Category Archives: Personal Performance

The Key to Connection is You

Let’s face the facts

The holiday season is just around the corner.  As always, the conversations around the family dinner table are bound to get uncomfortable.  You need a plan….fast!

Adulting does not have to be hard

Admittedly, I find “adulting” to be a ridiculous word. What the hell does it even mean?  If what one intends is to suggest that being a grown-up isn’t all that fun, I suppose there is some truth to that…but I also have found it is not all that “tough” if one simply makes a conscious decision to actually be an adult. 

I expected to get blown up on this one

Earlier this week, I was inspired to make a statement on social media.  You know the type. A somewhat windy, wordy prose about a singular view of some topic bound to attract the nastiest of responses from those trolls who seem to be abundantly living today in every corner of the internet. But…I wasn’t.

The responses were encouraging

In only 24 hours, I received 50 “likes”, 19 “loves”, 20+ comments, 1 share, and ZERO PEOPLE ARGUING AGAINST MY POINT.  In a word, I was stunned.

 

Here is what I posted

Friends – We don’t all agree on everything. In fact, we share unique opinions on lots of issues. I’m making this request in an effort to do MY PART of being more of the change in the world I want to see:

Stop bashing everybody. Nobody is white/black, gay/straight, American/immigrant, Astros/Dodgers, Christian/atheist/Muslim/Jewish/Buddhist/etc… enough anymore.

Just stop bashing each other. If someone shares their opinion, it is that- their opinion. They are entitled to it the same way you and I are entitled to ours. If you feel compelled, respectfully offer another point of view, and become part of the dialogue.

I am a Christian who loves people of many faiths, orientations, political affiliations, nationalities, races and sports loyalties. None of those people from which I am “different” are a threat to me. In fact, I often learn much from being their friend and listening. I appreciate it when they listen to my perspective, and honor when it doesn’t persuade them to change their stance.

In what appears to be a race to the “lowest common denominator” of mankind, stand tall – be respectful of others – be positive, and most of all….stop being such a jerk to others. Love people. And, yes….I pray for all of us.

You never know the impression you are making on others.

Connection matters

You spend more of your waking hours AT WORK rather than your loved ones.

Your family is yours.  Even if your family is responsible for putting the “fun” in “dysfunctional”!

Not everyone with whom you are forced to interact believes what you believe—and that is okay!

Ask any successful person how they achieved success and most will share with you their story. Learn to emulate  success without copying.

To find success in any aspect of your life…start by meeting others where they are by:

Being vulnerable, yet empathetic;

Listening more;

Talking less;

Demonstrating your character through your actions.

Allowing others to  gravitate toward you, open up, and contribute with their best.

Just jump in!

You can do this. You can do anything!  Even survive that one awkward conversation around the holiday turkey this season. In fact, you just might learn something….even if only to validate what you already believed. 

How do you constantly strive to connect with others and model the kind of world you wish we lived in? Share your thoughts below!

It Takes Audacity to Overcome Self Sabotage – Coach Jennie Explains (Ep 44)

Do you need a coach or a cathartic shove from an Audacity Coach? Coach Jennie explains the difference and helps you overcome self-sabotage in this episode of the podcast.

about-jennie3

Coach Jennie and I met a few years back in an online community she was co-facilitating called “Hungry Entrepreneurs”.  In fact, I participated as one of the “Hungries” by contributing a chapter to a community-produced eBook cleverly entitled “EBooks Suck, But They Don’t Have To…”.  (Want a FREE COPY of the eBook? Just CLICK HERE and we’ll get it headed your way ASAP.)

Jennie has a new book slated for release on September 1, 2016, and we have learned pre-orders will begin in August.  All the details for that project can be found at HildaTheBook.com [Go there now and sign up to be first to get the scoop when it’s available and you’ll get a copy of the book’s preface straight away…trust me, it’s hilarious!]

Too often, entrepreneurial people can feel isolated.  That is exactly who Coach Jennie is looking too help.  She ONLY works with people who want a push, or as she calls it a “cathartic shove” and a shot of audacity to inspire them into action.

bookcoverIn this episode, we talk about suffering with self-sabotage; how to pick the clients you WANT TO WORK WITH and say no to the rest; how Jennie leverages a podcast with a unique format to attract her key clients; and how to make yourself massively available to people who want your expertise….who would never pay for it.

After you finish this episode, get deeper inside Jennie’s brain at:

Roller Derby For the Soul Podcast (over 100 episodes!)
The Audacity LAB (League of Audacious Badasses) Facebook Group

Technology discussed during the episode: www.Zoom.Us, www.huzza.io, www.blab.im

 

Episode 43 – When Your Side Hustle Is Really Just a Hobby

As a Success Charger, admittedly, you’re different.  You see opportunity where others only see roadblocks, but let’s be honest about this one.

What is wrong with simply having a “hobby”.  Why does EVERYBODY seem to think they have to be “hustlin” or “grindin”.  When really, so many of those same people, are just…well….”Strugglin”.


Dan Pink’s book, Free Agent Nation, rocked my world when I read it nearly 10 years ago.  In the text, he explains how the world is basically shifting from what we think of as a traditional employment world, to a “gig economy” world (I’m pretty sure “gig economy” is a newer term, but you get it, right?)

There’s only one problem.  Too many of the very companies who would prefer to pay for talent ONLY when they REALLY NEED IT, have build vast systems to support a “traditional business model” and they often find themselves ill-equipped to actually execute on a plan that the “gigsters” would LOVE…. Being able to work on projects as a free-agent on an “as-needed” basis with enough frequency to be able to effectively blend work with the lifestyle they prefer.

I think we’re on our way to seeing Pink’s reality, it’s just taking longer than many people would like.  Leaving many with a strong DESIRE to be a free agent stuck in a purgatory between what they really want and the harsh realities of the ever-expanding cost of living.  (Television used to only cost the price of the TV itself, you know….and it wasn’t that long ago.  Now….$200+ month is not uncommon just for the “content”.)

So this week, we beg the question, “Do you REALLY have a side hustle, or is that stuff you work on after work just a “hobby”….and by the way, there is NOTHING wrong with having a good ol’ fashioned hobby.

Sound off in the comment section below or  drop us a quick note at podcast@ideacharger.com and let us know your take.

Does your side hustle make money?  Do you actually do anything for fun anymore, or are you  trying to “monetize” EVERYTHING you do?  Or, are you a hipster who still goes to coffee shops for the **gasp** actual coffee?

Your Business Needs A Gut Check – Lori Harrison – Plexus Diamond Ambassador

Lori Harrison will gladly tell you she had no idea in the world she was building a business when she began sharing her story on Facebook to a bunch of her friends.  Today, she and her husband Jeddie Harrison are at the top of their game in a vibrant and successful business build on…well…southern charm and doing what seemed right.

Jeddie & Lori Harrison
Jeddie & Lori Harrison

Multi level marketing companies often receive a bad rap.  And while certainly there are some sketchy offerings in the “MLM” space, there ARE in fact several companies that do quite well.  Mary Kay Cosmetics comes to mind as a shining example of proof (You forgot about Mary Kay being one of the original MLMs didn’t you?)

I’m not here to say MLM is right for you.  It may very well not be.  The story I wanted to bring you, though, is one about authenticity, following your heart, and proof that sticking to your guns can make it possible to build a business…even if you don’t realize that’s what you are doing. For the entrepreneurial at heart, this is a story about “the dream” others around you cannot see.  The lifestyle you know is possible while others run the rat race.

plexusIn recent years, there is a newer player on the scene in Plexus.  Frankly, I didn’t know much about who they were until some friends simply shared a “pink drink mix” dumped into a bottle of water while we were at their house.  While we didn’t “buy in” as reps, I have to admit, some of the product has found its way into our house, and we use the supplements, too.  But that isn’t what this story is about. 

When our friends here in Houston cornered me about someone I went to high school with in Oklahoma over two decades ago, I got more curious.  Turns out, it was Lori…so in true Success Charger fashion, we booked her for an interview, and are bringing it to you here today!

Want to CONNECT more?

Lori’s Facebook Page (You might have to message her to connect…she’s popular and maxed out the “friend” numbers!)

Watch the FULL UNCUT INTERVIEW as it unfolded.  It’s on our show’s YouTube channel under “Success Charger Podcast”. There’s some goofy tech issues and deeper conversation.  It includes about 30-40 minutes of bonus content!

Please leave thoughts, comments, suggestions and whatnot below in the comment section!  PLUG IN!

Why Everyone Should Become A Facilitator [Ep.38]

Even with many years of experience developing leaders, John Verdone (Manager, Global Facilitator Excellence at Development Dimensions International) was struggling to describe just exactly what he did for a living. That is, until one day, when he happened to catch a certain story unfolding on a PBS-like television show and it all clicked.

People with strong presentation skills are viewed as better leaders and perceived to possess many favorable attributes reaching far beyond the realm of presentations. – John Verdone

In this interview, John stops by the podcast visit with host Scott Cooksey and shares what a study he commissioned uncovered about what makes a great facilitator; when learning really begins for adults; and why everyone should incorporate facilitation skills to build deeper, more meaningful connections with co-workers, clients and in your life.


CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video that generated the connection between John’s exploration into “what makes a great facilitator” and this podcast interview.



 

Photo of John Verdone peering out airplane window.
John Verdone
Cooksey peering out plane window.
Scott Cooksey

In the outtake of today’s episode, John and Scott compare recent photos they’d shared online.

Except for the fact that they both appear to prefer seats on the left side of the aircraft, any other resemblance is most certainly coincidental.

Share your questions, kudos, criticisms, challenges, guests you’d like to hear interviewed or whatever is on your mind in the comments section below or email the show at podcast@IdeaCharger.com!


Host Scott Cooksey works with organizations and top leaders to help them build lasting, profitable business relationships FASTER.

He has lead leadership workshops around the globe since 2009, and regularly speaks at conferences just like the last industry-specific one you attended!

Learn more about how Scott works with leaders and organizations like yours at www.IdeaCharger.com 

If you like today’s episode, please share it with your friends and followers on social media!

Five Steps to Faster Success for Any Team [Ep 34]

In this brief, yet POWER PACKED episode, Scott shares five easy-to-implement steps for every team to improve productivity, impact and results FASTER.

To get the FREE GRAPHIC of each of the five steps, follow us:

Twitter  @IdeaCharger , Instagram @CookseyConnects, or the show’s Facebook Page

To support Scott or Krissy with their latest fundraising adventure, click below (At original publication, we are raising money for the BP MS150 Bike Ride from Houston to Austin TX):

www.IWillSponsorScott.info or www.IWillSponsorKrissy.info

Thanks!

 

How To Build The Life You Really Want and The Steps Toward Success You Must Take Today! (Ep 24)

Building on the momentum of recent weeks, in Episode 24, host Scott Cooksey shares how 2016 is off and running with intention and purpose.

Sharing how he practices what he suggests on the show, Cooksey reveals his “ONE BIG GOAL” for this year, shares what he is doing differently to achieve it, and why making time for your family and loved ones is important NOW….while you are building the life and business you really want!

One important fact to remember is that “nobody is responsible for your success but you” and further more, it is not anyone else’s responsibility to make sure YOU get what YOU want.

The only question that remains is: What will you DO about it?

The simple questions and steps you need to take are all included in this podcast episode. Just remember that you don’t have to be perfect right away, but you MUST move the needle in the right direction.

Share YOUR “Big Goal” for 2016 in the show notes at www.IdeaCharger.com/Episode24 and if you haven’t listened to Episodes 21-23, and you’re at the point of wanting to (re)gain control of your own life and business, this would be a great time to give these lessons a listen.

Join us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/successchargerpodcast

Follow us online and learn about how Scott Cooksey and the Idea Charger team can work with you or your team to generate real results in your business today at www.IdeaCharger.com

Ep 21 – New Year’s Challenge

First of all, I want to wish a sincere “Happy Birthday” to my Dad.  For all the years he has offered me advice, each year brings the time between him dishing it out to me actually taking action on it shortens.  If only I could have HIM create a podcast and record it just for you…but, alas, he claims to be retired.

This coming year (or really ANYTIME you are up to the challenge), I want you to upgrade the people with whom you spend the most time.   I know, you are required to be at work and interact daily with Ashley from Accounts Payable, Michael from Marketing & Stanley from Shipping…but that’s not who I am talking about.  No, not your loved ones, either.  The unfortunate truth about your family is that most of your waking hours aren’t spend with them, either. It’s the people you CHOOSE to spend your discretionary time with each week.

“We become the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time.”

– Attributed to so many different people on the internet, let’s just accept this as FACT, shall we?

A couple of years ago, I committed to meet with a group of colleagues who are all speakers, facilitators, and experts of various topics on a monthly basis.  While our businesses were, by trade, quite similar, how we each go about running them varies somewhat.  Each of us is at a different stage of maturity with our business (some might argue in general as well)…but committing to get together regularly and hold each other accountable for progress has proven a worthwhile exercise. Over these last two years, we have seen the ups and downs of one another’s practices, and been there to lend support, friendship, ideas and sometimes just a listening ear.

One of the members of my group is a sales leadership consultant, speaker and fellow podcaster, Jim Jacobus.  In fact, it was Jim who challenged the members of our group to each launch a podcast of our own….so I owe him a THANK YOU on behalf of each of the listeners of the Success Charger Podcast for his encouragement for me to even launch the show in the first place.

I am a listener of Jim’s Podcast, and in a 4-part series he started on November 19th, 2015, he has again encouraged me to raise the bar.

