Extra Points: Trick or Treat?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The first Halloween I remember trick or treating was when I must have been around 6-7 years old. I was dressed up as Captain America. I had the the whole packaged suit, replete with cape, a makeshift shield, and the cheap plastic mask that caused beads of sweat to form on your forehead within seven seconds of donning it. I remember Dad taking me up and down the neighborhood appealing to friends and strangers to give me rock hard candy that would send me on a sugar high, while helping to fund our dentist’s retirement.

Oh, if it were only that easy as adults….

As adults, we “dress up” in our best attire, go knock on doors of people we don’t know, pretend to be someone “better” than what we are, and ultimately ask for a treat. More often than when we were kids, it ends in a trick, not a treat.

This analogy goes beyond sales. Think of your own business, career, and life. How many times have you tried to be someone you’re not (maybe in your own mind a better someone) to impress somebody else? Might be at a social function, a golf course, a meeting with the board of directors, a sales pitch to investors, your banker when seeking a loan…. you get my point.

Here’s your treat for today – Be yourself. Dress for the occasion (rule of thumb is always be slightly better dressed than your “audience”). Be warm and engaging. Ask more questions. Care about the answers. Don’t pitch your business; demonstrate your incredible value. Have fun. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Have big picture perspective. Boldly aim high. Be unleashed.

Trick or treating was fun as a kid. It can be fun as an adult, as long as you commit to going as the best character you can – yourself.

Join in on the conversation on my blog

Quote of the Week:

“I’ve arranged with my executor to be buried in Chicago. Because when I die, I want to still remain politically active.”

~ Mort Sahl – Canadian born, American comedian

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Speaking of Swinging…

cubsAs a lifelong baseball fan (and a novice baseball historian), I LOVE this World Series. The Chicago Cubs are appearing in their first World Series since 1945, and haven’t won one since 1908. The Cleveland Indians have been in two World Series’ in the past 25 years, but haven’t won since 1948.

While there are certainly no players (or even managers and coaches) that were even alive when the Cubs or Indians last won a championship, there is a exponentially heightened air of pressure on both teams to finally break through, especially the Cubs. The weight of decades of failure and futility for the respective cities and fan bases are on their backs. These aren’t robots; they are humans and they fully understand this. For both teams, that extra pressure can cause one to subconsciously try too hard, and those results are normally bad.

The very best athletes know how to slow the game (and their mind) down. They are able to reduce or even eliminate pressure by focusing on the job at hand in the moment. They stick with the process that got them there; they don’t allow one failed at bat or pitch carry over into the future; and they ignore outside voices.

Can you do the same in your business?

Have you ever felt the pressure to perform? We all have. Certainly when times are tough, you might be getting external pressure. Creating new revenue, exceeding sales goals, getting work out faster, etc. Whatever your stress, you are compounding it by adding too much pressure and altering your performance. You’re not letting your own skill shine through.

To stick with the baseball metaphor, you’re trying to hit the curve ball instead of waiting for the right pitch. Curve balls are hard to hit. Rather, stay with your process and force the fastball.

Bottom line – we all feel pressure. Sometimes it’s external; often it’s self-inflicted. In either case, stress can take you out of your game by making you try too hard. This gets compounded by failure. To avoid this, stay in the moment, slow down your brain, have confidence in yourself and your team, and lay off the curve ball. Instead, hit that fastball over the fence!

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Hey Batter, Batter…SWING

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Growing up, I was a huge Pete Rose fan. In fact, I even tried (unsuccessfully) to mimic his unconventional and awkward stance. I know Pete bet on baseball; of that I have no doubt. However, I’m guessing he always bet on himself and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. But, I digress…

I was sent a video of Pete talking batting swings with other FOX Baseball analysts Frank (The Big Hurt) Thomas and Alex Rodriguez. He had them both mesmerized by his simple yet powerful strategies and tactics around doing the hardest thing in sports…hitting a baseball.

Rose had six basic changes he would make when in a batting slump. All of them focused on where he would stand in the batters box (up or back/side to side). He said he never changed his swing because that swing had gotten him to the big leagues. The changes he made were based on what pitchers were throwing him. He’d adjust his position in the batters box, but never his swing.

Here’s a swing tip for you…

You’ve had success in your career; of that I don’t doubt. However too many of you are trying to change the wrong things when you hit a “slump.” Rather, you should simplify your process. For example, I’ve heard a lot lately from clients that want to enhance their life balance and find more time for themselves and their family. Great. That doesn’t take a complete overhaul of how you work (your swing). Instead, focus on simple adjustments in your “batters box” – delegate work you don’t have to do; say NO to projects/tasks that you don’t want to do or aren’t priorities; schedule in discretionary time and hold it sacrosanct; cut down on water cooler conversations and social media surfing; and (here’s the most important one) STOP feeling guilty for doing any or all of these!

Life will throw you a bunch of curve balls. If you haven’t shown an aptitude for adjusting to and hitting them, you’ll find they keep coming and ruin your “batting average.” Don’t over think this. Make simple adjustments, commit to them, stay vigilant, and find a way to get more hits.

I’m betting on you…

Join in on the conversation on my blog

Quote of the Week:

“I don’t think knowing what’s the right thing to do ever gives anybody too much trouble.  It’s doing the right thing that seems to give people trouble.” 

~ President Harry S. Truman

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Of Storms and Calamities

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As I sit writing this edition of Extra Points on the Friday before, the day outside is miserable. And that’s being kind. We are in the midst of a series of rain and windstorms that are projected to be some of the worst and most damaging in recent history. Those who went through Hurricane Matthew a few weeks ago know all too well the wreckage that Mother nature can inflict.

So in advance of the worst of it – I’m hurrying to write this before we lose power; have purchased food and other necessities (as instructed by Barb) to last through the weekend; fully charged all devices and portable chargers; and battened down the hatches as best as possible to mitigate damage and create resiliency. And of course, Captain Jack is pacing and barking at the wind, doing his part to protect the ship…

We’ve known this storm was coming for the last three days. It was hard to believe becasue the preceding days have been sunny and pleasant. It created a false sense of security and many people are just now braving the elements hoping to stock up and prepare. Why the delay?

Why do you delay preparing for the storm in business? While your daily operations may for the most part seem sunny and pleasant, we all know that calamity comes – unlike winter storms – unannounced. Too often business owners and entrepreneurs are left scrambling to recover and sustain operations in the midst of the storm. Had they planned in advance, it would have been easier and less costly both financially and emotionally.

Make resilience part of your basic business planning and strategy. In grade school we used to do fire drills in preparedness for the building fire that never happened for me in 12 years. (Lights blinking and Jack barking, so tying fast…) Bottom line – protect your business, protect your employees, and protect your revenue. Resilience management may not be sexy, but it might be the most important work you do.

Quote of the Week:

Behind every cloud is another cloud.

~ Judy Garland

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Seattle Shrimp Tank Podcast #2

Last week’s podcast episode of Seattle Shrimp Tank is now available online. Our guest was Rusty George, President of Rusty George Creative. You can catch the entire podcast episode and the wrap-up video show on our website

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved