Wednesday, August 13, 2008

If at 1st you don't succeed...

If at first you don't succeed, so much for Skydiving. - Henry Youngman

I get excited this time of year because I am planning my fall skydiving trip.  I will make a group reservation, invite everyone I know, and all 3 of us will jump.  Just kidding, it is usually a group of around 25, out of the hundreds I invite.

Now, of course, the cost may stop some.  But mostly cost is just a bad excuse to mask the fear of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.  

Why is skydiving so scary?  We do other scary things all the time. We can drive down a 2 line highway passing total strangers at a combined speed that would equal hitting a stone wall at 12o mph all day.  We can fly in a jet liner at 30,000 feet over oceans and through storms at 500 mph.  We can ride a motorcycle down the freeway at 85 mph.  But, for some reason it is hard to jump out of a plane with a trained professional.  I might add, this trained professional has at least 1,000 jumps under their belt.  They have amazing equipment, and it has a lower fatality rate than any of the above mentioned activities.

This is not an advertisement for Skydiving, but simply to motivate you.

I think the fear of skydiving is rooted often in the fear of not being in control, in the fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and in the fact that it looks scary.  Sound familiar? This is exactly why every business owner should jump at least once in their life.  It forces you to face the 4 biggest fears of any new entrepreneur:

1. Afraid you will lose control
2. Afraid of failure
3. Afraid of the unknown
4. It looks scary

What if?  For one day a year, you conquered your biggest business and life fears?

It is true.  "If at first you don't much for skydiving." But in business, only those who fail are truly moving forward.  If you are not failing, then you are probably not trying anything new. There is nothing to be afraid of in business. Rather, there are simply things to prepare for, work smart for, and work hard for.

Fear is simply a door.  That once you kick down, will unleash your potential in life and business.

I challenge you to find some ways you can grab the fear in your life by the neck, throw it to the ground, and walk on past to your dreams and goals.

-Jon Bohm  

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What do your actions say about you?

"Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them." ~Aristotle

Research tells us that more than 55% of face to face communication is body language. 15% is tone of voice, and the other 30% is words that are actually said. But, the often not mentioned statistic is that your actions override your words, your tone, and your body language 100% of the time.

If you want to know who someone really is, than you have to watch what they really do.

I really enjoy mountain biking. And one story I will never forget is when I met a guy, let's call him "Biker Bob," at a bike shop.   And as we talked, he told me about all his gear, his amazing skills, his experience in the swiss alps on the race tour, etc.  Later that day I went biking down a ski mountain with Biker Bob. Biker Bob was passed by everyone, including me and at least 3 other guys that had no idea what they were doing. We all finished the trail and waited a good 10 minutes for Biker Bob to come stumbling out of the woods.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. Biker Bob had a lot of gear, a lot of talk, and a lot of confidence. But Biker Bob did not have the skills, the action, or the results to match it up.

You can look the part, talk the part, and have the confidence of the part. But your actions and your results override talk and confidence any day.

Dave Barry (a great humor columnist) once said that if you go out to dinner with a "nice person," and they do not treat the waiter nicely, than that person is not a nice person.

I couldn't agree more Dave.

3 Question Reality Check
1. Do people you encounter know what you believe by what they see you do?
2. Are your actions saying good things or bad things about you?
3. Have you thought about how that could impact your business results?

Simple I know. But, a profound reminder to work on your actions and who you really rather then all the work on image and words that is so easy to focus on.

-Jon Bohm

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Control Your Goals

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow them where they lead.
— Louisa May Alcott

We have aspirations. We all set goals. When we go to the grocery store and set goals on what to buy or how fast we can finish and get home. At work we can rush to be done at 5 pm, and set goals to be home by a certain time. We set goals to be out of Iraq as a country, or who we think should be in a political position. We set goals to live a great life and make big money.

Bottom line is that it is easy to set goals and much harder to achieve them. As a matter of fact, we can set a goal in 3 seconds to make a million dollars, or win the Olympics, or fly to the moon. But setting a goal is not helpful unless we can take action to achieve those goals. Often a goal simply turns into "wishful thinking." Because, those goals are for the most part out of our hands. Don't get me wrong, we can dream and work to achieve them, which is very valuable, but whether or not you achieve them is not always directly in your control. But other things are.

For example, a salesperson can set a goal to sell 1 million in product in 6 months. But, the salesperson doesn't really have control over who buys or how much. Therefore, the goal is a great dream and an excellent target, but not a goal. It is too easy to brush it off later as too high, or out of your hands, or the economy took a dive.

A good goal is always in your control. A good goal is achievable and measurable. Which means the salesperson, although they can't control who buys and for how much, they can control how many calls they make, how many presentations they make, how much time they spend sharpening their skills and product knowledge, how much networking they do, and how well they remain motivated and prepared. A good goal is something that is in your control, and you treat it as non-negotiable. You view them as something that you can do, and will do each day before quitting time. Never letting yourself out of it by way of excuse or laziness. Because, after all, it is in your control and you either do it and get closer to your success, or you don't do it and move further away from your dreams.

No action is neutral when it comes to achievement. Every action is either bringing you closer or further away from where you want to be.

Goals are not wishful thinking, like they are so often used. They are much more valuable then that, they are your key to moving forward, out of the Status Quo and into seeing your dreams become reality.

That type of goal leaves you with no choice but to take action. When goals are in your control, they keep you out of the clouds and into moving toward your dreams one achievable and measurable step at a time. Dream big, and then take action to achieve your daily goals.

It is easy to know where you are, sometimes it is easy to know where you want to be. But the real challenge is found between now and then. This is where success happens, in daily achievable activity set to the measurement of a goal.

May you see your highest aspirations in the sun and start walking, or better yet running toward them each day when you wake up. Dreaming is easier done in bed. But reward and success is found up and moving toward the sun.

-Jon Bohm

Response Time

Riddle: 5 Frogs are sitting on a log. 4 frogs decide to jump off. How many frogs are sitting on the log?

Answer: 5 frogs. Deciding to do something and actually doing something are 2 different things.

I was having some short and rapid discussions today. I realized I really didn't have time to go through a lot of thinking processes before I responded. I simply had to respond. And this is a common occurrence for us all the time. We are in situations where we don't have the luxury of following the normal response pattern of stimulus, thought, and response. And we are simply stimulus - response.

This happens when you are playing sports and your body just responds quickly to a ball or other player's movements, when a fighter jet pilot has to respond to a situation, when a kid runs in front of your car, or when your foot comes off the gas and onto the break as you drive when you see a police car- whether you were speeding or not. But it also happens in conversations, business deals, and arguments with a spouse. It is in these moments that you don't have time to answer the way you always should, or the way you want other's to perceive you. In these moments you answer from who you really are. You answer from passion, emotion, instinct, and conditioning.

So, if you hear a great speaker, read a good book, or go to a conference. Unless you are able to understand a concept, internalize the thought, and then practice the behavior, all that knowledge will do you little good when you need it most. The split second decisions and words that come from inside your reservoir of true knowledge and passion, they are developed. You can shape them and mold them so it changes who you really are. Then, in those split second moments, you don't have to think or try, but simply BE... who you really are.

What are you doing to develop who you are personally, professionaly, socially, emotionally, physically, or spiritually?

May I encourage you today to set aside 30 minutes minimum a day to read a book, listen to audio, talk with a friend that challenges you, or whatever you may find to develop who you are. Seek to truly understand, Internalize it, and apply it.

What better thing could you possibly build into than a better, truer, and more authentic you?

- Jon Bohm