Sometimes it is just better to send you to the source, than try to explain what I learned for myself.  My challenge to you this week is to download and listen to the four-episode series Jim produced on the “Four Questions You Should Ask Yourself Each Year”.

My wife and I have taken these four questions and are carving out a few hours this week to sit down and discuss what they mean to us in the context of our marriage/family as well as both of our careers.

Here are the links to the episodes on Jim’s Podcast, and I hope you’ll find them as helpful as I did.  (HINT:  If you are short on time and just want to cut to the chase, he does a nice, albeit brief, recap on the fourth episode….but I’d recommend listening to all four.  They are about 20 or so minutes each.)

You can also find these on iTunes Podcasts: Search for “In The Sales Arena” or via this link (Epsiodes 64-67)

  1. Four Questions to Ask Yourself
  2. What is Not Working for You and How Can You Make It Start Working?
  3. What New Thing Do You Want To Do In 2016?
  4. What Are You Going to do in 2016 That is BIG?

Listen with the links above, download them for that trip to the in-laws, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Ep 20 – Why You Should Never Set Goals

Stop Setting Goals

If you have been in business for very long, then you most certainly have experienced the typical “next year, our goal is to do more!” Or, “this year, our goal will be $X million dollars in sales!” [A number seemingly pulled out of thin air, or worse…a number simply a percentage greater than last year’s total.]  This is precisely the reason you should never set goals.  Let me explain.

“More” is not a strategy!

There is no creativity in goal setting today.  Too often, what often gets construed as strategic planning, is not much more than wishful thinking.  In short, people are lazy.

insanity- Taking the same action over-and-over again, each time expecting a different result.

Unhappy with the fact that the company’s sales results were essentially flat for a number of years, a company president shared with me once that “he wanted more”.  Isn’t that exactly what conventional wisdom says a company president should say? In fact, it is exactly what that same company president had said in each of the previous five or six years…each time with the same result- roughly the same amount of sales as the year(s) before.  Are you surprised?

Activity Alleviates Anxiety

Filled with desire to achieve a new result, do you ever feel paralyzed & uncertain what to do?  Research indicates that learning occurs in four stages (Read:  Unconscious Competence- A Lesson From Sesame Street). To first learn a new skill, or achieve a new result, one must first take a new action to discover that you likely don’t know what you don’t know- and you need awareness to turn that newly discovered knowledge into action from which you can learn.  Once you took that first step, did the outcome bring you closer to or farther from your desired result?  Adjust. Try again.  It certainly beats the analysis paralysis which prevents so many people from experiencing a change in the outcome of their efforts.  Do something, even if it is wrong!

Where SHOULD You Focus?

target-2To achieve big results, you must have a vision.  To have a vision, you must allow yourself to detach from your past failures and engage with an image of what your new success looks or feels like.  Go ahead.  Get a vivid picture of success.  What would be different if you achieved success? How would it look? Feel? Smell?  What would people notice most about you?

Now, before you get overwhelmed with the natural feelings of “but I don’t know how to get there”, simply bask in that vision for a few minutes. Hey, take an hour!

Welcome back! Feels good, doesn’t it? Now, write down a list of new actions (short term) that would lead you closer to that vision becoming your reality.  Want a new job? Apply for a new one every day for a month. Want to lose those extra pounds you gained over the holidays…four years ago?  Decide to go for  a walk for 30 minutes every day.

Recent, widely-quoted research seems to suggest that mastery of a skill occurs once you have exercised that skill for 10,000 hours.  Becoming an “expert” is a  lofty goal. [For those counting at home that is spending 12 hours a day, every day, for 27 months; or by spending 30 minutes a day for nearly 55 years-if you have that kind of time.]  No matter your level of commitment each day, proficiency in any skill only comes from experience.  There are no shortcuts!

Focus on building new behaviors.  Experiment with new behaviors and identify the correlation with your vision. As you take more and more deliberate action in the correct direction, that vision will begin to come into focus.  Celebrate the small victories.  Track your progress toward the greater desired result.  Just don’t gauge how well you are doing with a pass/fail mentality.  Focus on moving yourself in the right direction.  The big, satisfying goal will just seem to “happen”.

ACTION:  Share a big goal publicly with others as a motivator to keep yourself accountable.  Take a minute and describe your big vision below.  Even if nobody reaches out to you to check your progress, YOU will remember it was posted here and the discomfort of complacency will encourage you to take action each day.

Ep 19 – How To Beat Your Goals Every Time

 

Set goals.  Make resolutions.  Change.  Do something different.  Each of these concepts have a common thread.  They are all about altering behavior and establishing expecations.  Remember, I don’t think goal setting works (well, sort of…).

