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Image result for wake up call

 

Good products or services and excellent customer service are the ingredients for a successful business. While you may easily locate your satisfied customers and know that you are providing amazing customer service, tracking unhappy customers can be difficult. This is because most customers who find your customer service poor and unprofessional, usually back-off without providing feedback.

The following are indicators that you should focus on improving your customer service:

  1. Customers leave your company

Poor customer service is a danger to your business; not only because you lose existing customers, but also because you lose some potential clients. Customers, whether or not they provide you feedback, give feedback to their friends, family and acquaintances about a company’s service. A happy customer guarantees more customers in the future, as well as a dissatisfied customer means fewer.

Keep an eye on how many customers are leaving your company. If you see an increase; poor customer service could be the reason.

  1. Too few complaints

Too few complaints do not always mean you are providing excellent customer service. For many people, it is easier not to complain than it is to share your concern or resolve a problem. If you are not receiving many complaints, you could be doing great. However, you could also have underlying issues that customers are not willing to put effort into resolving.

Rather it should be taken as a wake-up call that your CSRs are not performing their job well. Because most of the customers when faced with poor customer service, simply back-off without giving their feedback.

  1. Long waiting time

Nobody likes waiting in a queue, whether on the phone or in a physical line. Customers want to get in touch with a customer sales representative as soon as they can, and with as few obstacles as possible. If your customers have to wait long, you should find out why, and try to minimize the wait times. This may mean customer service training, hiring more staff, or developing more resources.

  1. Customers not given complete information

If customer service representatives do not provide complete information about a product or service, then customers may find problems in the future. If you want to build a long-term relationship with customers, you need to make sure that your customer service representatives provide all necessary information. Information can be product features, service information, total cost, and additional costs.

  1. Decreasing referrals

Asking your new customers ‘how did they find out about your company’ is important to see if your customers are happy and satisfied. Bad customer service annoys customers who in return complain about your company, resulting in a decrease in referrals. If you do not receive customers through referral, you may want to reach out to your customers.

  1. Customer service representatives do not have the knowledge or skills

If your customer service representatives do not have complete knowledge about the product or service they are selling or if they do not have the power to resolve customer complaints, then they have to refer the customers to other employees. This lack of information is annoying to customers, but more so means your employees lack necessary skills.

6.5 Get rid of those who are not willing to improve

Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s perfectly okay to do so as long as you learn from them. But if employees are not ready to learn from mistakes and not willing to improve, then you may have to consider replacement. While terminating current staff should occur only after exhausting all other improvement steps, sometimes it is needed for the benefit of both the employee and the company.

www.52CustomerServiceTips.com

Fire in Sells

Businesses today are more than just sales and profits. They are about building strong relationships with your customers and putting in every effort to retain them. In today’s world, customer service has to be pitch-perfect if the goal is to establish strong relationships with customers. Developing a strong customers service team, you need to be efficient and better than your competition. If customer feedback is an up and down road for your company, this may be an indicator that your customer service needs a tweak or major overhaul.

    1. Customer calls

Just because a customer calls with a concern doesn’t mean you are providing bad customer service. In fact, customers who call are doing so because they trust your customer service can help. However, if your customer service is poor when a customer calls, or your company does not respond to fix the problem you may find yourself in catch-up mode to provide a good customer experience.

    1. Discounts and promotional offers aren’t bringing in more sales

If your promotional sales and discounts go unnoticed or unused, it’s a red flag that there may be something wrong with your product. Such disengagement from your customers toward your product or service must be resolved if you wish to retain your existing clientele.

    1. You have a difficult time retaining customers

Losing a loyal customer is more than just losing sales. It’s about losing someone who initially trusted and chose you to facilitate them. A loyal customer is one who was confident in providing quality feedback. If you fail to retain loyal customers, you are losing more than you think.

    1. Your employees aren’t trained for the job

If your first-contact staff isn’t well trained or empowered to handle basic concerns, your customer service may have problematic holes. Customers don’t enjoy explaining their concern to multiple customer service employees. Unless you wish to hand your customers to your competitors, take the time to train your employees.

