Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

Don’t Tell Me

April 21, 2011

Tell me that you’re lazy.

Tell me that your priorities are in the right place.

Tell me you don’t care that much about money or recognition or reward.

Tell me any of these things and I’ll believe you.  I’ll accept your answer at face value.

But don’t ever tell me that the reason you’re not reaching your potential is because of your family commitments, your sick uncle, the city you live in, the industry you work in, the company you work for, or the product you sell.  Because that’s all bullshit, and you and I both know it.


The Carousel

February 4, 2011

Not much to say about this, except that it’s perhaps the best sales/presentation scene from one of the greatest shows of all time.


Choose Art

January 28, 2011

The Smithsonian Museum isn’t filled with mediocre crap, created by disgruntled factory workers who punch a 5 o’clock time card.  No, the Smithsonian is filled with significant, interesting, and (sometimes) breathtaking art. Every day, regardless of profession, we choose to produce either crap or art.

Today, choose art.

I Am Reminded

October 12, 2010

I’m on vacation today.  Actually, I’m on a 10 year anniversary trip in Napa, but that’s just like vacation, except without the little people (and by that I mean my children, not an unfortunate subset of the modern-day caste system).

Anyway, trips like this remind me of why I do what I do:  why I get up every day and try to achieve, to improve, and attempt to provide a unique customer experience by radically over delivering.



August 20, 2010

Steve Nash has the highest free throw percentage of all active NBA players, and the second highest of all time, at 90.3% for his career.  And at only .6 percentage points behind, he has a very real chance of finishing in the number one spot (he’s trending higher as he gets older), ahead of current all-time leader, Mark Price.

It is no secret that Nash has become a prolific free throw shooter because he practices.  A lot.  I mean, it’s his job, right, to make free throws….so why wouldn’t he practice?  And it’s not just free throws, either.  Nash practices the jump shot, the bounce pass, dribbling, the alley-oop – all sorts of stuff.  And 82 games out of the year, that practice helps win games, helps fill seats, and earns Nash about $11 million a year.

How often do you practice?  Between the meetings, the cold calls, the presentations (all the game-time stuff), what are you doing with your time?  Are you getting better, or standing still?  Will you finish your career as the all-time “closing ratio” leader, or as someone who didn’t even make it to the professional ranks?  If Steve Nash has to do it (because it’s his job), why don’t you?

The Deal vs The Experience

August 17, 2010

We live in the age of the “good deal”…they’re everywhere to be had. has good deals on books, Wendy’s has good deals on fast food, Home Depot has good deals on bathroom tile.  These deals have very little to do with people, and everything to do with price.

Contrast this with the noteworthy “experience”.  The experience has everything to do with people, and very little to do with the cost of the transaction.  It requires your conscientious effort, it requires your consent to over-deliver.  Dinner at Capital Grille, a honeymoon trip to Paris, a round of golf at Pinehurst #2 with caddies –  are all about the memorable feeling created by people who go the extra mile (even those you don’t see), to create something special.

Every day, you make a choice about how you engage your customers.  Do you focus on price, or do you focus on an encounter that they can only get with you?  And which are they more likely to remember….that they got a good deal on some faceless transaction, or that you gave them more than they bargained for: a remarkable experience?


June 1, 2010

I just looked at Forbe’s list of the richest people in the world.  Call me superficial, or a dreamer, but I’d love to make that list one day.  One thing that stands out to me, when I look at the top 10 for this year, is that the average age is 65.7 years.  In a strange way, that’s comforting to me, to know that there’s still time to make a huge dent in this world.

Consider Larry Ellison, founder and CEO of Oracle.  Ellison started Oracle when he was in his 30’s. He’s now 65 and the 6th richest man in the world, with a net worth of $28 Billion.  What’s more impressive is that he started his company with only $1,400.  That’s $5,200 in 2010 money.  Incredible.

Right now, in garages and basements around the world, dreamers and doers are launching the next Microsoft, the next Oracle, the next Google.  I’m not even close to what Larry Ellison or Bill Gates have achieved, but I’ve got plenty of time, I’m hungry, and I’ve got $5,200.

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