Make your grass greener

Always Greener?I spent a lot of years acting out of desperation. Always looking for the next best thing.  The thing that would finally put me and my family in a situation of relative comfort.  Chasing these dreams really did nothing for me.  Remember, the grass is generally not greener on the other side.  I made bad decision after bad decision after bad decision.  I always thought I needed to change. Do something different… a different job at a different place, or a different career, or this scheme over here or that scheme over there.  Until I didn’t any more.

Keep your job.  Stay where you are.  Keep your current career.  Quit chasing the latest scheme.  Do what you do… only better.  I started to do this last year.  I stuck to what I was doing.  I had a steady pay, though it wasn’t great, it was enough.  I decided to dive in and kill what I WAS doing.  I actually did this in the two(2) jobs I was working.

Do whatever it takes to make the grass on your side greener.  – Jason Lancaster

That’s what I was doing.  Caring for my own grass with meticulous detail.  Feeding, pruning, cutting, watering my grass.  As I did, people were grass green with envy.  Here is how I did it.

Be professional. – I have always dressed professionally.  I have always tried to treat people with respect.  I have always been punctual.  My attitude towards these things changed.  I began to be professional to achieve success, not to avoid reprimand.  This changed how I felt about my self and my self confidence.  It changed from “going to work” to  “going to achieve success.”

Be Passionate. – Care about what you are doing.  Don’t just go through the motions.  Put your heart and soul into it.

Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be knowledgeable. – Know your stuff.  Become an expert at what you do.  Know everything there is to know.  Know more than everyone else.

Be quality.  – My work has been decent in the passed but nothing to write a blog about… until now.  I upped the quality of the work I was producing.  I went out of my way to make everything I do better than it has been.  I focused more, investigated more, and studied more.  What I created/submitted was focused on quality not on completion.  Don’t just get it done, get it done well.

Be noticeable.  – Be involved with big wigs.  Help them with anything and everything.  Offer up solutions to their common problems.  Be the one they go to because you know the answer.  Bounce ideas off them, often.  Be in the forefront.  Be an integral part of your business unit.  Never be missed. Never be invisible.

Be impactful. – Make your company more money.  Not just by your own efforts but offer up ideas that could make the company as a whole more money be it a new product/service or new/improved sales strategy.   Save your company money.  Again, not just you, but ideas that could save your company a lot of money either through cost savings or reduced labor costs, etc.  Increase productivity for your company.  Introduce areas in which your company could become more efficient thus more productive.

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. – Jackie Robinson

That effort was a consistent effort towards being a better person, not about getting paid.  Only worry about what you are doing, not what you are getting.  The work I churned out was terrific.  Now all of a sudden I was worth more than what I was making and people knew. and eventually they had to do something about it.  This took time.  It took discipline to avoid the pitfalls of desperation.  It also opened up a new job opportunity that I never dreamed possible. It gives new meaning to quality time.  Provide quality over time and you will be rewarded.


5 reasons your “10 ways to” will not blow my mind and funnels are for beer bongs

Cleaning house because I’m tired of being tweeted at.

I recently noticed that my twitter feed contains very few real people.  Well, they are real people; they are just mechanically posting.  I don’t want to read your “10 ways…”  and I don’t care about the “What she did next will blow you away” tweets.  

Content marketing as it is today is not the answer.  Posting information is great.  It is much appreciated.  That is… if I even looked at it, if I need it.

What is missing in today’s social media marketing?  

Danger Will Robinson
Danger Will Robinson

Here is what I want from marketing:  Engagement Marketing.  Engagement Marketing is where the company wants to engage with its customers.

The other week, I experienced a great example of engagement marketing.  I light-heartedly complained to our local weather girl through a re-tweet about the weather.  She had tweeted, “No snow. Yay!”.  Well wouldn’t you know it… it snowed.  I was extremely excited when she retweeted my response to her about the snow.  She engaged with me.  It showed me that she is a real person, and that she actually cares about her audience and customers (at least THIS customer, and that’s all that matters).

Are you actively listening or just waiting to speak?

