A couple of weeks ago we had a major windstorm and turned into, for us, a minor snowstorm. At one point I was having a conversation on the phone with that woman I’m married to during the blackout the storm caused that went exactly like this:
Five years ago today, I wrote a post highlighting a product I’d created about 5 years earlier as it pertains to my leadership coaching and training business. The post was titled Mitchell Employee Evaluation Module because that’s what the title is of the item as well. If you want to skip the post and just check out the item itself, click here.
Although I talked about the item in that previous post, it was fairly clinical and pretty short. I just told what it was then; I was in a period where I remembered that I had products and wanted to get the word out. The strange thing is I never wrote about it on my business blog; I’m going to have to rectify that, and soon.
I didn’t talk about the process of creating it and a moment of indecision about it. I figured this was a good time to talk about that because, though it’s not a fascinating tale, it’s an inspirational one, if I say so myself. 🙂
If you’ve ever been an employer, you know it can sometimes be difficult to conduct interviews to find the right people for the position you need to fill. The problem is that for most positions there are a high number of people with close to the same qualifications and it can be hard to figure out which person to take. You also have to guard against perceptions of favoritism, racism, sexism, and a host of other isms. Truthfully, I hated having to go through the hiring process as a director.
If it’s that stressful to hire employees, try imagining what it might be like hiring someone for a leadership position. Then imagine what it’s probably like for people who might be looking for someone with certain qualities on one day of interviews, then suddenly changes the next day. It can get pretty ugly for many people.
It was never a problem for me though. I always knew the type of people I wanted to put into leadership positions. As you can imagine, I was also kind of different than the norm, and in the right position to do so.
Health care billing is one of those positions where a person without a college degree can actually be promoted into a supervisory position. Depending on the hospital, many can also get promoted into director positions if they show they have the skills in bringing in money and managing what we call the front end of the revenue cycle process. You don’t need to know all of that; what you need to know is that those types of jobs don’t always require a college degree.
Or do they? That actually depends on the hospital. There are many hospitals across the United States that not only require a degree, but want some kind of certification as well. There’s very groups that offer certifications in that respect, which means it’s pretty expensive to get those degrees. Therefore, not everyone has one; I don’t. However, I’ve done pretty well; I did help a hospital increase their revenue by $730 million in one year after all (yeah, I’m bragging lol).
It was the “do they or don’t they” question that prompted me to create the module. I sat down and came up with categories I felt were important in deciding what type of person an employer might need. Then I came up with different qualities under each category. In all, I ended up with 46 qualities.
I then created a spreadsheet for employers to use. The basic idea was to first answer a series of questions that lead hiring parties to determine what they were actually looking for. The next step was to go through the 46 qualities, based on the other answers, and pick 10 overall qualities they wanted in new managers.
This helped for two reasons. One, it made those who had to do the hiring actually evaluate what they needed and why. Two, it gave them the option of deciding if they needed that degree or not.
Just so you know, most of the time when people are hiring and ask for a degree, they don’t really need someone with a degree. It’s use is aimed at reducing the number of applications that come in for a position. Some might not want me telling you that, but I’m not in HR. lol
It was during the period of creating the spreadsheets when I had a minor dip in faith. This led me to talk to my friend Kelvin, who now runs a business called Intensely Positive. I hadn’t told him I was creating the product until I’ve reached this point, so he just listened as I explained the whole thing to him.
My issue wasn’t that there were other products on the market that could help employers figure out how to hire people. They weren’t exactly like mine, so I had that going for me. My issue was that I was creating spreadsheets that would become part of the package.
I said to Kelvin “These are just spreadsheets I’m creating in Excel. Anyone could sit down at a computer and do this.”
His response was quick: “They could, but they didn’t. You did.”
Truthfully, that’s all it took for me to go ahead and finish, which I did by the end of the next week. Other than my books and CD series, it was the first product I created. Not that I’ve sold a lot of them, but I have sold some. Back then I actually had to mail them out; now it’s a quick download. Luckily, it doesn’t need to be updated either; whew!
This is the beauty of creating products. Sure, there might be something similar, but nothing is actually a total copy when you think about it. Our buddy Troy Sweezy convinced me to read a book titled Steal Like An Artist, and the author pretty much said this same thing, that being very few things are actually new in today’s world. People either improve them or make them different in some way so that people believe they’re totally new.
If you’re using the excuse that “it already exists” or “why would anyone buy from me”, get rid of it now. Create your product, put it out there, market it, work it, and sell it; go ahead and do your thing. Even if it doesn’t become the next blockbuster thing that makes you a millionaire… you created a product! 😀
I’m going to own up to something up front. I’m not as confident a person as some people think I am. Often, I feel like I’m reacting more than being proactive. Sometimes, when it gets overwhelming, I don’t act at all. Does that surprise you?
