Morning Motivator – 2 Years, 1 Month, 19 Days…

"Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. One is a matter of quality; the other, a matter of time."
- Unknown

SPECIAL NOTE: Before anything else today – I want to wish my lovely sister, Ashley, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I love you.

This week I was asked how long I have been publishing the Morning Motivator. I wasn't totally CERTAIN… I just knew it had been quite some time. My CURIOSITY got the best of me this morning and I looked it up. Every business day for 2 Years, 1 Month, 19 Days…

The question POSED after the time inquiry was, "WHY?" Why spend all the TIME to create the Morning Motivator? What do you GET from it? Where do you see it GOING in the future? All great questions… with SIMPLE answers.

Many years ago, I started an email newsletter for my, then, mortgage business at SunTrust. My ORIGINAL mentor, and then Senior VP, Bill Long, said, "If you start it, you better make sure you are committed to delivering it consistently, otherwise no one will respect it or you." Thus the simple answer as to WHY spend the time… because I want it to BENEFIT people through education and be RESPECTED by those that read it. As a result, the TIME must be spent and as for what I GET… well, I am refining my skills as an EDUCATOR. Maybe one day, I will be able to reach a larger group and make a greater IMPACT (maybe even some financial gain).

PERSISTENCE is one thing that no one can DISCARD as an undesirable trait.

As a business leader, we RESPECT people that consistently give best efforts to achieve SUCCESS. With consideration to personal ACHIEVEMENTS, we glorify stories of people whose relentless pursuit of excellence was the differentiator between MEDIOCRITY and EXCELLENCE.

What do you BELIEVE in so profoundly that you are unwilling to RELENT from your efforts? What DRIVES you so deeply that you are willing to make sacrifices of time, money and energy to see them achieved? What DEFINES you as a person and a professional?

As a final note, I think it is IMPORTANT to recognize that your CAREER may not be the "end all, be all" of your life. Your PERSISTENCE is not tied to a job, a charity or a goal. It is a DEFINING characteristic of your overall nature. If you are FOCUSED, PERSISTENT and PROFESSIONAL… it will come through in all aspects of your life!!



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Morning Motivator - Make it Tougher to Switch...

"The service is horrible. If I didn't have an iPhone, I'd switch."
- Nancy Dubuisson

There is a SECRET to making a very profitable business... Make it TOUGH to switch.

Immediately, people think about CONTRACTS that "lock in clients." Also, you may be thinking about BUILDING your program into a company's operating model. Both are very "STICKY" and tough to break...

What if the was a BETTER way to make it TOUGHER to leave?

Some companies have created a "tough to break" model by offering EXCEPTIONAL delivery.

Others are so EASY to work with, it is challenging to consider adding more effort.

Some even offer ADDITIONAL services, such as UNLIMITED support at no additional costs, which create VALUE in the most difficult of areas - SERVICE DELIVERY!

AMAZINGLY, they are many better or more appreciated ways of making it difficult to change for your clients...

Try offering EASIER processes over PROPRIETARY systems, VALUE over contracts. And once you do... Enjoy the RECURRING benefits of BUILDING a great PROGRAM!!


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Morning Motivator - Give to Get

"It's about letting things go, so you can get what you want."
- Bert Cooper

Last night, the Nashville Area Junior Chamber of Commerce Board met for our monthly planning and review. As part of our meetings, we include a Board EDUCATION session. This is an opportunity for our group, as LEADERS, to discuss management strategies to IMPROVE our leadership delivery.

Our topic covered the benefits and effects of PRIORITIZATION. We chatted about the effects realized by performing REACTIVE activities versus PLANNED activities. We also covered the level of URGENCY associated with those activities. (View more at:

As you consider where your action items lie within the matrix, you need to examine the PRODUCTIVITY of each action. Are you creating a POSITIVE enhancement on your business or self? Are you REACTING to someone else's "emergency" or one you created by failing to plan accordingly? Is this even an action that I should DEDICATE time to?

As the holiday season approaches, we are finding our time more LIMITED and thus our systems STRESSED farther.

In order to maintain PRODUCTIVITY and EFFICIENCY, we need to effectively manage "what needs to be done"...