Let me give you an example of why the weather girl is doing it right.  She always has good tweets… never fluff.   “Radar looks pretty clear today. Get out and enjoy the day.”  This is relevant to me because I am looking for that type of information.  You never see posts like “5 sure-fire ways to determine if it is raining”.  I couldn’t care less about that type of “info”. And when you see posts like that, it seems as if the poster couldn’t care less either. It is posted by some mechanical contraption that does it on a schedule.  They wrote it 3 days ago and probably forgot that it’s even being posted now.  The “set it and forget it” mentality has to end.  Yet, that is all I see up and down my news feed every single day. Those who post only lists and articles don’t listen… they just talk.  I am tired of being talked at.

Back to the weather girl– I have seen tweets from numerous weather folk saying something like “We are getting reports of nickel size hail on the north side.  East side are you seeing any of that? #tornadosuck #funnelsareforbeerbongs”.  Ok, I added the hashtags. But, you see the difference. They are wanting to hear from their customers.

Maybe this works because it’s local.

Perhaps this works best locally.  For example, maybe a local taco bell could ask followers “Hey 123 street way Taco Bell lovers, how do you like the new breakfast tacos? #Imusthave”  I would engage with that company.  They are wanting to engage with me.

The Social Media environment changes as quickly as SchizofrIndiana weather.  Businesses must learn that customers are smarter now than ever before.  The audience sees through all the social media shortcuts.  They know when 99% of posts are all about these shortcuts.  They “see” that business doesn’t really care about them, only the bottom line.  Get your act together!  Start engaging people as people and just maybe those people will become your customers.

Be a robot, and we will all skim over it and pass you by.

Do more, Get more

It has been a while since I last posted.  With good reason.  I have had a ton going on.  Still going on in fact.  It has been crazy and I love it.

morethanpaidIt all started with the attitude that I had about corporate America.  I have this feeling that in corporate America, though can be a great place to work, the pay increases come at staggeringly slow rate.

I entered into corporate America very much under employed.  I was transferring skills, terrific skills they may be, from professional coaching to corporate desk job.  Most companies weren’t drinking the cool-aid.  So I took what I could get.

I had to.

As time passed I began to subtly present my ideas and the impact I could make.  Once I was noticed I let it roll.  And here is the most important part of the whole thing… I worked really hard, I did things way above my pay grade, I didn’t complain about money, I. Just. Worked.

When you do more than you’re paid for, eventually you’ll be paid for more than you do. – Zig Ziggler

I realized I was doing this for a while already and it was beginning to pay off.  Not that I had to do less… that’s not the point.

If you don’t ever show competent work above your pay grade to those who matter then you are doomed to stay right where you are forever and eternity.

Employer is not going to say, “Hey, Mr. worker… I am going to give you double your salary.  How’s that sound?  And then… yeah… then we are going to hope that you have the skills to do the job well.  Is that a good idea to you?”

Have you ever heard that before?  Never.  It doesn’t happen.  But think of the logic behind this.  I am worker #1 and I am paid a nice $10 hour pay to talk on the phone.

What would happen if you went out of your way to:

  • Develop new products
  • Created highly useful reports for supervisors to use
  • Improved the method for training and helped everyone on your floor
  • Created a website that improves customer experience, reduces costs, and improves productivity
  • etc.

I am pretty sure that you are working very effectively at a pay grade much higher than your $10 an hour.  Now your boss is thinking…. “Ya know… I really need to pay that worker #1 guy more.  He does so much.  Hey… there is that position that is coming up at the end of the month.  I think it’s his.”

If you worked the business far above your pay grade then these conversations will happen.  If they don’t get a different job.  Don’t worry, you will have plenty to show for your efforts.

Don’t strive for a raise… Raises come too slowly.  Strive for job change… one that pays better.


Confidence Creator

boots (1)Develop confidence.

Confidence comes from within.

Self-esteem is different from confidence.

Self-esteem often times comes from other people building you up.  Being there for you.  Supporting you.

But, that doesn’t give you confidence.  It will leave you empty.  Like something is missing.  You may sometimes try and fill it with relationships, or addictions, which may only lead to depression.

And what if the relationship isn’t strong?  As relationships go bad, self-esteem gets worse.  Loneliness sets in and confidence is gone.

There are some things you must do.  Be active.  Have accomplishments.  For me it was doing laundry and arranging my calendar.

I know, right?  Simple stupid stuff.  Well, when I did these things I got an enormous boost of confidence.  Something I hadn’t felt in a long time.  I had achieved something.  I did it.  It wasn’t done for me.  It was me, only me, for only me.  What a great feeling.

