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When Motivation Is No Longer Necessary
by On February 11, 2010

Roger SeipWhat if I could show you how to reach a point where you no longer needed motivation to crush your goals?

I have found a renewed sense of energy and effortless motivation for my goals AFTER I push myself beyond the limit.

Here is a story that illustrates this point and tells you how you can reach this sweet spot.
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One of my goals this year is to run a half marathon.

Now I know for some of you reading this that distance may not seem like that big a deal, but it’s big enough for me this year, and I think anyone can relate to the experience I had as I began training.

Part of what I’m doing is at the end of a week, I run my longest run and make it at least half mile longer than last week’s longest run. 2 weeks ago, I was doing 4.5 miles on Saturday, which was actually ¾ mile longer than the previous week. And an odd thing happened at EXACTLY the point where I went past my previous week’s distance, the whole experience of running changed. My lungs seemed to open up, it felt as if I lost about 20 pounds and I just started CRUISING.

Running turned from something I had to distract myself from to “get through” into something really enlivening. It was weird- awesome, but weird. I ended up doing 5 miles and only quit because I was out of time.

That moment stuck with me all week and I couldn’t wait for this week’s longest run – 5.5 miles on the schedule. Sure enough, mile 1 was nice, miles 2-4 got progressively more difficult, laboring, and kind of boring. Mile 4-4.9 picked up a little, and then at literally mile 5.01 POW! Same experience, felt a little different this time, but fundamentally the same release of energy that came right when I had reached my previous limit. I did 6 miles and really wished I had given myself more time to keep going.

Living in excellent gives you the motivation to go just a little farther, get just a little better, be a little smarter, it makes us raise the level of what is considered a success. And over time, living that way is what causes breakthroughs. You get that “runners high”, but I’m (re)learning that you don’t get it at mile 1. You get it when you’ve reached your “limit”… and then you keep going.

I think the reason for this is that to live Excellence requires discipline. You have likely heard us talk about the pain of discipline vs. the pain of regret – how one causes us to grow and one just hurts. Well the great thing about the pain of discipline is that after a short time it actually starts to feel good.

This can happens in lots of areas. Think about the diet kind of sucked for the first few days (or weeks)… and then you started to actually crave healthy food. Getting back to the gym made you really sore for the first few trips…and then one day you found you could not wait for your workout. There are tons of examples.

So you may be asking, OK, do I now get the “three tips for breaking through?” Well, I actually have only one on this issue – STAY THE COURSE. Here we are 5 weeks into the business year, and this is one time when it is easy to feel like all the goals you set for this seem either:

A. Overwhelming

B. Like you maybe didn’t mean it when you made them, or

C. Far off

This is natural to experience when reality sets in. Mike Tyson once said “Sure everyone’s got a great plan for how theyre gonna win the fight, until they get punched in the nose.” So it is what happens AFTER THAT, that really counts.

Wherever you are at with your goals on February 11, 2010 – ahead, behind, or right on track – stay the course. Make the improvements you may need, get the coaching you need, and stay the course. We are just getting to the point where momentum can really kick in. The “runners high” is a beautiful thing, and it happens when you stay focused, stay on target, and then let just let ‘er rip.

I would love to hear your experiences “beyond the limit”. Post a comment below.

Be Free!

Roger Seip
Instructor

Sales is a Predictable Science
by On February 10, 2010

Tom WeberYou are going to love this post, especially if you are in sale. For some of you, this will be a great reminder and others it will be a revelation.

Sales is a predictable science.

Success in sales is not dependent upon personality, attitude or good looks. Those can be factored into the equation, but I have met people with a terrific attitude, who could not sell a 20-dollar bill for a dollar. I have also met some very ugly souls, who could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman wearing white gloves.

What does this mean for you?

It means that you can determine and predict your results. The point of this article is that you need to track your statistics. If you are not keeping track of your numbers, then you are loosing money.

If you are already keeping track of your numbers, congratulations. Take it a step further and see where you maybe able to incorporate another statistic. Become a student of your game and by all means, be ridiculous; be a stats freak. I promise that the leaders in your industry are keeping score everyday.

Here is where to begin:

1. Determine where each prospect starts in your sales process.
2. Look at each level of the relationship from start to finish or when the sale is made.
3. Define each level and start keeping track.