    1. You hardly get any referrals

A wise man once said, “Satisfied customers buy from you, but delighted customers sell for you.” If your existing customers aren’t satisfied with your services, they will not only stop buying from you but also stop others from doing so. Customer referral is a sole indicator which clearly depicts where a business stands regarding customer satisfaction.

    1. Your ignorance isn’t bliss

Another sign that your customer service is in need of help is when you are ignoring what the customers want and instead pressuring them to try more services and products. Not only does this agitate your customer, but it also mentally prepares him never to reach out to you again. If someone is in need, give them what they want even if it is a refund or cancellation.

6.5 There aren’t enough complaints against you

At first glance, it may seem like a good sign that your phone isn’t always buzzing with complaints – suggesting your product or services satisfy your customers. But that is not always the case. While many customers do complain, many more don’t, resulting in customers walking away without you realizing there is a problem. Validating customer experiences through follow-up calls and feedback requests are a great way to stay on top of underlying issues customers aren’t reporting.

www.52CustomerServiceTips.com

 

world class customer service

world class customer service

The urge to deliver world-class customer service is the differentiating factor between you and your competitor. Your customer service representatives hold the ultimate power to attract or push away your customers. Good customer service leads to satisfied customers. In turn, this provides a snowball effect as your client base grows6.5 Hard Truths on How to Provide World-Class Customer Service

The urge to deliver world-class customer service is the differentiating factor between you and your competitor. Your customer service representatives hold the ultimate power to attract or push away your customers. Good customer service leads to satisfied customers. In turn, this provides a snowball effect as your client base grows the more satisfied customers you have. A good customer experience will translate into a better reputation for your business.

Below are the hard truths about customer service that should never be neglected.

  1. Customer service impacts customer trust

The only reason you still have a business to put your name on is that people are willing to pay for it. The day your customers stop paying for your service is your last day as a successful business. If you, as a customer representative, fail to earn the trust and respect of your customer, he won’t be coming back. It’s really that simple!

  1. Bad experiences may be forgiven but not forgotten

According to a research study conducted by the Dimensional Research Centre, 39% of the people who have had bad customer experiences are more likely to wait two or three years before doing business with you again. This means that even when companies make up for the wrong they did, chances are it will still not be forgotten and will impact future buying decisions.

  1. Customers won’t come back if you fail to satisfy

It’s not up to you to decide whether your business will prosper or not. It’s in the hands of the customer. If your customers aren’t satisfied with your offerings, they will switch to alternatives the first chance they get. The most loyal customers at times turn disloyal – often as a result of poor customer service. Fail once and you may never be able to recover fully.

  1. The power of social media can’t be ignored

Social media and customer service are a match made in heaven. Another hard truth that can’t be ignored is not monitoring what others have to say about you on social platforms. It has become imperative for companies to respond to both the good and the bad to engage with their customers on a one-on-one level.

  1. Customers don’t like to explain things repeatedly

One of the most important facts that simply can’t be overlooked is that customers hate it when they are repeatedly asked to explain their issues to multiple people over the phone. If the ultimate goal is to offer world-class services, companies must approach the trifecta: a trained employee, a satisfied customer, and more sales.

  1. Bad experiences will branch out more quickly

Bad customer experiences can destroy a company’s reputation. In addition, a bad review is trusted and looked at more often than a positive one. In today’s technologically driven world, people are more likely to believe in a stranger’s words than a business’s word.

    1. The secret to offering world class customer services

Companies who wish to provide world-class customer experiences have to stay focused, vigilant, knowledgeable, responsive, honest, and cooperative. As long as you continue to “be there” to pick up the phone and facilitate your customer with what they want, you will continue to prosper.

www.52CustomerServiceTips.com

the more satisfied customers you have. A good customer experience will translate into a better reputation for your business.

Below are the hard truths about customer service that should never be neglected.

  1. Customer service impacts customer trust

The only reason you still have a business to put your name on is that people are willing to pay for it. The day your customers stop paying for your service is your last day as a successful business. If you, as a customer representative, fail to earn the trust and respect of your customer, he won’t be coming back. It’s really that simple!

  1. Bad experiences may be forgiven but not forgotten

According to a research study conducted by the Dimensional Research Centre, 39% of the people who have had bad customer experiences are more likely to wait two or three years before doing business with you again. This means that even when companies make up for the wrong they did, chances are it will still not be forgotten and will impact future buying decisions.

