Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Everyone's a Salesman

We all act as sales people at some point in our day. Have you ever had a disagreement with your spouse about where to go on vacation? How do you overcome this? Perhaps one of you wants to go camping in the mountains, and the other wants to go to a beach resort.

Likely each of you will present a series of points as to why your vacation idea is better. For example, camping in the mountains will offer beautiful scenic views, and the opportunity for fantastic nature walks. The kids will love it! On the other hand the resort might offer all kinds of activities for the kids, as well as some gorgeous scenery of it's own. 

The spouse that makes the most convincing argument will have their way. It probably would't hurt to get the kids on your side either! In sales there will always be an actual decision maker, but it doesn't mean that others don't influence the decision. If you recognize this, you'll likely be more successful.

The same logic applies in actual business situations. Everybody in your Organization should consider themselves a part of the sales equation.  You might be thinking this is a bit of a stretch, but it's true.

For example, consider the company accountant. Let's say he's attending an industry function and he has nothing but negative things to say about your organization. This type of action can most definitely affect your bottom line. You want your employees espousing the positives of your organization at every opportunity.

Developing a strong corporate culture, where your employees are satisfied and onboard with your goals, is essential to your success. As I've discussed in a previous article which you can find here, your people are your greatest assets. They can also be your worst asset if they aren't treated properly.

Monday, 20 April 2015

3 Videos With The Potential to Change The World

There are some battles it seems we were just not meant to win. Take nature for example, we can prepare for an earthquake but we never really know when it's coming. Sure we have some early warning indicators, but only enough to duck for cover. The same is true for some of the major illnesses that mankind has battled over the centuries, of which cancer is one of the worse. Will there ever be a cure for cancer? The answer has always been no, but in the video below scientists at Duke University seem to have made a groundbreaking advancement in the battle against cancer.

Towards a Future Without Alzheimer's

Cancer isn't the only malady plaguing mankind. As we grow older one of the most difficult things we have to face is our failing memory. It might seem amusing when you forget where your car keys are, but that could be the first indicator of something far more serious. I must admit, as someone who loves to read and write every single day nothing scares me more than thought of losing touch with my memories. They define who we are and who we will be. That's why Alzheimer's is one of the worst afflictions we can possibly face. I can't imagine slowly forgetting everyone I've ever loved, and now thanks to the groundbreaking research in this next video, there's a good chance we may not have to face that possibility in the near future.


Living Without Arthritis

For anyone that's ever had to watch a family member suffer with sever arthritis it's one of the most heartbreaking of experiences. I know from experience. There's nothing worse than watching someone you've always known as a strong independent person slowly lose that independence because of crippling arthritis. While many of the illnesses we face seem to making some progress, it always seem like arthritis is the forgotten disease. Well thanks to the hard work and dedication of the scientists in the next video there just might be a light at the end of the tunnel.


We face a lot of challenges in our efforts to cure some of the worst illnesses that affect our loved ones every day, but with the unbreakable will of the human spirit we are moving closer every day. These cures may not arrive in time to help those we love, but we can take solace in knowing that future generations may never have to face the scourge of cancer, Alzheimer's, and arthritis. I don't know about you but that makes me sleep just a little better at night. Have you come across any videos with promising cures for some of the worst illnesses? Send me your links, I'd love to feature them in a future article.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

3 Videos That Will Change Your Life

Like everyone else I often experience challenges that make me ask the question why me? It's natural to feel a little overwhelmed when life throws us curve balls, but it always help to try and keep our troubles in perspective. There are very few things in life we can't overcome with a little determination and, while we can't overcome all obstacles, we can always control our will to try. When you think you've got it rough consider the story of Nick Vujicic  - a man born with no arms and no legs and an incredible will to succeed.

Artistic Impressions

Artists have been inspiring us since the dawn of human civilization. From the first cave paintings to Rembrandt - art has always had the ability to capture our imagination. We usually take it for granted if we have any sort of artistic ability and if we don't we just accept that that's our lot in life, but we should never just accept our situation we really can do great things even when the odds are stacked against us. Johannes Swanepoel has been overcoming incredible adversity for more than thirty years.

