Monday, 19 December 2011

Have You Got What It Takes?

It's the Festive Season!

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanuka, Bodhi day, Kwanza, Al Hirja, Festivus (Seinfeld's Festival for the rest of us) or your own personal celebration, have you got what it takes?

What I mean by that is have you got the right tools, the right mindset, the right setting to make your festival the best one ever.
I celebrate Christmas, so here are my Christmas presents for you:

Firstly, you are going to need some festive music, so here are some tracks that my choir perform.
Next you are going to need some guidance on how to spend the 12 days of Christmas. Rather than provide it in song format, Wifey and I have re-written it so that it suits all denominations and faiths. Now technically, the 12 days of Christmas start on 26th December so you have plenty of time for them. So here is the modern 12 Days of Christmas

While you are relaxing over the festive season, you are probably considering the year ahead and even the year past to see what you did well and what you want to achieve for 2012. To help, I have the Regular Results Review guide. A simple 2 pager to help you focus on what you want to achieve.

For those of you who are wondering what to get yourself for Christmas, then maybe this is for you? I have just released a 12 CD pack Get More Business Success. I have an initial release deal for you to celebrate. You save $450. You can find out all the detail on the Get More Business Success page.

Thank you dear blog reader for reading my thoughts and observations every week. I hope 2012 is full of your wildest dreams coming true and I look forward to continuing to be of value to you in the future.

Merry Christmas and have a fabulous festive season.

Warm regards

Warwick Merry
The Get More Guy

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Humans Can't See

Humans MUST be admired for their commitment to selective blindness and ignorance. They KNOW what is in their best interest yet they continue to ignore it and pretend that their situation is different.

It started with dog poo.

Dog owners are typically responsible and pick up after their animals as required by law, but there are a minority (or is it a silent majority) that CANNOT notice their dog bearing down to squeeze out a nugget.

Surely the human must notice the tension on the lead or strange circling behaviour of their pet, but it always seems to be at that time that the human gets in touch with their Ornithology gene and starts bird watching.  This leaves the nugget on the footpath or nature strip of some unsuspecting home owner to be flung around when next the lawn is mowed.

Even worse, it could be at the park where “everyone does it – so it must be ok”. It is not ok. Ask any amateur sports person who has slid through it, stomped on it, hit it, fell in it or kicked it and see what they think of it.  Ask any pram pushing parent how they felt when they got the pram in the car only to discover their new aromatherapy was Eau du Puppy.

You would have thought we would have learnt.

By now you may be thinking either “oops… I’ve done that” or “it’s a disgrace, damn dog owners.” If you are of the latter, when was the last time you chucked something out the window of a moving car, put a non-recyclable in the recycling bin, put a recyclable in the non-recycling bin or threw some foreign object in a water way?

In Ye Olde Englande, humans just lobbed the bath water and chamber pot out the window. Over the years this slowly moved to open sewers (pumped straight into the river) to closed sewers (still pumped into the river) and now finally we have some decent sewage processing that can turn our waste into pure water and by product.

You would have thought we would have learnt.

We now have expeditions that are hiking up Mount Everest purely to collect the rubbish. From empty oxygen cylinders to dead bodies, we continue to leave our waste in some of the most pristine areas. There is so much space junk orbiting the earth that it is starting to damage satellites and there are high level discussions to do a rubbish collection space run.

You would have thought we would have learnt.

The younger generations seem to be more accustomed to considering the full impact of their actions but there are exception. The more mature generations, who run most of our corporations, are less likely to consider the impact of their actions and those of their companies than the impact on their bottom line.

What is needed is RESPONSIBILITY. That equates to the Ability to Respond. It is not fun to pick up dog poo, especially if you have a big dog. But if you choose to own a dog, part of the deal is looking after it. It is not fun to correct the environmental and social impact of your business but that is part of the responsibility of running a business.

Humans MUST be admired for their commitment to selective blindness and ignorance. They KNOW what is in their best interest yet they continue to ignore it and pretend that their situation is different.

Where can you take responsibility?

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas
Welcome to the twelve days for Christmas for 2011.  Maybe you don't celebrate Christmas, maybe you are more a Haj, Chanuka or Bodi day kind of person. It doesn't matter, this applies to everyone.

Inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas carol, wifey and I came up with some ideas that spread the spirit of the season. So rather than thinking about what your true love can give to you, my challenge for you is to think what you can give not only to your true love, but others in your life as well.

Here is your challenge for the next twelve days.  Don’t forget, that they are cumulative, just like the song.  That is, on the first day, you give the first thing. One the second day, you give the second thing and then the first thing.  On the third day you give the third thing, the second thing and then the first and so on.

Your Twelve Days and their challenges:
On the first day of Christmas I gave to my partner or best friend, an extra long and extra firm hug.
On the second day of Christmas I gave to a person on the road, 2 moments to cut in ahead of me.
On the third day of Christmas I gave to the person on the street $3 for a coffee treat.
On the fourth day of Christmas I gave to a member of my team, 4 minutes to tell me what they thought of me.
On the fifth day of Christmas I gave to myself 5 minutes of mediation.
On the sixth day of Christmas I gave to my family, six minutes of singing silly songs.
On the seventh day of Christmas I gave to my kids, seven minutes of undivided attention.
On the eighth day of Christmas I searched my memory for eight things I learned from this year.
On the ninth day of Christmas I wrote in my diary, nine goals for the coming year.
On the tenth day of Christmas I gave to my friends, ten minutes of non-stop praise.
On the eleventh day of Christmas for my sanity, I gave myself an eleven minute bath (Frankincense and Myrrh is optional).
On the twelfth day of Christmas I committed to the community twelve hours of my time as a volunteer.

It is ALMOST singable to the original tune!!  Don't be discouraged if you don't get it perfect but do act on as many as you can.  Carry the spirit of Christmas and giving with you as you do.

I'd love to hear how you went!

PS I know that the 12 Days of Christmas don't officially start until the 29th of December but I thought I would get in early!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Is Your Reward Relevant?

Santa Trophy
Regular readers will know that I believe we need to let people in our team (including suppliers, customers and family) know how much we value them and their contribution.  Too often we just assume they know we appreciate what they do. As you get in the habit of rewarding people, make sure it is relevant.

A financial bonus typically has a minimal impact because how much is enough. No matter how much a person receives, they always have that small thought in the back of their head "Is that it?"  One of my clients has stopped issuing movie tickets as they have given away so many, they no longer mean anything. You have to make the reward relevant and it doesn't have to cost too much!

Recently I did two lots of Santa work for a friend of mine. I was happy to do it and it was a lot of fun. To say thanks he unexpectedly gave me the trophy in the picture. It was incredibly relevant and a load of fun. Will I do it again if he asks me, you bet I will. I probably would have anyway, but a cool gift like this means it would be nearly impossible to say no.

Now that we are in the festive spirit, what rewards or gifts are you giving those in your team? 

Is Your Reward Relevant?

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Phone Call

Never forget the importance of a followup phone call. If you are thinking about a client, prospect or friend, chances are they are thinking about you or the need you meet for their business problem. Call them because thinking about them is just not enough!!

I just called a prospect I had sent a proposal too a couple of weeks ago. I asked if he had any thoughts and he said it was all straight forward and he is just waiting to speak to the boss.

I feel better as I know my contact is keen, he now knows I care enough to check if he has questions and it is also a reminder for him to followup with his boss.
All that in one quick phone call.

Who do you need to call?

Monday, 5 December 2011

Do You Live?

Kung Fu
Whew!! What a weekend!

I don't know about you but this is what I got up to:
  • Friday night I looked after my brothers 3 kids (I even embarrassed them when we went to the supermarket!!), 
  • Saturday morning we made Chocolate Brownies, played basket ball and cruised on the scooters 
  • Saturday night Wifey and I went to Foo Fighters concert (3 hours of rock fabulosity), 
  • Sunday morning washing and domestic duties (a man's work is never done!), 
  • Sunday afternoon I was Santa for a friends Kung Fu school. A bit of Kung Fu Santa with 50 kids telling Santa what they wanted. Look at what one girl did!! Kicked me right in the Jingle Bells! 
  • Sunday night, Wifey and I went to a birthday dinner for a friend at a lovely Thai restaurant. 
When someone asked on Farcebook "What did you do on the weekend" that is what I told them. They said, "Wow you were really busy". I have to admit it didn't feel it at the time but I suppose that is a fair bit. Personally, I like Bon Jovi's approach when he sings "I'll live while I'm alive and sleep when I'm dead".