It shouldn’t. Truth be told, even the most successful people have times when they’re unsure of something. Some of the smartest people in the world have had times when they’ve questioned their own beliefs and the work that they’ve done. I’m betting that every person who reads this has had the same thing happen to them, if it’s not happening right now. Who’s ready to own up to that?
FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real. Who’s heard that phrase? It’s totally true; I mean, think about it for a minute. Do we fear things because we know that they’re absolutely going to go badly or because we suppose they will?
Sometimes fear is a smart thing. Fear is what keeps us (most of us anyway) from jumping off cliffs with towels around our necks thinking we’re going to fly like Superman. Fear is what keeps us from picking up cookies in the dirt and eating them.
Sometimes fear is irrational, but it is what it is. I’m scared of bugs and a few other things that I have no real explanation for. There are people scared of leaving their homes. There are people scared of clowns… well, that one might be valid. 🙂
Sometimes fear is something we have to fight. There might be an underlying cause, to the point that you know it’s there, know how to fight it, but sometimes you just can’t put it all together and overcome it.
The last one is the one I’m addressing today, because it’s the one that holds all of us back from achieving what we really want, which is success. Who doesn’t want to be successful? Do you know how to be successful? I talked about it in this video, which some of you new folks might not have seen since it’s from 2013:
So, I do know the path to being successful. Yet, this is my biggest weakness. After 14 years of being in business for myself, you’d think I would have this one conquered. Heck, I even know how to do it, along with its counterpart. What’s the issue?
I’ve been told I’m too nice at times; yeah, I don’t believe it either. lol My issue is that I don’t want to bother people, even during the day when they’re in a business that I can offer services for that I know they need. Trust me, I know they need at least two of the services I can provide, and other people probably need some of the other services I can provide, though they’re not all that critical.
I go back and forth between that thing where, growing up, I was taught not to bother people or, as we all heard, “talk to strangers”, as opposed to “you’re the president of your company; you’re supposed to bother people.” By the way, I am the president of my company. It’s official; take a look at the picture of my corporate books to the left. 🙂
Here’s the thing. If we’re in business, or we’re trying to be in business, or we have something we want to market or sell, we have to be willing to put ourselves out there and get it done.
We also have to be willing to do other things that help us out by giving ourselves an opportunity to have something to help promote us. That’s actually the reason I wrote my second book titled Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy, because it gave me a second book on the topic of leadership that I can promote, since my last book was from 2004 and the newest product I had after that was from 2009; I have to do way more than that.
That’s the thing about fear; it inhibits us from doing what we need to do. So we don’t ask out the person we’d like to date (okay, I’m married, but you know what I mean lol). We don’t ask for more sauce for our lasagna. We don’t want to ask for our money back when we buy something that’s deficient.
We don’t ask for the sale. We don’t put the things we create out into the market. We don’t promote our services, our blogs, our businesses… we’re fearful of the reaction we might get because… we do the same thing to others who are trying to sell and market to us. Who can disagree with this?
It’s a lesson we have to learn. We have to break the fear of trying. We have to break the fear of rejection. We have to break the fear of not being good enough. Something I was listening to last night brought it all together with this statement: “I’d rather fail a hundred times than wonder what could have been.”
That’s why about six weeks ago I asked what can I teach you? I’m going to be creating more products and marketing them. I’m going to create a few product pages of some things I’m really high on and I’m going to promote them. I’m also going to reach out and talk more about services I provide; those you might not necessarily see on this blog but I’m going to do it anyway.
Because all of us can be successful, but it takes courage because that’s what overcomes fear. And unlike spiders and grasshoppers (ugh… lol)… this one I know I can defeat. Who’s with me?
You’re getting a two-fer today and yes, I’m talking about videos. I decided to go this route for two reasons, which makes sense. One, because both videos help me explain my main topic today. Two, because I did the two videos close to two years apart; hey, that’s the best I’ve got. 🙂
In the first video, I question why we don’t do the things we should be doing. Let’s lead with that, and then I’ll come back:
I hope you’ve watched that video, otherwise some of the rest of this post might not make sense. That’s because, based on that video, I’m going to give 4 recommendations for figuring out how to take action, no matter what it is.
1. Look at your main goal and figure out how to break it into small incremental, achievable actions.
Things often seem daunting when you’re looking at the ultimate goal and start thinking “wow, that’s going to take a lot of work”. Hey, goals take work; that’s life! However, very few real goals can be done in one day. They take planning and then step by step actions.
