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Happy Halloween from Freedom Personal Development
by On October 30, 2009
 

Pumpkin

Have a Happy Halloween! 

Be Free!

Special thanks to Jaren Christianson for donating the pumpkin, his time and carving talents.

 Happy Halloween  
4 Ways to Be Your Own Sales Trainer
by On October 29, 2009

David DenisThe beauty of a career in sales is that your income is a direct result of your efforts and your skills. If you are watching your numbers and performance, you will uncover areas where you will want to increase your skill. Rather than wait for your sales manager to train you, take the initiative to train yourself.

This doesn’t mean that you will have to do it alone, and it does not mean that you need to reinvent the wheel. In fact, the key to successfully training yourself in sales is to learn from the experience of others. Here are four ways to accomplish this.

  1. Look up books and audio programs on selling. Find magazines and trade journals about your industry. Search the internet for books, CDs, video programs or even computer based training. Order materials that you think will help and then READ THEM.
  2. our search will also uncover hundreds of seminars, workshops and even personalized coaching programs offered by training companies and associations. While these programs vary in quality, depth and scope, many are excellent. Contact your industry association or successful people in your industry to ask what training they recommend.
  3. Taking this route will require an investment of time and money on your part. No one ever succeeded at anything without paying a price. If you are serious about achieving your goals you need to invest in training. If your company will assist you, that’s great, but ultimately, the responsibility for your own growth belongs to you. Don’t expect someone else to do it for you.
  4. Find a mentor. Identify people whose success you would like to emulate. Invite one of them to lunch. Tell them that you admire their success, and would like to ask how they did it. Many successful people are glad to help someone who sincerely seeks to improve themselves…especially when you are picking up the tab. Keep it simple. If your mentor is willing, meet with them periodically. The information and ideas you will learn can be invaluable to your success.

Identify your challenges, and then actively seek the solution. It’s up to you, so fire your sales manager and move your business forward.

Be Free!

David Denis

This article is written by David Denis owner of http://www.rocksolidwriting.com

David is a freelance writer for hire offering article writing, sales letters, training manuals, speech writing, seo content, sales writing, blog articles, copy-writing service, sales scripts and business name ideas.

To learn more, or request a quote visit http://www.rocksolidwriting.com/freelance-writer-quote

Happy Fall
by On October 28, 2009

Tom WeberFall is here and the leaves are changing colors, the weather is getting cooler and football season is in full swing. This natural change in the seasons is an important reminder of the internal seasons we go through in our personal and professional lives.

We have our own spring, summer, fall, and winter rhythms happening constantly. This correlates with the natural times where we must sow seeds, wait for them to grow, and then harvest. And I’m not talking about your garden; this could be with relationships, sales, raising children, or improving yourself.

Many times we feel frustration because we are not harvesting all the time. Society tells us over and over that if we are not producing or harvesting, then we are not working hard enough. This is outrageous!

There is a natural order to the universe. There is a spring, summer, fall, and winter for a reason, and we do not need to understand the reason or even know the reason to accept that they exist.

So, getting mad or frustrated with your current life situation is about as productive and helpful as getting mad because it is cold during January or that it rains a lot during the spring.

Take a look at what is going on around you and be aware that you might be having a natural lull in your career and it might be just a personal season change.

What I am NOT saying is that you should be complacent and accept pain in your life. What I AM saying is that sometimes we are creating our own pain because of impatience or disharmony with the natural order of things.

Remind yourself to accept your current life-situation, do not fight with reality; you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now. Continue to walk the path. Enjoy the seasons, because, let’s face it, they are never going to end.

I wish you a wonderful fall (or whatever season you are in right now)!

Be Free!

Tom Weber
Instructor

Top 10 Reasons to Subscribe to Freedom Personal Development Blog Updates
by On October 27, 2009

Freedom Personal DevelopmentIf you are not subscribed to Freedom Personal Development Blog Updates, you are missing out! To subscribe, all you need to do is type your email address in the upper right corner of this page where it says Enter Your Email – pretty self explanatory.

For this Tuesday Top 10 List, we are listing the top 10 reasons you need to subscribe to our blog updates and all of the great resource you will receive – all for free!