  1. Customers won’t come back if you fail to satisfy

It’s not up to you to decide whether your business will prosper or not. It’s in the hands of the customer. If your customers aren’t satisfied with your offerings, they will switch to alternatives the first chance they get. The most loyal customers at times turn disloyal – often as a result of poor customer service. Fail once and you may never be able to recover fully.

  1. The power of social media can’t be ignored

Social media and customer service are a match made in heaven. Another hard truth that can’t be ignored is not monitoring what others have to say about you on social platforms. It has become imperative for companies to respond to both the good and the bad to engage with their customers on a one-on-one level.

  1. Customers don’t like to explain things repeatedly

One of the most important facts that simply can’t be overlooked is that customers hate it when they are repeatedly asked to explain their issues to multiple people over the phone. If the ultimate goal is to offer world-class services, companies must approach the trifecta: a trained employee, a satisfied customer, and more sales.

  1. Bad experiences will branch out more quickly

Bad customer experiences can destroy a company’s reputation. In addition, a bad review is trusted and looked at more often than a positive one. In today’s technologically driven world, people are more likely to believe in a stranger’s words than a business’s word.

    1. The secret to offering world class customer services

Companies who wish to provide world-class customer experiences have to stay focused, vigilant, knowledgeable, responsive, honest, and cooperative. As long as you continue to “be there” to pick up the phone and facilitate your customer with what they want, you will continue to prosper.

www.52CustomerServiceTips.com

Branding has long been associated with companies; now though, each individual has their own personal brand. It isn’t a question of whether you have a personal brand, but more about how you are cultivating and guiding your brand to become a strong and impressive one. Your personal brand helps you in planning out your future on the basis of what you want to accomplish. However, since the majority realizes the significance of personal branding, there is an increasing need to add a little touch of freshness to your brand to highlight the uniqueness.

You should provide a promise of added value to convince others that you can offer more as compared to others. Through utilizing different strategies, you can enhance your personal image, create trust, increase leads, and hence, enhance revenues. When it comes to personal branding, there are many mistakes people make that prevent them from nailing their brand and making a mark.

Common Mistakes in Personal Branding

Some of the most common mistakes include:

  • Being inconsistent in personal branding
  • Limiting use of different social channels
  • Trying to do everything on your own
  • Not opting for collaboration with others
  • Copying others
  • Not offering anything fresh and unique

Ways to Make Your Personal Brand a Unique One

Here are a few things you need to pump up your personal brand:

  • Start thinking differently – it is essential to be bold and innovative when you encounter a problem.
  • Be different – separate yourself from the people doing average work in an average way; start doing more and making more by offering something unique.
  • Begin performing differently – break away from the usual patterns and processes. Get noticed by opting for different processes.
  • Perceive differently – start seeing a new task or a client as an opportunity instead of a problem like the others.
  • Brand yourself differently – once you start thinking, being, performing, and perceiving differently, your brand will automatically evolve and become different from the rest.

But how exactly do you think, be, perform, and see differently? This will become easy when you take on a fresh approach for your personal brand. Here are some competitive steps through which you can achieve freshness for your personal branding. These steps include:

  • Establishing a well maintained network and refreshing it by incorporating influential people.
  • Determine three most influential individuals in your industry that you want to follow.
  • Start researching about the ways successful individuals stay fresh and ahead of the game.
  • Begin implementing five new and fresh steps in your daily routine.
  • Sign up for RSS feeds.
  • Start supporting technology to become an expert.
  • Ensure that you keep everything real and fresh.

It is highly important for your personal brand to exhibit freshness to stand out from the crowd. Employers and partners look for individuals offering something different, who are updated about the latest trends in the industry, have honed their skills, and offer an impressive overall package. This indicates that it is significant that you add freshness in your personal brand to gain a competitive edge.

 

www.MyFreshBrand.com

health

 

 

How Do You Expect to Measure Your Health If You Don’t Know What You Want?

