Extra Points: The Power of Persuasion

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: The Power of Persuasion

When I was in New York City in March, I had the great pleasure of dining with friends at historic Keen’s Steakhouse. The Manhattan restaurant was founded in 1885 and is famous for its steaks, chops, and collection of 90,000 clay pipes that line the walls and ceilings.

I was there during Lent and it was a Friday, which meant no steak for me. Fortunately, their fish selections were fantastic. The menu featured their acclaimed Dover sole. I was also intrigued by the chard because while familiar with the Atlantic fish, I’d never tried it. When I asked the waiter for his suggestion between the two, he of course said they were both grand, yet he had a twinkle in his eye and a heightened hint of enthusiasm when he spoke of the chard (which was decidedly less expensive than the sole). It intrigued me enough to get it, and boy was I glad I did! It was one of the best fish dishes I’ve ever had, if not the top. The power of the waiter’s suggestion persuaded me to a great dining experience.

The waiter gave me his honest opinion in spite of a lower bill (meaning the possibility of a lower gratuity). His candor was in my best interest and translated into a memorable experience. His focus was on the value of that experience.

In your business, sales are mandatory for survival. Are you (or your sales team) persuading people with enthusiasm based for the value your customer or client will receive, or based on money in their pocket? Sales people focused on earning a commission rather than the client’s best interest ultimately get found out. The problem is they bring your company’s reputation and future sales down with them. You can do a lot for the growth and sustainability of your business by building a culture of outcome-based sales. In other words, believing in the tremendous value to others and transferring that benefit in exchange for equitable compensation. In the end, it’s a win-win-win situation.

In my story, I won (magnificent experience) , the waiter won (equitable compensation), and the restaurant won (reputation and brand). I can’t wait to go back.

Are your clients saying the same thing about you?

Quote of the Week:


“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.”

~ Miguel de Cervantes (16th century Spanish novelist)

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Work Like a Dog

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Work Like a Dog

Last week, the speaker at my Rotary Club meeting was a volunteer in K-9 Search and Rescue. It was a fascinating program about the intelligence and value that dogs bring to such a serious and often portentous situation.

I found it very interesting when she explained to us the dog’s motivation. Obviously, the dog has no understanding of the gravity or significance of the search, so they can’t be motivated by sheer emotion of the moment. She related that the dog is motivated solely by fun. The search is a game to them; that when they meet their objective, they receive a reward. The reward is most often not food (which immediately eliminates Captain Jack from consideration) because food might contaminate a site. Rather, they get toys as their reward. For the dog, the thrill is literally in the chase. Find the subject – get a reward – have fun.

Shouldn’t you be doing that with your career?

If your only motivation is based on receiving a paycheck and trading time for money, then you’re in danger of spending a lot of your waking hours during your life in drudgery. Before you think I am exaggerating, go spend 15 minutes reading your Facebook timeline. Watch TV and observe how “work” is often depicted. If you’re a business owner, are you having fun working for yourself? Are you enjoying the chase?

Dogs get it. They are motivated by FUN. They chase the REWARD. They live happy lives. We humans must not forget that we should be more focused on living a fun and rewarding life and by extension, our business career should mirror that. After all, we will spend more time doing that than anything else. We might as well enjoy the chase….

Quote of the Week:


“Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human, they see the inside of a human.”

~ Cesar Millan

If you’d like to hear more about this concept, listen to my live Periscope broadcast today at 10 am PST. Information below…

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Unturned Stones

This Week’s Focus Point: Unturned StonesDan Weedin Unleashed-40

Last week, Kobe Bryant played his last game for the Los Angeles Lakers. He ended his 20-year Hall of Fame career in grand style, scoring 60 points to lead the Lakers to a comeback win. I guess if you’re going to write a script on how to go out in style, that would be it!

After the game, Bryant was interviewed and asked about his career and two decades of brilliance. He said, “I am completely satisfied because gave it everything I had and enjoyed every minute. I got all out of my career that I could. I didn’t leave one stone unturned.”

