After you've taken the time to find your purpose, you're going to be excited. Remember, this is one of the things that you feel most passionate about in life! How could you not be excited?
So how is that purpose going to play out in your life? What's your life going to look like, 5, 10 or 20 years from now? Where will your purpose take you? What is your perfect picture of your future?
For instance, my purpose is to help people grow and realize their talents. How do I expect to accomplish that? What is my vision of how that plays out?
My vision and my company's vision is to raise the self-esteem of the human race.
It's a big vision, I'll admit. But like they say, the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. When I tell people my vision, they often say, "Wow. How can you raise the self-esteem of the human race?" And I say, "One person at a time." Sometimes it's ten. Sometimes it's a thousand. Sometimes it's by people reading this book. Sometimes it's by people listening to my CD's. But I'm constantly working to raise the self-esteem of the human race. It's my life-long vision.
Your vision is your opportunity to fulfill your purpose. It moves you toward the future perfect picture of how you want to be seen when everything is functioning at the best possible scenario.
Once you've identified your purpose, think about how you're going to fulfill it.
Suppose your father was an immigrant who worked in the States, but was handicapped because he never learned how to read English. Now, you feel passionately about teaching people how to read. You feel a special connection to adults who, like your father, are a little uncomfortable and embarrassed about not being able to read. You'd like to reassure them and help empower them to change their lives. That's your vision.
Maybe you're an attorney who feels passionate about the justice system. You believe strongly that it plays a vital role in society and you want to do everything in your power to make sure it is held to the highest standards. Your vision is to work to achieve fair verdicts and make sure the system works.
No matter what your career, you might find that your true purpose in life is to give your children the love and opportunities you never had as a child. You have a vision of a warm, loving family that extends through the generations and makes a valuable contribution to the world by its very existence. Creating more good people is what you feel passionate about. And your vision is to invest your heart and soul in achieving that with the people you love.
When you have a vision, it gives your life a kind of purpose and meaning that drives you forward. It gets you out of bed in the morning. Sometimes I'm so excited about the opportunities for fulfilling my vision that I can't wait to get going every day. Without a vision, you can't generate the same energy for life.
There is literally no limit to what your purpose and vision might be. Take a moment now and being to think about some of the things that are most important to you. Remember, you don't have to come up with the final answer in one sitting. Let your mind mull it over. Keep it on the back burner for awhile. Sleep on it. Let your intuition be your guide. Once you come up with it, you won't have any doubt. Nothing else will excite your interest in the same way.
How big is your vision?
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Twitter, FaceBook, blogs, grapevine. Of these four choices, which do you think has the potential to provide tremendous growth in leads? If you said Twitter, FaceBook and blogs, you’re right. And, for the record, I don’t care how many “friends” I accumulate on FaceBook, or how many Tweets follow me, they’ll never compare with the familiar and soulful sounds of The Miracles singing “I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (Motown Records, 1966). There was truth and simplicity in lyrics back then. But, I digress and I sound like my parents! Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what Twitter or FaceBook meant. However, I’ve been reading and listening and learning: The next big wave in business success is social networking via the Internet.
I had a million questions about this new computer stuff. Even the words sound funny: Twitter and Tweets. What does Twitter mean? How do you get started? If I have a FaceBook profile, will I get a truckload of spam in my in-box? Does anyone in the business world really read those things? Isn’t this computer stuff really just for the young people? I know many of you reading this are asking yourself the same questions.
I am a Baby Boomer and, not to date myself, but I remember watching TV on a small black and white television set (with no remote control!). When I revealed this to my 30-year old nephew, he rolled his eyes and chuckled at such a notion. He then asked me if I still had a land-line into my house. Yes, I do. He asked why and I gave him the standard “in case of emergency” refrain. He was now laughing at me. “Uncle Jim,” he said, “Don’t you realize they have GPS on your cell phones now and can even get satellite images of your house within seconds?” You see, he grew up with computers in every classroom. This group of 30-somethings has never known the reliance upon newsprint advertising or the delay of waiting weeks or even seasons for marketing plans to be realized. They know no real privacy (remember hand-written letters and phone booths?) or ownership of ideas. Their world is instant and in full view. In other words, they have instant access to each other and to singing lessons, pot roast recipes, editors, job opportunities, cancer research, film archives, dating advice, antique appraisals, dog sitting services – even where to find a new car. They are finding new ways in the art of communication and business through current technology and their networking.
