Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 6

This week has been really busy productive! I can’t tell you how many new connections I’ve made this week, or how many incredible conversations I’ve had, but I can tell you that it took a lot of energy. Which is great! Now I can reflect on my week and tell myself, “Maybe you should do a little less, or maybe you can handle a little more.” It’s important to figure out where the sweet spot is so you don’t get burnt out.

When you really give it your all and the person you’re talking to can feel your passion, it can get tiring.

“People who want to connect with others must give it their all. And that takes energy!”1

Mentally, emotionally and even physically. Remember, people don’t always remember what you say… they remember how you make them feel. You better bet that I’m going to make that person feel as good as possible. If you can do this correctly, the person you’re talking to will truly trust you. Trust goes a long way in every profession.

I absolutely LOVE this next part. It will scream volumes for you too!!

“…the illusion of the first time…”- Jerry Weissman2

Think of someone giving a presentation to you. Now, think of that same person giving the exact same presentation to a new group of people next week. Each presentation needs to have as much passion, excitement and engagement as the first one! The presenter knows that the presentation is for the audience and not them self. Famous legend Joe DiMaggio once said,

“I always remind myself that there might be someone in the stands who never saw me play before.”3

Give it your all every time! There’s a good chance the person on the other end of the phone hasn’t heard your pitch before. You better make it memorable. If you’re a recruiter, and you’re interviewing someone; interview them like they’re the first person you’ve ever recruited. If you’re in HR and you’re delivering training… deliver the training with the same passion you had when you first did it!

Okay, so, let’s say you know someone super connected. Personal referrals go a long ways, right?!

“‘Who’ you know can open the door for you to connect with someone. Of Course, once the door is open, you still have to deliver!”4

Boom… it’s as easy as that! Just because people are going to stick their neck out for you and make an introduction, you have to be able to back it up! Honestly, a lot of personal growth and success comes from the help of other people. My last two jobs were from personal referrals. They stuck their necks out for me to get me the interview, but I sure as hell had to deliver. The realtor found a great town home for me to move into… I had to have the money and credit score to qualify for the place. Some of my connections are willing to facilitate introductions for me. I better over deliver when it comes time for me to have that meeting.

“If you have an area of expertise and generously share it with others, you give people reasons to respect you and develop a sense of connection with you.”5

You’d be surprised at the amount of people that will follow from afar. I’m guilty of it and I bet you are too. You look to someone for information and enjoy everything they talk/write about, but you haven’t introduced yourself. What do you have to lose? Show them they provide value to you and you’d love to introduce yourself. I reach out to people all the time because they write interesting stuff. Your network can grow so fast!

“America has a success culture. People want to be successful, and they seek out others who have accomplished something to get their advice. If you are successful in anything you do, there will be people who will want to listen to you.”6

There is always going to be someone better at something than you, and there is always going to be people looking to you for advice. Once you’ve established yourself as a credible resource and connection, the more people are going to look at you for information. Never stop learning! Maybe what you share today isn’t going to connect with all of your followers, but I can almost guarantee that someone is going to have an “Ah-Ha” moment. Look where I started… and look how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time. It’s cliche… but anything can happen.

 

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Tim Ferriss | The 4-hour Workweek | Part 3

Prior to reading The “4-Hour Work Week”, I have never heard of the “80/20 principle”. The late Vilfredo Pareto takes full credit for this phenomenon. It is also called “Pareto’s Law” or “Pareto Distribution”.

“Pareto’s Law can be summarized as follows: 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs.” or “80% of the results come from 20% of the effort and time.”1

This is a prime example that can be materialized within any role and within any organization. Spend time and energy on things that are going to give you the highest ROI. Cut out or minimize time spent on things that do not give you an ROI. If you’re spending hours answering complaints from people that don’t perform, it might be time to cut them. Better yet, let them know you’re changing your processes. (You get to choose your processes) Something that is important that goes well with this, is communication. Making your clients/co workers, etc, well aware that you’re doing the best you can and what changes they should expect in the future. You don’t always have to respond to their email right away!

There’s another law Ferriss brings to the table which will blow your mind. Remember in high school or college when you’d have a really important project due and you had 3 months to work on it? You’d typically start the weekend before it was due and you’d cram for 48 hours straight.

“Parkinsons’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.”2

I’m sure you’re kicking yourself at this point saying, “Wow. That’s what I’ve been doing these past X years when I’ve needed to get important things done.” You need to get better at time management and choosing which tasks are the most important. Set clear and short deadlines and remove all distractions. If it’s a ‘make or break’ type of situation, turn off your phone, stop checking email and get off social media. Remove the distractions!

Two questions that I think can really help you narrow down the most important tasks are:

“Am I being productive or just active?” And “Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?3

We’re all guilty of doing things to avoid the important. It happens everyday. Especially being in the information age and always being connected to the internet. “OH, I got a ‘like’, someone Tweeted me, Oh a new LinkedIn connection.” Those things will distract you from what you’re trying to accomplish. I suggest removing the notifications on your phone for social media. I already know you click on your apps every hour anyways.

This is the perfect leeway into the next area of conversation; Distractions. Ferriss’s definition and plan of action is extremely in depth and worth the read. For someone that works more than 4-hours a week, I’m going to leave some of it out.

“Turn off the audible alert if you have one…”4

Every time you get some type of notification, it will throw a kink in your current task. Your attention will draw away from what you were doing and on to the notification. Even if you don’t act upon the notification, you’re still going to think about it. It goes the same for checking your email at 10PM at night. If you’re not going to respond, don’t bother checking. 90% of us aren’t working in a life or death situation… and if we were… they’d call us.

When it does come time to email people,

“Get in the habit of considering what ‘if . . . then’ actions an be proposed in any e-mail where you ask a questions.”5

That way, if they can’t have a meeting on a certain date, you have a second option or they can propose a time. The last thing you want is to go back in forth asking what time works best. During that process; set the stage and either provide an agenda or make them provide one. You don’t want to get on the phone and have nothing serious to talk about. You’d just be wasting time. Last but not least; have a time frame set in stone. Do not let the meeting go over the time allotted. Time is money and when you’re not utilizing your time well, you’re losing money.

A funny quote to wrap up a discussion on distractions is;

“Blaming idiots for interruptions is like blaming clowns for scaring children – they can’t help it. … Learn to recognize and fight the interruption impulse.”6

 

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There’s more to come from me about:

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Tim Ferriss | The 4-Hour Workweek | Part 2

Did you do something today that you feared yesterday? If not, go to part 1 and re-read the last paragraph!

“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”1

Push the envelope on everything! Set your goals higher than they’ve ever been. If you pick something that’s realistic, you’re only going to work towards average. This seems like a really obvious point to make, but have you actually tried it yet?! If you’ve read Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“, you’ll have learned to begin with the end in mind. Figure out what you want, how bad you want it and then go get it!

The next part really gave me an “Ah-Ha” moment and I hope you can feel this too. From the age of 10, people always ask, what do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to do for a living?

Who knows! Honestly… there aren’t a lot of people out there that actually know what they want to do. Then they say, “Do what makes your happy!” Well crap! I know what makes me happy, but how can I get compensated for it… It’s not that simple. What about that piece of paper I got for $130,000? Aren’t I supposed to have it all figured out after those 4+ years?

“When people suggest you follow your ‘passion’ or your ‘bliss,’ I propose that they are, in fact, referring to the same singular concept; excitement.”2

Re-read that! Do it again! “Ah-Ha”. That’s what we’ve been looking for all along. Now ask yourself, “What excites me?” Do you like working with people? Do you like managing people? Is start-up life exciting for you? Do yourself a favor and write down some questions. Then, try and answer them. You don’t need to thank me now.

“‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’ – Samuel Beckett”3

This can really put things into perspective. Regardless of what line of work you’re in, you can’t be afraid to fail. If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never get anywhere in life. Look at me… I started writing a blog. I’ve had my doubts ever since I started writing… but I’m not afraid to fail! There are all sorts of cliches out there about finding success after failing. So, I suggest, start failing! (Within reason)

“From this moment forward, remember this: What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it. Efficiency is still important, but it is useless unless applied to the right things.”4

I think that this is a very valid point. Get things done, but don’t sacrifice your brand or your company’s brand. This goes back to the ‘busy’ scenario.

“Doing something unimportant well does not make it important. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.”5

With those two sentences, you should be able to put more time back into your day doing things that matter. Strive for productivity towards things that matter. “I don’t care how you do it, just get it done.” (Within reason) That’s one of those popular quotes in movies or from your manager.

When it comes to sales, ask the successful sales people in your company what they do and how they do it. Don’t spend time recreating the wheel that someone successful has already created. Make changes to your liking and coin it as your own. It’s a huge compliment to your coworker and it will save you a lot of time.

 

Get “The 4-Hour Workweek” on Amazon!

There’s more to come from me about:

The 4-Hour Work Week | Tim Ferris

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