For example, let us say your sales process starts with a phone call. So count how many phone calls you make each day. Next, track how many of those phone calls resulted in you getting a hold of the person you wanted to reach. Then track how many of those contacts went to the next level of your sales process and so on until you get to the sale. Even after the sale, you could keep track of how many referrals you generated. Then track how many of your referrals turned into to sales.

Another example – if you are in a real estate, how many open houses do you hold? How many people attend each of them? How many of those people do you talk to again?

One of my favorite clients from Minneapolis brought me into his office and showed me the statistics that he has been keeping for the past fifteen years. He could look back and see that 75% of his clients had started out by coming to an open house or were referred by someone who has been to one of his open houses. This is a man with more than $40,000,000 in annual sales. I have no doubt that his level of accuracy and diligence in keeping track of his number led to this success.

Investing the time in you statistics is one of the greatest investments you will ever make. You will be able to see where your numbers need to be improved, and if you focus on that area, your sales will automatically go up. You turn into your own coach and business analyst and reap all of the rewards!

Be Free!

Tom Weber
Instructor

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Top 10 Ways to Get Motivated
by On February 9, 2010

Today’s Top 10 Tips was inspired by zenhabits.net.

Loss of motivation can happen to anymore.  Whether it is for your goals or a project at work, these 10 tips will help you keep your energy to stay focused on your goals.

Do not forget to enter our contest this month – What Motivates You – and win some cool prizes.

Be Free!
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  1.  One Goal
    Whenever I have been in a slump, I have discovered that it is often because I have too much going on in my life. I am trying to do too much. And it saps my energy and motivation. It is probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It is not possible — I have tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that is hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.
  2. Find inspiration.
    Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories.
  3. Build anticipation.
    This is easy to do, but many people skip this tip. It helped me quit smoking after many failed attempts. If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, do not start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That is a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. By delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.
  4. Post your goal.
    Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (”Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.
  5. Commit publicly.
    None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we have said publicly. For example, when I wanted to run my first marathon, I started writing a column about it in my local daily newspaper. The entire island of Guam (pop. 160K) knew about my goal. I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it. Now, you do not have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers. And hold yourself accountable — do not just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.
  6. Think about it daily.
    If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop (as mentioned above) helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.
  7. Realize that there is an ebb and flow.
    Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it does not do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal, ask for help, and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.
  8. Stick with it.
    Whatever you do, do not give up. Even if you are not feeling any motivation today, or this week, do not give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You ca not give up with every little bump. Stay with it for the long term, ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you will get there.
  9. Start small.
    Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you are thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It is so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you have done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Do not think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you’ve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps.
  10. Build on small successes.
    Again, if you start small for a week, you’re going to be successful. You can not fail if you start with something ridiculously easy. Who can not exercise for 2 minutes? (If that’s you, I apologize.) And you will feel successful, and good about yourself. Take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step. Add 2-3 minutes to your exercise routine, for example. With each step (and each step should last about a week), you will feel even more successful. Make each step really, really small, and you won’t fail. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress and a lot of success.

For more tips, read the original article by Leo Babauta at:
http://zenhabits.net/2007/08/get-off-your-butt-16-ways-to-get-motivated-when-youre-in-a-slump

What is Excellence?
by On February 8, 2010

Leah SimpsonWhat does excellence mean to you? Before you continue reading, jot your definition down.

A lot of times I ask that question in the interview process and I am amazed with the answers I get. Many times people think excellence is trying hard, but we can all think of examples where people have tried hard and have fallen far short of excellence. People also mention being the best.

Excellence is one of our Core Values at Freedom Personal Development. We define it as raising the level of what is considered to be as success. It is a high standard to strive for because, when you become successful, it is no longer excellence.

What would your world look like if you consistently were looking for excellence?

Step it up, do not accept mediocre, and do not even accept good. The enemy of excellence is good because it is never raising the standard of what is considered to be a success.

I challenge you to ask yourself, what is something that you do where you have gotten a little lazy? You may still be doing the activity well and people may be complimenting you on your performance. But it is not challenging you any longer. You do not feel like you are giving your all. This is a scenario that will get you good result, but it is not excellent.

I challenge you today to find something where you can raise the standard of what is considered to be a success and watch how great you feel.

Be Free!