  1. A Daily Dose of Personal Development
    We post a new article everyday, Monday through Friday. Is there a better way to start your day than reading an article on personal development? On top of that, we have the top instructors and trainers in our company and the personal development world sharing their experiences on goal setting, time management, personal freedom just to mention a few!
  2. Contests!!!
    Every month we host a contest that is free to enter and have prizes such as free coaching sessions and Freedom Gear. Past contests have included:

    What is the Best Answer to “How are You Doing?”
    What Would You Do if Time and Money Were No Concern?
    What is Your Favorite Business Book?
     
    Be the first to know when a new contest is posting by signing up for our Blog Updates (type your email address in the upper right corner of this page where it says “Enter Your Email” and you are signed up!)
  3. Personal Development Videos
    Every Friday we post a video related to personal development. Learn from the masters in this field including Tony Robins, Brian Tracey and Stephen Covey.
  4. Goal Setting Tips
    Your passion, drive and determination can be dramatically increased when directed towards a focused goal. These posts focus on accountability, best practices in goal setting, discipline, growth, motivation, peak performance, success and turning your dreams into realities.
  5. Time Management Articles
    If you’ve ever felt there just aren’t enough hours in the day, these posts are for you. Best practices for scheduling and time management techniques are focused on.
  6. Sales Training
    In sales, you sell products and services, but most importantly, you sell yourself. These articles and audio trainings addresses the key elements of the sales process and teaches you how to succeed at any level of sales.
  7. Attitude Management Advice
    Learn how to manage your attitude to increase your daily energy level, gain confidence, deal effectively with change, overcome fear and raise your self-esteem.
  8. Personal Development Book and Product Reviews
    What you read and listen two are the top two factors that influence your success and life. In this category, the Freedom Team reviews books and products that have had an impact on their career, personal development and life.
  9. Personal Freedom
    Learn how to add more freedom to your life. We define freedom as the capacity to exercise choice. With these articles, discover how to create the life of your dreams.
  10. Top 10 Lists
    Every Tuesday we post the Top 10 Tips for a particular personal or professional development topic. Past Top 10 Lists include:

    The Top 10 Traits of Leadership
    Top 10 Traits of Highly Effective People
    7 Lessons from Kids on How to Be Happy

Sign up for Freedom Blog Updates and start living a life of freedom and personal development. In case you forgot how to sign up, simply type your email address in the upper right corner of this page where it says “Enter Your Email”.

Be Free!

Katie Brandt
Director of Marketing

Proactively Managing Your Attitude Input Sources
by On October 26, 2009

Roger SeipGarbage In, Garbage……OUT, right? Well, if you were a computer that would be the correct equation. With the computer that we call our brain, the equation is more like this:

Garbage In = Garbage Stays In and Screws Up Every Aspect of your Life!

It is true that the things we allow into our minds will unquestionably dictate the results that we see in our careers, our families, and our lives. Unfortunately, the default setting for these input sources is predominantly negative.

If you think about the things you read, watch and listen to, you know that if you pay too much attention to them it is really easy to feel that you are surrounded by death and destruction.

If you think about the people you surround yourself with, you know that many of them will regularly drain energy from you, and if you listen carefully to your self-talk, you hear that voice beating you like an omelet!

The problem here is that these input sources WILL ALWAYS be negative unless you do something about it. All of this adds up to the idea that the most impactful change you can make to your life is to identify your input sources and develop a strategy for making them positive and uplifting rather than destructive and draining.

Here are 5 ways on how you can proactively manager you input sources and attitude:

Input Source #1 – What You Read

Instead of the newspaper, take 15 minutes a day and read something educational and/or inspirational. There are tons and tons of fantastic books on success, financial prosperity, health, selling, motivation, and the list goes on and on. EVERYONE can find 15 minutes a day.

Input Source #2 – What You Watch

The average American household has the TV on for 7 hours per day. Did you hear me? I said 7 hours per day! Now I am not here to denigrate TV as a whole (I watch some myself), but if you want to program yourself for success, cut out 1 hour of TV per day and devote some of it to reading!

Input Source #3 – What You Listen To

Use your car properly; that is as an educational resource. Instead of the radio all the time, devote either your morning or afternoon commute to listening to something that will increase your skills and knowledge bank. Every millionaire I know is fanatical about listening to educational material in his or her car, and it is one of the most life-changing, least time-consuming habits you can develop.