Comic legend Mel Brooks is quoted as saying “If you're alive, you've got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy, colourful and lively.”

In essence, life is for doing things and enjoying all that is on offer. 

So what about you Do You Live?

Monday, 28 November 2011

What's The Risk?

On Sunday, the choir that I sing with, Mood Swing, performed at a memorial service for people who had died in the workplace. It is always a privilege to be part of this service and always disturbing to realise how fragile life is.

It made me think of the risks that people take in the work place. I have seen trades people working on a roof without safety barriers or safety harness. As a kid I recall jumping on and off moving tractors while feeding out hay. Plenty of people in offices have stood on swivel chairs with no support as they reach for something on top of the cabinet. Some of the risks we take can have severe consequences but take the risk anyway without thinking about it.

When it comes to financial risk, we are usually vigilant about minimising it. When it comes to our health and state of being, we seem to be willing to take significant risks.  Don't get me wrong, I am not saying "NEVER take a risk", I am saying "minimise and manage your risks". A life without risks is restrictive and detrimental, but suffering from unnecessary risks is foolish.

So in what you are doing, what's the risk? More importantly, how will you manage it and minimise it.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

There Is No Luck

Mt Buller

You may have noticed that today's Get More Goer is a day and a half late. I have a good reason for it. I was away with five of my friends and a couple of their kids for a four day weekend at Mt Buller. 

Some of you may be thinking, "how lucky."  

There is no luck.

Rather than spend a lot of money on a holiday house and then have to spend each visit there doing maintenance, the 6 of us have formed a B&B consortium. We all put $50 a month into the B&B fund and then every couple of months we go away for an extended weekend.  Not bad having a magic little break away all for less than a cup of coffee a day. No maintenance, no bills, no hassle just pure holiday bliss.

I have always believed that holidays (or a new car or a new piece of equipment or a new whatever you want) are not dependant on luck. They only take 2 things: Planning and Cash.  If your planning is good enough, you don't really need to worry about the cash.

So what do you want? What will you do to make sure that Luck plays no part in whether you get it or not? It just takes two things: Planning and Cash.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

What Do Little Old Ladies Know?

Too often we dismiss the little old lady. They look frail, mind their own business and get on with life. But I believe we can learn a lot from them.

Today as I was leaving the NSAA Presidential Breakfast with my Vice President, we saw a large semi trailer seeming stuck in a car park at a shopping centre.  It had hit the "too high" bar and the driver was busy on the phone trying to work out what to do.  The little old lady knew what to do.

Several drivers impatiently drove their car on the wrong side of the road to get around the truck. Other pedestrians, shuffled around avoiding everyone, but the little old lady knew what to do! 

She gracefully and with purpose went about her business walking toward the shops. As she crossed the road in front of the truck (whose driver was still on the phone) she gave him a big wave to say "thanks for stopping for me."

The Vice President and I cracked up laughing as it looked so comical. But that was when I realised that the little old lady was right. Regardless of whether the truck had stopped for her or not, she waved a thank you as if it did. She was courteous, graceful and focussed on what she needed to achieve for the day while realising that sometimes you will get support from unexpected places. Even if it merely a truck that has stopped where you need it to.

Too often the youth of today (and those who still wish they were the youth of today!) dismiss out of hand the lessons from those who have had more life experience. Today I got one from a little old lady just living her life.  

One of my favourite little old ladies, Betty White, recently gave her 10 Tips for Living a Long and Happy Life on the Letterman show.  If you want to see the video, click on her picture above. Here are some of my favourites from Betty:

  • Get at least 8 hours of beauty sleep, 9 if you are ugly
  • Avoid tweeting any photos of your private parts
  • Schedule a nightly appointment with Johnny Walker
  • Don't waste your time watching TV
  • Never dwell on past mistakes
  • Try not to die

What can you learn from the little old ladies in your life?

