Door to Door Magic.

Today I had the joy of going door to door with my youngest son as he tried to raise funds for his Pop Warner football program. I was very proud of him as he went through the thought process of setting a goal for the day and kept working until he achieved his goal.

When he asked me this morning if I would take him around, I was excited. I remember learning my first door to door sales pitch at about the same age of 10-12 and remembered how great it felt to make that first sale. I wanted him to share in that experience and feeling, so I took the time to do a little coaching and teaching before we left.

Door to Door short list of to dos:

  1. Set a goal
  2. Commit to a direction and time line.
  3. Practice a value pitch ( elevator speech)
  4. Stay positive
  5. Remember it is a numbers game
  6. Say hi, introduce yourself
  7. Speak up , be confident and clear about what you are doing
  8. Welcome questions and answer honestly
  9. Say thank you and be courteous
  10. Repeat often.


I am sure there are tons of lists and other options people could add to this list. Share yours.

My son took these lessons, practiced for about 15 minutes this morning and we hit the street for about 1 hour. He was able to have success in about 80% of his calls and hit his goal.  He was so excited and told me that that was actually fun.  

Door to Door sales might be one of the best teaching courses that anyone could experience, I hope I can get my sons out again so that they continue to build confidence in themselves and learn that in life if you set your goals, take action, and ask for what you want you can achieve your goals with a little effort and work.


Act Now!

Wow, what a day Tuesday turned out to be.

I had the privilege of meeting the company president for Metalast in Minden Nevada, Listened to a speaker on personal branding and the use of social media Bret L Simmons, and was able to help a friend start the promotion of  her new book, Janie Johnson, Don’t take my Lemonade Stand.

What do these three have to do with anything you might ask? Well as I prepared for bed last night it just caught my attention that I was in the presence of three great people who no longer live with in the boundaries of other people. There are trailblazers, and they are making their own destiny, with passion, hard work and just a little bit of crazy.

These three individuals encapsulate the very visions of what I often am seeking on days that I just want to be in control. They have had a dream and a vision which is not uncommon through out society, except that they acted on this dream and made it a reality.

Another common trait I see in these leaders is that they stepped out from the norm and did something a little different. 

At Metalast they started so far down the food chain in the competitive world of Chemical engineering and metal corrosion that most in the industry would have never given the time of day. So what did they do?  They went to the end consumer and created demand by using a 40 foot moving lab with a big dinosaur painted on the side, and went door to door sort of speak to introduce their products possibilities and solutions to the end consumer. The end consumer then demanded that their suppliers use this company… Brilliant.

Bret Simmons saw the power of such tools as Twitter and Facebook in today’s marketplace and started to envision a future of content generation and powerful networks of people which did business together and started to help others by teaching them how to brand themselves professionally and to become a content leader on the new management and marketing edge of the planet.

Janie Johnson is the mother of four awesome young men. She is a typical mom of boys and can be scene and numerous practice facilities nightly as she takes her boys to events, practices and social gatherings. AS her sons started to age and the political culture of our country continued to change Janie wondered how she was going to teach her children the choices they had in politics without forcing them to follow her own views. She realized there was a need for  a book that help parents discuss and teach their children the American ways so that we were raising the next generation of leaders based on the values of America and not just on what they heard form the media.

 I must confess my initial jealousy of each of these three leaders. They to me embody the complete American experience of Freedom and self fulfillment.

 As I consider my lessons and think of how I or other business professionals can follow their lead, I am reminded of maybe on of the simplest rules in life. ACT NOW!

In one of my favorite all time books “The greatest salesperson in the world” by OG Mandino, it is written:

“My dreams are worthless,

my plans are dust,

my goals are impossible.

All are of no value unless they are followed by action.

I will act now.”

Freedom of Fear


Today I finished a two week training session with two new college students joining our staff. Boy do I recall my first weeks in the Newspaper business, such a naive belief in myself.  As I sat at lunch today with one of the new sales people I recalled a story that probably represents my career and this blog fairly well.

I was in my sixth or seventh year in the newspaper, and at this point in my career I was probably considered by some extremely cocky. This was truly a symptom of the success I had been able to accomplish to this point. This Cockiness I carried at that point allowed me to push the boundaries without fear. Fear of failure, retribution or even being fired. As I look back that might be the most confident I have ever been in life, the freedom I felt and the since of being bullet proof to what the world could possibly do to my path made me very aggressive and free of boundaries. My manager at the time was new to our team and had ideas about change that needed to take place, I tried hard to learn his ways and found that I did find great levels of success. However I pushed the boundaries on an idea I had and did not ask permission, why would I since I had always been a leader in sales on the team. Needless to say he was not happy and began to try and put me in my place, unfortunately for him I had reached that place of freedom that allowed me to challenge his tactics. That could have been the end of my career in this industry if this employer had been fast to anger and quick to fire.  Lucky for me and hopefully my future employers, he was not, and instead we found a balance in that argument, where we could both be confident in the relationship moving forward. The point is I was very confident and the thought or fear of losing my employment allowed me to speak freely and honestly in the face of conflict.

The challenge I ponder today is how I help develop young people, sales staff and even my own boys, to that level of confidence. Not Cocky, but free from boundaries of fear. So much in life for me has changed over time. The world has landed several strong punches which seem to have shaken my path to life from time to time, but I still know that feeling.

Was that something that was taught to me? I had employers and supervisors that helped me find freedom in creation, I had teachers that believed in me and dared me to succeed, and my own family obviously gave me a foundation which made me feel confident in my place in the world. But what gave me the strength to stand up to fear? God? Wife? Family? Success?

This question might just be too hard to determine the right answer. I do hold strong to my faith that God will never give me more than I can handle, however I learned early in my faith to make sure your prayers don’t ask for an opportunity to be tested.  And how do I train faith?

I guess if I had to leave my sons with a few words of wisdom it would be these:

  1. Hold Strong to your faith and your values in life. – These foundations will feed you confidence when you need them most.
  2. Never allow the fear of Money to be your ruler. –  The fear of loss when it pertains to items in your possession and the fear of loss in employment have made the majority of the unhappy people in this world.
  3. Live your dream daily – It is one thing to set your goals and shoot for the stars but I would argue that the rocket scientist which built the rocket was having a blast just thinking of all the ways to get it done. Your employment can enrich your life if you allow it to be the tools and fuel which moves your dreams to reality.
  4. When in doubt go for it! –  remember our maker will never give you more than you can handle. You were made for greatness and only your choice to turn away might be stopping you from achieving it!
  5. Remember your favorite things and do them often.

Taking Action with The Great Idea

I have been working with sales people and businesses over 16 years in developing the next Big Idea for individual businesses, and I find it humorous on how many ideas are replayed over time. Got me thinking, How far will great ideas go? Can they still change a culture? Have we as a people become more creative or less creative over time?

  • Today I read about the Apple I-Pad and how it is helping Newspapers publishers generate increased revenue from marketing on their applications. As a past publisher in the Newspaper business I find myself excited to think of what might be with this new technology.
  • John Wooden, the great UCLA basketball coach, today lay’s in a Hospital bed at the age of 99 and fighting for his life. He has claimed to be a peace with life and the legacy he leaves behind. And Mr. Wooden should be at peace. Mr. Wooden brought the idea of greatness to sports, the pyramid of success. He revolutionized the game of basketball and how coaches, teachers and managers operate their teams in competitive situations. His ideas on leadership and character I believe changed generations of people.

History provides us with hind sight, and that hind sight inspires us because of simple but great ideas that work.

  • Recently I was watching Disney Channel with my youngest son and was struck by the teen stars and the PSA they developed for changing our world. Not just Green but just doing what is right for the future of our planet.  (Don’t get me wrong, I probably don’t qualify as an environmentalist, dad was a logger and I hate spotted owl.) Can today’s Teens provide us with the next great idea? The great Motivation to change?
    • In the 1980’s Michael J. Fox took us on a journey in time with the movie “Back to the Future”. Do you remember the gadgets he found in the future? Tell me the I-Pad doesn’t remind you of that movie. When did the I-Pad Idea start? Was today’s genius struck by the power of the Flux Capacitor?

Big ideas, half Baked ideas, creative concepts, visions for the future… They are the life blood of our nation.  Where the next one comes from is a mystery to most. We know that there are R&D groups all over the planet hard at work in developing the next great something.

What about you? Can you create one today in your office? Do you need to be the next great something to create a great idea? I don’t think so; I think you just have to decide to take a different path. Take a look at something just a little different.

How do you create a great idea today?

  1. Find a comfortable, yet stimulating environment.
  2. Invite two or three people you trust for a small brainstorming session. (important to note that these people don’t need to be affiliated with your business in order for this to work)
  3. Identify a subject or problem you are looking to solve.
  4. Start discussion with a little stimulation exercise. Something to make participants verbalize something a little out of the ordinary. (What color is your favorite and how does that color resemble who you are in business.)
    1. Keep it simple
    2. Make it fun
    3. Keep it short.
  5. Start Brainstorming with simple rule that nothing is out of bounds. All ideas should go on the board. Participants should feel free to say any thing at all and know that they will not have to defend themselves.
  6. Once you have run the course of ideas, go back and discuss each item, especially ones that stick out as different. Talk about nothing but the great points of the idea.
  7. Identify two or three ideas from first list to dig deeper on.
  8. Start brainstorming discussion on how those ideas might work how they might develop and how they will be successful.
  9. Implement your favorites…. That is the key. We see or hear great ideas everyday yet often we have no action and the idea fades away. ACTION is the key to great ideas.
    1. John Wooden did not just right a book about coaching, put his words to action.
    2. I-Pad developers acted on an idea. Maybe it came to them during a movie.
    3. Disney is making waves with the youth of our nation because they acted on an idea or passion.

I believe there are millions of new great ideas out there. Question is who will ACT!

I hope that I am one which will act on ideas and not let the next one pass me by.