Input Source #4 – Your Self-talk

I encourage you to listen to your internal dialogue first thing in the morning. I know people who have literally doubled and tripled their income by doing one thing only: When they get out of bed, they say, “It is gonna be a great day!” Sounds a little nutty I know, but try it once. I dare you not to have a better day!

Input source #5 – The People You Surround Yourself With

A mentor of mine once told me, “The average income of your 5 best friends will be your income in 5 years.” I realized I needed some new friends immediately. Now I am not saying to ditch all of your poor friends, just the negative ones. Whether you realize it or not, you will either rise or sink to the level of your closest friends. Be mindful of their influence, for it is powerful.

Managing your input source is one of the least expensive and most productive thing you can do to change your attitude and your life. 

Be Free!

Roger Seip
Instructor

Video
by On October 23, 2009

Simple Truths of Service

Watch the video

This video was created by Ken Blanchard and Barbara Glanz. Barbara was hired by a supermarket chain to help increase their customer service. During her talk she stressed the point that EVERYONE can make a difference for their customers and that will make them come back to the store over and over.

A 19-year-old Down Syndrome grocery store bagger, Johnny didn’t think he could make a difference in the experience of his customers at first. Then he had an idea to make a “thought of the day” and include a printed copy in everyone’s grocery bags. As a result, Johnny’s checkout line was always longer than anyone else’s, and the shoppers were happy to wait in line just to get Johnny’s Thought of the Day.

One customer even remarked she made extra trips to the store just to get Johnny’s Thought of the Day! Even more amazing, because of Johnny’s simple act, the entire store’s effort to make memories for their shoppers increased exponentially.

What can you do to put your personal signature on your job that will creative a memory with your clients, a memory that will make them recommend you and become loyal?

Be Free!

How to Turn Dreams Into Reality
by On October 22, 2009

Eric PlantenbergIn this article, I am going to share some helpful ideas to help you turn your hopes, wishes, and dreams into your future reality.

Goals and buildings have several characteristics that are very similar. If a building is engineered properly, and built with structural integrity; when the storms blow, the building stands; when the earth shakes, the building stands. If a building lacks that structural integrity, the storms force is likely to reduce it to rubble. Your goals are the same way.

If your goals are engineered with the proper dynamics in place; when adversity strikes, your goals will stay clear; when the unexpected happens; you will adapt and move closer to your objective and dream.

There are Five Characteristics of Effective Goals, that if you follow to a tee, you are guaranteed to come out ahead.

Your Goals Must Be:

  1. Meaningful to You
    This may seem obvious, but it is important to evaluate. Is the goal you are setting really important to you? Or is it really more important to your manager, or your company, or your friends or spouse, or are you simply bending to social pressures. For you to achieve a goal in any area of your life, it is vital that you are perfectly clear why that outcome is important to you and why you will be willing to make the sacrifices needed for its accomplishment.
  2. Specific and Have a Due Date
    This is the main difference between your dreams and wishes, and your goals. To transform something from a wish to a goal you need to become specific about what you are setting out to accomplish, and make the commitment to complete your task by a certain date. There is a big difference between wishing that you were debt free, and setting the goal to have zero credit card debt by November 1st. For a goal to be specific, it must have a quantifiable number attached to it. A wish is to loose weight; a goal is to loose 15 pounds by May 1st. A wish is to increase your sales; a goal is to increase your sales by 17%. A wish to stop smoking; a goal is to smoke ZERO cigarettes after January 30th.
  3. Right Size for You
    Your goals need to be large enough to cause you to stretch, while being small enough that you really believe in your head and heart that you can accomplish it. When asked, most people describe their goals as needing to be attainable. While that is partially true, if a person simply sets out to achieve ‘attainable’ goals they are likely to achieve far less than they are capable.
  4. Written Down
    By writing down your goals, you are accomplishing three important things at once. You are taking the first step in creating a physical manifestation of an intangible thought. By simply grabbing out a piece of paper and writing down your goals you are taking them from a thought to a physical form. Secondly, you are putting a specific, non negotiable number down that you are no longer able to change as your situation changes. If your goals are not written down you have much more emotional flexibility to change them when you find yourself falling short of your original target. Lastly, this is a crucial exercise in holding you accountable. When your goal is written down it becomes more real to you, and you will hold yourself much more responsible to seeing its accomplishment.
  5. Posted for Review
    I have been told that character is following through on a commitment long after the enthusiasm of the moment has passed. All too often people sacrifice what they want most for what they want now. When your goals are posted for review you are confronted with the commitment you made several times throughout the day. This is a very powerful way for your goals to become committed to memory as well as a visual tool to help keep you on track when you are being tempted to give into your wishes of the moment.