Monday, 14 November 2011

How Are Your Relationships?

I interviewed Yvonne Allen this morning and as you would expect, our topic was relationships. Not just intimate relationships but working relationships, friend relationships and even relationships with service providers.

It will come as no surprise to you to know that many of our relationships are suffering. While there is a large "man drought" for 25-45 year old women, there is also a lot of confusion with how to act and react. Yvonne refers to this as the "Gender Agenda". We seem to have a lot of confusion out there. Women who are told to be more like men to succeed and men who are told to be more like women to understand them. No wonder there is confusion!!

Yvonne's tips for relationship success include:
  • Start with the relationship you have with yourself and make sure it is healthy
  • Consider what the other person in the relationship (or you want in the relationship) wants and is looking for
  • Focus on the positives of the relationship
  • Communicate so that everyone knows exactly where they stand without having to read minds
  • Commit to the relationship so that it can grow in depth rather than ending at the first sign of trouble.
When Yvonne was talking I couldn't help but notice that these points are exactly what business needs as well. Think about your team, your suppliers, your direct reports, your boss, your customers, your friends and your family. Would applying Yvonne's tips help any of them?

So how are your relationships?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Is It Tragic or Magic?

This week I was thinking of one of my parents friends. About 15 years ago their daughter (who was 19) was the passenger in a car that had a major accident. Unfortunately their daughter died. What is more tragic is that her parents stopped a lot of their own life then as well.  While their life continued, their focus was on their loss. Whenever they did something or went anywhere, there was always discussion about their daughter.

To me that is tragic. More the loss of their life than the loss of their daughters.

Life is full of bad things happening to good people. The question that is the biggest waste of time and energy is, Why. In my experience, you will never get an answer that satisfies you. There is always a further Why. The healthiest question is, What can I do about it? This gives you a course of action and a way forward.

Is your life Tragic or Magic?

For most of us, it can be either. It is completely dependent on your perspective. Take my own life. I could easily look at it being quite tragic.

  • I grew up in a small country town where I didn't drink or play sport so I never "fitted in"
  • Just as I was in my formative years I got sent to a school 90 minutes away on the bus.
  • It took me 12 months to settle in to the new school and make friends.
  • It was too far away to have friends over after school so I couldn't consolidate my friendships
  • I had to work on the farm and regularly cook for a family of 5
  • We had a massive vegetable garden I had to maintain
  • I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up so I "fell" into a uni course I wasn't keen on.

Or it could be Magic

  • I grew up in a country town so I got to breathe fresh air and see the stars at night. It also gave me a friendly approach to people and an ability to talk to anyone
  • I was fortunate enough to go to school with high academic standard to set me up with a top class education
  • Having friends from all over the place enabled me to get some varied perspectives on life
  • I learn't to cook at a young age and could handle catering for larger numbers with ease
  • While I lived at home I ate organic vegetables without realising such a thing existied - I called them Vegetables!
  • I didn't know what I wanted to do after school so I took on a double degree to give me options for the future.

Zig Ziglar said that our attitude determines our altitude. Tragedies will strike, challenges will be faced, terrible things will happen to fabulous people and life will go on. It is up to us as individuals whether we see it as Tragic or Magic.

How do you see your life and your world? Is it Tragic or Magic?

Monday, 7 November 2011

Where Is It From?

Farmer Logo
In today's competitive market, it is easy to lose track of where our supplies come from or even who our suppliers really are. For those of us who are suppliers, this can be scary. All of a sudden, everything is dependent on being the lowest price. But who wants to be a low price supplier? As I wrote in an earlier post, no one wins a price war.

Let me tell you about Sir Francis (and if you are a bit sensitive about animals, you may want to skip to the next paragraph). Sir Francis is our pig, named after Sir Francis Bacon. He was lovingly raised by Lou and Stew from The Farmers Larder.  Wifey and I met Sir Francis and he was a cute little piggy. He is now in our freezer (all 62 KG of him) ready to be invited to dinner. When I tell friends about Sir Francis, some say, "How can you name and pat the pig you will eat?"