I wonder how many of us can say the same thing about our careers when they come to a conclusion. Are you turning over every stone? Are you maximizing your potential? Are you taking advantage of every opportunity?

I’m guessing you’re smart enough to know that answer without being given examples. We have stones labeled opportunity, talent, desire, education, experience, resilience, boldness, and fun scattered before us daily. They aren’t always overturned becasue there might be some obstacle in the way. Obstacles include fear, apathy, and simply not being in the moment enough that you walk over the stone without noticing it.

An NBA career is relatively short compared to our expected lifespan. While a business career may be longer in duration, it also goes by amazingly fast. Before you know it, you could be peering back at a trail of undisturbed stones in your path wondering what lay beneath them. Here’s hoping you can confidently proclaim – just like Kobe Bryant did – that you left no stone unturned.

Quote of the Week:


“I’m 75 years old yet I feel like a 19 year old that’s wondering ‘What happened’?”

~ My dad, Don Weedin. I’ve never forgotten these words when contemplating the passage of time. As I get older, they stick with me even more…

If you’d like to hear more about this concept, listen to my live Periscope broadcast today at 10 am PST.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Avoiding the Six-Putt

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40In the first round of the Masters golf tournament last week, an unimaginable “event” occurred. Ernie Els, a four-time major golf champion in a Hall of Fame career took six putts starting from two feet to “hole out” on his very first hole of the championship. For non-golfers, this is akin to Bill Gates having his credit card declined for a $3.27 purchase at the 7-11.

I watched the video three times in utter disbelief. The thought then ran through my mind, “Oh my gosh, he now has 17 more holes to play today! How does he do that?” Els went on to shoot an 80 (8 over par). When you consider he was six over par after one hole, I’d say he collected himself pretty well.

Els is a highly successful professional with immense talent. He ended any opportunity he had to win the tournament on that first hole through what he would even admit was a loss of focus. There is a business lesson here for you, too.

You can be a highly successful entrepreneur or business professional with immense talent. But if you lose focus on your strategic objectives, your planning, and your metrics on how you will measure success, then you’re losing your own “tournament” every single day. It’s easy to lose focus on the big picture when you find yourself battling fires daily. You can immerse yourself so much on the ground battle, that you forget to take a 35,000 strategic view. If you want to avoid losing equity in your business OR equity and earning power in your career, then make sure you take the time to “read your putt” and focus on the larger vision. Els goal was to get the ball in the hole and he whiffed hard on this day. Your objective is maximize your talent and your business for success, stability, and significance.

Els needed to keep his head down. You need to keep your eyes gazing into the future. Now go make a putt…

Quote of the Week:


“It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.”

~ Mark Twain

If you’d like to hear more about this concept, listen to my live Periscope broadcast today at 10 am PST.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Entrepreneurial Myths & Monsters

600x923_ID-BadgeFrom my March column for the Kitsap Sun

One of the hallmarks of the “American dream” is for that opportunity to build your own business from a passion and have it form your lifestyle and security for generations. Entrepreneurship is a noble avocation. Many of you reading this are entrepreneurs holding the title of Founder, President, CEO, or just Boss.

Small business enterprise drives the economy of our country and is responsible for employing millions of people. That being said, entrepreneurship requires more than courage, guile, and persistence. To attain both success and significance, entrepreneurs must disabuse themselves of the myths and avoid the monsters that threaten their great achievements.

I’ve identified 5 Myths with accompanying Monsters that must be debunked by savvy entrepreneurs to maximize their impact on customers, clients, employees, and community. Sparing no expense with a fancy headline, allow me to present and offer solutions to Dan Weedin’s 5 Myths & Monsters:

Myth #1: You must work harder and longer hours than anyone else. The subsequent Monster is fatigue and health issues caused by forcing your nose to the grindstone. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you have to work longer hours and perform labor that is more effectively hired or delegated out. You’re the boss for a reason. That position has much more to do with your “smarts.”