Take a couple of moments today and review your commitment for the following year. If you’ve forgotten about your new years resolutions already, it’s not too late. Get recommitted to them today!

Be Free!

Eric Plantenberg
President

How to Plan and Adapt for Change
by On October 21, 2009

Leah SimpsonAs I was planning this article, I read the following quote from an ancient Chinese warrior in one of my client’s offices,

“Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisively. They are like a great river that maintains its course but adjusts its flow…they have form but are formless. They are skilled in both planning and adapting.” So although I am not the first to notice the fantastic analogy provided by a running river, I feel the lesson we can all learn is as pertinent today as it was in 100 BC.

We CAN learn from what occurs around us in nature to navigate changes in life, but still get to our desired result.

  1. Know Your Desired Result
    A river goes to the bottom of the mountain, so this decision is a given. But for you, imagine you are supposed to be at a meeting. Are you more likely to arrive at the meeting if you know you are supposed to be there? Of course! You almost surely will NOT be at the meeting if you don’t know your attendance has been requested. Will you get there faster if you know the address? Of course you will. This application is true in all areas. Knowing what you desire and where you would like to be—whether physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally—is the first step to making it happen.
  2. Know the Path to Get There
    Rivers go to the bottom because they must follow the path of gravity—they don’t have a choice. But you do have a choice! So you know the address of the meeting. Will you get there faster if you choose to know the directions before you get in your car? Absolutely! Your chances of driving aimlessly and finding the correct building are not very likely. You can choose to find a path to arrive at your desired results by planning effectively.
  3. Be Willing to Adjust
    Rivers don’t stop at boulders—they flow around them. They don’t stop and complain about rafters using their energy to get down stream or a tree root being in their way…they just keep flowing. Yes, some obstacles are bigger than others, but ultimately your ability to first recognize your obstacles and second to adjust, adapt, and overcome your obstacles will help you to arrive at your desired result as effectively, as quickly, and as comfortably as possible. I’ll say that again, ultimately your ability to first recognize your obstacles and second to adjust, adapt, and overcome your obstacles will help you to arrive at your desired result as effectively, as quickly, and as comfortably as possible.

Of course I understand that rivers do not set these goals or devise their plans consciously. However, we CAN learn from what occurs around us in nature.

As a wise Chinese warrior once said, “Maintain your course, but adjust your flow. Be skilled at planning and adapting. You will be victorious!”

Be Free!

Leah Simpson
Instructor

The Top 10 Traits of Leadership
by On October 20, 2009

Top 10 Leadership TraitsWhat traits do effective leaders possess? For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, we look at the Top 10 Traits leaders exhibit. No matter what your job title is, you are still a leader, if only by example. Take a look at this list and conduct a personal inventory. Which traits you excel at and which ones need to be polished?
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Leadership can be defined as one’s ability to get others to willingly follow. Every organization needs leaders at every level. Leaders can be found and nurtured if you look for the following character traits.