How Healthy is Your Aspiration

Keeping with the theme of achieving your own personal physical fitness ideal, let’s measure how healthy your aspiration is. Are you open to examining your innermost hopes, dreams and skills to determine what ultimate achievements you aspire to, or have you closed yourself off and decided to “wing it” or follow someone else’s dreams instead? Rate how strongly you agree that each of the following fresh statements applies to you today from 1-5, with 1 equaling strongly disagree and 5 equaling strongly agree:

  1. I have identified an aspiration that accurately reflects where I would like to take my career and my life.
  2. My most trusted friends, family, colleagues and advisors are aware of my aspiration and I have solicited their feedback.
  3. My aspiration aligns with my vision of what my perfect day would be like and there are no significant gaps between the two.
  4. I have the passion necessary to achieve my aspiration.
  5. I have the skills necessary to achieve my aspiration.
  6. I have the determination necessary to achieve my aspiration.

6.5 I have written my aspiration down in more than one place so I am constantly reminded of it.

Now that you’ve taken the test, let’s analyze your score and measure the health of your aspiration:

If you scored from 7-13, your aspiration is on life support. You may have fantasies about having a great career or richly rewarding personal life, but have made no efforts to make them come true or even to see if they really represent what you want in life.

If you scored from 14-20, your aspiration is sickly. You probably have some firm idea of what you would like to accomplish, but aren’t making a real attempt to go out and do it.

If you scored from 21-26, your aspiration is guarded. You know what you want and have taken some basic steps to get it. Maybe you earned the right college diploma, or know someone important in the field. You’re probably at the stage where you’re “looking into” achieving your aspiration. And when you’re looking into something, it usually means you have an outside vantage point.

If you scored from 27-33, your aspiration is fit. You have followed most or all of the 6.5 steps to achieving your aspiration and have a credible shot at making it happen someday. Remember there is a difference between going through the motions and putting your heart into something!

If you scored a 34 or 35, your aspiration is Herculean. You have fully integrated your aspiration into all aspects of your life and have made it your number one daily priority. If you have not achieved it yet, you are on a clear path and have already passed several key milestones. You understand that goals are there to be met and surpassed, not held as an ideal.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development trainingcustomer service trainingcustomer service tipscollege success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speakercustomer service speaker, and college motivational speakerat http://www.myfreshbrand.comhttp://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

Got 10 seconds? Feed your mind this nutritious thought and experience the exponential growth.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

PowerTalk brings key players at public and private companies as well as subject matter experts to talk with PowerTrend Profits editor Chris Versace about key issues of the day facing industries, companies and consumers.  Click here for more PowerTalk.

 

For leadership coachingprofessional development training, customer service trainingcustomer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or  how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.

The more you reach back and share with someone else
the greater your success will become

Where has the year escaped to? We are quickly approaching the end-of-year holidays: a time for joy and sharing. So I am going to close out the 2012 series of articles with a reminder that the best way to enjoy your success is to share it with friends and family. 
 
I have been using building your “dream house” as a metaphor for building your perfectly aligned and promoted brand, and I believe it is an apt comparison. After all, your brand should serve as a home where all your professional skills and aspirations reside and draw strength, so that you can go out into the world and compete in today’s ultracompetitive marketplace. 
 
But imagine for a moment that you have invested the time, effort and expense to spend most of the year building your dream home, decorating it exactly the way you want it to look and getting settled in. Now the holidays are coming – don’t you want to have friends and family over for a sumptuous holiday feast, so they can share in the fruits of all your efforts? Why create your dream home if you aren’t willing to share your dreams with those close to you? 
 
Likewise, you need to share your brand success with those close to you – be they relatives, friends, classmates, co-workers, spouses/romantic partners – whoever means something in your life. This doesn’t mean rubbing your success in their faces, but it does mean perhaps picking up the tab for a nice dinner or inviting an old friend to play a round of golf. If you are successful enough to buy a fancy car, boat or other grown-up “toy,” make sure the people you care about get some enjoyment from it, too. The point of building a successful brand is not to become a recluse or miser, but to become someone who gets maximum enjoyment from life and is willing to share some of that enjoyment with others.

How Slammed is Your Door?