Think of building a house. In my area, it starts with clearing the land. Then a big hole is dug and fashioned into a basement (I’ve learned that not all homes in the south have basements; just go with it). Then you cement the basement. Then you build the frame of the house, which includes a roof. Next come the outer walls. Once that’s done, for most everyone else you see a house. However, a lot more work has to be done inside, but now it’s easier to get to because the workers are more protected from the elements.
All of these things are done in increments, and I left a lot of stuff out. Still, if it’s your house, you start to swell with excitement with each new addition; think of your goals that way.
2. Find the positives in everything you want to do and only concentrate on those.
If you read this blog or my other blog often enough you know that I always espouse the belief of positive thoughts over negative thoughts. Thus, if you want to learn something, instead of thinking about how hard it is you should be thinking about how good you’ll feel when you achieve it. If you need to lose weight, you should be thinking about your health and, once again, how you’ll feel rather than the work it’s going to take to lose it.
I know a lot of people who say they thrive off negative energy, such as wanting to show someone who didn’t believe in them how wrong they were. I’m not going to deny that works, but it’s not as sustaining as doing things for yourself rather than against someone else’s beliefs.
3. Think of your own interest rather than someone else’s interest.
This one is somewhat controversial but stick with me for a moment.
I know some people who say “I want to do ‘blank’ to show my kid/spouse/parent that I could do it”, or “I want to do ‘blank’ for my kid/spouse/parent”. In essence, they see themselves as doing it for someone else; that’s not true when you think about it.
Doing what needs to be done is always in one’s own best interest. When you think you’re doing it for someone else, you’re actually doing it for yourself, because “you” want something for a specific reason, even if someone else is involved. You need to keep that in mind because, strangely enough, it turns out that when you really believe you’re doing it for someone else you’re more likely to fail.
I’m not the only one saying something like this by the way. There’s a post by a lady named Gretchen Rubin titled Why I Try Not To Do Things For Others, But Instead, Do Them For Myself, where she talks about finding happiness once she learned this as a concept. Also, a book I’m presently reading called Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin talks about the concept of taking control of your own actions because they’re really the only thing one can control, and then things will come together for you even if in some way they’ll involve other people.
It might seem selfish, but remember the recommendation on every flight you take: “put on your own mask before helping someone else put theirs on”.
4. There’s always a way to do something you might not believe can be done.
Finally we get to the point where the second video comes into play. Last summer I was having major problems keeping my glucose levels under control; I’m diabetic, in case you’re new here. I knew I had to do something to get it under control because it was damaging my eyes and my feet and probably other things I didn’t know about.
I decided that walking was going to be the way I addressed this problem. Lo and behold, it worked. However, when I started I was out of town on a consulting gig down south. When that ended and I came home… it was cold! Even if we have a few days of warmth here and there in November, it’s starting to get really chilly at that point, and of course December through May… it’s cold and snowy in my area.
Sure, I could get out and walk by bundling myself up, but not only is it somewhat problematic but dangerous, especially once the snowbanks start building up. Less room to walk, cars sliding all over the place… not the best of circumstances, and you can’t go to the lake and walk either. So… see the video, which is fairly brief:
Before I made this video I had friends wondering how I was putting in the number of steps I was getting every day. As my buddy Rasheed says, if you really want to do something the universe will help you figure it out. 🙂
That’s what I’ve got for you; so, get going and do what you need to do!
In 2006 the movie The Secret, there was a lot of talk about the overall premise, which is the laws of attraction. I had actually written more specifically about it a day before on my business blog. It’s actually that post that leads me into talking about it today.
I wrote both of those posts in 2009. Over the years, I’ve worked on applying the concepts to many parts of my life. I’ve had some successes with it and some negative things because of it. Yes, I blame both on the laws of attraction, but nothing overly metaphysical, which both the book and the movie alluded to a lot.
To begin with, I do believe in the laws of attraction. I believe it in the way that I believe that good begets good and bad begets bad. In that, I mean that if you think positively about things you bring positivity to you more often than bad, and if you think negatively you bring negativity to you more often than good. Sure, every once in a while something happens that counters each of these things, but based on people’s patterns of thinking they’ll soon go back to the way things were before because, when all is said and done, if you have a pattern of thinking one way you tend to fall back into that pattern without thinking about it.
Whew, that was a mouthful! By now you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this article. If you were paying attention to my little marketing push from last week you know that I talked a lot about changing my business model and asked people to give me their thoughts on what they’d like to learn from me that they might consider paying for.
I went into it knowing that I wasn’t going to get what I was asking for as far as the numbers go. However, that wasn’t the real reason I did it.
I did it because I needed to change my mind’s focus, and in my own way I decided to use a laws of attraction principle to help me do it. This leads me into being able to talk about some specific types of rules concerning the laws of attraction, especially as they pertain to me. So, let’s get started.
