Seminars – Workshops – Training Events – Gatherings – Summits…they go by different names but they all feel relatively the same. My experience is that they do a great job of pumping us up, blowing tons of sunshine, convincing us that we CAN do ‘it’, and bringing us right to the edge of the cliff. We join in the group chant, “I am a success” and we take one giant leap of faith – but just before we step off – the gurus walk away. They have our money, they have our faith, they taught us ‘stuff’ and their job is done. Now we get to fly solo. We are successfully empowered but not adequately equipped.
As a business leader within my company I try real hard to make sure my team not only has the TOOLS to do their jobs, but they have been properly TRAINED and they know how to USE them. You don’t give people tools, show them how YOU succeeded with them, and then walk away. They will only hurt themselves. To be an effective leader, a motivating coach, a trusted mentor – you MUST be willing to jump back down into the trenches with those who follow you. You need to not only empower your students but it is your job, your role, your calling…to make sure they are equipped to do the work. If they are failing, the role of a good coach will be to help them determine WHY they are failing and to instruct them as to the uses of the tools they have been given. A coach doesn’t walk out at half-time and leave the results up to the players.
EQUIP can be defined as “to supply with necessities such as tools or provisions”. The definition of EMPOWER is “to invest with power; to supply with an ability; to delegate power and to authorize; to enable or permit”. A mentor’s role is to equip and empower BUT here’s the catch:
You can’t teach talent
You can’t teach insight
You can’t teach common sense
You can’t teach devotion and dedication
If you have experienced a high from a motivational seminar (and likely lost a lot of money buying in to their processes) you are not alone. Here are the top 4 things you should ALWAYS keep in mind when attending a seminar – or a workshop – or a summit – or whatever they try to name their marketing event.
They are selling something. They aren’t doing this for the fun of it, although they believe in what they are selling, the bottom line is that they are selling something. Do not be sold!
Take the good and take the bad. Use your brain and listen carefully, look around you, be a sponge – soak it all in – ignore what you feel is garbage, and take away what you feel will help YOU in your success.
Add people to your sphere of influence
Put your wallet in a secure location
I’ll leave you with this advice from my father. He told me to never sign and pay until you’ve read the contract. If anyone pushes you to pay and sign before you have had time to consider all your options and the ramifications of your choices – they are simply trying to sell you something. Money spent should be an investment so lock up your wallet, don’t whip out a credit card. If the offer sounds too good to be true – it probably is.
Today is Monday – we make all kinds of jokes about Monday being the worse day of the week, the day after the ‘vacation’ of the weekend. But today is the first day of the rest of your life. What are you going to do TODAY to move towards success in your business?
Chances are pretty great that you reached out to someone in the not-so-distant past that you need to follow up with. A potential business contact, a friend, a family member, an industry influencer, a lead, a potential source of income – you reached out to someone and today is the perfect day to reach out to them again because maybe, just maybe, they are waiting to hear from you.
There are a few key reasons people are not calling you back. They include:
They know you’re selling something. I say this all the time to the clients I coach – avoid coming across like a used salesman. Stop with all the hype-ads, the scripts, the cutesy little quotes and bumper stickers. Get to the heart of those listening by being real – being relevant – being genuine – and being transparent. Talk TO them not AT them. Shoot straight and honest and there is a good chance they will want to learn more. Come across as a used car salesman and your phone is going to be oddly quiet.
You offer nothing of value to them. If you are selling virtual assistance organizations to me, chances are great that I’m not going to be returning your call because, well, ORCVirtual IS virtual assistance. You need to be offering me something of value – something of worth – something to tempt me!
You lack relevance. Virtual assistance IS relevant to me and I want to know about the latest and greatest technologies. But if you haven’t cued in on MY needs to make it relevant for ME, then I’m not calling you back.
Scheduling nightmares. If you feel that what you have to offer has value to them, then keep in mind the simple fact that life happens. I recently had a minor heart procedure and I was out of commission for about a week. Fortunately, I have an AMAZING team that kept things moving forward and none of our clients felt the slightest impact of my being away for a week. I received somewhat of a rude voicemail from a sales lady who had called earlier and was put off that I never returned her call. Well, I did not call her but I did email and gently yet firmly put her in her place. The point is this: if you are reaching out to the decision-maker whether a company or a household – remember that you have no idea what is happening in their personal life that may be preventing them from calling you back. Patience and understanding that you do not have all the facts can pay off.
According to the National Sales Executive Association
48% of sales people never follow-up with a prospect
25% of sales people make a second contact and then stop
80% of sales are made on the fifth to 12th contact!!!!!!
Gino Barbaro* has a compelling list of reasons real estate investors fail. When I discovered there was an actual list, I was ready to spend time reading through them and tearing them apart. How pleasantly surprised I was to find that it was a simple list. It’s a list that hits home for many real estate investors.
According to Barbaro, the reasons include
Not enough reasons to invest in real estate
Lack of Education
Quitting too soon
Not enough capital
Careless due diligence
These reasons don’t have to apply just to real estate investors. Change #1 to “not enough reasons to be in this business” and the rest are universal.
I am not a real estate investor. I have the honor of providing executive administrative virtual assistance to many real estate investors around the country. These 7 points rang so loudly to me and I know it will hit home for many investors.
I have often said if you don’t have time to plan your work and then work that plan then you need to reconsider your career choice. Don’t make your dreams mere hobbies – spending time only when you feel like it or just a few hours every now and then.
Lori Greiner has said, “entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week”. She’s right on point!
You have a choice. Get out or get in. You are either fully in and committed to your success or you’re out.
“He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.”
…Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame
A quicker way of saying this is to “plan your work and work your plan”.
I am constantly amazed at how much time people spend on planning and how little time they spend on working. Quick to complain, quick to beat themselves (and their staff) up for not enough productivity but they are refusing to actually do THEIR bit to get it done.
Case in point: years ago I worked as an office manager for a man who could never make up his mind about product pricing. We continually took questions from customers around the world asking about pricing. For just one product, it took him almost 8 months to get a price. We did everything within our power (and many of us crossed boundaries to try to get it done) to hold off the client inquiries but in the end he didn’t sell one single product because he couldn’t manage to get pricing figured out. He refused to meet his team half-way and do his job. He loved to tell us all his PLANS to work, but never actually worked.
We lost a lot of team members and eventually I also left the organization. We worked very hard and because the one we worked for didn’t at LEAST meet us halfway – our work was in vain.
I heard one of my team members in that company utter her final words before she walked out and even today I smile when I think about it. The boss came through telling people they need to do this and that and ended her decree with, “just do your jobs, folks” and this team member said, “right back at ya”…she was fired, of course, but inside I was giving her a thunderous ovation!
Meet your team halfway – do your job – and you’ll be amazed at the results!