Featured

“And What CRM Do You Use?”

It sounded sorta like an uncomfortable medical procedure.

I was at a networking event and someone asked me what CRM software I was using.

“Uhm, what, what am I using?”

I excused myself to use the restroom. Too much coffee, ha ha.

I pulled out my smart phone and did a quick Google search.

Oh, sales tracking.

I use an excel spread sheet to track my connections, follow up’s and sales. It’s simple. – Just like moi.

Quick question: Do you evaluate my value and worth to you and your business based on my CRM software? God I hope not! You decide whether to slide some coin across the table based on my value to you and your business. I’ve never been asked to supply a list of software that I’m using before someone decided whether they worked with me or didn’t work with me. For all they know I could be using something straight out of Fantasia!

We’re rapidly coming to a scary conclusion. We can’t wish the current pandemic away. We can’t blame it away. It’s here and right now it’s bigger and more powerful than we are. It’s going to leave a wide path of destruction in its wake. Lottsa people without jobs to go to every morning and little to no source of income and there is going to be someone a group of someones that are going to hold up a bag of magic beans and tell you they have the answer to all of your problems.

Become a coach, healer, a trainer. You have a bright smile. People are attracted to you. Sign, here, here and here. I’ll return your children when they are 18 or as soon as you finish the 100 installment payments on my course. Oh, I forgot. Did you get your CRM software? It’s a must!

Most of us won’t admit to not knowing our butt from our elbow when it comes to whats really needed to get started. I know I didn’t.

That’s in the best of times.

I’m not suggesting we hold hands and jump off of a bridge. I’m suggesting that no matter what sort of uplifting things we read and watch there are so many things beyond our control right now and we need to focus on what we can control.

Let that sink in.

There are people who will lead you to believe that it is a must for you to have everything in place before you get started. Like CRM Software! If you have no clients and you’re working on a whole bunch of things to get going in the right direction a nice piece of software that collects dust for a bit isnt a numero uno priority

Any time you feel the urge to start prying the gold filings from your teeth to pay for something from The Magical Mystery Tour, beware. (Imagine the Jaws music playing in the background.)

  • “But everybody is using it.” Ask yourself if it’s a true need or just something that looks nice. coz I mean, all of the cool kids are using it. I suggest that every new business owner or potential business owner have that tattooed on their foreheads so they see it every time they look in the mirror. A tee shirt has the same effect. Memorize it.

  • Shiny object syndrome. Hundreds of people spend thousands of dollars to get you and I to buy their product or service and guess what? As a new business owner every purchase is precious. Please put that on the tee shirt as well and memorize it! Here is a link to a great article that talks about shiny object syndrome. Twenty years in I still am susceptible to the lure of the Shiny Object Syndrome
  • The Sinatra Syndrome. You know, I did it my way!!! Thank you for your inspiring words John, but I got this. My great uncle Stanley was a mechanic. He worked on cars in his garage at home. Uncle Stanley tell us that you don’t need to incorporate, don’t need none of that fancy business insurance and don’t listen to them dad blamed coaches and consultants. Just go out and do your thing. You’re destined for success. There are some things that simply are what they are, and the IRS will not accept the explanation that you’re unique.

This is a true story. Someone contacted me after they ran into some legal issues. “Uncle Stanley” told them all they needed was a city business license and that would cover everything. Was that true? After some research, they discovered they did need a city business license to pay the business tax the city levied along with some of the things I’d suggested to them.

One final observation. Have the part of you that believes you know absolutely everything about your ideal client and the nuances of your niche surgically removed. You don’t, I don’t and they don’t. It’s why twenty years into my coaching career I still don’t know everything. If something can help you and you are not afraid of letting the world know you’re in need of help – You’ve checked one of the boxes in my ideal client check list!.

Hope this helps. See you next week.

Featured

“How Often Is Too Often?”

This wasn’t going to be my post for the week but I had a conversation with someone that got me to thinking. You know, thinking about the stuff we do all the time because someone told us we’re SUPPOSED to do it .

While we were talking I was asked this question: When I’m marketing a program or webinar how often should I contact people to remind them to show up?

Good question. Here’s my thoughts.

  • Understand the motivation. Huh? Okay. There are a lotta people who sign up for stuff with really no intention of attending or using it as a just in case I have an open time slot…….” You can personally deliver the invitation a dozen times and even include a dozen roses and a box of chocolates and they ain’t coming. Maddening isnt it?

You may find this hard to believe and I’ll tell you up front, I am guilty of doing this from time to time, I don’t wanna hurt your feelings. Crazy, huh? I’m not coming and chances are you have a hundred people hanging on every word so you aren’t really going to miss me, but, just in case you are checking you’ll see my smiling face on the registration form! If I get caught I’ll tell you I’m gonna catch the replay.

That leads me to the second reason people register for our events and it can be semi legitimate.

  • I’m gonna catch the replay. I am guilty as charged here. I registered for two webinars at roughly the same time this afternoon from two folks I like super admire and have absolute 10000% credibility with me. It’s like choosing between seeing The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. (Don’t judge me I’m old!) Sometimes, I’ll register in the hope of catching the replay.

Back to my friends original question. How often is too often?

  • A thank you for registering email is required. It lets me know I’m good to go and it gives me date, time and location and allows me to put it on my calendar. For us busy folks, like me and you,that’s a life saver. I can’t tell you how many times my Google alarm saved my bacon!
  • A reminder email or text the night before. I’m not foolish enough to believe that you’re just sitting around counting the hours and minutes until you get to be exposed to my wisdom. A gentle nudge the night before, is a reminder.
  • “We’re starting in an hour……” When folks register for any of my offerings I ask for a cell number. That’s so an hour before I start they’ll get a text message from me.
  • A thanks for attending or sorry you missed it email. This is just plain old polite! Maybe I’m not buying from you this time but I may in the future and I took the time to listen to you and stick around until the end of your webinar. You SHOULD thank me! If I didn’t make the live session there might be a link to the replay. Ya never know.

One word of caution. The other day I received an email wondering why I didn’t take advantage of the hosts offer. It suggested that I didn’t really see the value in their service and maybe coaching wasn’t for me. Did I know I was one of only a few people who didnt register for the next offering,

I wrote back and told the host I have never bee motivated by guilt and never would be. If you’d like me to reconsider your offering there are other ways of doing it.

Really quick coz I know ya gotta go and I’ve gone on a whole lot longer than I intended. You may not wanna buy right now for a host of reasons. If someone doesnt bite at your offer your email may want to contain a brief survey as to why.

Just a thought.

Have a great day and you can reach me, as always, at John@NewCareerCreations.com

Featured

A Look in the Mirror

As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

Mark 2:14

Here is good old Levi, sitting and minding his own business, a million things on his mind, when all of a sudden Jesus walks by, tells him to drop what he’s doing and follow him. No questions asked.

Who the hell is this Jesus and BTW I got stuff to do. The centurions are down the block and if you think I’m tough to deal with………….

This passage is special to me because I’m one of those people who makes quick decisions. It’s part of my DNA. I don’t weigh, reflect or study. I operate mostly on a feeling level. I’m not always right. Sometimes my decisions create more problems then they solve. But sometimes………………

Us entrepreneurs, we talk a lot about trust and integrity. I want to be sure I can trust you before I hand you a check. Buy ya know what. I hate to sound jaded, in the end it’s all just one piece of a lotta pieces of a sales conversation. My goal is to get you to buy and if you are a student of writing copy and SEO and all those mysterious things I have yet to unravel you’d know it’s all a hook.

Somehow, sales has become a dirty word. Back alley stuff. Aluminum siding and used cars. We buy from the people that resonate with us.

Lemme ask you something. Let’s say you need a new vehicle. Yours unexpectedly passed away last night. Do you wait six months to develop a relationship with a dealer or sales person or do yo quickly honor whatever deity you worship and hope for the best? Now on top of being good looking I read minds. I know what you’re thinking Well what if I’ve been buying my cars from the same person for years? Yeah, but there had to be a first time and it didn’t take forever to get to writing a check.

One of my mentors told me that when they first encounter a new connection they make a decision on how they will answer the question …..And what do you do?

If they get a less than great vibe they simply say I’m in internet marketing

If they get the inklings of a warm fuzzy they proceed in detail.

If we’d written about Jesus encounter with Levi today it today it might have read something like this:

Jesus approached Levi and asked him if he had a few minutes to talk. Levi smiled and told Jesus he was busy counting the taxes he’d just collected. Jesus told him it would only take a minute. Levi sighed and told Jesus he had five minutes so he better hurry up.