Perspective

Recently, the following quote was shared with me, and it sparked a conversation which got me thinking.

@LeadershipBEST: The best way to see Faith is to shut the eye of Reason ~ Benjamin Franklin

conversationWhen I read this, I immediately honed in on the aspect of the words “Faith” and “Reason” were both capitalized. My perception of the quote was that having faith (from a spiritual perspective) was exclusive of being able to apply reason when explaining the “un-explainable” or something one does not fully “understand”.  Dianne Reilly(@LeadershipBEST) and I had a pleasant exchange regarding the quote, and I learned her perspective of the quote was less about the religious aspect of faith and more about “acceptance” of topics that affected us in life in a more general sense. By being open-minded to her thoughts, I began to think about how the quote was truly relevant to us both, even while the implied meaning of the exact same grouping of words (the quote) appeared to mean something very different to each of us.  (Thanks again, Dianne, for the great back-and-forth!)

Clarity

A few years ago, I was working on a customer-retention project for a client who was incorporating a newly purchased product line into his existing business structure as a new division.  The client and I agreed to a list of expectations, assigned various performance incentives to our contract, and set a course of action with a lofty goal of 95% customer retention.

After A Day Of TrainingThe challenge we encountered, however, became a flash point upon discovery that I had relied on the implied quality of data, regarding the list of existing customers.  Almost immediately, it became evident that there was a fair amount of missing data (phone numbers, addresses, and other customer specifics) which made it impossible to contact the customer (a metric we were relying on to trigger the performance bonuses).  In my mind, to gauge the success rate to which we’d agreed, the base number used in the calculation should be adjusted to remove 1) a small group of specific customers the owner asked I NOT contact- as he wanted to reach out them himself, and 2) customers with completely missing data that neither a postcard, email, nor phone call were possible for contacting.  Seems reasonable, right?  Well, the client disagreed with my assessment.  While we had agreed on the percentage, we were not explicit in discussing how to handle the poor data set in thecalculation of that percentage.  Though we both sought success, a dispute over the calculation of success ultimately led to the early termination of the project, when the client refused to pay out the incentive for the achieved 95% goal, based on his view on how the ratio should have been calculated.

Expectation

The term “goal” is often used as a substitute for “expectation” or “desired outcome”.  If you think about it, desired outcome is really somewhat subjective.  Have you ever heard of a boss, team leader, or company owner who was upset when a “goal” was exceeded by 50%?  How about when a boss consistently demands “more”, but shouts disappointment when the sales team turns in a result $1 greater than last year.  They thought they hit the goal.  Often times the boss had something else in mind.   From the other side, what about the media reaction to a sports team who quite handily whips their opponent on the field?  The superior team wanted to win (the goal) but often find themselves blasted by critics for being unsportsmanlike.  Confused?  You should be. Expectations, however, should be clear. By both sides.  Every time.

How to Beat Your Goals Every Time

There are two simple ways to beat your goals every time:

Sandbag –

Set your goals too low.  Know what you are capable of (or worse, what you already know you will achieve) and set the bar right there.  Doing this creates an artificial feeling of accomplishment that likely fills a short term desire of feeling successful, yet rarely delivers the long-term satisfaction and success truly successful people seek.

Focus on Changing Behavior-

To continually and successfully blow away your goals (and I’m talking about those big time expectations you have), the key is to focus on changing your behavior.  Here’s what I mean:

Instead of setting an artificial goal:

  • “I will beat last years number.”, or
  • “I will lose 35 pounds this year”, or
  •  ”Sell 20% more than last year”

Focus on activity-based goals, instead:

  • I will log my food intake daily, focusing on making healthy replacements in my diet.
  • Each week, I will meet face-to-face with two new contacts.
  • Attend one professional association meeting a month.  Already attend one regularly?  Commit to attending a second meeting each month, even if it rotates among several organizations.  Just get out there. (And stuff some business cards in your pocket, because you’re going to be looking for new people to meet up with in those one-on-one, face-to-face meetings!)
  • Commit to show up for work (even if you work from a home office or a local coffee shop) 15-minutes earlier each day.
  • Strive to work out (walk, bike, run, weight train, SOMETHING) 30 minutes a day, at least 4 days/week.

You get the idea, right?  By focusing on what you can DO (what you can control), you will achieve lofty goals beyond your wildest imagination (what you can influence by taking appropriate action).

So, let’s start a discussion below about one or more of the new activity-based goals you will be focusing on, starting right now!  Go ahead, post your ONE BIG GOAL!

[Article originally posted by Scott Cooksey at CookseyConnects.com]