Some of the keys to doing so are:
* Eliminating time robbers - mindless chit-chat, YouTube and other actions that cause you to cramp time into the end of the day.
* Pre-planning your day and week - spend 5 minutes each evening and morning to look over your day, plan resources and make sure you have the right tools in place to complete your tasks.
* Set your plate - if in your planning, you find you do NOT have the appropriate tools to do your work, either reschedule, delegate or re-evaluate the importance of the task (and eliminate if needed)
* Time Block - Schedule hour blocks to complete critical tasks. Set the blocks such that you have travel, planning and follow up time included. Also, make sure you are blocking in order of importance. (Never put off "until later" what needs to be done first).


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Morning Motivator - The Systematic Elimination of Distractions

"If you want work well done, select a busy man - the other kind has no time."
- Elbert Hubbard

I have a SITUATIONAL story to share today about ""TIME ROBBING."

Steve gets to work at 7:45am every day. He is an exceptional employee who is very focused, dedicated, intelligent… and frustrated.

At least three times a week, Steve drives home wondering "where the day went" and why he feels as though he didn't accomplish anything.

He recognizes he spent 8-9 hours in the office. He responded to multiple "critical" emails. He answered quite a few important calls. He even wrapped up a few reports. Yet… He doesn't feel as though he accomplished much.

Steve is a victim of TIME ROBBING. You can recognize it as the continuous start and stop activity of your days. Note the time cycle:

You are drafting a very important email when the phone rings. (4 minutes)

You answer the call, which turns out to be a vendor. You explain you are busy and do not have time to chat, never listening to the opportunity and robbing you of time on your email. (3 minutes)

You hang up and turn your attention back to your email. You have lost your train of thought so you re-read the email. (2 minutes)

You begin back into your email with a focused effort on your objective when Jessica "pops by" your desk to ask about the 3pm meeting and if you had any further ideas. (4 minutes)

You "shoo" away Jessica with no additional information or action items, wishing she had just sent an email or not asked at all. You re-read from where you re-started previously on your email, gaining your thought track back again. (4 minutes)

You complete the email, re-read for any missing items, spell check and send. (3 minutes)

CONGRATULATIONS… you just completed a 5 minute email in 21 minutes.

CRITICAL QUESTION: How many times in a day CAN this (or does this) happen to you??

In order to RECAPTURE your day, you must become a PROTECTOR of your time.

One very EFFECTIVE technique is TIME BLOCKING. By segmenting your time to allow short, focused sessions, you are better able to ELIMINATE distractions and feel CONFIDENT in asking people to come back at a certain time.

Start by scheduling your time blocks in MOST IMPORTANT task priority.

Here is a potential schedule:
Sales calls from 8-10am
Follow ups from 10-11am
Return phone calls from 11-1130am
Check and return emails from 1130-12pm.

Anything that does not fit into those SPECIFIC tasks during its SCHEDULED time… gets PUSHED back! Everyone and everything can and will be attended to in your day – just in your time. And as for people being mad about your MANAGEMENT style… they will get over it once they see they have your UNDIVIDED attention.


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Morning Motivator – Focus on Getting Deeper…

"It's not what's happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it's your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you're going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny."
- Anthony Robbins

Often business people will say that their client base is "ANYONE that (blah blah blah)…" Seriously? Your client is "ANYONE?"

Too often, as business leaders, we are FEARFUL to limit our opportunities. As a result, we commonly ACCEPT less than ideal fits for business. We allow ourselves to work with a client we don't really like and cannot EFFECTIVELY help. We SACRIFICE the quality of our delivery and client base for the SECURITY of income.

Most businesses ARE seeking to grow and expand their ability to deliver an EFFECTIVE solution to clients that provides a financial benefit to both parties. What is the IDEAL way to create that mutual benefit? HOW can we create the best opportunities for SHARED success between a client and its solution provider? FOCUS.

The BEST way to grow a successful business is by METHODICALLY adding a small number of very SPECIFIC clients every month. Additionally, INCREASING the volume of niche products and services you provide to that EXISTING client base.

When you have a FOCUSED client profile, the prospective client becomes much easier to SEE. You eliminate the NOISE and CONFUSION associated with "potential prospects." This will allow you to AVOID wasting time with clients that will NOT experience a mutual benefit from your solution and services offerings. Also, having such a LASER FOCUS with your clients will allow you to be more RESPONSIVE through improved listening and teamwork.

Remember that most successful businesses DON'T need 10,000 clients… just 100 really GOOD ones! Focus on FINDING those 100!!


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