Kobe Bryant Sucks At Basketball

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings
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You may have read that tittle and thought… “Ludicrous! What about his five rings? His 81 point game? His legacy with the Lakers??!” Well in addition to all that, The King of Clank, The Baron of Bricks, Kobe Bryant has missed more shots than any player in basketball historymissed more shots than any player in NBA history, and for that, we salute him.

Imagine that – one of the top NBA players of our lifetime has screwed up more than everyone else who has ever played the game. Want to know who else is on this ignominious list? Here’s the leaderboard, as it stands:

  1. Kobe Bryant, 13,418 (and counting)
  2. John Havlicek, 13,417
  3. Elvin Hayes, 13,296
  4. Karl Malone, 12,682
  5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 12,470
  6. Michael Jordan, 12,345

Recognize anyone else on there? Everyone else on there? How is it that some of our greatest champions in this sport are also the biggest screwups?

We have, highlighted here, one of the biggest insights to winning – not just at sports – but at LIFE: There is no failure, only feedback.

Don’t be afraid of “failing” – get out there and fail over and over and over again. That’s the only way to get ahead. See, most people are terrified of failing. They equate it with “being a failure”. That fear paralyzes them and keeps them stuck in their tracks, unable to make a move, unable to take a shot. And as Wayne Gretsky – arguably hockey’s greatest player – has said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Isn’t that ironic? The truth is, it is actually the FEAR of failure that keeps you from succeeding – not failure itself. Failure is, in fact, the only gateway to success anyone ever has.

How To Suck At Sales

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My good friend and business partner Brady Rhoades covered these points on a conference call this morning and I thought them well worth sharing.

Remember, unsuccessful habits will always outweigh the positive and progressive habits. These are the habits of unsuccessful sales professionals:

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1) Be lazy (get distracted by no-pay activity and forget the name of the game is prospecting and pitching.)
2) Have no goals (go to bed late Sunday after watching a bunch of football with no goals or vision for the week. You’ll walk into the week blind and unmotivated.)
3) Don’t create a schedule (this includes family, personal time, church, extracurricular, etc)
4) Don’t be coachable and think you always know what you’re doing!
5) Let your mommy tell you you’re better than rejection (you’re not…)
6) Find nothing in common with the prospect (people who like me buy and I only sell to people I like.)
7) Know little about the company and products you represent
8) Assume everyone is a prospect (not everyone is a buyer – they’re a suspect before they’re a prospect, reference Sandler Rules.)
9) Let personal life get in the way (ie friends who want to go out on Weeknights, family dinners, happy hour, social clubs, etc. If you respect your career and the future it promises, your friends and family will respect the time you commit to it!)
10) Don’t ask for the sale by letting your prospect think about it! (You must value your time and demand that others value it)
11) Don’t collect qualified referrals
12) And whatever you do, DON’T HAVE FUN!!! Sales don’t make happy salesman, happy salesman make sales.

Billionaire Book Recommendations

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Who are the mentors to billionaires, chess prodigies, rockstars, and mega-bestselling authors?  Who teaches them to do what they do? To achieve the success they achieve? Oftentimes…it’s books.

On The Tim Ferriss Show (iTunes, SoundCloud), I dissect world-class performers to find the tools and tricks you can use.  Here’s a full list of guests.  One of the questions I always ask is:

“What book have you gifted most often to others, and why?”  

Below is a list of answers from people like billionaire investor Peter Thiel, Tony Robbins, Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull, chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin, etc.. (And here are my own current answers, if you’re interested.)

You’ll see several books that appear more than once. Can you guess which they are?

The Ultimate To-Read Book List

Kevin Kelly is the founding editor of WIRED magazine, real-life Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man In The World.”

Favorite book(s):

Peter Thiel, billionaire investor (first outside investor in Facebook) and co-founder of PayPal, Palantir…

Favorite book(s):

Tony Robbins, performance coach to Bill Clinton, Serena Williams, Paul Tudor Jones, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oprah Winfrey, and more.

Favorite book(s):

Peter Diamandis has been named one of the world’s 50 greatest leaders by Fortune Magazine.  In the field of Innovation, Diamandis is Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, best known for its $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight. Today, the X PRIZE leads the world in designing and operating large-scale global competitions to solve market failures.

Favorite book(s):

Joshua Waitzkin – Considered a chess prodigy and the basis for Searching for Bobby Fischer, Josh has perfected learning strategies that can be applied to anything, including chess, Brazilian jiu-jutsu (he is a black belt under phenom Marcelo Garcia), business, and Tai Chi Push Hands (he is a world champion).

Favorite book(s):

Ed Catmull is a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios (along with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) and president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation.

Favorite book(s):

Neil Strauss has written 7 New York Times bestsellers, including The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.

Favorite book(s):

Tracy DiNunzio is the self-taught founder and CEO of Tradesy.com, which has attracted legendary investors like Sir Richard Branson and John Doerr.

Favorite book(s):

Mike Shinoda is best known as the rapper, principal songwriter, keyboardist, rhythm guitarist and one of the two vocalists of the band Linkin Park, which has sold 60+ million albums worldwide.

Favorite book(s):

James Altucher is an American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, and bestselling author.

Favorite book(s):

Joe De Sena is the co-founder of The Death Race, Spartan Race (1M+ competitors), and more.

Favorite book(s):

Brian Koppelman is a screenwriter, novelist, director, and producer. He is best known as the co-writer of Ocean’s Thirteen and Rounders, as well as a producer of The Illusionist and The Lucky Ones.

Favorite book(s):

Chase Jarvis is a master photographer and the CEO of CreativeLIVE.com.

Favorite book(s):

Jason Silva , called the “Timothy Leary of the viral video age” by The Atlantic, host of Brain Games on National Geographic Channel.

Favorite book(s):

Ryan Holiday is an American author and the media strategist behind authors Tucker Max and Robert Greene. Former Director of Marketing for American Apparel.

Favorite book(s):

Ramit Sethi is an American personal finance advisor and entrepreneur. Sethi is the author of the 2009 book on personal finance, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, a New York Times Bestseller, and a co-founder of PBworks, a commercial wiki website.

Favorite book(s):

What is Love?

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Love…

It is an easy thing, complicated only by us…

It is laughter or a simple touch; it’s a smile, it’s friendship, it’s there through the rough.

It’s me dancing by myself to the melody in my head (cause I totally do!), or you singing in the shower right before bed.

It is invisible and visible. it need not be defined. it is an energy that exists, regardless of space, and regardless of time…

^ Props: The above was a post by my good friend Ronda Suder today and I couldn’t help but share it. Hope it warms your heart like it did mine :-)

The Art of Being Wrong

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I love being wrong. There is nothing better than being wrong. In fact, it is often far preferable to be wrong than right. This may sound like a strange thing (especially for me!) to say, but hang in there with me and you might make this your mantra too.

Because you learn more when you’re wrong. And the more wrong you’re willing to be, the more right you’ll eventually become. But, unfortunately, many people struggle with admitting when they’re wrong. Others quite simply will never do it. In other cases, sometimes even with very successful people, situations change or new information becomes available yet they will almost stubbornly ignore it or reject it.

One other common reason people have issues admitting they’re wrong is because they take criticism and feedback too personally. If a person tells them, “you did that badly,” what the recipient hears instead is, “I am bad.” And that leads to an emotional spiral. And so rather than listen, many people react. Instead of learning, many people defend. This is so prevalent that it’s one of the key principles in Robert Cialdini’s classic book Influence. It’s called “Commitment and Consistency”. Once people make up their minds, they tend not to change them – even in the face of facts to the contrary. This leads to a Fixed Mindset, as opposed to a Growth Mindset.

One of the qualities of a person of substance is admitting you’re wrong when you’re wrong. That is what secure people do. One might think this idea does not apply to people who’ve achieved a level of mastery. That is not true: the better you are at something, the more paying attention to good feedback will allow you to make an adjustment that will have a powerful effect on what you’re doing. I make a similar case in sales training – that in order to learn rapidly, you have to increase your failure rate. Get beaten up, bruised and bloodied as fast as you can.

In life there is no failure, only feedback – this is one of the most powerful truths I have ever learned.

In order to admit when you’re wrong, you need to know when you’re wrong. And this requires a secondary skill you must cultivate. It’s called good judgment. Because sometimes you ARE right and everyone around you really is wrong. As Arthur Schopenhauer put it, “Talent is like a marksman who hits a target which others cannot reach; genius is like a marksman who hits a target which others cannot see.”

Bottom line: Those who are never wrong are rarely right.

^ Props: I adapted some of the above from an email I got from Neil Strauss. He’s one of my favorite authors and you should definitely follow him if you don’t already.

10 Things People Who Love Their Lives Are Doing Differently

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Paul Hudson has a fantastic article in Elite Daily. Enjoy!

Surprise, surprise… happy people live their lives differently. They don’t have different lives. They just do a better job at living them than those who are unhappy.

Happiness is the result of subjective interpretation of perception. Of course, what we perceive isn’t always done so by choice — life does throw things our way.

However, most of the time, we find ourselves in the situations we are in because of actions we took and decisions we made. It’s the way that you live your life that largely decides whether or not you will live happily.