Leah Simpson
Instructor

Video – The Customer's Biggest Fear
by On February 5, 2010

Turn the art of selling into a simple science using the proven tried-and-true techniques of the nation’s top sales champion, Tom Hopkins.

In sales, the potential clients or customers you interact with have some fears – the #1 fear is of you, the salesperson. Your clients do not want to be sold.

The key to overcoming your customer’s fear is to come across as an expert advisor, not a salesperson. Your client then sees you as a resource to go to for advice, not someone to avoid because you are trying to get his or her money.

Success in sales can be boiled down into one sentence: Your clients must like you, trust you and want to listen to you.

Purchase the full video: http://www.yoursuccessstore.com

Tips to Read Faster – Keep Your Eyes Moving Forward
by On February 3, 2010

Abby Marks BealeUse A Blank White Card to Push Your Eyes Down the Page

A common problem all readers have is passive regression, or unintentionally going back over material previously read. The habit typically stems from a reader’s insecurity about their comprehension level initially instilled by our well-meaning reading teachers. Regression can be beneficial though if it is done actively with a purpose in mind, such as going back to check an unfamiliar word.

Try this: To reduce passive regression and to help you read faster, place a blank 3 x 5 white card ON TOP of the words covering the text you already read, leaving exposed the words yet to read.

Use the narrow side of the card for narrow columns and the wider side of the card for wider columns. If the column width is very wide, then tape two cards together. This will force you to push your eyes down the page and help you resist the urge to re-read unnecessarily.

Focusing only on the words you are reading enhances your concentration, helps you keep your place and facilitates forward eye movements.

(Important Note: Placing the card under the line of text you are reading is great for beginning readers and those who are learning how to decode words but not useful for experienced readers!)

Added Tip – Use the white card as a bookmark!

About the Author:

Abby Marks Beale is founder of The Corporate Educator, a professional speaking and training company specializing in helping with busy people work smarter, faster and just plain better. Go to www.TheCorporateEducator.com.

Abby also instructs the Reading Smart Workshop for Freedom Personal Development.

Top 10 Tips to Discover Your Passion
by On February 2, 2010

lessons-to-be-happyThis week’s Top 10 Tips Tuesday is a guest post from vibrantnation.com on how to discover your passions in life.  Let us know what passions you have.

Be Free!
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What do you want to do with the rest of your life? We’ve heard it said a kazillion times that to achieve happiness we must find something we’re passionate about. Sounds easy. Right? Problem is some of us wouldn’t recognize our passion even if it jumped off a billboard, landed in our lap and gave us a bear hug.

Many of us have maxed out our Visas on books with titles like “Finding your Passion” or “Following your Dreams.” All well and good if you actually possess a genuine talent or pursue a special interest or hobby. Maybe you play piano or guitar or some other instrument. Or maybe you can sing, sew, paint, crochet, create crafty stuff, plan brilliant parties, bake fabulous cakes, design gorgeous flower gardens or are a genius with a camera. Perhaps you enjoy running marathons, love to build birdhouses or collect weird and interesting objects. For you lucky and blessed folks, finding your passion should not be too difficult. It’s right in front of you.

However, there are a considerable number of perfectly nice, well-adjusted, intelligent, kind and noble people out there who have been on a lifelong journey in search of their one true passion… and have yet to discover yet.

To you, I say: be bold, be daring and be totally unconventional in your quest.

1. Define what you are seeking.

What activities could you spend all day doing and even forget about meal time? Do you enjoy pastimes that stimulate your creative juices or ones that are relaxing? Would you prefer to be alone with your passion or share it in the company of others? What would you love to do even if you didn’t get paid for it? Keep in mind, it’s perfectly acceptable to have more than one passion.

2. Take a calculated risk.

Do something unexpected. Go back to school. Get that masters degree you always wanted. If you truly despise getting up each day and going to a workplace you loathe—quit your job. Crazy…especial in today’s bad economy? Of course. But why on earth would you continue to do something that makes you miserable every single day of your life? Indeed, a job pays a salary. But is the money worth being miserable? Ask yourself: Are you better off miserable or happy?

3. Cultivate your community.

Take classes at a local college, night school or community center. Select one course and attend every single class. It doesn’t have to be an intellectual pursuit. It can be beer making or stained glass or writing or photography or how to start a business, computer classes or a drama group. Network with other people during classes. Finish the course. You may decide you hate it or it might offer other related avenues for you to explore.