Following is a test to help determine whether your door (so to speak) is wide open to sharing your brand success, partially open, or slammed shut. Rate how strongly you agree that each of the following fresh statements applies to you today from 1 to 5, with 1 equaling strongly disagree and 5 equaling strongly agree
 
Scale
5♥ Wait, that’s really, really true about me- Strongly agree
4♥ That would be me- Agree
3♥ 50/50 sometimes, sometimes not- Somewhat agree
2♥ That absolutely has nothing to do with me- Disagree
1♥ Let me take the fifth on this- Strongly disagree
 
1. When I experience success, I see it as an opportunity to help others. 
 
2. I am not foolish with my money, but when I am doing well financially I’m willing to spend some on the people close to me. 
 
3. Success does not prevent me from staying in touch with the people I care about. 
 
4. Success does not lead me to forget about the people who helped me achieve it. 
 
5. I do not use success as an opportunity to engage in “one-upmanship” or pettiness. 
 
6. I do not feel that success makes me superior as a person to others who might be less successful. 
 
6.5 I always remember that in the end, people mean more than money or material goods.

What’s your digits?

Now that you’ve taken the test, let’s analyze how well you are securing your brand image: 
 
If you scored from 7 to 13, your door is slammed shut to sharing your success. Your selfish attitude may provide some shallow, short-term enjoyment, but ultimately it will cause you to become lonely and dissatisfied. 
 
If you scored from 14 to 20, your door is open a crack to sharing your success. You might pick up a check once in a great while, but you’re not really being generous with what you have earned. 
 
If you scored from 21 to 26, your door is open halfway to sharing your success. You remember who your friends are and show some basic goodwill, but still keep a lot of your success to yourself. 
 
If you scored from 27 to 33, your door is open three-quarters to sharing your success. You make some genuine attempts to share your good fortune with others, but still don’t fully put your heart into the effort. 
 
If you scored a 34 or 35, your door is wide open to sharing your success. You do not attempt to show off or buy people’s affection, but you realize the intrinsic value of helping others around you and put people before material items and wealth. You are enjoying the best kind of success – that which nourishes the spirit and mind as well as the body.

GAP – Great Action Plan

I will conclude today’s look at sharing your success with a Great Action Plan. To truly share your success, you must determine exactly what steps you must take to be generous without being careless or boastful. 
 
Now, using the information above, what will you do to close the GAP? What’s your Great Action Plan for nailing a brand that will yield personal, economic and professional success? 
 
What will you do today? __________________________________
What will you do this week? _________________________________
What will you do this month?_________________________________

Happy Holidays! 
Exponential Happiness, Peace, and Overflow

Knowing your aspirations will help you filter out the stuff/things
that will block your success

Aspiration means having particular ambitions and then setting out to achieve these goals. This is your purpose, to fly high and soar to greater heights! Knowing your aspiration allows you to tailor-build your personal brand; otherwise you run the risk of building a brand that doesn’t help you reach your aspiration. Remember – if you aim at nothing, you’re guaranteed to hit it! 
 
To better visualize aspiration, think about how aspiration applies to building the home of your dreams. What architectural style is this home? How many rooms does it contain? How spacious are the grounds, and are there amenities like a garage, tennis court or swimming pool? On a more detailed level, does your dream home feature hardwood floors or carpeting? What kind of fixtures are in the bathrooms? Is there a standalone kitchen table or an island? 
 
If you don’t know all these answers before you start building your dream home, the project will quickly go off track and you’ll wind up with a poorly designed mishmash of ideas and styles. Or possibly even worse, you will let a contractor tell you what your dreams for your house are, then you’ll wind up with a home that suits someone else’s dreams, but not yours. 
 
The same is true of your brand. Without first realizing your own aspiration, you will have no framework for building your brand, and you will wind up with either a poorly defined brand that does not really tell potential clients and partners anything about who you are or what you do, or a brand that has been defined by someone else.

Realize your aspiration

Aspiration is really a two-part entity: it is something that must be found and then realized. Many people have an aspiration, but relatively few genuinely find an aspiration that truly represents everything in life that they are most passionate about. Even fewer move on to achieve an aspiration once they have found it! The closer your aspiration can align with your passion, the greater the chances for sustainable success! 
 
