Are We Doing It To Ourselves?

I have a confession – when I was 12 years old, I wanted to be a magician. A couple weeks ago, my five year old daughter found a box of old magic tricks and so I have been honing my skills as of late. 🙂 My favorite magician of all time is Harry Houdini. Houdini was a master magician and was best known as an escape artist. He said that he could escape from any jail cell in the world in less than an hour and he succeeded on several occasions. Then a small town in the British Isles built a new jail they were extremely proud of and issued the challenge to Houdini to see if he could escape from one of their cells. Houdini loved the publicity and the money and so he accepted. By the time he arrived, excitement had grown throughout Great Britain. He rode into
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What Are You Really Selling?

I’m sure that many of you who speak, lead or teach don’t view yourself as being in sales. The truth is, however, we are all in sales. Whether its a product, a service, a vision, an idea, a strategy or ourselves that we are trying to promote, it is all sales. I think we would do better to embrace that principle and learn to sell effectively. With that in mind – what are you selling? Your answer may be a specific product or service, but what are you really selling? As an influencer you need to recognize what people are looking for, and start selling what they want. In other words, stop selling the features and start selling the benefits. What does your product or service provide that people will spend money to get? Think of it this way. You don’t buy a newspaper, you buy news. You don’t buy
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Believe In Yourself

I have been overwhelmed lately by how many people I see that struggle because they don’t believe in themselves. There are many reasons for a lack of self belief – but I wanted to share this experience to get you thinking differently about yourself. Not too long ago after a speech in the Midwest, a man asked me if we could speak privately. I noticed as we went over to a quiet corner that the man walked with a cane. He introduced himself as John, thanked me for my speech, and thanked me for taking a minute to talk with him. As John spoke it was apparent that he had some type of speech impediment because his speech was a little slurred. He told me that he had a hard time working with other people because of the way that they perceived him. I asked how he thought that other’s
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Playing To Win

This week I had a chance to give a keynote to a couple hundred high school students for the Wyoming DECA Leadership Conference. My message was based on a football analogy and I asked the question – Are you just playing not to lose or are you playing to win? I think this is such a poignant question for each of us to ask. In your life right now, are you just playing not to lose or are you playing to win? Playing not to lose means that you are coasting, doing the minimums, just getting by. When you play to win in your life – you are striving. You have set goals and are stretching yourself. Playing to win means constantly growing and contributing. It means taking responsibility for your success and stepping up to the challenges your face. Playing to win means being a leader – in your
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The Goal is Connection, Not Perfection

When it comes to communication, whether you are speaking to a large audience, selling to an individual, teaching a class or having a conversation with your spouse, I believe that most of us aim at the wrong target. When you read any book on communication, or if you ask anyone what their goal is for their presentation – they will talk about making it perfect. They want you to have the right opening, structure the presentation correctly, back up every point, make it engaging, and close in a memorable way. I agree with all of those concepts (in fact I teach them) but I believe we miss the mark if we focus on perfection. Instead the focus of our communication should be connection. Think about this for a moment. The golden rule of business is that people do business with and refer business to people they know, like and trust.
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