Jesus painted a picture of travel, education and salvation. He told Levi he’d see things he’d never imagined and it was a sure sight better than sitting on a stool, in the hot sun having people sneer and curse at him after he took their money. He left out the death on the cross part. Better to spoon feed him. Jesus was struggling to get his email list over a thousand and he couldn’t afford to freak anyone out.

He was going to invest whatever it took to sign him up. A few free gifts, bit of pressure, a webinar maybe with a countdown timer. An email blast every hour or so. “Levi, come follow me.” (Here’s your free gift!)

Levi asked if he could have until the close of business. Jesus tried a few “guilt lines” and told Levi he’d be back. He set an alarm on his smart phone and headed down the road.

But, Jesus said none of that. Matter of fact the Scripture tells us that Jesus spoke just one line and if you look close enough Jesus never stopped walking when he spoke. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

That’s it.

No elevator speech. No warm introductions. No 1–2-1’s for lunch or coffee. No carefully navigating towards a sales conversation. I mean, you have to have a sales conversation at some point in time. Don’t ya? ( I have nightmares about one of my coaches getting apoplectic and yelling at me for not getting to the sales conversation quickly enough.)

If you’re coming, then come on.

Jesus built relationships as he went along. He didn’t need six months and a huge list.

He didn’t need testimonials, dissertations and the like. He simply said Here I am. Follow me.

Take it or leave it.

Levi was a publican. That meant he was one of the last people to be considered anyone’s client let alone part of Jesus first century master mind group. His job was to make sure that the Roman emperors taxes were collected. Anything above and beyond the tax that he was able to collect was his. Can you say “crook?”

Don’t fall asleep with your mouth open, your gold teeth might be missing when you wake up.

Jesus didn’t hesitate. He walked right by and didn’t ask Levi to follow him. He told him.

I’m not gonna get all theological on you. You can draw your own conclusions as to why Levi followed. Tell the angels to go on break and let the harpists rest their fingers. Jesus and Levi connected in some way shape or form and Levi, for his part respected Jesus approach. You don’t get rich collecting taxes by giving people options.

Believe it or not, despite all the poo the gurus sling at us, people know what we’re up to when weave those fancy tales. They know we want a dip in their pockets so ours appear much fuller. What they really want to know is are WE going to make THEM better?

We live in a monkey see, monkey do sorta world. We’re copycats or as my mom used to say is “if everyone jumped in the lake would you jump too?” (It’s Wisconsin, the lake gets awfully cold.)

Our ideal client is a mirror of us. Take a good look at yourself. The stuff that revved your engines is going to do the same to the people that work with you. I mean why would we work with someone who doesn’t.

We work with folks who “get us.”

Jesus knew that when he walked by Levi that day. He knew their sparks would ignite and amazing things would happen.

I guess, that makes us a bit like Levi.

************************************************************************************************

Post Script (AKA P.S.)

On July 20, 2020 I will celebrate being married to the same person for forty six years. The first time we went out on a date, five minutes into the conversation I knew I would marry her. Least ways I hoped I’d marry her, lol. She DID have a choice. I proposed one month later and we were married eight months later. Along the way we’ve manages to create six great kids, accumulate more pets than I can count and share some great times. Happy Anniversary Joan.

Just call me Levi.

Featured

A Time To Reflect……

I have always tried to publish a posting each week. Sometimes life gets in the way and it’s two to three weeks.

I am weird in a way. I don’t write to get your money. You’ll never see a CTA in any of my posts.

I write because I love to write. Ever since I was 13, sitting in the back yard with loose leaf paper, I’d write for hours. I developed a callus on the inside of my middle finger from holding my pencil so tightly.

I write for me, because I enjoy it.

But…………………………..

I am sensitive to what’s what. I would like to think I can read the tea leaves.

My belief is that it would be terribly selfish of me to continue my cute and often irreverent postings while many of us are trying to figure out what is supposed to happen next during a time that presents us with all sorts of challenging experiences not only day by day but minute by minute it often sees.

I mean really? Do you want to focus on 10 Ways to Build our Business in Catastrophic Times?

I didn’t think so.

If you want to take advantage of the situation I won’t judge you.

I’m not gonna

All of you are in my thoughts and prayers and I will be back soon – I hope.

Namaste.

Featured

Learning to Trust Again During the Pandemic

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore? ”Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Fear is useless; what is needed is trust.”

Mark 5: 35-36

Elliott stopped by last night.

He walked through the front door, took off his shoes and socks, ran into the family room, stopped, grinned at us and proceeded to run around the living room like a crazed banshee.

