Be Brief. Be Brilliant. Be Gone.

Brilliant Planning

Be Brief. Be Brilliant. Be Gone.

This is something I learned from a colleague about seven or eight years ago and I’ll never forget it.  I had to share it with the tribe as I believe in my soul it will help you.

I want you to think back to your last client meeting, big project presentation, or conference call.  What was the first thing to go completely haywire?

I’m not even going to guess, I’m going to tell you it was everyone’s collective attention span.  It’s the reason I’ve learned to keep my blog posts to around 400 words or less.  People don’t have the focus to remain engaged for a duration much longer than this.

Be Brief. Be Brilliant. Be Gone.

There is genius in these words.  Today’s supercharged social economy has us glued to our smart phones alerting us with: snaps, score alerts, texts, insta-awesome photos, and god forbid email.

Here’s how I think this will help you in your career.  Your clients and teammates are busy.  Real busy.  This must be understood and respected.

Ways to be more brief:

  1. Show up with a plan.  A really well thought out plan with execution as the focus.
  2. Get to the point.
  3. Use powerful visuals to represent your story/case/value proposition. People believe what they see and not what they hear(I believe this with all of my heart).
  4. Solve a problem.  Have a clear understanding of the challenge at hand.

Ways to be more brilliant:

  1. Rehearse.
  2. Deliver your story with more passion (by rehearsing).
  3. Hold the team and work to very high standards.  Don’t show up with average.
  4. See your pitch from the client eyes first.  Where would they find fault in your offering?
  5. Show you care.

Lastly, be gone:

  1. Give them something to say yes, or possibly more importantly “NO” to.
  2. Ask for immediate feedback.
  3. Don’t linger.  Move along.

Be Brief.  Be Brilliant.  Be Gone. With more wins in your pocket!

ACTION ITEM: Please consider these tips for your next client meeting and/or pitch.  Your client or team is begging you to do this, but maybe they haven’t told you yet.

Pull the Trigger I Dare You

We the people are a reflection of our habits.  Good habits and bad habits.  This quote should come as no surprise then.

Success Trigger

Success Trigger

The human brain isn’t exactly a VCR (if you’re old enough to know what this is), but it can be programmed almost exactly the same way.  So how can you accomplish this?

The answer is in your triggers.

What is a trigger?  Psychology defines it as, “A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma.”  Triggers drive our habits and these habits run our lives.

How do I know?  I had a nasty tobacco habit for a few years, and it amplified as I introduced the habit to additional triggers.  I chewed tobacco when I had a long drive.  Then it became: when I golfed, mowed the lawn, read a book, etc.  Many of my activities throughout the day were impacted by the habit.  When the activity began, my brain triggered the need for nicotine and oral fixation.  I found out my biggest challenge when kicking the habit was preparing my mind for the guaranteed trigger reaction.  Conquer this and the habit would disappear, and it did.

I learned the same energy and focus could be applied to adding positive triggers to my life instead of only removing the negative.  I use these triggers to refuel my brain with: positivity, new insights, challenging viewpoints, and more positivity.  If you’re wondering why I listed positivity twice, it’s because there is so much damn negativity around I have to fight it off with twice the effort.

The mediums I utilize once the trigger is activated are:

  • YouTube Videos
  • Motivational Quotes
  • Podcasts
  • Audiobooks
  • Success blogs
  • Encouraging emails from clients
  • Cards from friends

The key is to understand your triggers and then insert a positive habit to reinforce the activity.  We’re creatures of habit and we have hundreds of them.  It shouldn’t be hard to find a time or activity to insert some positive mental training into your day.

ACTION ITEM: The time to start wiring your brain for positivity is today.  Science tells us it takes 21 days to create a habit.  If this is true, and you start today you will be a refreshed individual in three weeks time.  Make the choice to implement a new habit, you already have the triggers in place.


Stop Wishing for a Raise and Use These Four Steps

You want a raise? GREAT, so does everyone else!

 Wishing for a raise

Wishing for a raise

There is only one reason to read this post.  You believe deep down inside your belly you deserve to be paid more for your efforts.  I believe you.  You need to make more money.  It’s necessary for you, your spouse, and your family.

Did you know millions of people feel this very same way every day, and yet very few of them go home with the bump they were looking for.  They actually get more depressed because they don’t have a strategy to attack their climb.

So how do we get there?  First off, please stop with the word “deserve” in your plea for more coin.  I “deserve” a raise.  I feel like I deserve to drive a Ferrari, and yet, there is no Ferrari in the garage.  Deserving or not, this won’t get you the bump because it hasn’t produced results yet.