Many of your employees are in that same group. The preferred way to communicate now is by texting. They find it more efficient to text someone down the hall rather than get up and go talk directly to them or even talk with them on the phone. But don’t for a minute think that they don’t have immediate access.
It seems the world is changing faster and faster. Maybe all progress is viewed that way from behind the curve. Learning how to adapt to technology is essential to prospering and growing your business. Here is the reality: You’ve got to jump into this technology with both feet and jump now. I promise you, your competitors are thinking the same thing, and we all know that whoever is first to the market wins the biggest.
I am always looking for new ways to learn and improve my own business. I just finished reading a book entitled “World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories” by David Meerman Scott (Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated, March 2009) http://davidmeermanscott.com/resources.htm This book helped me understand about this new technology and something called inbound marketing or, how to get people to call me. Let me say that again: Business prospects will call me instead of the other way around!
This is a huge idea and a major shift in the business of sales. Like many of you, I came up in the sales culture where one had to make numerous calls every day to be successful. This new book (and this new idea) is telling me the opposite is now true. As I read this book, I thought of car dealers and the challenge of letting go of some of the old ways. I’m not saying all the old ways of getting people in the showroom are useless; but, imagine a day where the customers eagerly seek you out instead of the other way around. Very few people even read a newspaper anymore let alone the ads and fliers that get thrown away immediately from the mailbox. Instant access, instant communication, and inbound marketing. It’s the difference between a friendly stream and a powerful tidal wave. It’s the World Wide Rave.
Do you as a leader create rave about your business? Maybe you can’t even imagine anyone raving about your business. How do you tell people about your offerings? How do you get people excited about buying, and then wanting to buy from you first? Odds are you use the old fashion way: TV, newspaper or some kind of direct mail.
A World Wide Rave is when people around the world are talking about you, your company, and your products. It’s when someone eagerly links to your Web site. It’s when viral marketing and social networking drives buyers to your Web site. It’s when customers visit your Web site and your blog because they genuinely want to be there.
A word of advice: there are some rules, etiquette, if you will in this new world. For me to explain each one of these rules would take more space than the editor will give me. You can buy a copy of David’s book or download a free eBook at http://davidmeermanscott.com/products_ebooks.htm Next you need to sign up for Twitter (a simple process) and start following others. (Note: “following” is a phrase used in Twitter loosely meaning that you, and others, are communicating by “following” a line of information.) You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jacksonlive Get on FaceBook and you will understand more as you read World Wide Rave. You can join me on FaceBook http://www.facebook.com/ just search for friend Jim Jackson. LinkedIn is http://linkedin.com/in/jimjacksonlive
You need to learn about utilizing the new technology trends to grow your business. Inbound marketing and the World Wide Rave are big and they’re happening right now. I have a client in Houston who estimates that maybe 140,000 cars drive by his business every day. Billboards, TV ads and the newsprint aren’t making them stop. He could build a community social site on the Internet sponsored by his business – a site where locals post what is happing in his neighborhood. Second, once registered on Twitter and FaceBook, he’ll invite every customer and all his friends and neighbors to follow him. In my community site, we have a local taco shop owner who Twitters meal deals once a week. Last night was “dollar taco night” – guess where I had dinner and the restaurant was packed.
The key is to use technology to get people familiar with you and your brand. A great example of who is using this technology is Auto Dealer Monthly. Their site, autodealerpeople.com, anyone can participate in a discussion on what is relevant that day in the automotive world. You could easily start there or create a similar site for your business.
Your challenge right now is to decide whether you’ll step into the next big thing or hang back and do what you’ve always done. I promise you, if you do what you have always done, you may get left behind.
Here is how I started my own “Grapevine.” After much research and some frustration, I aligned my company Web site http://jimjacksonlive.com/ with http://hubspot.com/ I made this decision for two reasons. First, HubSpot is an Internet marketing site with a very successful track record. Second, was Jennifer Snyder (%28http://firstname.lastname@example.org.). Jennifer Snyder may be HubSpot’s most valuable commodity. Jennifer was willing and eager to answer every question I had for her. And, on the rare occasion when she didn’t know an answer, she quickly had her boss on the line to answer my questions. It was the perception of value they gave me as a prospective client. It has all worked better than I expected, and I anticipate the relationship to continue for years. By the way, what we’re doing right now, you and me, is a known as viral marketing or the Internet “Grapevine.” We’re talking about HubSpot and we’re networking, communicating quickly and efficiently.
If you want to understand more about inbound marketing click on this link and read for yourself http://www.inboundmarketing.com/ I stress it is not just blogging, Twitter or FaceBook, it is about creating a World Wide Rave about you, your company or your cause – your own “Grapevine.”
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How many times have you commented about someone else's bad attitude? Or, how many times have you been told that your attitude will not play in this business? You may have even said you could do more if someone else's attitude was more positive.
An attitude takes the blame for our shortcomings. Just blame it on their attitude as a reason why you are not achieving the results you desire. Using the attitude as permission to be mediocre and not achieve the desired results has all too often become the in-vogue statement of not meeting the objectives.
What are attitudes?
The dictionary states very simply a "personal view of something, an opinion or general feeling about something." It does not state that it is good or bad, just an opinion about something. So, when and how does it become positive or negative? Going to the dictionary again, there is another definition: "Orientation of aircraft's axes." In aviation terms, it is the angle of an aircraft in relation to the direction of the airflow or to the horizontal plane. Very simply put, it is the direction in which you (or the plane) are leaning.
When is an attitude positive or negative? Only when a goal or outcome is affected by the attitude. For example, I could have an attitude about public speaking - as it is the number one fear for people. My attitude may be of total fear and anxiety about speaking in front of people. This attitude of speaking in front people is not positive or negative until I have the challenge to speak in front of people, then it becomes a negative attitude. By contrast, if I have a job counting polar bears at the North Pole, then my attitude of speaking in front of people is not even relevant. Now let's say my attitude is that I love to speak in front of people; then working in the North Pole would not be a good outlet for my love-for-speaking attitude. It may be fair to say that I can't keep quiet and, as a result, I scare the polar bears off or they come looking for me as dinner! It is just the way that we lean that determines if our attitude is positive or negative. If we lean toward a goal it is said that we have a positive attitude. If we lean away from a goal it is referred to as a negative attitude.
In sales our attitude or our opinion is critical to the desired outcome. I can have an attitude of dislike about cold-calling for new customers. This is only relevant if my job is to make calls daily for new prospects as a source of revenue. Then this attitude of disliking cold-calls leans me away from being successful at making phone calls. This is where sales people find creative avoidance to making calls. They will find anything else to do (like organizing emails) to avoid making calls. When you find successful sales people who do not depend on "leads," their attitude is of great satisfaction and enjoyment when making calls. You could say they have a positive attitude about calling. In fact, the people who are really good at calling and finding deals on the phone don't call it "cold-calling," they call it "dialing for dollars." In other words, their attitude is leaning them toward success and, as a result, they have a positive attitude. They see calling as a key to success.
I was working with a certain client in South Dakota. His sales staff was not very effective using the phone. He asked me to talk with the sales team to see if we could change their attitude as it pertained to making outgoing calls. After some intense questions on my part, their responses (excuses) reflected that most of the team had a strong resistance to making outgoing calls. Maybe you have heard some of their excuses: "It's hard getting rejected all day long" or "When I call, people get mad and demand that I not call them any more." Or my personal favorite: "These leads didn't buy when they were here the first time, why would they buy when I called?" The list of reasons went on and on as to why they believed working the phones was a bad idea.
As a test, I asked them to think about what they were doing from a different point of view. I told them that I would give each team member one million dollars cash with no stings attached and I would even pay the taxes if they could get ten great leads or opportunities from the phone in 48 hours. One more thing, they could not share the money or tell anyone that they would get one million dollars if they achieved the goal of ten solid leads in 48 hours. A silence that fell on the room as each one of them had to think of what they would do via of the phone to get 10 solid leads. Within in a few minutes each one on them said they could make it happen and if they didn't, they sure as heck would die trying. They said they would do whatever it took to get those customers excited about coming to their business and buying a widget. One man even said he would have to hear "no" a hundred times before he moved on and even then he would try one more time to close them. A "no" was not even an option. Now, what changed? All that changed was the opinion of the value as to making outgoing phone calls. Their attitude changed instantly, nothing else changed.
