Tag Archives: urgency

Obsessively Searching for “Stellar”…

Many thanks to the dozens of you who have sent me kind messages over the last two weeks asking where The DEW View! had gone. 

Nowhere.

I just didn’t have anything shockingly inspiring to share.

I really do want to change the world not waste your time.

ALSO… this blog is getting a massive upgrade.  I am working on some new content at danielwaldschmidt.com for you along with my friends at Channel V Media that I am SO excited to share with you.  That should be coming to you at the beginning of the year.  It’s really going to be VERY cool.  I will finally have a platform to offer you so much more content…

Everything that I am working on falls in the general category of high performance.  It’s a curious thought.  How can you consistently perform at amazingly high levels?

……….How can I do that?

………………..How can you do that?

…………………………How can you hold you employees to that standard?

These questions are on my mind these days.  Frankly, I think it’s on a lot of your minds too — if your emails and calls are an indication of what you are thinking about these days.

Being amazing, awesome, stellar — whatever you call it — really comes down to three attributes that any of us can have.  It’s not a hard formula to understand.  Is is however a painfully hard act to live…

Here is what defines “stellar”:

  1. Desire — You have to want to be better.  This is where it all starts.  Without desire, you will quickly fall off the mark of consistent high performance.  It happens all time — well intentioned, passionate people giving up way too soon.  Their will is broken.  Their passion is quelled.  WHY?  They give up because they forget how bad they really want to be successful.  You need desire now more than ever.  With the gloom of global economic negativity in our face every day, desiring more for yourself is a must.
  2. Dedication — You have to focus your time on being a high performer.  You can’t just simply want to be amazing and it magically happen.  You’re life isn’t a David Blaine performance, it’s a battle — for your time and attention.  Daily activity toward your goal is the only way to be a consistent high performer.  Small things add up to big things over time.  They do.  With the dedication toward accomplishing small goals, you will find yourself doing huge things over time.
  3. Discipline — You have to train yourself to endure the bad stuff that happens along the way.  Despite the best plans and the most altruistic of ambitions, people and circumstances will rain all over your parade.  They will discourage you.  Many times they will deliberately try to hurt you.  You have to be ready to take a punch, get knocked out, and then stand back up and keep fighting — time after time after time.  No matter what happens, you have to have the discipline to reach deep within your soul and fight on.

Success is not usually an intellectual challenge.  It’s a mental challenge.  Desire, dedication, and discipline are not taught in the classroom.  They are a harsh reality of life.  You can be stellar.  You can find excellence.  You can be amazing…

How are you searching for stellar?

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By the way, if you missed the “Edgy Conversations” webinar I presented for Top Sales Expert International last week, click here to check out what 740 other people clicked on to see.  The video is about 60 minutes long and got some tremendous reviews from those who saw it live.  As a side note, there were a handful of the hundreds who saw this that thought I was a complete moron — so you know it has to be “spicy”…

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How to succeed when your life life kicks the @$%*# out of your sales life

beat-up-faceSometimes life throws you a curve ball.

Things blow up…. bad.

You get beaten up in your personal life and it starts to affect your chances at closing deals.

You have opportunities that demand finesse, skill, and talent — and you feel defeated and ready to quit.

Winning is more than about a notch on the belt. It pays the bills.  Not succeeding is something you don’t want to consider….

So, what do you do?  How do you put your life back together while not missing a career beat?

  1. Recognize that life dealt you a black eye.  There is no use denying the obvious.
  2. Try to solve solvable life problems as soon as possible.  Let go of your ego.
  3. Spend time “grinding” through the sales steps you know you need to get done.  Send emails.  Return calls.
  4. Set aside a few special minutes a day to focus on your sales goals.  Focus on your dreams.
  5. Write down your scattered sales strategy thoughts throughout the days.  Your mind has a lot going on so take the time to store your half-finished ideas on paper.
  6. Write your daily goals on a calendar and don’t let time commitments slide.  Don’t let things that used to take 5 minutes take 30 minutes.
  7. Talk to someone that you trust and get the bad stuff out of your head.  Telling yourself that you suck is not a super way to build confidence.
  8. Challenge yourself in a favorite hobby or through physical exercise.  Take time for mastery.
  9. Take the first step toward your sales goal that day. Then another. Then another.  Build momentum.
  10. Learn from the experience — about yourself, about how your customer might be feeling.  Build empathy.

There’s probably more to this list than the points I have included.  In fact, I am sure there is more to consider.  The point is that life happens — and it hurts.  You want the world to stop so you can heal and it won’t.  It just runs you over again.  Use these basic steps to stay “in the game” while your world works itself out.

Winning is not about removing problems that you can not control but about continuing in spite of them…

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And a special event for The DEW View! community.  Join me November 19th for a Masterclass about “Edgy Conversations: An Explosion of Opportunities

Ever wonder how some sales executives land big deals with big players and you feel stuck chatting up the small guys about opportunities that will probably never happen.  Do you want to get the attention of the right people?  Do you want to see the number of opportunities you are working on explode?  Learn how to have “Edgy Conversations”.  Learn how to have conversations that matter….