1. You must establish a reason for wanting to change.
The reason this part is important is that it helps you to bring focus to what it is you want in your life. Not only that, but the laws of attraction don’t pay as much attention to whether what you’re thinking about is positive or negative, good or bad… just what you’re thinking about more than anything else.
In my case, I decided it was time to think of my business in more positive terms, because I have to admit I’ve been pretty negative about how things have been going over the last bunch of months. So, the reason I wanted to change is because I wanted to work from a positive point of view; who doesn’t want more positivity in their lives? So, I thought about how I wanted a mind shift, and last week was a big part of pushing my thoughts towards the good side of things.
Oh yeah; it’s working. 🙂
2. You want to have a working goal; it doesn’t have to be overly specific.
If you checked out any of last week’s posts on any of my blogs, you saw that I had a lot of options for what I would create as well as options on how I could deliver them. The overall working goal is that I want to create more products and set myself up for doing more live presentations, since my dream is to be a professional speaker when I grow up.
You know, I keep saying that previous sentence over and over but the reality is that I’m already a professional speaker; I’ve just been out of the game for a few years. So, this is a goal that I know is attainable.
The reason you don’t have to be overly specific is, as The Secret mentions, you never really know how things will manifest themselves, no matter how much you put into things. For instance, I could create what I consider to be the perfect package on a specific topic and not sell one because of factors I can’t control. At the same time I could create something that was more work than pleasure that could sell tons.
This means the only thing I can control is the creation of the packages and the delivery system; that leaves a lot to chance. However, we address that with the next rule.
3. Establish something that you “know” will make you happy.
Something I’ve been working on over the past couple of weeks is the language I use when I’m writing on all my blogs. Over the years, I tend to use language that’s not overly forceful or definitive; like this sentence. lol
I’ve always tried to be more realistic in my language and things I say. If I could guarantee something, then I’d say it; otherwise, I’d hedge my bet by saying things like “if you try this thing out you “might” become more proficient…” That’s encouraging isn’t it? Not even close! I’m betting you’d be more impressed if I said “if you do this you will become more proficient…” I actually owe this change in language to something Lynn Terry told me a couple of months ago when I first started marketing my latest book on leadership, Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy.
As soon as I started thinking about creating products based on things I know and working more on getting speaking engagements and doing live presentations… I started feeling happier than I had in a long time. I have a long way to go of course but feeling better means I’m moving in a positive direction… I think I’ve beaten that horse enough already. lol
4. Open your mind to allow outside factors positive access.
Last week I wrote 15 posts, which I distributed between 4 blogs. I offered 9 major topics of discussion and 6 methods of delivery for people to choose from. Yet, something that happened is that 3 people who voted asked for me to deliver a YouTube option, which I hadn’t included.
This kind of threw me off because I’d had problems sharing private videos in the past and hadn’t even tried to broach the subject again. However, since I was asked I decided it was time to do some research to find out how I could do it. I found out it’s a pretty simple thing to do (knowledge is always nice!), so I added it as an option to all the blogs for the final posts.
Learning something new and finding it could work well for me was a very positive experience. If I hadn’t kept my mind open to it then it’s possible that others who might have wanted it that way would have been left out of the loop, I might have hurt sales, and I wouldn’t have learned something that made me smile.
5. You’ve got to do the work!
One of the major criticisms of the movie The Secret is that it seemed to be telling people that all they had to do was think about things and those things would come to them. Well, if one only paid attention to the visuals that’s what they’d have gotten.
Yet, on more than one occasion someone said you couldn’t just sit around thinking about things and hope they’d come. You had to work towards what you wanted, while being open for it to manifest itself in ways you weren’t expecting.
To that end, last week I started working on outlines for two of the things I’m looking to create. I spoke to a few people locally about wanting to put on some presentations… hopefully paid. I got some ideas, but the truth is that I wanted to get a feel for how people thought about me locally; I’ve been out of the game for a long time here.
I also read a book by one of my friends about how to get more paid speaking opportunities. We briefly talked also. I met up with another friend who passed along the name of someone who helps people get speaking gig; yay! And I sold another book as well; yay again!
And, of course, I had 15 posts marketing the topics and concept throughout 4 blogs, but also wrote two other posts, worked on a couple of my websites, and realized that I needed to market my other products and speaking topics more.
You know what? I worked a lot last week, and I plan on working a lot this week… though it’ll probably start either Monday afternoon or Tuesday, as I have a lot of other stuff to catch up on. However, I’m ready to put in the work, and when I’ve finished something… I’m ready to market it.
Those are my thoughts on it all; what are yours? Are you ready to try to do something similar, or are you going to wait around to see what I can do?