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1. They don’t bother trying to make others like them — mainly because they don’t care if they’re liked.

They like themselves and they are the only people they ever answer to. You could like them. You could hate them. You could pay them no mind whatsoever — doesn’t make a difference to them.

They do what they do because they decided to do it. They aren’t trying to gain your approval or acceptance. They don’t want to be part of your team — they’re a team of their own. They live their lives the way they see fit and if you like them for it, great. If not… then so be it.

2. They do things because they want to do them, not because they believe they have to do them.

They don’t believe they have to do anything. Other than pay taxes and die of course — everything else is a decision followed by deliberate action. If they are doing something, going somewhere, participating in something, it’s because that is exactly what it is that they want to be doing.

No one coerced them or tricked them into doing it because they value their opinion above everyone else’s. They do what they believe is right and don’t bother to ask for permission — they just do it.

3. They love their friends but don’t rely on them.

Friends are tricky because they aren’t really yours, are they? You don’t own them. They are their own people who have their own wants and needs — people who will always put themselves ahead of you and your goals. Friends are great to have, but relying on them too heavily will leave you disappointed.

Those who live happy lives have very close friends, but they keep their independence in order to avoid those moments. It’s the lack of independence and over-reliance that often comes to ruin friendships — all relationships for that matter.

4. When you ask them what they do, they don’t give you a job title.

They tell you about the things they are doing with their lives — the places they have visited and are planning on visiting. The projects they are starting or part of. The problems they are working towards solving and the communities they are working with to get those problems solved.

When you ask them what they do, they respond with what they do in their lives, not what work they do in order to pay for the lives they want to one day be living. The real trick is that these individuals know better than to wait to live the lives they want to live. You live life whether you accept or ignore the fact, how you live it in the moment determines how happy you are.

5. When you ask them where they live, they say, “At the moment…”

Happy people tend to move around a bit. Maybe it’s because traveling does the soul good. Maybe it’s because the stagnancy of staying in one place their whole lives bores them.

Maybe it’s because they love meeting new people and having new experiences. Maybe it’s because they haven’t found the right place to settle down just yet. You see, these individuals see the world as their home — no single country or city. If you ask them where they live, then they’d answer “earth” if they wouldn’t come off sounding highfalutin.

6. They have their own philosophies, their own religion they created and live by.

You don’t need a book to tell you how you ought to live your life. You can live your life by whatever philosophy you wish — as long as you found truths that satisfy you. They have a strong grasp of right and wrong and are their own judges.

7. They embrace their impermanence.

They know they’re only mortal — having this knowledge and accepting it fuels their every step. You will too. Why? Because it is inevitable. There is no way of avoiding it, only dealing with the fact.

The happiest of people don’t fear death. They don’t do their best to avoid it. They see it as the inevitability that it is in and live their lives by their terms. They may not be able to control death, but they know they sure as hell can control their own personal lives.

8. They see the world as their playhouse and their mind as the conductor.

They don’t believe there is a single way that the world is — a single reality that exists. Instead, they believe themselves to be the originators of their reality.

They believe they have full control over how they interpret what they perceive. They see the world the way they choose to see it because they understand the power such a skill has. We all live in a reality of our own construction. Some of us just construct our realities better than others.

9. They live in the moment, but dream in the future.

Happy people have hopes, dreams and goals. They have wants and aspirations, but they don’t allow themselves to get caught up and lost in them. There isn’t so much a time and place for dreaming as there is a maximum allotted amount recommended.

You can’t live life doing nothing more than looking towards the future because you’ll miss the only time that things actually matter or exist: the present. The present, the immediate moment is the only moment that you can actually live in. The rest is only an illusion.

10. They don’t bother changing others, but instead learn how to deal with them appropriately.

Devoting your energy to changing other people is a waste of it. People do change, but they only do so on their own accord. They have to decide to change themselves and that only happens in time — you can’t push and force because it doesn’t work.

On the contrary, it often does the opposite of what is intended. Instead of wasting time and energy trying to do the impossible, why not do the next best thing? Learn to deal with people as they are in order to get the result you desire. If you can’t change them, then guide them to do as you wish. Otherwise, let them go.

Getting Referrals with LinkedIn

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My friend Dustin Hillis is a Senior Partner with Southwestern Consulting™. You can find his blog online at DustinHillis.com. He posted this article and I thought it was just dynamite and worth sharing with my readers.

Nothing has had a bigger impact on my business than improving my flow of referrals. I’m always blown away when sales people are not being more creative about developing their referral pipelines. His post will have some great ideas and verbiage for you if you struggle with this. Be sure to subscribe to Dustin’s newsletter for more great sales tips if you’re in the business.

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Where do you rank in your level of expertise at asking for, expecting and getting referrals?