Build confidnece in small steps.  Do not bite off more than you can chew.  Too much may lead to failure.  You might become overwhelmed and lead you right back into a rut.

First identify what you should do that you currently don’t.  Maybe someone takes care of it for you.  Start small and build up.  Your level may be different from mine.  I needed to learn to handle money, do laundry, go shopping, go to sleep at a reasonable hour.  You may have already achieved those things.  These things may not provide you with adequate confidence building.

Pick something slightly above where you currently are an do it.  The key is moving forward at a reasonable rates.  Keep moving forward.  You will feel your life move forward and your confidence will improve.

Self-esteem is nice.  But it develops dependency.  Confidence comes from within.

Conquer the Clutter

wiresThe clutter controls you.

You know it does.

I am not talking about all the crap around your house or apartment (though I know that controls you too). I am talking about all the crap rolling between your ears.

You don’t have to have a clean desk, clean office, or clean car to be a mastermind. But you do have to have a clear mind.

It means you must eliminate or limit all excess. Try to simplify. Try and be concise and consistent so you can have a smooth thought pattern.

Identify those things in your mind that are cluttering up your thoughts and preventing you from being enlightened.

Every once in a while I have to do a complete and total brain dump. I mean I have to just spew everything out. It needs to get out of my head because it is too crowded and no longer productive. I will take a couple days to do this. I will sit with a journal and just free write. I will bullet point were I can. I will make notes to reference parts that connect, pieces that go together. I get it all “out on the table” so to speak.

This does two things for me. One, I get an actual visual representation of the shit that was in my head. And two, it frees up my mind to explore new connections and new big ideas.

When you find yourself in a rut or bound up (I don’t mean intestinally) get everything out in the open. Do a brain dump and restart.

You will find yourself recharged, rejuvenated, and inspired to press on to bigger and better things.

Eat a cheeseburger… Ya big Loser!

I love this show and I love Rachel. But girl, you lost too much. I was analyzing the results of each player as the finale progressed. I was remembering percentages from years past. You have got to lose approximately 50% of your body weight to win. That also means that if you are a man of decent stature you will have to start at close to 400 lbs to really have a chance. For women, you need to start at least 260lbs. Even still, getting to 130lbs is SKINNY. Tumi, looked awesome but she was a little on the verge of too skinny.

Seriously, I loved Rachel on this show… but, 105 lbs for anyone is too skinny. Even if she was 5′ tall. Too skinny. I can only hope that now that the show is over and she won the $250,000 that she will go back to a normal diet and weight.

These are truly faces of concern.


Conquering Thyself

What have I done... or not done?This will be the first part of my series the Mediocre Mastermind.

First off what are your flaws?  What do you suck at? Figure it out, there are many.  you must identify the symptoms of your lack of success.  Brainstorm.  Ask questions like “why did I lose my job?”  or “What where they so pissed about?” Think about all the things you apologize for.  What situations get you or the people around you stressed out?

It’s kinda like “Know Thyself”  huh?!

For me… “Why did I lose that job?”  Well, I didn’t take care of the details like my boss wanted me to.  “What was my wife so angry about?”  I forgot to take out the trash, mail that letter, pay that bill, clean the bathroom, and I am working all the time.  I am always saying “No, Sorry I didn’t have time.  I will get to it tomorrow.”  You have to be a procrastinator if you wish to be a mediocre mastermind.

I have always stressed people out when I make mistakes.  A couple of times I have not reviewed reports prior to submitting them only to find out too late and causing serious headaches for me and my staff later.

You may be a mastermind but you are definitely mediocre.  Don’t worry though, there is hope.  Follow the steps in this series to help overcome the peril of being mediocre and become a mastermind.

The Co-Captian

My Co-Captain
My Co-Captain

They are just like you.

This is generally the individual on your team that is the easiest to identify.  Most of the time the two of you are best friends.  This person is sort of your partner in crime.  A peer of equal stature.  This individual is a mediocre mastermind like you.  They will keep your ideas big.  Like a fish story.  Back and forth, ideas get bigger and bigger and bigger.  And because they are programmed like you, you will work in harmony together.  You may aspire to have good ideas like them, and your ego will get a boost when they are impressed by yours.  They will have resources that most wouldn’t think to use.  Avenues, approaches that are unconventional and best of all simple ideas that overlap with yours.  Synergy at it’s best.  My Co-Captain is Shawn.  Shawn is the one with the hat, I am the one wearing the blue shirt.  A walking selfy by my co-captain Shawn.