I hope we can share a few minutes together…

Focus on priorities

What would you be doing if today were the last day for you to be alive?

Would you work harder, take the day off, or just spend the day with regrets?

For the vast majority of us, there will be more days than today, but there won’t be a way to get back the time you spent today NOT focusing on your priorities.

Focus on your priorities for today like tomorrow might never come.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish with the proper perspective…

P.S  Don’t worry about getting it wrong as long as you are willing to keep trying…

What’s not being said….

I get asked all the time to take a look at a business plan or review a sales process (which I usually find intriguing).  There is something about a new idea with plenty of potential that gets me pumped up.

Not every investor is worth “getting in bed with” just because they have a bankroll.

I ran into this presentation poking fun at VC investors a few weeks ago and wanted to share.  It is pretty humorous how many of these are right on…

Here is what a VC would never say to you:  🙂

Here is something else they wouldn’t say:

  1. Investors have to believe in you executing (not your product magically becoming the next Google).
  2. Investors are too busy  to hold your hand every day and make sure you meet all the other people in their portfolio.
  3. Investors expect you to have the answers not to have to answer the same questions every meeting…

Just be informed!

Like your mom used to tell you, “Don’t believe everything you don’t hear…”

Stop Sucking and then I Might Care

Seth writes the #1 ranked blog in the world on marketing...

Seth writes the #1 blog in the world on marketing...

I was just on the phone last week with Seth Godin (who is one of my heros) and I couldn’t help but be blown away by his amazing take on marketing that works.  I love that practical sense of “let’s really get the job done” not just pretend to show up.

This morning I read his post on “You’re Boring!” — and basically ran through the GNOSO hallways clicking my heels with delight that I wasn’t the only “nut job” in the world that believed in the concept of BEING MEMORABLE

Here is what Seth wrote:

If the marketplace isn’t talking about you, there’s a reason.

If people aren’t discussing your products, your services, your cause, your movement or your career, there’s a reason.

The reason is that you’re boring. (I guess that’s what boring means, right?) And you’re probably boring on purpose. You have boring pricing because that’s safer. You have a boring location because to do otherwise would be nuts. You have boring products because that’s what the market wants. That boring staff? They’re perfectly well qualified…

You don’t get unboring for free. Remarkable costs time and money and effort, but most of all, remarkable costs a willingness to be wrong. [There’s more in an interview I just did with John.]

Remarkable is a choice.

Brilliant, Seth!

I get calls all the time from people engaging in discussion around branding and selling big deals (that’s the stuff I obsess about on a daily basis) of new products, new services, or new ideas….  Cool stuff!  The reason I am being called is usually to be a sounding board for how an idea or product might be best sold (all that “who, what, where” stuff).

I have not had a call YET where we did not start talking about how to memorably market the idea or who we might connect with for a viral springboard.

And, here’s the kicker:

Being memorable is an investment made long before the gain is realized…. (DEWism)

And here’s the #1 rule of being memorable:  STOP SUCKING at what you do!  Seriously!

  • Stop “half-assing” your relationships with clients… do the unexpected and do it with passion!
  • Stop being normal and un-risky with getting your message out… believe in your story deeply!

You have to care about your message more than anyone else in the world (several times over) before you start seeing results — so Stop Sucking and Start Selling yourself…Be memorable.  Be passionate.  Be obsessive about your story.

Urgency unDefined…

I want to write an article about urgency based on my experience and somehow I never finish what I start on this subject. And that’s not because I don’t have something to say about it… Ask many of the entrepreneurs I speak with on daily basis — URGENCY is a key piece of every discussion.

It’s easier for me to FEEL about this subject than to write. In many ways it’s like the wind — you see the force through the changes it makes when it is strongest…

YET, despite these clear pictures, I find myself struggling to write exactly “what is” this idea of urgency. I can communicate the emotion of fighting for a cause or the sense of deeply passionate activity, but urgency seems a little more than just emotion, passion, or a cause.

Here are some simple thoughts on identifying URGENCY:

  • Urgency is the understanding that TIME dilutes my DREAMS, thus action – ferociously intense – is required immediately.
  • Urgency is the core belief that my DREAM is best lived in the moment – not in the future of possibilities.
  • Urgency is wielding today’s activities to the advantage of those around me because tomorrow will be too late.
  • Urgency is the resolve to bring my DREAM to life knowing that life will not understand my dream (perhaps ever).
  • Urgency is fueling my DREAM through immediate and purposed activity.

We would all be outraged to have a stranger come into our house while we are eating and take food off the table uninvited; and yet we will let our ideas, our passions, our dreams, our very meaning for life to be snatched away from us SIMPLY because we lack the desire to defend what is ours.

