How Exercise Helps You Hit Your Business Goals

I am not a fan of going to the gym. I mean, I love the feeling afterwards. I love the way I look when I do it regularly. I love the burst of energy. It’s just the physical act of working out that I could do without. In fact, I know that even if I joined a gym I wouldn’t actually go. I know because I have had countless gym memberships. I may have had more gym memberships than consecutive days working out in the past. The problem is that even though I hate going to the gym, my health is important to me. I have exercise and health goals. Being around for my kids is important. Having the energy to take them on adventures is important. Being alive and full of energy is important to me.

As important as those things are, I knew that they still wouldn’t inspire me. They still were not going to make me wake up and want to get to the gym. I knew that I needed to do something drastic.

Inspiration vs Desperation

I had a conversation in an interview with one of my mentors, Rock Thomas, the other day. Rock is the author of Your Epic Life Blueprint: Quit the Rat Race and Create a Happier Life! We were discussing that there are really two opportunities for motivation, and they are desperation and inspiration. Typically I find that I have the ability to get inspired by setting goals in alignment with my values and beliefs. I can find outside inspiration through other leaders who have gone before me. I can set a reward that inspires me. However, when it comes to the gym, inspiration does not quite seem to work for me. I need desperation.

So, I had to ask myself what level of desperation would make me get to the gym? I came up with different answers. Like if I knew I was going to die in 6 months if I didn’t lose 25 pounds that would probably work. Or if I was not going to be able to walk again if I didn’t get in better shape, I would likely value my mobility enough to make the decision to exercise. As I thought about it though, thankfully these dire situations do not exist for me and hopefully never will. Instead I needed something that would pull desperation close. What could I do to put my back against the wall?

So, here it is. On May 20, I will be running a half-marathon, 13.1 miles. The event pulls the deadline close enough to inspire action. The real kicker though would be my next step. I registered for the event and then invited some friends to run with me. Those friends are in far better shape than me. I knew that once I made the commitment to someone else, I would not allow myself to fail. I would not let them down. Often I find that people are better at having integrity for the things they promise others than they are for commitments they make to themselves. I put myself in a position of desperation to inspire action in a positive way.

For some of my friends who have done Ultra-Marathons and Ironman Competitions, a half-marathon may seem like a small feat. However, I am not them, and I only need to compare myself to me. In order to become healthier, I simply need to get a little better each day. Committing to this training will get me there.

My Last Half-Marathon

Ten years ago, I ran a half-marathon, and it changed everything. I could barely run a mile when I started. I remember that first run all too well. I decided to lace up my sneakers and run as far as I could and then walk back to my house. After what seemed like an eternity I remember gasping for air, trying not to vomit, hunched over on the sidewalk. With each shallow breath in an attempt to quickly fill my lungs as sweat poured off my face I began to gain a little composure. After a few minutes of recovery I started the walk back home. By the time I reached my house I was excited to drive the route and find out just how far I had made it on my first attempt. As I rounded the final corner in the last stretch of my route I looked down at the trip odometer in shocking disbelief. More like astonishing disappointment. .9 miles (yep, not a typo, less than 1 mile). I was partying too much with friends, and I was not a runner. I am still not a runner. I doubted whether I could actually complete the race. However, I had already committed in front of other people. I couldn’t back down now.

After 13 weeks of training, I was in the best shape of my life. I followed a training program that had worked for thousands of other runners to prepare, and it’s no real surprise that it worked for me as well. I completed 13 straight 10-minute miles and ran the half-marathon in a little over 2 hours and 10 minutes. That single accomplishment created all sorts of momentum in other areas of my life. I met my wife a few months later. I started looking for ways to build on my career. I kicked my personal development journey into high gear. I worked closely with Hal Elrod, with whom I would later co-author the best-seller, The Miracle Morning for Salespeople: The Fastest Way to Take Your SELF and Your SALES to the Next Level.

Why am I telling you all this? How will this help your business? Stick with me. I am getting there.

This year I quit my job as the Team Leader of a large real estate brokerage. The job paid well, but it didn’t support my long-term goals of freedom and the ability to travel in order to speak and train salespeople. In order to turn 2018 into the launching pad for reaching my personal and business goals, I knew that I needed to start with something tangible that would create a ripple affect in all areas of my life. Therefore, I decided it was time to run the half-marathon again. And, I wanted to share the 5 ways I believe this will carry over into my business goals as well.