If I buy pork at the supermarket, I have no idea where it is from. I have no control over how the pigs were kept or cared for. Knowing my supplier, The Farmers Larder, I KNEW Sir Francis was loved, well cared for and humanely processed. I trusted my supplier to do what was in my best interest as well as theirs. In terms of cost, I was willing to pay whatever they told me (which turned out to be a great price).

Danielle from The Cartridge Family was talking to me about printer paper. I had always used Reflex and was happy with it. She educated me on AA paper and how it was better for the printer for a couple of reasons. Because I have a level of trust with Danielle, I will be switching to AA paper and I am yet to find out the price difference.

If you are a supplier, what are you doing to add value or at the very least, show the existing value to your clients? If your value proposition is strong and proven, price will not be a sticking point.

What about your suppliers? Where do your supplies come from? Is your supplier looking after your needs, not just short term price but your long term value? Now days, there is ALWAYS a cheaper version (typically from China) but never before has the adage "You get what you pay for" been truer.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Top 10 Tips of a Successful Exhibitor

1.         Set Goals
Too often people have no idea why they are exhibiting. They don’t know why they are on the stand, what the business is hoping to achieve or how “success” will be measured. You MUST know why you are there and “Branding” doesn’t count unless you have a strategy on how to measure any shift in brand awareness.

When asked why you are exhibiting, it is too easy to say “our competition is here”, “we did it last year”, “it’s our industry show”, “if we don’t do it, our competition will” or “it feels like the right thing to do”. These are not valid reasons. They are contributing factors but not reason enough alone.

Like all goals, your exhibiting goals have to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time sensitive. How many sales, how many leads, what level of increase in brand awareness, how many people at new product launch, what level of customer feedback, what kind of customer research, how many join the loyalty program.

Once you know why you are exhibiting, make sure everyone on the stand knows the goal, that way they can work towards it.

2.         Pre Market
When you talk about Exhibiting, most people get all excited about how sexy the booth will look and what else will be at the show. Hardly anyone takes the opportunity to do the pre-marketing work prior to the show.

Don’t depend on the show organiser to bring in the crowds. Do your own marketing to your prospects, existing customers, target market and loyal fans to get them to the show. Consider a private function for your high worth clients to say thank you and have them bring an industry friend. 

Use the fact you are exhibiting as a focus of additional marketing. Consider a billboard near the exhibition hall or the airport (if people will be flying in for it). Maybe a joint venture advert with the exhibition organiser. What can you do to let others know that you own this space?

Whatever you do, don’t just wait for people to turn up on the day. Be proactive to get your target market to your stand and to the show. Typically the organiser will give you free tickets as part of your fee to exhibit. Be certain to use them to their best advantage.

3.         Booth Set Up
Don’t forget the booth is not about you. You think it is, your marketing department will insist it is, but it’s not. It is about your customer and your prospect. What will they want? What do you want them to do? Make sure you set it up so it is EASY for them to do what you want them to.

If you have signage make sure it is at eye height or above. If you put it low, one person in front of it blocks it for everyone.

If you want them to put their business card in a bowl, put the sign next to the bowl and make it easy to read.

If you have a show discount, have signage to let them know. A sign saying, “Ask me about the show discount” gets them engaging in a conversation. A sign saying, “50% off” gets them salivating. What do you want them to do?

By the way, it is ok to change the booth around. If what you have got is not working, move it. People from the morning session or the day before won’t remember and it may just be the boost to your show that you need.

4.         Plan for the Worst
In business (and in life) a motto for success is “Expect the best and plan for the worst”. As an exhibitor, this is your motto to live by. Plan on couriers not arriving, luggage being lost, signs falling down, your location changing and you won’t be disappointed.

At an international show, an exhibitor’s portable and easy-to-build stand did not arrive until noon of the third and final day of the show. Forklifts have pierced expensive machinery just as the show was being set up.

A trade show training colleague arrived at a trade show only to be told his exhibit had been moved as they had secured a high paying sponsor and they were now in his spot. He had done a load of pre-show marketing and was no longer at the stand number he had told his clients.