You have the task of being strategic and visionary. You should transfer your skills to others through mentoring, training, and coaching. You should allow yourself the time to think about growing your company, providing jobs and value, and seeking new opportunities. Many entrepreneurs founded a business to leave a boss, only to get a much worse one. Don’t be that boss. Be a leader that models efficiency and productivity.

Myth #2: You have no control. The Monster is discouragement, and this murders innovation and talent. A popular misconception is that most entrepreneurs are control freaks. In my experience, many believe they have little to no control over the economy, their employees, their customers, and local politics, to name a few. This mindset will often lead to bitterness and anger, and can be transferred to the culture of the company.

You have more control than you think. You can control the products and services you offer. You control your pricing. You control whom you employ and for how long. You control with whom and where you do business. You control short and long term strategies. You control how long you want to work. Finally, you control your own attitude. Those that feel powerless will look into the future with dread and anxiety. Those who seize control are opportunistic in any economy or situation. Be the latter.

Myth #3: The future is scary. The Monster is paralysis by fear. I’ve talked to people that fear technology, competition, and the zombies charging the hill. There is a reticence to change or try new things.

Smart and sophisticated business leaders are innovative. They brainstorm; they ask “what if:” and they boldly take risks. I have a standing calendar event where every Friday I invest time in thinking up new intellectual property – both in products and services. It doesn’t matter whether I discover something every week or not. What matters is that I am thinking (there’s that word again).

Don’t stand still. Find a path to the cutting edge in your industry. Create programs, invent processes and products, and step out of the box with vigor. Try to put yourself “in harm’s way” every day. The result will be an invigorated resilience where innovation rules. That will make the future exciting, not scary.

Myth #4: You’re not deserving. The Monster is loss of confidence. There is a malady called the CEO Effect that postulates that many chief executives are worried that one day they will be found out and thrown bodily from the building.

We all have great value that is demonstrated and shared through our skills and talents. This myth is based on low self-esteem, which seems contradictory to the position of a business leader. Let’s remember that we are all human and battle past experiences and current challenges, among other things. It happens more often than you think where loss of confidence is a thief of self-worth.

You are deserving. Accept failures as lessons. Define yourself by who you are, not what you do. Ask for help when you need it, but always remember that you are where you are for a reason. That reason is you, so be proud of it.

Myth #5: You’re alone. The Monster is a combination of loneliness and self-imposed exclusion. This is the old Lone Wolf adage. Many entrepreneurs arrive at that point through years of thinking they are the “only one” that can do, fix, sell, perform, or clean up anything. They become isolated through their own doing.

If you’ve fallen victim to this myth, remember that dogs are pack animals. “Lone wolves” don’t really exist except in our minds. There are many avenues to be part of a pack – executive groups, service/civic organizations, trade associations, coaches/mentors, and charitable organizations are a good place to start looking.

If you operate from a singular point of view mindset, you end up breathing your own exhaust. We know what happens next. If you choose to find yourself a pack of kindred “dogs,” you’ll open yourself up to new ideas, enhanced perspective, and even a place to just vent!

All of that is good for the entrepreneurial (and personal) spirit!

Are you an entrepreneur? Learn how to boost your revenue and build your business wealth

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

The Ultimate Goal: Thriving Through Life

AlansBirthday

Retirement is an ancient and irrelevant artifact. To deliberately stop contributing, creating, and providing value to others is unthinkable (and a slippery slope to irrelevancy and decline).

In the grand scheme of things, life is blazingly short. We condemn suicide, yet we seem to think nothing about throwing life away in part and piecemeal, a little at a time, through inaction and self-doubt. Liberate yourself each morning, like my dogs, charge into the yard and find out what’s new and potentially rewarding for you!

~ Alan Weiss

Last Saturday, I had the tremendous honor of sharing in the birthday celebration for my business mentor, Alan Weiss.I love his recent quote on “retirement” and want to share with you. I tell people all the time that I have no plans to retire. Did George Burns or Bob Hope ever “retire” and stop working?

