Have you ever taken a red-eye flight across the country to say goodbye to a friend who is dying? That’s exactly what I did five days ago on Easter Sunday. Bill Ball, my 44 year-old best friend, was in ICU at the Cleveland Clinic and his body was betraying him after battling leukemia and being hospitalized for the last four months. He was in full-blown organ failure. Other than his heart, kidneys, liver, and bone marrow, the rest of his body was doing great. But apparently those organs are somewhat important, at least according to the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic. Who knew?
Before we go any further, I want you to know that Bill has rallied big-time in the last 72 hours! He is out of ICU and all of his organ are responding, including his kidneys. (I haven’t been that excited to see someone peeing since my kids were potty training.) He still has a long row to hoe, but his doctors are now very encouraged (and encouraging) that he will be back on track by the end of next week. If things go as planned, he will have a bone marrow transplant then and be on the road to recovery.
So what does this story have to do with success and sales? EVERYTHING!!!
In Allen Iverson’s infamous 2002 rant, he said “We’re talking about practice…” 17 times in just 1 minute and 39 seconds. If you haven’t seen the video, it is embedded below. (Just click the picture of Allen to watch.) Allen attempted to minimize the fact that he had missed a practice by saying that he always answered the bell when the game was being played. Allen claimed that he understood that he was supposed to be a role model for his team mates and lead by example. But he also intimated that HE didn’t need to practice anymore…. That he had arrived. Allen was dead wrong, and so are you if you think you can skip “practice” and just turn it on during the game.
Malcolm Gladwell suggested in his book Outliers that to get world-class at something it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice/performance. I’m sure Allen has his 10,000 hours in, but to stay world-class you must continue to work on building your skills. As anyone who has been stupid enough to take up the game of golf will tell you, you can’t work on your swing/game while PLAYING golf. You must pay the price on the practice range.
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It’s not uncommon in our world to applaud workaholics. Hold them up as heroes. You’ve seen this type of highly charged entrepreneur or independent salesperson. They race around, cantankerously announcing that they are exhausted, so busy, swamped, slammed. They’ll tell you there isn’t enough time to get everything done. They think they’re successful, you think they’re successful, and they definitely seem prosperous to the world. But, if you think about it, that really doesn’t make much sense. You can only TRULY be successful if you can actually reap the benefits of your hard work.
Look, I’m probably the last one that should point fingers. I ran 60 – 70 hours a week for close to two decades, never taking a true vacation. (A cell phone or beeper was always strapped to my side.) When I began to take stock of my life, I realized that I had not taken a vacation longer than 7 days since I’d begun my commission-selling career in 1979. I’m not sure I was completely present to my wife and daughter during my go-go years. I still struggle with that now, even in semi-retirement.
Success Leaves Tracks. I know this isn’t an original idea. I first heard Brian Tracy say that exact phrase in in 1999. I believed him then. Today I think he was dead wrong! I’ll explain that in a moment…..
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But before we get going, I have a quick reminder for you. The SIV podcast is brought to you by the good folks over at ReadItFor.me. Your excuse of not having enough time to read just went out the window. What Steve and his team do at ReadItFor.me is take the absolute best-of-the-best business, sales, leadership and self improvement books and turn them into 12 minute videos. They already have an extensive library there at your finger tips and it continues to grow each week. They also hold weekly tele-seminars where they take a book and do a deep dive for an hour into how to best apply the lessons from that book. If you were only able to make one of these tele-seminars a month it would be worth your entire subscription cost, trust me! I never miss a week!!! The best part? As a SIV subscriber you can get a 30-day free trail! All you have to do is go to HERE. It will automatically take you to the free 30 day trial. If you decided to subscribe (and honestly why wouldn’t you?) you will get a 10% discount off their already ridiculously low price. Just use SIV as your coupon code when you check out. It does need to be in all capital letters.
In today’s episode I talk about how Brian Tracy was wrong. He said that success leaves tracks. I believe that is such an understatement that it is wrong. Success doesn’t leave tracks… Success leaves a super highway. To get from where you are today to the pinnacle of success all you have to do is find out what the top people did and then just go do it too!!! It really is that simple!
I want to thank you for listening! The last several weeks we have been averaging just over 3,500 downloads per week!!! This is crazy to me. I was thrilled when we broke 200 downloads in a week. You and the rest of the Success Is Voluntary Tribe are AMAZING! I know that much of the growth of this podcast is directly a result of you sharing it with others and leaving reviews on iTunes. http://successisvoluntary.com/iTunes
Several people have asked me how they can listen to older Success Is Voluntary Podcasts without scrolling all the way back through the website to the beginning.
How do I know you suck at saying no? We all do. It’s part of the human condition. But if you are going to build your Voluntary Benefits business into something that provides you true abundance, you are going to have to get much better at saying no. That’s not just my opinion. James and Claudia Altucher, in their book The Power of No, make a compelling case that the word ‘no’ can bring you health, abundance and happiness. (To find out more about “The Power of No” just click on the picture of the cover.) Apparently Nancy Reagan was right! We can, “Just say no…..”
On Monday I wrote about the power of what I call the “one more.” (Read it here.) In fact, I gave you my 8 “One Mores” that make all the difference.” So I think it’s only fair that I give you 8 things you must remove from your business to experience abundance. After all, the great sculptor Michelangelo was quoted as saying, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” In other words, he felt that the angle wouldn’t be perfect until every ounce of marble that didn’t belong was gone. The only way to remove the following 8 things is to just say no to them.