Four Steps to Getting a Pay Raise in 90 Days

  1. Alignment – For 99% of the workforce, getting paid more relies on someone else making the decision to pay you more money.  Therefore, we must understand the goals and visions of our company and more importantly our immediate team.  There isn’t a single manager in the world looking to pay someone more for making them look bad.  To get a raise, you must align your short term goals with goals of your manager or company.  I believe many people miss the mark on getting a better payday because they haven’t invested a minimal amount of time to determine these objectives.  They believe a raise is warranted for being busy, when this couldn’t be further from the truth.  This is the core and first step in claiming more cheddar on a money basis.
  2. Measurable – After you’ve determined two to three company goals you can personally impact, it’s time to add the powerful measurement objective.  If <this action> by <when>, I will receive <what>.  This should feel much better than having the vague conversation with your boss, “Sir, I’d like to discuss a pay raise.”  Also, please don’t think I’m talking to only salespeople.  They have a much easier path to getting a raise.  They should be able to give themselves one with a fair and accountable pay plan.  This advice is for everyone else who isn’t selling.   Lastly, don’t reveal these objectives to your boss just yet.  That’s what step three is for.
  3. Conversational – It is difficult to be in the position of a boss when someone says, “I’d like to discuss a raise.”  I feel it doesn’t put the employee or the employer in a good position for success.  It almost feels adversarial and you’re on the same team (hopefully).  So lets remove the tension and open the conversation.  It could go something like this.  “Mr. Boss Man, I’m looking to advance in my career and I’ve got a couple goals I’d love to share with you.  Do you have a minute?”  Assuming the answer is yes, move forward.  “I know as a company we are extremely focused on objectives 1, 2, and 3 correct?”  Reply – Yes.  “I believe I can positively impact these numbers in a great way in the next 90 days and I have a plan to do so.  In accomplishment of these objectives I’d love to discuss additional compensation for doing so.” Then sit there and shut up.  The conversation will begin and it will be much more organic and creative in terms of opportunities for additional compensation.
  4. CRUSH – Outside of alignment this is the second most missed tactic.  You can’t ask for more money and do mediocre work.  It’s just wrong and will feel extremely more lame to your boss.  If you align your target with the company goals, make it measurable, address it conversationally, but don’t deliver; it’s all for nothing.  You could actually SUCK at #1, 2, and 3 and still possibly get paid by crushing it.  I don’t advise going at it with this lack of planning or focus, but it actually can work and it’s why this is the last step. LEAVE NO DOUBT.  DELIVER.  CRUSH YOUR GOALS.

ACTION ITEM: I need you to start this process this week.  My goal with this post is to help one person, just one person make more money today!  You have 90 days to prove yourself and before you know it, the year will nearly be over.  The next thing I need you to do is share any successes you have with the tribe.  It will mean a great deal to me and the readers hearing from someone putting the practice to work.  Go get it!

244 Likes Later

Landon Ray Keeney

Landon Ray Keeney

On July 30, 2014, my wife and I welcomed Landon Ray Keeney to the world.  A magical moment we will never forget.

About a day later, we let the world know by introducing him on Facebook (is there any other way?).  One day and 244 “Likes” later, we were just as happy before we made the announcement as we were after.  The only thing that really changed were the number of people happy for us.

What does this say about us as a society?  I can tell you what I think it means to me.

Social is a vehicle, not a value.

We live in a wonderful era of communication where we can instantly connect with thousands of people across the world and give them a “status update” on our lives.  But do you really need everyone else’s approval on your life?

I really hope not.

The response of 244 “Likes” will not define my relationship with my new son or our happiness as a family.  What social did do was open up hundreds of wonderful communication opportunities with our closest friends and family to talk about this newest miracle.

ACTION ITEM: Please see social media as a communication tool, and not a scoreboard driving you toward unhappiness or an unfulfilled life.  There is far too much to be thankful for!

Why a Mentor is a Must

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 8.27.23 AM

Think of what you’ve learned in the last year.  Now think about the last five years.

Chances are you learned some of it on your own(by making mistakes) and some just plain living life.  The rest may have been shown to you, like the first time you learned how to tie your shoes.  Think about that time for a moment; how exciting was it to learn a new skill?  What about mastering a new skill?  Human beings draw excitement, energy, and emotion from learning new things.

This is exactly why a mentor is a must.

A great mentor will provide insights for progress.  Progress is essential to human happiness, well-being, and an overall growth-focused mindset.  You show me a happy person, and I’ll likely find someone attacking new challenges with a tailwind of momentum behind them from previous victories.  If we were to discuss the latter side of happiness, I’ll show you a person stagnant, stuck in life’s challenges, and without direction.

A mentor will also help us refocus when we drift.  I was just listening to Michael Hyatt’s “This is Your Life” podcast and he addressed the topic of drift.  It’s a topic he just spoke on at the World Domination Summit just a short while ago.  From year to year, or even month to month we all experience drift in some form of our lives whether it be: spiritually, physically, mentally, or maritally.  Drift is a natural navigation or lack of focus away from our goals.  A great mentor will help you get back on the fast track.

If you’re interested in additional information on this topic here is an article by Inc Magazine, 6 Reasons You Need a Mentor.

On to the million dollar question.  How do I find a mentor?

Here are a couple of my personal recommendations when seeking mentorship.

  • Find someone who will give you inspiration, but also honest feedback
  • Find someone in your field you look up to or aspire to be
  • Find an individual genuinely interested in your success and more importantly growth
  • Find an leader who is gracious with their time

ACTION ITEM: If you don’t have one already, begin the mentor search.  It took me a couple years to hone in on the mentors I work with.  Secondly, aid the mentor’s process by sharing with them your life’s goals and aspirations.