Musical Inspiration

When we need to escape from everything life's throwing at us we often turn to music as an escape route. There's something about the rhythm of our favorite songs that can help us forget our troubles for a while, and in many cases help us to move past our melancholy mood. Sometimes it's not just the music that can inspire us but the musicians themselves. Stevie Wonder is one of the most successful musicians of all time and yet he's never seen a musical instrument in his life - he's never let that get in his way.

Life's going to throw challenges at us, but that doesn't mean we should just accept things the way they are. If you've got dreams go after them no matter what the obstacles are in your way - these three individuals sure did. Do you have any great links to videos that have inspired you? Send them a long I'd love to check them out. 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Never Give Up - Find a Solution

The one thing that becomes more apparent to me with each passing year is that we are all in this together. We all have our ups and downs, we all have good moments, we all suffer personal tragedies, and we all have dreams. It doesn't matter where on this earth we live, we face the same trials and tribulations. It stands to reason that the solutions we discover to issues that affect us can be of help to others. With this in mind I thought it would be helpful to share a few videos that have inspired me. When you think your problems are too much to bare, think about how these courageous individuals have found a way to push on in the face of overwhelming odds.

One of the most inspirational people of the last thirty years was Steve Jobs. This man took a dream that started in his garage and turned it into one of the most successful companies in history. Apple products are everywhere. Do you have an idea that you just don't know how to get off the ground? Take a look at this next video.

One final video I want to share with you today comes from an every day guy that wanted to change his life - for himself, for his family, and for everyone who's ever faced his unique set of problems. This one really inspired me on a deep personal level.

I really hope these videos are just as inspiring to others as they have been to me. This is the first blog in the new direction of this site. I'll be posting the videos that have inspired me the most over each week, so check back here every Monday for the next post. Best of luck in whatever life may bring you and feel free to leave a comment I'd love to hear your thoughts on the videos.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

How to Avoid Losing Customers

One of my biggest pet peeves is heading online to search for some information I desperately need, only to be thwarted by the "snake oil salesmen" of the modern world. You know the type. They suck you in with a hook suggesting they have all the answers you're looking for, let you read four teasing pages of web type, and then you find that you have to buy their eBook if you really want all the information you're looking for.

Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against people making money for their hard work. I'm a big fan of it myself! I just don't believe you should waste peoples time letting them read page after page, only to tell them you're not giving the information away for free.

I guess what these people are hoping for is that by the time you get through their spiel, and you've been exposed to their writing style, you'll recognize them for the experts they are and you'll be dying to buy their book. Personally, the only thing I want from them at the end of their little deception is to go away!

My little piece of advise to anyone considering marketing their latest eBook this way? Don't! This is one of the easiest ways to alienate potential customers. Tell me right at the beginning of the article that you will offer a few useful insights for free, but that I have to buy your eBook for the rest of the material.

We were all told in grade school that "honesty is the best policy" right? Nothing's changed. Do yourself a favor, be honest about your intentions and you'll be a lot more successful. 

Have you ever been frustrated by long winded sales pitches that try to conceal themselves until the last possible moment? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear if you've had a similar experience.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

2014 - A Year in Review

As we approach the end of another year it's time to reflect upon the year that was. What have we done as a species that inspires us all? What advice can I offer you to prepare you for another year? I certainly don't have all the answers, or even a lot of them, but I do prefer to look at what we've accomplished together rather than where we've failed. I believe this makes me a little different from most. Unfortunately far too many of us prefer to dwell on everything that's gone wrong, and everything that might go wrong. Why not make 2015 the year when you choose to look for the positives in every situation?  Even in our darkest moments we can find inspiration if we're willing to look for it. Here's my look at the year that was and what we can take from it to make 2015 even better.