Find your passion, do what you love, and then have great patience and perspective. The bad things that happen are rarely calamitous. They are most often just minor speed bumps. Speed on.

[ Accelerate your speed to building your business and unleashing your potential ]

Final thought. I work with clients all the time that have built (or are building) a business to then fund their “retirement.” I absolutely endorse that and am helping them accomplish it. The difference is, once they’ve funded the rest of their lives, there is no reason to “retire;” just to discover that next adventure to contribute, create and provide value.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Punching Back…Hard

Ronda RouseyRonda Rousey, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, admitted that she was so distraught after her defeat to Holly Holm in November that she briefly contemplated suicide. The former UFC champion had been undefeated – and literally unmatched – until Holm knocked her out in the 2nd round of their title bout. Rousey’s words in the interview were chilling. She said, “I sat in the corner and thought – What am I if I’m not this anymore?”

What am I if I’m not this anymore?”

“This” for Rousey was undisputed, undefeated, and rock star UFC champion. I don’t doubt her sincerity in her statement or her feelings after the fight. I’m glad she found a way out of that mindset through the help of her friends and family. And, this sentiment doesn’t just hold true for athletes like Ronda Rousey. The world of entertainment is rife with stories of “stars” that have committed or attempted suicide or just threw their life away because they no longer identified as the “rock star” any longer. They defined their life – and their self-worth – as that “rock star.”

Humans are humans. Business people can fall victim to the same mindset. It’s not limited to Fortune 500 CEOs, political figures, and well-known business moguls. It can also happen to a small business owner that is running a 3rd generation family business and is facing a crisis; a sales superstar that has gone from fortune to famine; or a community leader that has fallen on hard times. These are just examples…the truth is that anyone can get caught in the trap of defining themselves by what they do rather than who they are.

When I coached high school basketball a decade ago, I admit I was pretty competitive. In my earlier years of coaching youth basketball, my teams won the vast majority of our games. As a high school coach, the losses outweighed the wins by a much larger margin. There were times that I allowed myself to be defined as a coach – and as a person- based on my winning percentage. The only person thinking that was me. I had defined myself as a “winning coach,” and “what was I if I was no longer that?” This hurt my self-image, my self-talk, and my self-confidence.

Fortunately, that was short-lived. These can often be minor points of time based on perspective and proportion. For business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs, this definition of themselves may be tougher to break free from.

Let’s do a very quick exercise to help you find out where your self-worth is currently:

FirstHow do you define yourself? What makes you who you are? Is it your job, your business, your affiliations?

SecondWhat happens if that’s gone? Are you opportunistic to find something else, or will you be crushed? Is what you do everything, or are you resilient to become anything?

FinallyDo you believe that you’re special, talented, and great even if when you fail? Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson confidently proclaimed after he threw a game-ending interception in the Super Bowl that he wouldn’t let that one play define him. He was seeking that next opportunity to be great. The following year, he had his best year ever.

Maybe in the end, since we started with Ronda Rousey, we should look at this from a boxing perspective. It’s not simply about being able to take a punch in life. Almost all of us have been able to do that.

The real question is – Can you can take a punch and then jump back up and deliver two punches of your own? People with great self-worth, that define themselves by who they are and not what they do, and that are resilient and opportunistic…these are the people that can.

Russell Wilson has. I have full confidence that Ronda Rousey will. But more importantly for the purpose of this article, can you?

Go define yourself as a puncher and a winner. That’s the surest and straightest past to living an “Unleashed” life.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do You Have Spirit?

JackI was at a client meeting and was asked a very good question – “How can you tell if someone has an entrepreneurial spirit?” This inquiry came out of a conversation around perpetuation planning.

The question is really about knowing how someone is wired. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. While some employees show the “spirit” part, many are averse to the risk side.