Burning Passion…

I told my wife this weekend that I am finally feeling the urge to go back to the gym after my hospital incident a month or so ago.  Up until the ER visit and subsequent ICU “hotel stay”, I was training for an ultimate fighting competition — which as would be expected was put on hold indefinitely.

“WHY the fight?”, you ask….  You’ll have to read more of the The DEW View! to get that answer, but in short, let me note that one of the leading reasons is the test of will and the human limit.  Regardless of that philosophical rabbit trail,  I found the following quote that sums up the INTENSITY with which we must apply ourselves to successful endeavors:

“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire.”

Who said this?

A man named Fred Shero…  And unless you happen to be a Philly hockey fan, that name probably doesn’t ring to loud of a bell.  Read a little more about Fred.  He was an incredible guy:

Fred Shero took the road less traveled. He scribbled messages on the locker room blackboard to inspire his troops. Before Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals, he wrote his most famous saying, “Win together today and we walk together forever.” Three hours later, the Flyers won the first of two consecutive Stanley Cups.

The son of immigrants who fled Russia to escape religious persecution, Shero was born on October 23, 1925, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He attended the University of Manitoba for two years and served in the Canadian navy where he made a name for himself in the field of athletics not as a hockey player but as a boxer. Shero was the lightweight and middleweight champion but rejected a $10,000 offer to turn professional, opting to play hockey instead.

A marginal player at best, the defenseman played three seasons for the New York Rangers from 1947-1950. Those three years were sandwiched between a playing career that began in 1942 for the St. James Monarchs and ended in 1958 for the Shawinigan Cataracts. In 1957, Shero began his professional coaching career with Shawinigan. By 1971, he had held additional minor league coaching tenures for St. Paul, Omaha, and Buffalo, winning six first place titles during those years.

With his minor league success, the Flyers came calling for the man with the tinted glasses in 1971. Using an eccentric, entertaining style, he began to mold the Flyers into the “Broad Street Bullies,” writing on his famed blackboard, “Take the shortest route to the puck carrier, and arrive in ill humor.” He stressed the importance of commitment by saying, “When you have bacon and eggs for breakfast, the chicken makes a contribution, but the pig makes a commitment.”

Practices under Shero could make an outsider shake his head in disbelief. To improve stick handling, tennis balls would replace hockey pucks. To increase leg strength, skaters would push a goalie seated in a folded chair around the ice. Forwards would practice breakaways while being slashed from behind. “Nobody ever lets you score an easy goal in a game,” Shero said. “Why practice that way.”

When the Flyers beat the Minnesota North Stars four games to two and gave the Montreal Canadiens a tough battle in the 1973 playoffs, Shero knew his team was ready to compete for the Stanley Cup, which the orange and black won in 1974 and 1975. They remain the only NHL championships in Flyers history. In 1974, he won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL Coach of the Year.

“The Fog,” as Shero was called for tendency to drift off in thought, didn’t rest on his laurels. Three days after winning his first Cup, he spent three weeks in the Soviet Union to study Russian techniques. Even with all his success, this brilliant hockey mind never took himself too seriously. “Coaches are a dime a dozen,” Shero said. “I found out a long time ago that only one thing wins for you–the players.”

Feeling he did not get the most from his team during the 1977-78 season, Shero resigned from the team on May 22, 1978. Less than two weeks later, he re-joined the New York Rangers organization as head coach and general manager. Because Shero still had a year left on his contract with the Flyers. Philadelphia received a No. 1 pick from Rangers as compensation. After two years and change in New York, the Fog made his final coaching stop in Tilburg, Holland, for the 1987-88 season. For the previous five years, he had been the New Jersey Devils’ radio analyst. In 1990, he returned to the Flyers as a community relations adviser.

In 1983, Shero underwent surgery for stomach cancer. It was the beginning of long battle with the disease that eventually claimed his life on November 24, 1990. Many of Shero’s innovations–hiring an assistant coach, installing playing systems, studying films, conducting morning skates–are common in hockey today. In 1980, he was a co-recipient of the Lester Patrick Trophy awarded for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

The holder of every major Flyers’ coaching record, including years’ coached (7), wins (308), winning percentage (.642), and playoff wins (48), Shero was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame in March 1990. In a 1999 Philadelphia Daily News poll, he was selected as the city’s greatest professional coach/manager, beating out legends such as Connie Mack, Dick Vermeil, Greasy Neale, Billy Cunningham, Dallas Green, and Alex Hannum. It was a fitting tribute to one of the most innovative coaches in NHL history.

I guess I have been thinking about the ideas of URGENCY and PASSION more now that I am working with start-ups and entrepreneurs on a daily basis.  Great ideas are “cool” and savvy business plans are “commendable” but a deep passion for success is usually the great differentiator.

And… you can’t rely on OTHERS for your passion!  It has to come from within!

FEAR of investors, embarrassment from FAILURE, loss from monetary risk — none of these work either (though they all CAN help).  PASSION (lasting passion, that is) is rooted in a sense of higher-calling.

So what are you passionate about?