Elliott knows what to do to get me to laugh and after about three trips around the room, he’d stop and look at me and started laughing, which caused me to laugh, which caused him to laugh harder.

Elliott is expressive. He’ll look at you side ways and erupts with a sly grin. His mom and dad tell me that Elliott fears nothing.

Elliott will look at you skeptically as if to say “All you’re doing is trying to stop me from having fun.” Then he laughs and takes off on another adventure.

Confident? Good Lord Elliott could sell his residual confidence.

He’s no saint. If he cant figure something out he’ll throw a bit of a hissy-fit. He and “time out” are on a first name basis. He looks at the rest of us like “What the hell do you know.” When his sentence is served he slides out of the chair and moves on to his next adventure.

I am envious. I wish I had one scintilla of Elliott’s ability to trust. Elliott trusts because no one has taught him yet that there are “rules” to trusting.

Elliott can trust because no one has taught him how to be afraid — Yet!

Okay, look, I know our lizard brain has a section called “run really quick!” Sorta like The Robot from Lost In Space shouting “Warning, warning, Will Robinson.” I get it.

I sit back and watch him, deep in his own world, happy and at peace. I start to feel sad because one day, very soon, Elliott will start to learn about fear. Elliott will learn that there are people you don’t trust because of how they vote, or what they believe in or don’t believe in. He’ll be taught which race to trust and which race is flawed. He’ll learn to be afraid and that makes me sad. He’ll learn that if your opinion doesn’t line up with the status quo, there must be something wrong with you.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3

There’s a lotta debate about heaven now-a-days. Some folks say it’s “way out there.” Some say it’s only a metaphor to either scare us or reassure us – Take your pick. Others say it doesn’t exist at all. I believe heaven is within me and right before me. Elliott understands that. It’s why he blazes in the door, grinning and waving his Elmo toy sputtering gibberish a mile a minute.

Elliott brings us the Good News as only a two year old can.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

Elliott tells us that there is hope and yeah Pappy and Grandma Joan things aren’t always gonna be giggles and grins but take heart. Grab your Elmo toy and trust. The beauty is that Elliott understands Jesus message more clearly than most scholars and wizened sages. He strips away the conditions and rules and regs.

I suspect as well that Elliott and Jesus get along really well.

Elliott trusts because no one has taught him not to trust.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Every so often, Elliott walks over to me, sticks his arm straight out and says “hand.” That’s when I am supposed to stick my arm out and take his hand. Sometimes we walk. Sometimes we just stand there looking at each other

Always, we trust each other

How can you not trust someone who has total and complete faith in you?

Ten years from now Elliott won’t be the same. His world will widen. He’ll learn things like how to blame when there is no rational explanation for why something happened. He will stop creating and expend his energy beating back things he doesn’t quite understand. He may even hate.

I hope not

Namaste





Featured

Under No Circumstances – LUNGE!

I’m not sure where Jim Page is today. He’s a connection on social media, so I know he’s alive.

Jim had the privilege of molding a really naive kid into something that resembled a supervisor. He’s one of many people who helped influence me.

There are some people who’d like to hug him and I’m sure there are some people who would like to hit him. That’s what made him so effective. I remember him telling me that when it was all said and done he’d want to be remembered as someone who was fair. He wasn’t concerned with being liked as much as he was in making sure that everyone knew what the ground rules were and what was in bounds and what was out of bounds.

It helped create a clear conscience.

I could probably write a book on the things he taught me but there is one that will survive the test of time.

Don’t Lunge!

Huh?

I’d rush into his office full of righteous indignation over something, somebody did that no one would ever remember fifteen minutes after it happened and I’d demand an immediate trial and execution!

Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit here but I don’t want someone calling Homeland or the FBI because they think I finally flipped. It was 1977 and I was all of 23.

Jim would sit back in his chair, sorta shake his head and say “Jurki, whatever you do, don’t lunge.” Translation for today’s lingo. “Slow your roll dude, take a deep breath, consult your inner self, be mindful and then take action.”

Please don’t picket Jim’s house for referring to me as “Jurki” as in “jerky.” First of all I’ve been called worse and while you may think that sort of remark is inappropriate, I believe it was said with a degree of affection so if it didn’t bother me, it shouldn’t bother you!

Back to our story.

Once he said that, I’d stop short.

I am glad he did. It saved my bacon on a number of occasions.