  1. Clear Communication of a Vision
    A leader with vision has a clear, vivid picture of where to go, as well as a firm grasp on what success looks like and how to achieve it. But it’s not enough to have a vision; leaders must also share it and act upon it. Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”A leader must be able to communicate his or her vision in terms that cause followers to buy into it. He or she must communicate clearly and passionately, as passion is contagious.A good leader must have the discipline to work toward his or her vision single-mindedly, as well as to direct his or her actions and those of the team toward the goal. Action is the mark of a leader. A leader does not suffer “analysis paralysis” but is always doing something in pursuit of the vision, inspiring others to do the same.
  2. Integrity
    Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values. A person of integrity is the same on the outside and on the inside. Such an individual can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might be expeditious to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers and therefore must display integrity.Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, and an absence of tantrums and harsh outbursts are all signs of integrity. A leader who is centered in integrity will be more approachable by followers.
  3. Dedication
    Dedication means spending whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish the task at hand. A leader inspires dedication by example, doing whatever it takes to complete the next step toward the vision. By setting an excellent example, leaders can show followers that there are no nine-to-five jobs on the team, only opportunities to achieve something great.
  4. Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
    Magnanimity means giving credit where it is due. A magnanimous leader ensures that credit for successes is spread as widely as possible throughout the company. Conversely, a good leader takes personal responsibility for failures. This sort of reverse magnanimity helps other people feel good about themselves and draws the team closer together. To spread the fame and take the blame is a hallmark of effective leadership.
  5. Humility
    Leaders with humility recognize that they are no better or worse than other members of the team. A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to elevate everyone. Leaders with humility also understand that their status does not make them a god. Mahatma Gandhi is a role model for Indian leaders, and he pursued a “follower-centric” leadership role.
  6. Openness to New Ideas
    Openness means being able to listen to new ideas, even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking. Good leaders are able to suspend judgment while listening to others’ ideas, as well as accept new ways of doing things that someone else thought of. Openness builds mutual respect and trust between leaders and followers, and it also keeps the team well supplied with new ideas that can further its vision.
  7. Creativity
    Creativity is the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains solutions. Creativity gives leaders the ability to see things that others have not seen and thus lead followers in new directions. The most important question that a leader can ask is, “What if … ?” Possibly the worst thing a leader can say is, “I know this is a dumb question … ”
  8. Fairness
    Fairness means dealing with others consistently and justly. A leader must check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. When people feel they that are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with loyalty and dedication.
  9. Assertiveness (not aggression)
    Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Rather, it is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. A leader must be assertive to get the desired results. Along with assertiveness comes the responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader.Many leaders have difficulty striking the right amount of assertiveness, according to a study in the February 2007 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the APA (American Psychological Association). It seems that being underassertive or overassertive may be the most common weakness among aspiring leaders.
  10. Humor
    A sense of humor is vital to relieve tension and boredom, as well as to defuse hostility. Effective leaders know how to use humor to energize followers. Humor is a form of power that provides some control over the work environment. And simply put, humor fosters good camaraderie.

Intrinsic traits such as intelligence, good looks, height and so on are not necessary to become a leader. Anyone can cultivate the proper leadership traits.

Source: David Hakala, HR World, http://www.hrworld.com/features/top-10-leadership-qualities-031908/index.php, March 19, 2008

Book Review – Fierce Conversations
by On October 19, 2009

Fierce Conversations Book ReviewHow often do you find yourself saying things you don’t mean just to be polite? How many meetings have you been in where you know the real issues were not being discussed? What difficult but essential conversation have you been avoiding?

These questions come from Susan Scott’s book Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time. A fierce conversation is one “in which we come out from behind ourselves into the conversation and make it real.” This is about cultivating the virtue of truthfulness.

Living a truthful life will bring you and your business better results, a quicker resolution to problems, more effective leadership, stronger relationships and a higher level of enthusiasm. Failure to live truthfully will cripple you and derail your company. No matter how hard you try to get away from it, the truth always asserts itself so learn to embrace quickly and on your own terms.

First, to live truthfully, we must know the truth. This is difficult because reality changes. Moreover we tend to only perceive part of reality, but we mistake our slice of reality for the whole truth. Therefore, we must be willing to ask each other and ourselves some very hard questions and drill deeply until we get the answers. Some good ones that Scott suggests are:

  • What am I pretending not to know?
  • What is the most pressing issue facing me, right now?
  • What conversation have I been avoiding?

Dealing with the answers to these questions can transform your life.

Second, to live truthfully we must express the truth. In Fierce Conversations, Susan Scott says, “Most people want to hear the truth even if it is unpalatable. There is something within us that responds deeply to people who level with us.” This does not mean laying waste to everyone around with your new truth bazooka. Learn to level with people without laying blame on anyone. Focus not on people, but on getting everyone to see and accept reality so that you can move forward together on solid ground. Before any important conversation ask yourself a few questions.

  • What is my intent for this conversation? What intent is most helpful?
  • How can I deliver my message without any blame or shame?
  • How can avoid allowing my emotions to distract them from the message?

Some virtues are inconvenient but useful. Truthfulness is downright hard, but if you cultivate it carefully, you will always be glad.

Be Free!

This article is written by David Denis owner of http://www.rocksolidwriting.com

David is a freelance writer for hire offering article writing, sales letters, training manuals, speech writing, seo content, sales writing, blog articles, copy-writing service, sales scripts and business name ideas.

To learn more, or request a quote visit http://www.rocksolidwriting.com/freelance-writer-quote