5 Ways Hitting this One Goal Will Impact My Business Goals

1.) Goal Achievement Creates the Pattern for Hitting Other Goals

Goal-Setting and Goal Achievement doesn’t change much across all arenas. It works much like a GPS which most of us have all come to know and love. We love the GPS because we know that with just a couple pieces of information  and by following the directions (the plan) it will take us exactly where we want to go, and it will typically even be able to tell us when we will get there. In order to move from couch to half-marathon, marathon to ironman, or five-figure earner to six or seven-figure earner we need the same pieces of information.

A.) We need a very clear picture of where we currently stand. We must be honest with ourselves.

B.) We need a clear destination that is measurable and has a timeline.

C.) We need a plan that is proven to work, and that we believe in.

Learning to find these three pieces of information and follow the plan will create the belief and discipline required to achieve any of these goals. Here is the link to the half-marathon plan I will follow for my training.

D.) The last and most vital component of the GPS is that it lets us know as soon as we go off track. One wrong turn and you will inevitably see the word ‘Recalculating’. We must constantly measure our progress and determine the next step to get back on track as soon as we fall behind. The more frequently we measure, the easier it is to get back on track.

2.) Positive Daily Habits Will Form

By training for this half-marathon I will be doing some form of training 5-6 days a week. That level of commitment creates a habit. After a few weeks, I barely even need to think about my training calendar. About six weeks in, and I know I will be craving the exercise. The endorphins released will far outweigh the pain of the exercise when will-power is no longer required.

Consider how many areas where this applies in your business. How many times have you been held back because you did not consistently do the things you knew you needed to do to hit your goals? How many calls didn’t you make? How many times did you drop the ball on follow-up? What would happen if you had a consistent system and set of habits to ensure these behaviors happened regularly?

Imagine the energy and momentum that would be created through those consistent actions. That positive energy will attract things into your life. It will attract clients, mentors, capital etc. We attract what we become.

To learn more about forming habits and focusing on the activities that knock down the first domino, I highly recommend checking out The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papason.

3.) Physical Energy Increases

The last time I trained for a half-marathon I finished at a weight of around 155 lbs. I currently weigh in at 185 lbs. While I may never hit 155 lbs again (I have little desire to), I will likely lose 10-15 lbs during my training. Shedding this unneeded weight will likely lower my blood pressure, increase my oxygen levels, and create several other physical changes that will impact my overall level of physical energy. Strengthening my core through the training improves posture. All of these combined will allow me to apply more energy and focused effort to my business goals.

Since many of my readers and followers either fall into some sales role, small business, or entrepreneurship we know that our physical energy shows up in our interactions with team members, prospects, and clients alike. Positive energy creates attraction and ‘Yes’ responses. People want to work with people they like, and people tend to like positive people who raise their vibration not people who bring them down whenever they talk.

4.) Improved Mental Fortitude

This is the one area that I wonder if it will have the same effect on the second time around. The first time I trained for this run, I remember thinking that there was nothing I was incapable of conquering. No goal I couldn’t accomplish. Remember that I started by barely completing a one mile run on my first attempt. Then, over only a few months, I completed 13 ten-minute miles. I learned that my body was seldom what was holding me back. It was almost always my mind telling me that I was tired, or that I can’t do it, or I’m not in good enough shape, or I am not strong enough.

These limiting beliefs creep up in our businesses all the time and stop us from achieving our goals. By training our minds to overcome adversity in one area it overflows into other areas where the subconscious mind has roamed free and thwarted our plans to achieve great things. Once we change the pattern, those subconscious thoughts start to shift. It’s hard to believe you can’t do something, when you’re sub-conscious is shouting, “You can do anything you set your mind to. You just ran 13 miles. You didn’t think you could run a mile, and you ran 13. What else can you do that you don’t think you can?” Affirmations can help you reprogram this subconscious thought as well.

5.) Unintentional Overlap

For some reason when I make good decisions about exercise, I automatically make better decisions in other areas of my life as well. Maybe I don’t want to sabotage my efforts. Maybe it’s just the endorphins from the exercise, but I notice that I eat better, drink less, sleep better, and a whole list of other things that are impacted by my training. All of these decisions build on one another. They create a domino effect. Each of them has a bigger and bigger impact as they all start to work together.

In business, when we make a commitment to improve in one area, it will often impact other areas as well. For instance, when we commit to a plan of lead generation, adding new clients, and growing revenue we cannot help but affect other areas. When done well the new business growth will force us to make our systems more efficient, hire quality people or add technology that creates leverage. Each new positive habit we build creates an avalanche effect.

So for 2018, I have committed to my training calendar, knowing that it will infuse my body, mind, and spirit with the mental, physical, and emotional energy I need to crush my business and personal goals this year. It may not be a Half-Marathon for you, but consider what one thing you could commit to that will create tremendous momentum for the rest of your life this year. Here’s to building off that momentum.

Improve Productivity and Focus with these 3 Lists

Does it ever seem like no matter how much you accomplish in a day, a week, or a month that your business always seems to require more of your time? Productivity and focus are the key to success when the list gets unbearably long.
In our current age of endless information and access we have reached a point where it is quite possible to never be done. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I went to bed with nothing left on the to-do list. As an entrepreneur and salesperson who thrives on getting things done this created a huge hurdle for me. Just being able to accept the fact that there will always be something left to do allowed me to start sleeping again.
Beyond just letting go of some of the tasks, however, there are some exercises we can use to focus our energy on the things that matter most. Creating the following three lists will make it easier to focus on the key areas that grow your business and increase productivity. Crushing these key areas, or top dollar producing activities, should create opportunities to hire leverage to complete more menial tasks that may be equally as important but not quite as significant.
3 lists to improve focus and productivity

Things to Keep Doing

The first list stems from celebrating our victories and rewarding the actions that we would like to see repeated. This list is a list of things to keep doing. The questions to answer here include things like: What am I currently doing that is driving the most new clients to my business? What am I doing that is moving my clients to refer me to their friends, family, or business associates? If I had to account for each dollar of revenue for the last 6 months, where did they come from and what did I do to help drive them?
Whatever you come up with for actions on this list you should take steps to ensure that there is enough time in your calendar for these activities on a daily or weekly basis. Remember, we just determined that these are currently the highest and best use of your time. Do not fill the whole calendar as we will have more to add in a moment. Also, set some measurable goals around these activities each day or week and create a reward system each time you hit your activity goal. This will solidify the habit by rewarding the proper activity.

Things to Start Doing

Lack of knowledge or education is not typically the issue for most people. Most people have attended training seminars, read books, listened to podcasts, paid for coaching, etc. All of these educational pieces play a critical role in one’s success. I urge you to ask yourself whether you have actually implemented the things you have learned. Many of us have extremely intelligent book shelves. We may have even read the books, but I find in most cases our level of implementation leaves something to be desired.
I have read countless books with great ideas or exercises that I couldn’t wait to try, but then life and business go in the way. Fires started popping up, and I ran to put them out. Maybe when I have a little more time I will implement some new strategies. Here’s the deal. You make the time. This list is a list of things you know you should be doing. You have heard experts talk about how this key step helped their business explode. You have read books on the topic. You know what to do or who to call. You just need to start. This list is about what you know you need to start doing, but just haven’t yet.

Things to Stop Doing

This is often the toughest. The final list should create the time for us to start implementing the new activities that we know we are supposed to be doing, but haven’t started. Often times we didn’t start because we just didn’t have the time. Well, I am calling BS. I know because I would make the same excuses in the past. I have 3 kids, coach Little League, a wife, a job, a business, and side hustle or two as well as friends and extended family. Even with all these areas vying for my attention, I still had opportunities to eliminate things from my calendar that were decreasing productivity.
For some this is as simple as not checking email or Facebook posts first thing in the morning. Imagine those first couple hours spent on something more productive, like writing this blog post, organizing your list of contacts for the day, practicing your scripts or presentation. It may be that going out for a beer to unwind with some friends on a Friday is perfectly acceptable and a reward for hitting your goals for the week. At the same time, closing the bar at 1 am is probably not increasing productivity for the week. Maybe it’s just getting sucked into the television that’s slowing you down. Whatever your vice, this is an area to find some much needed time to implement new high level activities to drive your business.

Keys to Productivity – Putting It All Together

These lists work together to create a road map to success in your business. Use the results of this exercise to develop a foundational calendar for a productive week. This time-blocking should incorporate all the success habits that are currently allowing your business to flourish as well as time to implement the new activities that are sure to take your business to the next level.
Review these lists quarterly as you may find that your activities need to change as your business increases. You may need to find ways to leverage some of the key activities as you further narrow your focus. This is a sure sign of success as you can begin to hire people who are even better than you in these certain areas. It may even be that you hire someone to implement the things you should start doing, essentially doubling productivity.
The key is spending a little time to assess what activities are the lifeblood of your business and ask yourself whether you are spending enough time on them. I challenge you to stop an complete this exercise right now before it just becomes another thing you know you should do, but you just didn’t implement.
For more exercises to create explosive sales results get your copy of The Miracle Morning for Salespeople Companion Guide on Amazon.

Are Your Sales Goals Big Enough? How to Create Results through Goal-Setting

Long-Term Goals Allow You to Dream

Most people are simply not thinking big enough when setting goals. Let’s see if I can walk you through what I mean. Take a moment now to think back to what your life was like ten years ago. Really STOP! Think back. How different is your life now? How many amazing things have you accomplished in the past ten years? Think of all the obstacles you have overcome. Review all the new things you have learned. Think of all the trips you have been on. Consider all the people you have met. Imagine all the new clients. If you were asked ten years ago if you would be where you are today, would you have even thought most of those things possible or even imaginable at this point in your life?

The thing is that, in sales, we focus so much on the short-term goals. What’s our goal for the year? Are we hitting our quarterly numbers? Did we do enough top dollar producing activities this week? All of these are extremely important to us growing our business, and I am not saying that we should stop doing any of them.

In fact, we offer a free report specifically for Hitting Your One Year Goals.

The Problem With Short Term Goals

There is, however, a problem with only thinking about our growth in the short-term. It can be hugely discouraging, and it can literally stop us from taking the required action to grow. When we fall behind on our short-term goals it is very easy to lose the commitment to the very activities that create results. Often our short-term goals are extremely high, yet our long-term vision lacks clarity and focus.

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

–Bill Gates- Author of The Road Ahead

Having taught this as part of our Miracle Morning for Salespeople Live Seminar, I have watched a great number of people struggle to articulate their five-year and ten-year dreams and goals. This exercise and several others will provide fuel for your mind and spirit when you are falling short on this week’s goal and need some additional willpower. Often the one-year goal does not muster enough excitement to pull us back into action.

You can find several of these activities on Amazon in The Miracle Morning for Salespeople Companion Guide.

It will be much harder to give up on your five-year and ten-year dreams. After all, who can tell you that you cannot accomplish something in ten years? Look what you have already done in the last ten.

Click here to download 2 Free Chapters or purchase the book, The Miracle Morning for Salespeople.

Affirmations that Work – 4 Tips to Creating Effective Affirmations

Affirmations that Work!

Do you remember being told that if you want something, really really want something you must affirm and reaffirm those very same things loudly and clearly again and again? That you must say all those things that you want to be true as if they were already true?

And that’s exactly what you did! You sat there or stood there (maybe in front of a mirror) and  enunciated all those hopeful thoughts loudly and clearly, again and again (and hoped that nobody was able to hear you and if they did they did not think you were being silly!)

Even though that was precisely what you thought about yourself! And sometimes you asked if you were just lying to yourself…

It seemed like your words (even when stated loudly, clearly and repeatedly) still did not convince your mind or yourself. It became a process which you eventually agreed only made you feel conflicted, uncomfortable and unwilling to believe! And often plain silly!

So you stopped doing it!

You stopped believing in and practicing your affirmations!

Because you were not aware that it was possible to believe in your affirmations and to make them work!

And the Miracle Morning does just that – makes you aware of a process that will help you believe (again) in your affirmations and make them work!

There are 4 simple steps to this process:

  1. Affirm (again) – what do you really really want and why it is that so important to you. You begin by establishing and affirming what it is that is important to you and why it is important to you.
  2. Commit – what do you promise you are going to do to make sure what you really really want actually happens! What are the activities that you commit to do to make sure  your affirmations come true?
  3. Say it with feeling – you should be able to see what you want, smell it, hear it, almost taste it (and know that you are going to touch it – definitely touch it)
  4. Check in – with what you really really want as often as possible. Review them again and again.