And not having an aspiration means not knowing what you want, so how do you expect to measure your success without one? If you truly don’t know what you want out of life, make finding out your top priority. Then go back and start building your personal brand. This way you will have a realistic chance of succeeding and a way to measure how well you’re doing!

How Slammed is Your Door?

Keeping with the theme of building a home, let’s measure how slammed (or hopefully open) the door to your aspiration is. Are you open to examining your innermost hopes, dreams and skills to determine what ultimate achievements you aspire to, or have you closed yourself off and decided to “wing it” or follow someone else’s dreams instead? Rate how strongly you agree that each of the following fresh statements applies to you today from 1-5, with 1 equaling strongly disagree and 5 equaling strongly agree: 
 
1. I have identified an aspiration that accurately reflects where I would like to take my career and my life. 
 
2. My most trusted friends, family, colleagues and advisors are aware of my aspiration and I have solicited their feedback. 
 
3. My aspiration aligns with my vision of what my perfect day would be like and there are no significant gaps between the two. 
 
4. I have the passion necessary to achieve my aspiration. 
 
5. I have the skills necessary to achieve my aspiration. 
 
6. I have the determination necessary to achieve my aspiration. 
 
6.5 I have written my aspiration down in more than one place so I am constantly reminded of it.

Now that you’ve taken the test, let’s analyze your score:

If you scored from 7-13, your door is slammed shut. You may have fantasies about having a great career or richly rewarding personal life, but have made no efforts to make them come true or even to see if they really represent what you want in life. 
 
If you scored from 14-20, your door is open a crack. You probably have some firm idea of what you would like to accomplish, but aren’t making a real attempt to go out and do it. 
 
If you scored from 21-26, your door is open halfway. You know what you want and have taken some basic steps to get it. Maybe you earned the right college diploma, or know someone important in the field. You’re probably at the stage where you’re “looking into” achieving your aspiration. And when you’re looking into something, it usually means you have an outside vantage point. 
 
If you scored from 27-33, you door is three-quarters open. You have followed most or all of the 6.5 steps to achieving your aspiration and have a credible shot at making it happen someday. Remember there is a difference between going through the motions and putting your heart into something! 
 
If you scored a 34 or 35, your door is wide open. Congratulations! You have fully integrated your aspiration into all aspects of your life and have made it your number one daily priority. If you have not achieved it yet, you are on a clear path and have already passed several key milestones. You understand that goals are there to be met and surpassed, not held as an ideal.

2.5 Keys to Unslamming Your Door

Just because your door may not currently be wide open does not mean it has to stay that way. Even a door that is stuck due to years of staying closed can be pried open with the proper tools. 
 
So to help you unslam your door, or keep it wide open if it’s already that way, I offer the following 2.5 fresh keys to opening even the most stubbornly slammed door so the whole world can come on in. 
 


Key 1: Identify three of the most successful people in the area of branded expertise that you are going to capture 
 
While some people like to attribute the success of others as “luck,” this is really just jealousy talking. True success never occurs through simple luck. Even in the case where someone assumes control of a successful family business or inherits a large sum of money, if that person doesn’t have what it takes to succeed, they will fail. Many a family business or fortune has been quickly squandered when an unqualified heir inherited the reins! 
 
Likewise, a “lucky break” will be of no help to a person who is unwilling or unable to recognize the opportunity, seize it, and then capitalize on it to achieve success. Show biz legend has it that the great leading man Burt Lancaster got his first big Broadway role because a casting director mistook him for another actor. Even if this is true, do you think Lancaster could have parlayed that role into a towering stage and film career if he were a dud in front of the audience and camera? 
 
So now that you’re ready to recognize success is never an accident, identify three of the most successful people in your area of branded expertise. Think big. Don’t restrict yourself to the three most successful people you personally know, or who live in your region. If you want to be a success in real estate and you live in Omaha, Nebraska, you

Key 2: Research what they do to stay fresh 
 
You have identified three major success stories in your area of branded expertise. Great. Now it’s time to do a little homework. We live in the “Information Age,” an age where the whole notion of privacy has changed and personal details of almost anyone’s life can be found. We’ll save the debate about the overall ethics and implications of this situation for another time. Right now, we will use it to our advantage. 
 