The whole point of the million-dollar offer was to get them to realize that a positive or negative attitude is a choice. We can choose to change our attitude if the goal or outcome far outweighs the consequence of not changing. As a leader, you do not need to use money to motivate people; but, you do need to know what each person's goal is for working for you. Then, you ask: Does this person's attitude or opinion move them closer to their goal or further away? Help people see the benefit to having a different perception about achieving their goals. Do not tell people they have a bad attitude. If you do, they will prove you right. Take a few minutes and show them the way around the obstacles. Model the way by making some calls yourself. The most important belief you need is to be successful. It is normal for people to have a positive attitude and you will find yourself becoming a great coach. Great coaches believe they can win because they have the best team. Even if they don't have the best team, their attitude is "I have the best team in the country" and, as a result, they coach their people to win, even on the phone.
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Almost all news you hear or see today is about the downward economy. People are losing jobs, the price of gasoline is skyrocketing; and then there's the dreaded "R" word, Recession. As a leader, you are supposed to be upbeat and optimistic about the current economy. No matter where you go someone will ask you how the car business is because it can be one of the barometers for the economy. You try to explain that you have no crystal ball and you have no idea how the market is relative to your community, and you do this all with a happy face. After all, they may be a potential buyer. You then casually ask how their business is and they may say, reluctantly, they wanted to buy a car today but the economy feels sluggish and, they're just not sure about anything. Perhaps they will just save their money. They have a look on their face like they did you a favor by not purchasing a car today! As they walk away they say thanks for your insight into the economy, you may have saved them from investing in a car, of all things. No sale today, maybe after the elections.
In that very moment you wish that conversation had never come up and long for the good old days when the news was lighter - when people felt confident enough to want and purchase a new car. How can you not talk about the economy? How can you keep a positive attitude when the economy stinks?
Sound familiar and painful? You know you need a positive spin to rev up your sales team who are wondering how to meet their goals in such a dismal economy. After all, they've had the same conversations with each other on your showroom floor. You may even have a little doubt in your own mind. If only you could just avoid the whole situation, maybe it will all be different tomorrow.
STOP IT NOW! Stop talking about the economy! Stop telling people that business is slow. Stop all the negative whining about the economy. JUST STOP IT! The more you dwell on your perceived observation of the economy the more you look for proof you are right. STOP IT NOW!
Below are four keys to creating a positive and prospering market around you.
1. Focus on what you want. If you focus on the potholes while you are driving, you're going to hit the potholes. Instead, focus on a way around the potholes. When you're talking to your staff or customers, indicate business is great and now is the perfect time to buy. Never talk about how tight money is for you (or anyone else, for that matter). Words trigger pictures that create emotions. How do you think people will feel if they hear the boss talking about how bad things are? You, as the leader or a team player, should talk about success and how great it is to work in a winning dealership.
2. Create a perception of value. Would you trade me a one-dollar bill for my twenty-dollar bill? It may be a good deal for you, but is it a good deal for me? It is if I perceive the value of a one-dollar bill is worth more than the twenty. Let's say I'm dying of thirst and the bottle of water requires a one-dollar bill. Then yes, it is a great trade. Your job is to create value now that helps customers feel good about their purchase.
3. Create a positive environment. The only place you talk about the slow economy is with your competition. Let them believe that the market is bad if they so choose. However, you want people to feel good when they are in your house. So, take charge and a build strong belief in your people and yourself that you can prosper in any economy because you have the best team, the best product, and the best location.
4. Plant encouraging and positive ideas, discard negative ideas. Read positive material or listen to inspirational CD's - in other words, work on putting positive thoughts in your head. And, if you must watch the news, the second it is over say to yourself (out loud is even better), I am thankful that business is great at my place.
You might argue that I don't know how tough it is for you or what its like where you live. You're right. But, I have traveled all over these great United States and I have seen hundreds of people just like you, and they are winning. Every day I see people who know that no matter what is going on in the marketplace, there are many ways to win in this economy. You have a choice each day as to how you will face that day. Your choice is either one of adversity or prosperity. People who start the day with a prosperity mindset automatically think of creative ways to outsmart the market. People with a prosperity mindset look for ways to inspire people to go where they didn't think they could go. Leaders with a prosperity mindset see the obstacles as an opportunity to win when others might see only doom and gloom.
How do you want to feel when you go to bed each night? You can believe you may not survive this economy, or you can believe you can outsmart the economy. Dread or excitement. The choice is yours each and every day. Use it wisely, it is a gift.
Jim Jackson works with businesses to develop high expectations and becoming the exception to the rule. To book Jim Jackson call 800-403-8326 or email email@example.com with inquiries.