Deal with this by taking a deep breath and being prepared. Have a tool kit of gaffer tape, packing tape, scissors, Velcro, pins, and anything else you think you may need.  Carry some key posters and brochures with you on your carry-on luggage so that in a worst case you can stick some posters up in the booth space and engage with people.

Disasters occur on a regular basis in the exhibition world. What counts most is your ability to engage with people and satisfy their needs with your products and services. Not your booth, your location, your freebies, your branding or any other item. Make sure you can keep your cool and deliver when all around you is going to hell.

5.         Have Pick Up Lines
Exhibiting at a Trade Show, Expo, Market or Conference is exactly like speed dating. You are at a place surrounded by people who want what you’ve got. They are nervous, hesitant, shy and scared of making the wrong move to the wrong potential partner. You need to get their attention, attract them to what you’ve got and engage them into a lifelong, mutually beneficial relationship.

One thing that has proven itself for centuries is the well delivered pick up line. Make sure you have some. Naturally different ones work on and for different people. Find one that works for you and use it.

Make sure it is about the prospect and not about you. The reality is no-one cares about you; they are focussed on their own needs. Find out what the majority of your prospects are after and make it about that. Be a bit playful too. Business can be so boring so spice it up with some playful and humorous lines.

If the lines you have are not working, change them. If the ones you used successfully yesterday are not working this morning, change them. Do what it takes to get their attention and then engagement.

6.         Have Lead Cards
Collecting business cards is not enough. They are overwhelming and do not give a focus on what you need to do next. Have simple lead cards you can staple to the business card. This lead card can capture some basic but important info. Items like: 
  •          Priority – are they an A, B or C prospect
  •          Interest – what product or service are they interested in
  •          Follow-up – what day of the week is best to follow-up with them
  •          Budget – do they have a budget set aside for this purchase
  •          Reason – what is their main reason to buy
  •          Existing – who is their existing supplier

You can have a lot of this information in a checklist format so that a few simple ticks on an A5 sheet will give you valuable information you can use in your follow-up call.

7.         Be Present
If you are on the show floor, be on the show floor. Turn off your phone or computer (better still, leave them at home or in the room), focus on the prospect, and work toward achieving your goals. It is too easy to be distracted. Your firm will have spent tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars for your time on the stand. Give those few days everything you’ve got.

Your feet will hurt. Wear your most comfortable shoes and toughen up. It’s only for a few days. DO NOT sit down. You will lose money. People will not approach you, you will start chatting to colleagues and not be present to the reason you are there.

Use the opportunity to market your booth. Have your out of office message on your phone and email tell everyone where you are and to come and visit, otherwise you will get back to them AFTER the show. Your job back at the office will wait and if it can’t have a well-trained back up dealing with it. The show floor is your job for the limited time it is on so give it everything.

If there was one tip of the ten to focus on, this would be it. Be there for your prospects and customers. The rest of the world will wait while you are on the floor.

8.         Follow Up
The half-life of interest in you and your product after you exhibit is 2 business days. By that I mean, in 2 days, they are half as interested as they were on the floor. Another 2 business days, they are half as interested again and so on.

What this means for you is book out the 2 days directly after you exhibit. These 2 days are to be used for follow up. Naturally you will have mountains of emails and phone messages. They will wait another two days, your show prospects won’t.

While a bulk email to your visitors may be easy, it is nowhere near as effective and results generating as a phone call. This is where your lead cards pay off big time. It is during the follow-up time that you put your visitors into your standard sales cycle and start the process with your A priority and B priority visitors.

9.         Measure
What gets measured gets improved. You also need to measure if your exhibit process was a success. Look back to your original goals, did you achieve them? If not, why not? What level of success have you experienced? What is the return on your investment?

Only by measuring can you establish whether you will exhibit at this particular event again next time. Granted you may need to commit to a couple of shows before you can measure the results but it is essential to measure your exhibiting success.

10.      Have Fun
As mentioned earlier, trade shows are speed dating, so have some fun with it.

People would much prefer to do business with people they like.  Enjoy your time on the floor. It is an absolute buzz and you will meet some amazing people as you do it.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Why Have The Day Off?