Here are the 5 qualities that I described about my take on how it is evident that someone does have a bent towards being an entrepreneur:

  1. They have high self-confidence. This is imperative. Just like major league baseball player, an entrepreneur will often get “up to bat” and either strike out or ground out weakly t second base. In order to be successful, one must have such confidence in their own abilities, perspicacity, and value that they can’t wait foe the next “at bat.”
  2. They are risk takers. This doesn’t mean they are reckless, but rather open to every opportunity and willing to bet on themselves.
  3. They make quick decisions. Just as with the last example, this characteristic does not imply impetuousness. They can do a very rapid “pros/cons” list and make a decision either way and feel good about committing to it.
  4. Fearless. Well, at least they are willing to fail. Perfectionists struggle with this. We all will fail; nothing is perfect. In fact, the faster you fail, the faster you will grow and be better.
  5. Natural Influence. Being influential is a skill, however there are people that through a combination of words, actions, example, and presence manifest a high level of influence. This is a key ingredient in leadership.

If you own your own business or consider yourself an entrepreneur, my guess is you resemble many, if not all of these characteristics. The challenge is being able to embrace all of them – especially self-confidence – so that the results remain high. It can be easy to get down when bad things happen. The BONUS quality for entrepreneurship is resilience.

Bottom line – if you want to be your own boss, decide that you will be the best boss you ever had. Focus on these qualities and you’ll be well on your way to achieving it.

 

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Accelerate Your Consulting Success

From my mailing today to consultants…. if you’re a consultant, speaker, author, or coach, this program is for you. If you’re not, but know of one, please share with them.

Accelerate success starting jan 15

Happy 2016!

Let’s be honest. You know that despite the best of intentions, most people break their New Year’s resolutions. But that doesn’t have to be you – or at least you when it comes to your resolutions to take your consulting success to the next level. If your resolution is to grow your revenue or expand your influence, you will have a much better year if your resolution sticks.

If you had a goal to become more physically fit, you’d probably put three things into place – you’d educate yourself on different approaches, you’d get a coach or trainer to guide you and find some other people with similar goals to support you. These principles hold true when it comes to a business transformation. To make a step change in your success, you also need new information, skillful mentorship and a supportive community.

Fortunately, these are the three components of the virtual workshop that Betsy Jordyn and I are hosting in January 2016. Betsy and I were intentional about ensuring that this program was more than a training program. We wanted to offer a virtual learning experience and as said before a container to support rapid business growth.

To reserve your spot in this exciting program, CLICK HERE

A rewarding (and even more profitable) 2016 awaits you!

Warmly,

Dan (and Betsy)

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Cool Factor

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Cool Factor
 

I recently watched a terrific show from the NFL network’s documentary series titled, A Football Life. The episode featured the life and NFL career of the late Ken “The Snake” Stabler. I remember vividly watching “Snake” tear apart the Seattle Seahawks and other teams during his fantastic 15-year career. What made Stabler stand out was his persona. Snake had charisma…he was known as a good old boy from Alabama that lived and played hard. He had swagger, bravado, and (most importantly) a cool factor. His former coach John Madden said of him after his death last summer – “In the big games, he was big. In the tough games, he was tough. In the hot games, when things got heated; he was the coolest guy on the field.” That’s why he was always known as a clutch player.

The very best in their crafts have the cool factor. They are able to stay calm in the midst of chaos and turmoil. When the conversations and emotions run hot, they are able to stay cool. Good decisions are made because the mind is able to slow down and be clear when everything else around them is seeming bedlam. They are clutch performers.

Kenny Stabler was able to keep his cool even under the intense pressure of big games and blitzing linebackers. How good are you at playing it cool when the heat gets turned up in your personal playing field? Do you succumb to the pressure around you or can you be as chill as “The Snake?”

What’s your cool factor? Are you a clutch performer? Make 2016 the year you resolve to consistently be both!

 
Quote of the Week:
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.”
~ Nikos Kazantzakis
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved