he really enjoys and where he is not taking the easy way out.

Mistakes, bad judgment, always looking for the easy way out; these are not irrevocable tragedies. You can easily turn these around to your advantage just by realizing “The extra effort I put in up front, will save me far more time and effort in the long run; make my life better overall and assure me a successful future.”

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Entrepreneurship: It’s About Getting What YOU Want

I’m writing to share with you two great examples of entrepreneurship from a chapter of my book, The Best Damn Sales Book Ever. I also highly recommend a great new book, The One Minute Entrepreneur, by Ken Blanchard and Don Hutson. It is an exciting story about the trials and tribulations of business. You can take part in their special offer by clicking here.

…This is an excerpt from Chapter 15 of The Best Damn Sales Book Ever:

When I ask,“Why did you get into sales,” or “Why did you go into this kind of business,” I’ve had way too many people say, “…Because I heard you can make a lot of money in sales,” or, “I heard you can make a lot of money in this kind of business.” I know people who have made a lot of money doing things where others would turn up their noses.

You’ve probably never heard of a man named Randy Repass. He was like so many other people in that he had a job he was disappointed with at a Silicon Valley technology firm, so he turned to his love of boating for relief from the cold, impersonal nature of the high-tech industry. In 1968, working out of his garage in Sunnyvale, California, he began selling nylon rope by mail order under the name West Coast Ropes. Occasionally, adventuresome customers would even drop by to pick up their orders in person.

“I decided from the beginning that I wanted to take care of people,” says Repass.“The high-tech industry didn’t provide me with an effective way to do that. But the boating industry gave me the opportunity to really enjoy my work and interact with customers who shared my interests. I was having a blast and building a business at the same time.”

Repass also saw an opportunity to improve the way people shopped for boating supplies. According to Repass, he was frustrated by the experience of shopping in local chandleries for the parts he needed to outfit his modest day-sailer. “Boat supply stores in those days were usually dark, disorganized places staffed by a couple of salty but indifferent clerks who preferred swapping sea stories with one another to helping customers find what they came in to buy.”

Repass’s dissatisfaction led him to open the first West Coast Ropes store in Palo Alto, California, in 1975. From that one store, a love of boating and a commitment to helping rather than selling enabled Randy Repass to build West Coast Ropes into West Marine, the world’s largest boating supply retailer.

I’m sure that selling tires for a living doesn’t seem like the road to riches or the coolest way to make a living, but don’t tell that to Paul Zurcher.

Mr. Zurcher (I don’t think I’ve ever called him Paul, and even though he’s one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met, I don’t really think I could) left the Armed Forces right after serving in World War II. Having grown up on a farm in rural Indiana, the only thing he knew was that he didn’t want to be a farmer. With the help of a $2,500 loan from a local businessman who took a liking to him and believed in him, Mr. Zurcher bought a one bay service station. As his business grew, he branched out into selling tires. Treating every customer as special (as every customer is), his tire business grew and today Zurcher Tires, more commonly known as “Best One,” is one of the largest retailers and wholesalers of tires in the United States, with stores all over Indiana and the Midwest.

Mr. Zurcher, now in his 80s, is as active in the business as ever. While he certainly doesn’t have to be—his sons, along with other family members and executives, do a great job of running the company— he loves being there as much today as he did 60 years ago.

You know what? You can make a lot of money doing anything, if you really love it and put everything you’ve got into it. Loving what you do is what is going to get you through the hard times when there is no money coming in. It is also the one quality that can help make you great at anything you do.

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How The Motivator Got Motivated

Like many people out there today, I was one of those unmotivated, directionless people walking around in a comatose state, mumbling, “I hate my job; I don’t want to do this anymore. But what else could I possibly do? This is the only thing I know, and besides, they pay me well, so I might as well stay!” Whoa, talk about commitment! “They pay me well, so I might as well stay!” How would you like to have someone like that working for you?

Click here for my special offer on my new DVD Goal-Setting Techniques That Work.

By the time you finish this DVD, you will walk away with the beginnings of your own, personal 5 year plan for your life, career or business!

It was 1983. I had spent almost 10 years working in the garment center in New York City and I hated it! But instead of constantly whining that I was stuck and “what else could I do,” I had a revelation. I said to myself, “Hey, putz, it’s not that there’s nothing else you can do—there’s always something else you can do. It’s just that you’re too lazy to get off your big fat ass to figure out what it is.” So that’s what I did. I got off my big fat ass (it’s much smaller now), went to see a career counselor, was put through my first ever goal setting session, and within months had the career I wanted along with a job that I created! I was head of sales and marketing for a small training and consulting firm in New York City.

After two years on that job I decided I wanted to be in my own business. I went back to my goal setting skills (which were now even sharper, since I went to every goal setting and training seminar that I sold) to write a plan for my new business. I started my business in March 1986 and I’m still out there going strong.

Probably the biggest change I ever made was in 1997 when my wife, children, and I relocated from New York City (where we had lived our entire lives) to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Every time I tell people that, they always say the same thing: “Wow, that’s a big change!” I know, that’s why we did it. If I wanted a small change, I would have moved to the east side.

But, as with any other big change in my life, I didn’t just wake up one day and say to my wife, “We gotta get the hell out of here, so let’s throw a dart into the map of the United States and wherever it hits, that’s where we go.”

We started discussing this three years before we left, and after asking the inevitable question, “Where do we go?” we took our goal setting and planning skills and formulated criteria and a profile of what we felt would be the perfect place for our family.

After narrowing it down and coming up with Chapel Hill, we then visited it so many times we knew every inch of the place. It was only then that we knew it would be the perfect place for us, and it has been.

Having a clearly defined written goal and plan will motivate and energize you to go out and achieve anything you really want in your life, career, or business. I’m always amazed at how easy it’s been for me to get whatever I want, once I bother to figure out what is; and that’s what I want to do for you in my new DVD, Goal Setting Techniques that Work.