The Cup
It's the Melbourne Cup. In Australia it is referred to as "The Race that Stops the Nation". In Victoria it is a Public Holiday. It amazes me that we have a public holiday for a horse race!

Don't get me wrong, a day off appeals to my laid back and relaxed Australian attitude to life, but for a horse race? It also strikes me as funny that in one of furthest away parts of the Commonwealth, we have a public holiday to celebrate the Queen's birthday, yet they don't have one in England where she lives!

It strikes me as ludicrous that earlier this year there were discussions and media rumblings about having a public holiday for the AFL Grand Final (don't get me started on that!).
There are so many good reasons to have a day off where we DON'T, why do it for a simple sporting event?

Here are a few reasons to take a day off in no order of importance (except the first one):
  • Your birthday (NEVER work on your birthday - it's against the rules)
  • Your partner's birthday
  • Your anniversary
  • Your child's graduation
  • Your child's performance (sport, play, dance, music, whatever)
  • A funeral of someone dear to a dear friend of yours
  • An impulse family adventure
  • A surprise visit to your grandparents
  • A full health check up
  • To celebrate a major milestone achievement (personal or professional)
  • To spend time with someone you love but don't see often
  • For personal or professional development (training course - regardless of who pays for it)
  • To pick up the new car/motorbike/motorhome and spend the day taking it for a test run
  • Because you are sick! (Don't struggle through work, stay home and get better)
  • Because someone you love is sick (kid, pet, partner, parent or friend)
I am sure you can come up with a stack of other reasons far more worthy than a horse race.
So what would it take for you to have the day off?


Monday, 24 October 2011

How Hard Is It?

Have you ever had one of those moments where you thought that things were just too hard? Some things in your life had changed and now you couldn't do some of the things that you wanted too? Maybe you weren't getting the results in your life that you wanted? It was all too hard?  I have felt that too.

On the weekend I got a sense of perspective. I heard an amazing story from a guy named Dale Elliot. He is guy just like you and me. No one special - just a bloke with dreams, desires, a life. He took his cousins motorbike for a spin and on the last corner home a dog ran out on to the road and his life changed forever.

As a paraplegic his life was hard, damn hard!

How does he keep going? By focussing on what he can do not on what he can't. Looking back to his past and what he can't do serves no purpose. His focus is looking forward at what he can do. Creating new goals and dreams that stretch him and doing it with a sense of humour, joy and gratitude.

So how hard is it? Granted there may be things you can't do like you used to. But what can you do? How can you stretch yourself, grow and make contribution to those around you? I suspect it is easier than you may tell yourself.

For more information on Dale, get inspiration or book him for your next event, check out his website at

Photo: Dale Elliot

Monday, 17 October 2011

How Sharp Is Your Saw?

The 7th Habit in Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to Sharpen the Saw. What he is saying is how often do you take the time to get better at what you do? Are your skills being improved and honed or are you still doing what you do the same way you always have?

If you were 10% better, what would that mean to you? 10% more sales? 10% better customer service? 10% more time to do things? 10% more organised? 10% more focussed or energised? Or would it simply mean that you are back as good as you used to be because you have recently developed some bad habits?

The time you invest in sharpening your saw is well worth it.  A saw blade you continue to use slowly gets worn down. It stops sawing and starts Hacking.  Are you Hacking anywhere in your workplace? After you have been hacking for a while, you then are simply going through the motions without getting a result. Surely you aren't simply going through the motions anywhere?  Are you?

What will you do to sharpen your saw?  I can highly recommend The Super Conference on this week. I will be MC and speaking there.  If you can't make that, find something else. Your professional association, industry training courses, personal development courses or training for a specific skill set all contribute to your success.

How Sharp is your Saw?


Saw Image: Mom The Barbarian 

Monday, 10 October 2011

Do You Share?

Concert Poster
It is amazing how many people in the workplace do not share who they really are with their colleagues. 

They have strong boundaries (almost barriers) around their distinct groups.  Their work friends are never allowed to mix with their social friends and neither of these groups are allowed anywhere near family.

Why would you do this?  While I am all for a sense of privacy and not sharing every single detail about yourself, why would you not share with your friends all of who you are? What are you trying to hide?

While you may have weird hobbies that may raise some questions or work in a job or role that your social group may not expect, don't hold back on who you are.  We are complete beings with varied, colourful and complex parts to ourselves.

One of the most valuable gifts you can give to the world is your Authenticity.  It also takes less effort than putting up a facade or remembering to not tell certain people certain things.  Share of yourself with the world. The world will be a better place for it.

So do you share?

PS As part of my sharing, I need to let you know I sing in an A Cappella choir. It is fabulous and a whole lot of fun. We have a concert in North Melbourne at the Comic's Lounge this Sunday at 2pm. It's only $15 and kids are free. If you are in Melbourne next Sunday, I would love to see you there. Further details and samples of our work at

Monday, 3 October 2011

What Do You Think?

I was working at a Serious Abundance seminar yesterday and we were talking about our goals. In particular, how to achieve your goals and the elements that go into that. One key element is our beliefs.

Our beliefs are such an important part of our success. Again yesterday, as I have heard many times before with mentoring clients or attendees at my sessions, people were giving reasons as to why they didn't believe they could achieve them. One person shared how something fabulous happened and her first response was "I couldn't believe it".

Henry Ford famously said, "If you think you can or think you can't, you're right."

What do you think?

People who achieve their goals (personal or business) are no different to you or me. They are simply people with skills, resources and a desire. There is NO REASON you can't achieve your goals, no matter how big they are. So do yourself a favour and BELIEVE in yourself. Know that you can and will achieve them.

If you think you can or think you can't, you're right. So dear reader, what do you think?

Monday, 26 September 2011

What Do You Want?

Party Tram

I was out for dinner with friends last week and we saw one of those rare beasts, a Party Tram!  You can tell it's a Party Tram because that's what the sign says on it. There is no confusion, it is really quite obvious and if you are after the Party Tram you know which one it is.

I am like the Party Tram. When Wifey and I got together five years ago I told her:

"I am a mere male. I don't respond well to subtle comments, hints, implications or suggestions. If you want something you MUST be blatant and tell me directly that way you have more chance of getting it."

It was a great ground rule that has served us well.

Clients and prospects are the same. When it comes to your products and services, you cannot be subtle, hint, imply or suggest. TELL THEM what you do and make it easy for them to find out about it. Just like the Party Tram does it!  

Several of my exhibiting clients have found this fabulous advice. Rather than have a booth that is about their brand with subtle hints on what they have and want their clients to do, bold signs with information or prices encourage prospects into action. 

So what do you want your prospects to do?

PS For those who retail or exhibit at shows, expos or markets, I am running a webinar on How to Get More from Your Next Expo.  It is at 11am Thursday 29 Sept AEST. (Click here for world times). It's a freebie and I encourage you to attend and invite your contacts who may be interested.  So register here right now! (Had to tell you what to do!)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Are You Haemorrhaging Cash?

When it comes to exhibiting at Trade Shows, Expos and even a simple market, it is so easy to spend and even waste money.  They are not cheap and everything you need seems to "cost extra".

Over the last week I have run a couple of webinars on how to Get More from your next Expo. The question was raised, is it still worthwhile to exhibit?  To me the answer is always "Yes, if you do it properly".

Exhibiting has one of the lowest cost per leads/cost per sales figures of any form of marketing.  It is a way to get great exposure to your target market and let them get hands on with your products, expertise and brand.  What is even better is most people do not exhibit well. So with only a minor bit of extra effort you can stand out from the rest.

This doesn't mean you need to spend thousands of dollars on a stand. Some of the best stands are the simplest. A few small changes in how you operate can actually double your return on investment at the show.  Here are a few things you can do:

  • Market your stand before the show
  • Smile on the stand (most people don't)
  • Stand at the stand - NEVER SIT DOWN (unless it is with a customer)
  • Turn your phone off
  • Followup with your prospects
  • Set up a Lead Management System
  • Have fun!

As you can see these things are not rocket science. But the difference it makes can be significant.  If you want to find out more, join me on the next webinar where we discuss things in far more detail.

The next webinar on how to Get More from your Next Expo will be held at 11am AEST on Thursday 29 September. To register click here