An example of  an affirmation would be where you tell yourself that during this year you plan to double your sales volume in order to be able to afford 3 extremely exciting vacations with your family. And in order to double your sales volume you are going to ensure that you talk to 20 new people every new single day about your product.

I am doubling my sales volume in order to take my family on three vacations this year by talking with 20 prospects every day!

You are stating what you really want (the increased sales volume), why you want it (for that vacation) and what it is you are going to do to make certain that it happens (those 20  people you plan to talk to).

Then imagine, not talking to those 20 people you promised to contact. That should make you uncomfortable. Hopefully so uncomfortable that you actually make the calls.

And while that volume may not have doubled yet, it will be because of your commitment to talking to those 20 new people each day. Otherwise you would be living out of alignment, and that should make you more uncomfortable than not making the calls!

This is a reprogramming of the subconscious mind. You are creating new patterns and telling a new story about yourself. The difference now is that you can actually buy-in to your own words because it isn’t just wishful thinking. You are creating behavior change that will bring the results.

Integrity and without exception – that’s making sure you always do the things you say you are going to do.

If you enjoyed this article and would like more information on this topic, order your copy of The Miracle Morning for Salespeople now on Amazon!

Meditation and Silence Improve Sales

Could Meditation Grow Your Sales?

Meditation is making, or has made in some circles, it’s way out of the land of hippity-dippity into the business realm. Because of meditation’s tremendous benefits, it’s no surprise that meditation has become more and more popular as part of a daily routine of successful people and Fortune 500 Companies alike. The benefits of meditation reach far beyond the basics of simple peace and quiet. Recently I had the opportunity to see Julianna Raye, mindfulness coach and trainer, speak at the Best Year Ever Live Event, and she discussed some of the basic reasons why meditation is such an important part of a daily routine.

Here are just a few of the benefits of Silence and Meditation:

  • Improve Focus, Clarity, and Productivity
  • Lower Stress & Blood Pressure
  • Strengthen Your Immune System
  • Better Sleep Cycle
  • Heighten Creativity, Empathy, Emotional Regulation, and Well-Being
  • Slow Brain Degeneration and Increase Neuroplasticity
  • Improve Sex Drive

Now, I am sure there is not a single one of you reading this post that couldn’t use some improvement in at least one of those areas if not all of them. I am no exception to that rule. That is one of the reasons meditation has become such an important daily practice. For me, meditation has improved my attitude, intensified my clarity and focus, and allowed me to balance my emotions and stress in a healthy fashion.

Zen stones in water for meditation.

Zen stones in water for meditation.

As a salesperson, sales trainer, sales manager, sales leader, author, speaker, father, and husband, there is seldom a time that my mind stops for even a second. While that ADHD, type A, driven salesperson mentality has led me to accomplish a great many of my goals, it is not always the most healthy, efficient, or effective way to take on all challenges.

I have learned the incredible power of clarity and focus that comes from starting my day with a morning routine based in personal development. The first practice of which is Silence.

While I struggled with meditation for the first several attempts, okay, more like for weeks or even months, I have learned some extremely helpful tips in practicing meditation that have improved my practice and increased the benefits.

3 Tips to Improve Your Practice

1.) Focus on your breath. I would explain more, but it really needs little to no explanation. You have been breathing for your entire life. It takes no thought at all to breathe in and out. In fact, that’s likely why we still exist. So, by focusing on the breath, you will allow your body to relax and move away from trying to solve the problems of the world.

2.) Don’t fight the 50 Million thoughts. For a long time I thought I was meditating the wrong way. No matter what I did I couldn’t stop the thoughts from entering my head during meditation. Just recognize the distraction. Even label it based on whether it is something you see, hear, or feel and then let it pass and move on.

3.) Lots of us type A salespeople and entrepreneurs have trouble slowing down. I strongly suggest trying some guided meditations. There are some great apps available like Headspace, Calm, Omvana, and several others. There are also tons of Free guided meditations you can find on YouTube.


If you would like to learn more about my daily morning routine and how to implement silence and meditation into your day, check out two free chapters of my book, The Miracle Morning for Salespeople.