On a personal level this was a tough year for my family. It seemed like everything was going against us at times. Perhaps the darkest moment was losing my mother-in-law to cancer. She was a real tough lady, and she fought until the very end. It would have been easy just to give up, to resign ourselves to the fact that misery had a permanent seat on our doorstep, but that kind of philosophy simply isn't in my DNA. Sure we had our rough moments, but we chose to remember my mother-in-law as the inspirational lady she was. Those last few months when she was suffering with cancer where simply the last few moments in a very full life. She leaves behind a family that continues to be influenced by her personality in decisions they make every day. How can that not be positive?

Looking out at the world there was plenty of inspiration to be found. One of my favourite stories of 2014 involved the trials and tribulations of the technology company Blackberry. As 2014 began there wasn't anything positive happening for Blackberry. The company was bleeding money and going through a wave of downsizing. A lot of it's employees lost their jobs and none of the "experts" had anything positive to say about the company. Many were convinced that Blackberry was finished, but then there was a change at the top. John Chen took over, and Blackberry began to refocus. 

They turned their attention to their strengths - business enterprise users. Sure Apple and Samsung had the consumer market under lock and key, but Blackberry was still recognized for their strong security features which continued to attract customers, particularly for government and corporate use. They announced partnerships with Ford, Samsung, and many others that took advantage of their strengths. They also introduced the Passport. A phone designed to appeal to the business customer. They might not be in the black yet but they're getting close because they chose to focus on their strengths, and because they chose to ignore all those critics that said they were finished.

This was also the year we landed a probe on a comet. After ten years of chasing the comet we finally caught up to it. These little pieces of ice and rock have been around since the birth of our solar system. There's so much we can learn from them. Needless to say, the scientists involved with this project were ecstatic even if communication with the probe didn't last long. It landed on the dark side of the comet preventing the sun from recharging its batteries. They chose to focus on the positives. In the short time that the probe was able to send information back to earth they were able to gather a lot of information that they had never had access to before. We can't always expect the perfect outcome, but that doesn't mean we didn't get it right. 

Keeping our view on the skies beyond our earth, the first test flight of the Orion program was successfully launched on December 5th. This NASA program is being developed as a replacement for the space shuttle program. The space shuttle served a purpose, but it had limited range and was never meant to take us beyond the earths orbit. The Orion program is designed to take us back to the moon, and eventually on to Mars. For mankind to survive in the long run we have to move beyond this earth. What can be more inspiring than humanities continuing push to expand our frontiers?

2015 promises to be an exciting year. There's bound to be many more stories like those mentioned above that will continue to inspire us going forward. Sure we'll go through some difficult times as well, both on a personal level and as a species. The challenge is to use these difficult times to inspire us. Even the worst times will end eventually. Why not make 2015 the year that you choose to focus on all that's positive in life? What did you find positive in 2014? Do you have any advice for the rest of us that you've learned over the past year? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Fall Revivals

Fall, what a spectacular season! Beautiful colour is everywhere. It's like an unseen artist has mustered every creative bone in their body to bring the trees to life. The weather's still warm enough to go for a long walk and enjoy the scenery. It should be a time to enjoy nature - to enjoy being alive, but for many it's simply a reminder that summer is over and winter's just around the corner.

If we let the seasons affect our mood depression can soon follow and with it a downward spiral from which we might have a tough time escaping. Often when we're depressed and feeling sorry for ourselves we overeat, abuse alcohol and drugs, and mistreat family members. So how do we avoid the onset of depression as the seasons change?

Instead of looking at fall as the end of something (summer), look at all the great things you can do in the fall. Watching the kids play in the leaves, curling up with a good book by the fire, Thanksgiving and Halloween. These are all great things to look forward to.

It's a great time of year to join a gym, and instead of overeating start the journey towards a new healthy you. You can workout at home if you prefer. It doesn't matter, just don't use fall as an excuse to let yourself go.

Have you been dreaming about going back to school or changing careers? What better time to get things started. Turn fall into the beginning of a new adventure in your life, not just the end of summer.

There are so many opportunities to make a better life for you and your family. It doesn't matter what time of year it is. Seasons change - so what? Don't let them affect your mood. Make a positive change today, don't wait for spring. How does the change in seasons affect you? What do you do to combat the change in mood? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.