Depending on whom you have identified and what field you’re in, researching what they do to stay fresh could be as simple as a trip to your local library or bookstore, or may involve a little more legwork. To stay with the Donald Trump example, he has never been shy about trumpeting the secrets to his success for the world to hear (for a price, of course!) Trump has written numerous books about his business philosophies and strategies, and there has been at least one major biography written about him, as well. 
 


Key 2.5: Make sure that everything about you communicates and exudes freshness 
 
After following the first two steps to freshness, it’s time to take the additional “half-step” of making sure that everything about you communicates and exudes freshness. Like it or not, image and appearance are extremely important, and unless you look and act the role of fresh, you can identify and research how other people have achieved aspirations similar to yours and not get anywhere with that knowledge.

Great Action Plan

I will conclude today’s look at aspiration with a Great Action Plan aimed at helping close the gap between following your aspiration and following someone else’s aspiration or following nothing at all. To find your aspiration, you need to examine your innermost passion and determine what it is you are truly best at. Then align your aspiration with these qualities and you can’t lose! 
 
Now using the information above, what will you do to close the GAP? What’s your Great Action Plan for determining, following and achieving an aspiration that will yield you personal, economic and professional success? 
 

 

 

What will you do today? __________________________________


What will you do this week? _________________________________


What will you do this month?_________________________________

What do Your Thanksgiving Eating Habits Say
About Your Branding Efforts?

Now that November is here and the ghosts and goblins have gotten their treats, our thoughts turn to Thanksgiving. In many ways Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays, not only because it celebrates the Pilgrims who helped settle several of the original colonies, but because it is totally dedicated to overindulgence. What could be more American than gorging yourself on delicious food in the name of people who devoted themselves to hard work, sacrifice and austere living?

Different people follow different eating habits on Thanksgiving Day. Believe it or not, how you eat your Thanksgiving feast can say a lot about how you approach your branding effort. Some people start with the appetizers (such as cranberry sauce or rolls), move on to hearty slices of turkey with maybe a little gravy and plentiful sides of stuffing and vegetables, and then save room for a piece of pumpkin pie.

However, some people have a tendency to skip right over the main course to the sugary stuff, rather than work their way through the nutritious part of the meal. Not satisfied simply with the prospect of a enjoying a giant meal with family and friends, many people ignore the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce etc. and jump right into the pumpkin pie. Some folks will even stuff themselves on candy and nuts before the meal starts (but they probably still have room for dessert even though they are “too full” for the mashed potatoes and green beans).

Which style of Thanksgiving eating best reflects your brand-building efforts? Do you dig in heartily and with joy, without skimping on the meat and potatoes (i.e., networking, skill development, education, taking on extra work, researching your marketplace)? Do you immediately indulge in the sweet stuff that follows (taking a long vacation, buying expensive things, celebrating your success with a night on the town)? Or do you skim through the meat and potatoes of your meal (and your effort) in an attempt to obtain instant gratification that you have not really earned?

Drinking beer and eating fried chicken…

To further illustrate my point, let’s look at the recent collapse of the Boston Red Sox. After a poor start in April, the Red Sox buckled down and went on an impressive run that gave them the best record in baseball for most of the 2011 season. However, when September rolled around, the Red Sox suddenly lost focus, stopped giving their best effort, and quickly faded away, not even reaching the playoffs.

There were numerous reasons for the historic collapse (which are still being deciphered), but one fact that came up was that several members of the Red Sox pitching staff were drinking beer and eating fried chicken during games. Even though these were games they weren’t scheduled to play, this dietary choice clearly shows a lack of preparation and focus on what should have been the players’ main goal: building a brand as a championship-caliber baseball team. Having a cold one and a chicken wing may have provided some short-term instant gratification during games, but in the long term it contributed to poor physical conditioning, mental distraction, low morale and generally bad teamwork.

Don’t be tempted by the “fried chicken and beer” in your daily life! Save them for the occasional treat after a hard day’s work of brand-building is over. Maintain the physical and mental conditioning, morale and teamwork you will need to make it to the top.

So have a Happy Thanksgiving, and remember that pumpkin pie doesn’t count as a vegetable!

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