Are you an expert? Are you honestly getting five referrals every time you meet with somebody?

Are you a novice? Do you rarely get referrals? Is your idea of getting referrals that you do a good job and impress people and ask them to pass your name? (Or perhaps you’re a really bold novice and you give them a couple extra business cards and ask them to hand them out!)

If you practice those strategies, you need to realize that you’re doing what amateurs do. We want to be pros! We want to be the best! If you want to be the best, you have to ask for, expect and get referrals on the spot.

When you’re meeting with people–especially your biggest fans, your customers, the people who like you and know you’re doing a good job–there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get referrals.

Ask yourself these two questions:

Do I believe in my product/service that I’m providing? Do I believe it is as good, if not better, than anybody else offering it in the market?

Do I feel that I personally am as good, if not better, than anybody in my market at delivering this product/service?

Hopefully, you’ve said yes to those two questions. If you did, you should be dogmatic about getting referrals. The question isn’t whether or not their friends need your product/service, it’s who are they going to use. It’s probably someone not as good as you; so, therefore, it’s a disservice to not ask for the referrals.

Have I convinced you and now you’re wondering how to ask for referrals? We have a 7-step process you can follow to ask for referrals. I’ve already blogged this process, so if you missed it, you can read that post here.

Another option, though, is what I want to share today. There is a more powerful and easier shortcut that you can have and use to help you get referrals. It’s called the LinkedIn Referrals Technique.

This is pretty advanced stuff… it might just blow your mind!

If you follow our 7 Steps to Asking for Referrals process, you know that at the end of your meeting you’ll say something like this:

“You know, Monica, it has been so awesome meeting with you today. Gosh, I wish I could have 10 people like you to meet with everyday. You’re just amazing!”

With the LinkedIn Technique, you’d alter that just a little by following that statement with asking them, “I’m wondering…are you on LinkedIn, by chance?”

Hopefully, he or she will say that they are indeed connected on the popular professional social networking website. If so, you can continue with, “Great! Do you mind if I peruse your connections and find a couple of folks that might be good for me to connect with and call or email you to let you know which ones they are?”

Hopefully, they will agree. That is the easiest and most basic way for you to use the LinkedIn Referral Technique.

What you’d do next is find their LinkedIn profile and click to view their connections. You do this by clicking on the number that specifies the number of connections they have.

You can then scroll through those contacts, search by keyword, company name, or job title and make a list of those connections that you’d like referrals to. Then call or email your customer back and provide them with the list you created so they can connect you with them.

That would be the most rudimentary, 101 level of LinkedIn.

There is more, though. Here’s the next level:

In Southwestern Consulting™ Co-Founder Rory Vaden’s product called Next Generation Marketing, he talks about the Hunt and Peck Technique. This technique is very efficient and it front-end loads the LinkedIn Technique we just discussed.

Instead of locating a list of their LinkedIn connections you’d like to be referred to after your meeting, you would do that step before you meet with your customer. You don’t wait to get permission; you just go and do it.

You would locate 10 people who they are connected to on LinkedIn that you know you’d like to meet or be referred to and you write those names down on a pad of paper.

After finishing your meeting with your customer, you’d end with saying, “You know, Monica, it has been so awesome meeting with you today. Gosh, I wish I could have 10 people like you to meet with everyday. You’re just amazing! As a matter of fact, I was on LinkedIn the other day looking at your connections and I noticed you’re connected with some of the people that I’m already going to be speaking with, (that is key verbiage! You would then pull out your list…) So, out of these people, can you tell me what they might be looking for and a little bit about them?”

They will then most likely give you some information including who you should call and should not call as well as something we like to call pre-approach.

What you’re looking for in pre-approach is four questions:

What is the decision maker’s name? Is it their connection or someone else at the organization? Who do you need to talk to?

What is their cell phone number?

If you were me, when would you call them?

Tell me a little bit about him/her. What kind of person is he/she? Is he more extroverted? Is he straight-to-the-point? This is your buying behavior style question that will indicate to you their NAVIGATE style.

The next option is to go into LinkedIn and click on the button located next to the search bar that says “advanced”.

It’s amazing how you can comb through all of your connections as well as others. You can search for and locate all of the people who have listed their title as “President”, “CEO”, “HR Director” and so on. Then sort it by a radius around your zip code. We call this search the Simple Sweep because it allows you to sweep through their contacts and narrow it down to just those few you’d like to be connected with. This will save you a lot of time, especially if they have thousands of LinkedIn connections.

Do you use LinkedIn to generate referrals from your customers? This is an example of what our Southwestern Consulting™ Certified Coaches would teach you in your Top Producer’s Edge coaching program.