4. Take a trip.

Be adventurous. Often a change of scenery refreshes our soul, expands our mind, changes our perspective and offers a new focus. Travel to some place you always wanted to go…a few hours away or around the world. Better yet, go somewhere that is outside your comfort zone. If nothing else…read a travel book or watch a travel movie.

5. Move or Declutter your life. (I said these ideas would be unconventional.)

Do you hate where you live? Is your house or your town making you unhappy? Does the weather upset you? Is it too humid? Too cold? Do you feel trapped? Would you rather live by water? Or by mountains or palm trees? Would you be happier in a smaller home? I’m not suggesting that you run away from your problems. Perhaps all you need to do is downsize and rid yourself of all unnecessary baggage including people who do not validate your worth. What remains might well be your undiscovered passion.

6. Liberate yourself.

Give yourself the freedom to choose. This is not a self-centered approach but more of a realization that you have something worthwhile to offer to others. Never except excuses from yourself or anyone else. Be disciplined. Force yourself to move forward or sideways…at least in a different direction but never backward. Don’t stagnate.

7. Walk away from your fears.

Fear holds us back from living life to the fullest. Yet, the hardest thing in the world to do is to let go of your fear. Try walking away from your fear in baby steps. But absolutely no turning back. Are you afraid of heights? Go to the tallest building in your town and take the elevator to the top floor. Sometimes highrise hotels have restaurants on the top. Walk to the windows, stand there quietly and look down. Yes, it’s very intimidating. But once you’ve done it…you will be amazed at your sense of self-empowerment.

8. Surround yourself with supportive people.

Learn from them. Exchange ideas. Hang out with people who share your interests, who motivate you. Ask them what they think are your good points and what they like about you. Don’t be discouraged by naysayers.

9. Look outside yourself.

Help others by volunteering. Inspire those around you with a friendly smile, encouragement, compassion, kind words, thoughtful gestures, a neighborly good deed. Arrange a quiet, romantic evening for you and your special love. Pull out all the stops. Express your passionate side with your children, family and friends. Give them your time and your full attention. When we give ourselves to others, we reignite the love in our own heart and the passion in our own soul.

10.Embrace your joyful self and seize your opportunities.

Most of us are genuinely decent people. Recognize the goodness in yourself. We all encounter problems. Envision them as opportunities and find unique solutions. Keep a wide-open mind. In seizing opportunities, you may burst upon an unexpected passion. If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Still haven’t decided? Adopt a puppy. Care for it. Love it. And name it “Passion”.

Source:
http://www.vibrantnation.com/our-blog-circle/boomer-pie/ten-bold-ways-to-discover-your-passion/

Points of Passion – What are You Excited About this Week?
by On February 1, 2010

business-successNot many things feel as good as experiencing the perfect day.  You know the feeling, when everything seems to just go right.  I know some of you reading this are thinking… “How about the perfect hour” that would be a good start.

The thing about the perfect day that is important to understand is that they don’t happen by accident.  Many times it seems like an accident, but in reality there are a couple of things that happen when everything just seems to go right.

For starters, the perfect day almost always has at least one, if not several moments that are highly anticipated.  That could be a show you’ve been waiting to see, a meeting with a close friend, a dinner at a special restaurant, anything that you are genuinely excited about doing.

I call these moments points of passion, and they can have an incredibly profound impact on the rest of your less exciting moments.  The reason they are so profound, is because of the emotional momentum they create in the way that you look at the rest of the your day. 

This may seem extremely obvious, but if you are trudging through task after task throughout the day and there is nothing you are looking forward to, there are going to be plenty of things that can and will go wrong.  When this happens, little frustrations and aggravations began to build.  “Why is happening to me,” starts playing in your mind and can quickly turn into “This kind of stuff is Always happening to me.”  And you know that when that track plays in your mind again and again… frustrating things DO happen to you all the time!

The opposite of that is when you have a point of passion ahead of you, you will have added energy and enthusiasm to deflect the little things that aren’t going exactly as planned.  Your computer crash turns into a good reason to go to lunch a little early, your broken down car turns into an opportunity to drive home from work with your spouse, and nothing has the power break your stride.

Dive on in!  Each day for the next week I am going to encourage you to start planning some things that your are excited about and posting them for others to read. 

Be FREE!