Archive for the ‘motivation’ Category

Barriers to Entry

April 8, 2011

When people talk about starting a new business or entering a new market, a common topic of discussion is barrier to entry.  Simply put, barrier to entry refers to how difficult it will be for you (or your competitor) to enter that market and what obstacles stand in your way.

Traditional business models determine barriers to entry by looking at things like capital requirements, government regulations (for example, you can’t practice law unless you have a law degree and pass the bar), or economies of scale (can you compete on price against Walmart?).  Indeed, these are serious hurdles to consider and prepare for when you’re writing your business plan.

But I think the greatest barrier isn’t any of these, and actually doesn’t reside in the market itself.  The biggest obstacle to moving into a market or creating a new business is the mental hurdle you must clear between coming up with the idea and taking action.  I can’t tell you how many people I talk to every day who have great business ideas that will never see the light of day because they don’t (won’t) act on them.

Think about it….once you make the decision to pursue your dream and move forward (or ship, as Seth Godin puts it simply), the rest of those barriers will fall like dominoes.  They’re no match for your passion, your resolve, and your will.


Not Bad for 5 Years Old….

March 22, 2011

Yesterday, Twitter celebrated its 5th birthday. On March 21st, 2006, founder Jack Dorsey sent his first “tweet”, beginning a revolution that would eventually change the way many of us communicate (I’m not among them, yet).

Since that time, some staggering statistics have been amassed.

Here are just a few:

  • Users send over 1 Billion tweets PER WEEK (the first Billion took over 3 years).
  • Over 460,000 accounts were added PER DAY last month
  • As of last month, Twitter is valued at somewhere between $8 Billion and $10 Billion on sales of (only) $110 Million

All in all, I’d say that’s not too shabby for the first 5 years in existence.

You may not have the next Twitter in mind, but somewhere, on a folded up bar napkin or the dark recesses of your brain, is an idea that (if you just had the guts to go for it) would change your life forever.

The Gauntlet (or Perhaps, Maybe, One Day)

March 18, 2011

Perhaps, one day in the future, you’ll be handed an account that has never done business with your company.

And perhaps you’ll be told that they never will.

But maybe the reason they tell you this is because they themselves have tried and failed, or never tried at all.

And one day, someone (maybe you), will pick up the guantlet that has been dropped, unnoticed or unquestioned by those who came before you, and do what no one else has ever done.

Talent vs Will

March 11, 2011

The world is full of stories about supremely talented individuals that never achieve their potential.  Take JaMarcus Russell for example, the highly touted LSU quarterback drafted in 2007 as the #1 overall pick for the Oakland Raiders.  The Raiders spent nearly $40 million (an average of $2.2 Million per touchdown) on what has been recently touted as NFL’s Biggest Bust.

The fact of the matter is that it isn’t talent that makes you successful, it’s drive, discipline, and hard work.  At least one pro athlete gets it.  Here’s what C.J. Wilson, a pitcher for the Texas Rangers had to say in this week’s Sports Illustrated:

“Talent is irrelevant.  I’ve got much less natural talent than lots of other pitchers…I wasn’t even the best player on my Little League team.  What counts is perseverance, application, industry, assiduity, will, will, will, desire, desire, desire.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The Imaginary Bar

March 4, 2011

I sometimes wonder about this quota thing….the imaginary hurdle that all sales people are supposed to get over, come hell or high water.  Occasionally there’s simple logic applied (“What did these customers spend last year?”), but often it’s arrived at in an arbitrary way.

What I wonder is this:   Suppose the arbitrary quota they gave you this year was 4 times larger than the one that you actually received….would you still hit it?  Would you fall short by 50%?  Is there any real reason you couldn’t achieve your manager’s entire revenue target, all by yourself?

The bar isn’t real, it’s imaginary.  How much you produce is really up to you.

Time To Raise the Bar

February 25, 2011

You may have already heard about the video that Johnny McEntee, quarterback for the UCONN Huskies, produced to showcase his talents in an unorthodox way.  You may not know of Alex Tanney, who just last week released his own video raising the bar that McEntee set.  I’ve included both videos below, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching them.

How is this relevant in the sales world?  Simply this:  They’ve separated themselves from everyone else in their field by doing something interesting and inventive.  And you’re more than likely not.  Time for you to raise the bar.

Motivational Triggers

February 15, 2011

As we go through life, little  windows of opportunity open up and provide the necessary “fire” for great achievement.  Let’s call them motivational triggers.  Sometimes they’re obvious, like when you get a layup quota and you know that if you can just put your head down for 6 months, you’ll blow your number out.  These are the times when you say to yourself, “I need to focus…this ride isn’t going to last forever”.

Other times, the triggers are less obvious…like the death of a loved one, getting married, or having kids. That’s when you’re likely to think:  “That was a wake up call.  I need to get serious about my life”.

This weekend, I got to spend some time with a very successful entrepreneur, who’s accomplished some amazing things in his life, and is only a year or two older than me.  It left me thinking:  “Man, I am so behind.  I better get my butt in gear.”

Motivational triggers are everywhere you look; packed with plenty of fuel to help you achieve your goals and be the person you were meant to be.  So be thankful for them, and pay attention…because they rarely stick around for long.

Meanwhile, Back at the Bat Cave….

December 21, 2010

Ever wonder what superheroes do during their downtime?  Are they busy re-negotiating their Underoos contracts?  Not likely.  They’re not watching Dancing With The Stars Finals, either….or updating their Facebook profile pictures, or watching the World Series Of Poker finals.

They’re constantly sharpening the sword.

Getting better all the time.

Preparing for the next fight.

Tiger By The Tail

December 10, 2010

Two days ago, a friend of mine, Chris Hobart, was a guest on CNBC’s The Call.  As a retirement and investment guru, a spot (any spot) on CNBC would absolutely qualify for a check mark on the “life list”, right up there with meeting Nelson Mandela or taking batting practice in Wrigley Field.

And as I watched the segment, I couldn’t help but think how nerve-racking it must have been 5 minutes prior to air time.  I’m sure it felt something like it does right before jumping out of an airplane or the moments leading up to your first shark dive.  Butterflies.  Sweaty Palms.  Fear.

I admire Chris for putting himself out there.  He grabbed the tiger by the tail and is holding on for the ride.  All of us dream of what we want, but if we were ever presented with the opportunity to seize it, most of us would become paralyzed by fear.  We’d pass.

What will you do when you catch that tiger?  And do you really want it?  Or are you so scared of success that you’ll sabotage your own efforts to keep yourself out of harm’s way?

You’ve Got….

November 30, 2010

…18 business days til Christmas Eve, 23 business days til the end of the year, 276 business hours to make this your best year ever.

Or it can be another ho-hum, wish-I-had-finished-stronger, run-of-the-mill year.  It’s your choice.  Tick Tock.

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