There’s a lot of lunging going on in our world today. I believe the apropo term is “over reacting.” We hear what we want to hear based on what we believe just happened and we load up and get ready to blast. We cross our arms and yell “Damn the torpedoes.”

It’s when we stop, even for a nano second to collect our thoughts, and put our personal feelings about someone or something aside, that we can look at the landscape and make a decision based on facts, not on the playbook from a Dirty Harry movie.

Be not mistaken. Jim wasn’t a pushover by any means and if, after examination, someone merited disciplinary action they received it. It wasn’t based on emotion. As Sgt. Joe Friday often said “Just the facts mam.”

Finally, I am not nominating Jim Page for sainthood. He was a human being like you and I and he made his share of mistakes, but in the end he was able to share some wisdom and guidance with people like me!

Oh yeah. Mr. President, Madame Speaker and all in your cohort — You might want to consider making this post required reading for your teams.

If you do, please give Jim Page all of the credit.

Featured

Coming Away For a Moment

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

Matthew 17:4

Peter, James and John danced across my mind this morning during my meditation. I was reflecting on taking time to rest, relax and recharge.

These are stressful times. Most tragedies and disasters choose a segment of our population to attack and leave the rest of us grateful that the co-called angel of death passed by our door step.

This time, we are all in the same boat. Something we cant, see, taste, or smell is all around us. Something we cant stop by petitions, accusations and votes threatens our existence.

Each and every one of us.

That is scary.

It permeates everything I do and every place I go.

It’s when coming away for just a few moments each day is vital for me.

Jesus invited his three closest friend, three people he trusted to experience a few minutes of perfection and peace. No angry mobs, no scholars trying to trick them with vague questions and riddles. Just a few minutes alone, with him, on a mountain where he transfigures himself.

Rubbish, you say.

Fairy tails to teach us a lesson.

Okay I’ll drop the theology and ask you what would you say if your closest friend invited you to come away for a few minutes or hours to rest relax and shut the door and tune out everything and focus on the things in your life that held meaning for you at that moment?

What if that friend asked you to sit for a moment and be grateful for everything you had in front of you\ and not worry about what comes next.

Just for a moment.

Jesus gets a bad rap, mostly from the religions that try to prove their way is the only way and twist his words to justify their beliefs. We fail to look beyond the obvious and realize in our own way, using our own method and manner that we too are invited to spend time alone and reflect on ourselves and the larger picture around us.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.

Sure is

Namaste

Featured

Living is an Activity

Living is an activity. Am I?

It’s not a thought, an idea or an affirmation. It is an activity.

Activity requires that we use the positive energy we create to make us healthier and happier.

When we are healthier we are happier.

When we are happier we reach out and explore – expectantly.

Living is an activity. Am I?

I have been given an opportunity to do great things, but the first step in mine.

Do I choose to be an active and equal participant in life or do I choose to be a spectator?

“Expect The Good. Can you get the expectant attitude of faith?  Not waiting for the next evil to befall you but awaiting with a child’s joyful trust the next good in store?”

Life is an activity

Am I?

Blessed Monday

Featured

What are you afraid of?

It’s not an accusation, or a harsh command

It’s a gentle inquiry.

What scares you?

From my meditation this morning

When you stop being afraid of your fears, they have no power over you.”

****Emotionally scratching my head*****

“Huh?”

Welcome your fears.

Hold them

Console them

Reassure them

Do not send them away

****************************************

Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain. Please, Oh please, do not continue to believe in your disbelief. This is the day of your awakening. Danna Foulds

Featured

A Jug Fills Drop by Drop

Sit up taller-right here and now.

Embrace the person whose skin you are inside – right now.

They may be tired or frustrated, dejected or maybe just really frazzled about the edges.

They may feel flabby and out of breath. Hips, knees or backs may ache.

Make friends with them. Love what is, right here, right now and make them your best friend.

Fold your busy hands on your lap, close your eyes, even if it’s just for a moment and breathe.

Forget work, family, friends and everything else that chases you and simply sit in the presence of what you call divine and drink in the love and energy.

You begin to see yourself as the you that you have come to love and adore.

“A jug fills drop by drop,” Buddha

Drip by drip

(And you thought being called a “drip” was a bad thing!)

***************************************************************************************

I am going to be writing these short posts every morning for the immediate future with the exception of most Tuesday’s when I post my coaching blog. Please feel free, to like, follow and share. It’s my gift during these tough times