Conquer the Clock

Conquer the Clock
Conquer the Clock

A first step in becoming a Mediocre Mastermind is to Conquer the Clock.  Wake up & go to sleep.  Recently I have had trouble with both which will generally be the case.  Stay up late… can’t wake up in the morning.

Wake up on purpose.

My schedule is fairly flexible.  I can choose when m work starts in the morning or… Late morning… or early afternoon.  But starting work and waking up need to be separate things.  You must wake up because you have decided to wake up.  At a specific time.  Not because you HAVE to go to work, but because you wanted to wake up.  You don’t initially need to figure out what to do but don’t make it work.  Do something else.  Just be.

By getting up on purpose you will gain purpose (and probably start work earlier).  If you make your own schedule, then make it… and stick to it.

For those of you who have a strict work schedule I suggest you get up at least an hour before you begin to get ready for work.  Decide the night before and do it. Do it every morning.  Your body will begin to get used to it.  PS. NO SNOOZE BUTTON!  I wake up an hour before I have to get ready for work everyday because of my crazy cat… but hey, I get up.

We have all heard of super successful people getting up at insane hours of the morning to start their day.  Maybe there is something to this Conquering of the Clock.  Now the question becomes, What to do with the time?  This is where you will begin to see dramatic changes in your well being.  Some things to do might be:

  • Exercise
  • Cook Breakfast
  • Prepare a to-do list
  • Motivational reading (not the sports page)
  • or… the sports page to relax
  • writing
  • Brainstorming

This is extra time to yourself for yourself that you didn’t have before.  Use it wisely and use it often (I actually try and sleep in on weekends just so my wife can wake up with me beside her).

Go to sleep.
Go to sleep.

Done.  Now go to bed.

This one seems to get masterminds in trouble.  It seems to be hard for our brains to wind down.  We might get in a brain storming session over a dinner or you might be stuck telling “fish” stories over beer with your co-captain.  Who knows the reason, doesn’t matter.  Go to Bed.  That party you want to go to is NEVER THAT IMPORTANT… OR FUN.  Besides, your normal self isn’t worth much… a tired, hungover self is worth much, much less.

There are many ways for people to prepare for sleep.  Some read in bed, some write, some prepare to-do lists for the next day. What ever the task may be it is important for the mastermind to choose something that slows things down.  TV can be one, not my 1st choice.  Put your technology away and do it early in the evening.  It has been shown to keep your brain active an hour or more after you have stopped using it.  Slowing down and halting all brainstorming, idea gathering, idea interlacing, is important and can feel unproductive.  You think “not yet, I can’t stop thinking of this one idea. It can’t wait until tomorrow.”  Make it wait.  It can wait.

Waking up and going to sleep are important, but keep to a good routine everyday.  There are a lot of things to do in the 16 hours that you have (and think, that means you get to sleep for 8 hours a night, wow!)

Getting up when YOU decide and going to bed when YOU decide are very important (dare I say the MOST important change a mediocre mastermind can make).  If you do both you be more organized, be healthier (potentially), be more inspired, be more creative, and feel better than ever before.  This will set you up for future success.  This will lay the framework for becoming a mastermind.  Start with these steps and start immediately.


Becoming a Mediocre Mastermind

Sick personEveryone begins average, mediocre.

Here is the deal.  Everyone begins average, mediocre.  Nothing special.  Some of us may have natural talent in certain areas like athletics or math or memory.  I can’t remember what I had for lunch most days, I am pretty good at math (how far will that get me?), and I was an exceptional athlete (I had talent but I had to work too).  But back to my point, we all start out plain ol’ plain ol’.  Many of us just stay that way, moving through life never excelling, never truly succeeding.  Most of us have amazing potential but don’t know how to tap into it.

This series is for all those mediocre people who think they, maybe, want to succeed.  This series will show you all the ways your mediocrity is killing you and how you can overcome to be great!

It won’t be easy.  But now is the time to suck it up.  Pick your self up out of normal, brush the crud off from years of living par, leap towards something greater.  It’s time to be a mediocre mastermind.