Success

4 Key Factors that Will Help Determine Your Business Success

Business success is determined by your customer.

Business success is determined by your customer.

Do you really know what your customers think about you?

I’ve asked many business owners about their competitive advantage. They tell me they have great salespeople, installers, a beautiful showroom and super customer service. This is often in contrast to what the customers have written on line where their ratings are two out of five stars!

Why does this happen? Businesses think they’re in touch with their customers, but they really aren’t. If a customer says something unflattering about them, they usually dismiss it. “We could never please that customer, “is what they say.

If you’re not connecting with your customers, you’re doing a disservice to your business. If you don’t know what they like, how can they brag about you? Yes, you need them to brag about you. Consider that 65% of customers make decisions about where to shop and ultimately buy based on recommendations from their friends. Often the friends are social media friends they’ve never met!

Here  are four factors that you should consider:

Understand your marketplace. Are you located in the right place to attract your customer? Can you describe common traits about your customers? If you can’t, how can you attract more of them?

Know what products your customers like and buy more of them. If your customers are high end, why is your showroom stocked with so many cheap, uninteresting products? Being “all things for all people” just confuses both customers and salespeople.  Customers don’t have much time to shop so why bore them with things they don’t want?

Get the right business partners. Do you carry everyone’s products because the prices are good? Find  partners that are looking out for yor profitability  and your customers. They should also understand your marketplace and help you distinguish yourself from the competition.

Plan for the changing marketplace.  Businesses are heading down the tail end of the richest generation—the Baby Boomers. They fueled the marketplace with plenty of money and a desire for buying new things. As they age, their needs have changed. They are being replaced by a generation with different ideas about the world and seem to value “experiences” over certain things. (Electronics are one category they crave.)

You might not be able to be ahead of change, but you can certainly keep up.

Lisbeth Calandrino is a strategic thinker who has been helping businesses improve their bottom line for over 20 years. To schedule a conference or have her speak at an event, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Abany, New York with her cat Rainyday.

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By |May 19th, 2015|Blog, Marketing, Success, The Millenniums|0 Comments

An Update on What Value Means to Your Business

What makes you different and what is it worth?

What makes you different and what is it worth?

Everyone talks about value but what does it really mean? Simply put, it means going above and beyond what is expected. For instance, giving out cookies and hot chocolate during the holidays in your business can be considered added value. Cookies add to the festivities and are unexpected by the customers. Will all customers think they are added value? Probably not the people who are on a diet or don’t eat chocolate chips. Value added is a marketing and sales strategy for your business. It helps customers remember you, build repeat and referral business and build differentiation.

Before you can deliver, you have to know your customers, and what they expect. Yes, customers want to be treated with courtesy, feel that prices are fair for the marketplace and expect your place of business to be inviting. If you can’t deliver what’s expected, how can you go above and beyond and deliver the “added value?”

Once you know who they are, then you can go forward trying to figure out what you can do that they would like.

So added value is something the customer gets and finds delightful. Imagine giving your customers a beautiful winter blanket on a beastly hot summer day. The blanket is worsted wool, with horse blanket fringe as well as being soft and warm. Delivered in the summer, it isn’t valued, in fact, becomes a problem. You might say, “I wouldn’t care when I got the blanket, it’s so magnificent. “ Despite your excitement, many of your customers would not be feeling the same. So treating the customers using your standards may not be adding any value nor getting any points from your customers.

Instead of thinking what’s of value to you, find out what’s of value to your customers. For any of this to work, it must be determined within the context of your customers.  Of course, we all have fixed budgets, but we still have to look at the customer’s criteria. I go into the gym daily. It has become an important part of my health plan. One of the things, besides all the people I know is the coffee that is served free of charge in the lobby. It makes a huge difference to me; it’s always fresh and somehow signals the end of a good workout. So it’s a big deal to me; no, it’s not rational but value isn’t rational.

I know they make a big deal about wiping down the equipment after it’s used in the gym. (They consider this huge value.) Frankly, this doesn’t really matter to me; I know the best thing I can do is go home and change my clothes. I’ve been told the gym is one of the dirtiest places in the world so I don’t think a simple wipe down will help.

In all of our lives, it’s the simple things that make our own world special.

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Want to Get Noticed? Get a Job in Target

Whether you’re in the market to sell yourself or your business you will have to build your brand. Your brand is what makes you unique—it’s what makes you.

Mark Zuckerberg in his "hoodie."

Mark Zuckerberg in his “hoodie.”

When I mention “hoodie” who do you think of? Could it be Mark Zuckerberg? He took hoodie to another level.

Don't forget clean underwear.

Don’t forget clean underwear.

My mom used to say, “Your reputation is all you have.” In those days it means a “good” reputation. These days I’m not sure if it has to be good. You just need a reputation!

Alex from Target,  no longer unknown.

Alex from Target, no longer unknown.

Building your brand isn’t easy. There’s lots of competition and everyday there’s a new unknown who’s become famous.  Last week, Alex was a 16 year old cashier at Target, overnight he became a celebrity with 300,000 followers on Twitter. Someone snapped a photo of him, and it went viral. He says he still doesn’t ’ know what has happened but there’s the buzz that it was a PR stunt from Target. It doesn’t matter, 30 days ago he was an unknown, know he is being represented by Shahidi, who is guiding him on next steps. We now have a brand called “Alex.” Alex was wearing a red Target shirt; I don’t think it was the shirt that made him famous. It was probably his innocent good looks. Here’re some ideas for building your own brand.

No matter what you do, you need your own personal brand to be remembered. If you’re in the sales business, you need customers to remember who you are. I remember I had a salesperson that was known as “the really tall, good looking salesperson.” He was 6 feet tall and definitely good looking. It got him lots of repeat business.

Here are some ideas for building your brand.

"A ship is safe in the harbor but that's not where it belongs."

“A ship is safe in the harbor but that’s not where it belongs.”

Be bold. Take a shot, don’t be afraid to be you and stand out. Your boldness may be your clothes, your hobby or your blog. It might be your haircut. Blogs have made many people famous.

Look like yourself.

Look like yourself.

Look good. Just because you’re running to the post office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up. My mom used to say, “Put on your lipstick, you never know who you’re going to meet.” This was the upgrade from my grandmother who said, “Don’t forget to wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”

Practice random acts of kindness.

Practice random acts of kindness.

Practice “random acts of kindness.” We always remember people who are nice to others. It never hurts to be kind.

Recognize opportunities.

Recognize opportunities.

Get known for working hard and doing an excellent job. This will also make you feel good about yourself.

Have fun.

Have fun.

Be fun, don’t take everything so seriously. I was lucky enough to work with Madeline Kahn in the 50’s. We were both college students working in a hotel in the Catskills; she was a singer and I was a waitress. In the afternoons, she used to dress up as Greta Garbo; a famous vamp from the 20’s and lounged around the pool.

Madeline Kahn, "Blazing Saddles."

Madeline Kahn, “Blazing Saddles.”

One day, the owner came out and yelled at her, “His line, Madeline; you have to get serious if you’re going to be a star!”

If you’ve ever seen “Blazing Saddles” you know she was silly and became a star.

Listen up.

Listen up.

Listen to others. A good listen that isn’t critical is always remembered. You don’t have to be a social worker; you just need a kind ear.

Albert Einstein said he wasn't smart, he was curious.

Albert Einstein said he wasn’t smart, he was curious.

See yourself as entrepreneurial. Being entrepreneurial with interesting ideas will always help your brand.

Take a chance.

Take a chance.

As Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are and way what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a business consultant for over 20 years. To speak with her about your business or have her train your employees, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Historic Hudson Park with her cat, Rainyday.

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Are Communication Skills Much Ado About Nothing?

COMMUNICATIONI have been doing sales training for over 25 years, and I am always amazed when I see a salesperson having trouble building rapport. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject: “Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication. It is commonality of perspective: being ‘in sync’ with, or being ‘on the same wavelength’ as the person with whom you are talking.” In other words, rapport is when we get each other. It’s as simple as that, but it becomes complicated when we believe that everyone should think like us. Not only do we think it, we spend time trying to convince the other person of our position. If you’re spending your time convincing, it shows a lack of understanding of communication. In order to be a good salesperson, you have to give up your position of having to be right and hand it over to your customer. Remember, if you want to be right to win, that means the customer has to be wrong. In any transaction or relationship, no one wants to be wrong. According to Sravanthi Reddy G.,  selling is a two way communication relationship and involves talking and listening.

  1. Before conducting any type of sales training, I always suggest we do a standard sales training inventory: a test that will show the person how they communicate, who they communicate best with and what gets in their way.
  2. Learning about your communication style makes it easier for you to absorb new information and understand how it will help you. This is why school is so difficult for many; they can’t understand why they need the information and how it will help them. Once you do some communication testing, people will open up and want to learn. I use BEST Instruments because it’s simple and very revealing.
  3. Building rapport is the concept of connecting to your customer. Instinctively, we know how to communicate with people like ourselves. If you ask people why it works, they often say, “We just click.”
  4. You can click with anyone. Isn’t that amazing? Instead of passing on a customer because you don’t like them or just don’t get them, once you learn about yourself, you can make adjustments in your communication style.
  5. Great salespeople are in control of their communication. They know why they connect and what makes it work. On the other hand, amateurs leave it up to fate. Another great line is, “The customer just wasn’t ready to buy.” Building good rapport has little to do with the customer buying your product; it has a lot to do with whether the customer buys you!

Give a gift to your salespeople: the ability to understand their communication and sales skills. It will benefit them and your business many times over. Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing sales and customer service training for over 20 years. To book a consultation or have her speak to your group, contact her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com or 518-495-5380. Lisbeth lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York,  with her cat Rainyday.

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By |November 18th, 2014|Blog, Reaching the Consumer, Sales, Success, Training|0 Comments

What Does Sales Success and Body Building Have in Common?

What good are excuses?

What good are excuses?

Several weeks ago I conducted a sales and product knowledge training in Burlington, Vermont for Mohawk Industries. In the front row was a rather petite, attractive and outspoken young woman named Marion Posluszny. Marion is part of the management team at Wholesale Flooring in North Hampton, NH.

Marion was extremely sharp and when I mentioned exercising, she stated, “You just don’t know.” The statement stirred my curiosity and I went on Facebook to find that Marion is a body builder. As a dedicated gym rat, I’m aware of what someone has to do to be successful at body building. I decided to give Marion a call.

Marion, tell me a little about body building, how did you get interested in it and why do you like it?

I was always fascinated by the “look” of these super fit athletes. I just never knew how to get involved in it. I met my trainer Laura through the referral of a mutual friend. I like the ever-changing challenge that comes with it. It is always evolving, and it’s a continual process that has to be constantly worked on.

How does it relate to sales success?

I would say it relates to success in the way that you need to combine drive, work ethic, attention to detail and letting go of the fear of failing. It’s ok to fail; I look at it as a lesson learned. It paves the way to getting it right. What keeps you motivated to be a good manager or salesperson? I love people that I come into contact every day. I love the creative aspect of designing a project alongside them. I believe it is very helpful to continue to branch out and seek information, be it conventions, sales seminars or trade shows. I always like to see what other’s perspective is. It gets the creativity going. I have gotten some of the best ideas form other people. Arnold Schwarzenegger once said that “The only way to be a champion is by going through these forced reps and the torture and pain.” Although he called it pain, he still said he loves it. How do you feel about this?

Well funny you should mention him; I refer to his “Six Rules of Success” often. His story is just amazing, he says, “Never be afraid to fail.”

The amount of drive he possesses is amazing.

He recounts when he was first competing and was in the Austrian Army, he had to sneak onto a freight train to get to Germany to compete. The point is he stopped at nothing.

I love the” just go out there and get it attitude.” His attitude is ‘anything is possible,’ and so far I think he’s right!

I’m assuming like sales, you don’t “win” all the time. How do you stay focused?

If you let negative thoughts run through your mind it’s time wasted towards your goal. There will always be days that self-doubt gets the better of you. I don’t focus on self-doubt: I focus on being positive and winning. I’ve realized it’s easier to move forward by having this type of attitude.

The only thing a negative attitude does is erode yourself-esteem. There have been times when I didn’t place in a competition; instead of letting it bother me, but I used the information to develop a plan to improve my skills.

What advice do you have for anyone in sales who want to be above average?

  1. Pressure will help you stay focused. Remember, everyone else is out to win your customer.
  2. Don’t procrastinate; you must get out and do it. Procrastination makes your task harder and longer.
  3. Surround yourself with like-minded people. This way, you can support each other.
  4. Keep yourself invigorated by staying on top of what your industry has to offer and don’t be afraid to fail. Failing helps you evaluate your technique and make changes.
  5. Always keep educating yourself on communication and building relationships.
  6. Taking part in trade shows will build confidence and keep your approach fresh and creative.
  7. Always deliver more than you promise—and promise a lot!
  8. If it’s what you really want, never give up. Giving up is just an excuse for “not wanting it bad enough.”
  9. Believe in yourself and what you’re doing is good for yourself and your customers. Everything comes from your values and what’s important in life.

And lastly, “I personally like this one the best, “Be excited and passionate; no one can take that away from you!

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By |October 12th, 2014|beliefs, Blog, Sales, Success|0 Comments

Are you a Victor or Victim of the Environment?

American novelist.

American novelist.

Today I attended a Weight Watchers meeting. What started out as a “fact-finding mission,” has turned into a lifetime membership. I’ve been attending for a year; weighing in weekly and often staying for the meetings. I never thought I would stay, but I find the people and the meeting inspiring. Today we discussed things in the environment that we can’t change.

I went out to eat the other night and noticed that everyone was taking home more than I was eating. There were mounds and mounds of food on everyone’s plate. I kept thinking, if I ate all that food I would just continue to gain weight, but the food looked so appetizing. I heard a little voice say in my head, “It’s not for me.” I guess that’s what going to Weight Watchers for a year will do for you.

You become what you hand around.

You become what you hand around.

Is your environment unhealthy? Here are some tips for staying on top of it.

1. Remember stress of some form will always be in your life. You may choose to see it as stress or change it to excitement. We may not be able to change the stress but we can change how we react to it.

2. Have an escape plan. If things get too much for you, get out. One of the men said he was so overwhelmed by the food at an open house; he just left via the back door. Occupy your mind with something different. I have a friend who “worries it forward.” Instead of waiting for the “think to happen, “ in her mind, a “possibility that it might” means it has. According to a poll on the health site, for example, roughly 70% of readers find themselves ruminating quite often, and only around 5% find that they are able to let things go almost immediately. To ruminate is one way to think or exercise the mind or one’s power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions or arrive at a solution. Instead of getting done with it, you think about it over and over.  Do you think you’re prone to “ruminating?” Take this test and find some helpful tips to get you away from this habit.

3. Distract yourself from the uncomfortable thing. This will help you forget about it and put together a new plan. You can read a book, turn on the television or take your dog for a walk. Be a good friend and look for positive people.

Get some exercise

Get some exercise

4. Be mindful of your situation. Instead of going off into the “what if,” become grounded in reality. Reality might not feel like the safest place to be, but you will have more options there.

5. If you’re stressed, make sure you get enough sleep. Without the proper amount of sleep, things look a lot worse. Consider a short nap to perk up your stress coping abilities.

6. The best way to lessen your stress is to go for a run or exercise. Exercise raises your endorphins and will give you energy. The environment continually changes giving us more things to deal with. The better we are with coping the more pleasant our lives.

Lisbeth helps businesses improve their customer service and the customer experience. To have her talk to your team or schedule a call, reach her at 518.495.5380.

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“Don‘t Squat with Your Spurs On and Other Things we do to Sabotage Our Success”

Sometimes we do stupid things even when we know they’re stupid!

I love “Old Cowboy Wisdom,” even though I’m not a cowboy. How many times have you done something so stupid you wondered why you were doing it?

These day’s businesses still think they are in control of what the consumers think and do. It’s just not so.

Consumers are in control and more empowered than ever. They are creating their own experiences wherever they go and are demanding something unique no matter what the venue. They expect every retailer, not just major ones, to create an emotional experience for them every time they show up. Consumers want to be cool according to their standards of “cool.”

Last night, I went to our new Whole Foods Supermarket. It’s only been open for a month, and it’s still nicknamed “Whole Paycheck” by some of the locals. To compete as a supermarket you really have to work hard. Not only do you have to have great food and prices, but you have to come up with things no one has thought of. (I think I mentioned that Hannaford Brothers Supermarket had a gym within the store.) I wasn’t very impressed except for the produce department. The vegetables were arranged as if they were smiling from the shelves. That alone made them look like they should be more expensive. As I was checking out the clerk noticed there was no price on my candy bar. I explained I would go back and get one with the price on it. She said it wasn’t necessary I could have it for free! I told her I didn’t want it for free, but she insisted. Just because they made a mistake (or had they?) it should be free? To me this wasn’t terribly smart.

  1. Think you’re not  allowed to make mistakes; if you give it away to the customer, you must have high enough margins to let it go by. Smart customers get that. If you’re dumb, how long will you stay in business? This isn’t Whole Foods.
  2. Finish your sales presentation telling the  customer “To have a nice day.” Really, this is another overused expression.
  3. Think that you shouldn’t have amazing events that make customers want to come back “again and again.” I was surprised to see they had Rip Esselstyn author of “Engine 2 Diet” talking about how to eat healthy by eating green and was signing books. There wasn’t a seat in the house, and he must have sold 100 books at $27.00 a book. He was also hawking his two-day  seminars. Don’t think there’re many vegetarians, think again.
  4. Greet each customer the same way with some canned presentation. You and I both know that customers are very distinct  and want to be treated like they’re special. Spend time talking about different ways to greet your customers. Treat everyone as if you’re dying to get to know them.
  5. Never follow-up with your customers. If you believe once they’re gone,   they’re gone,  and then  you’ll be left with few customers. The customer in front of you night be linked to your next customer.
  6. Don’t update your technology.  Do you think that paying for high-speed internet  is something you don’t need? Not having it is just frustrating.
  7. Don’t think you need to train your new staff? If you’re still pairing them with your  old geezers, you’re ruining your business. Infuse new staff with wonderful ideas and a glowing picture of where your company is going.
  8. Are you throwing away your customer surveys? These should be taken seriously, and random customer should be called for more information. My dentist receptionist made me wait 45 minutes to pay my bill. Instead of paying the bill I left them a note that said my time was as important as theirs. They called me at least four times before I spoke with them.
  9. Let all your calls go into your voice mail. I called the continuing education division of the schools today to find out about a particular class. I called at nine this morning and never got any kind of return message.   I actually called two departments. Isn’t this how they make money? Doesn’t anyone answer their phone?

There’s no such thing as business as usual; only business the way the customer wants it.

Lisbeth has been a coach and business consultant for over 20 years. To schedule a call with her or have her speak with your staff, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. http://blog.timesunion.com/success/author/lisbethcalandrino/.

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By |August 8th, 2014|Blog, Success|2 Comments

Want to be Successful? You’ll have to do your own Pushups

“You can’t hire someone else to do your push-ups for you.” Amen. Like your physical training program, you must take responsibility for your own mentoring program if you expect to gain anything from it.

Nobody wants to hear this but becoming a success takes work—lots of it. It also takes a lot of follow through which most people don’t like to hear either. If you pay attention to both, it’s likely you will be able to accomplish what you want.

These are really simple rules, so why don’t we “just do it?”

Many people talk about being rich but when you look at what they’re doing, you know it won’t make them any money. Most likely, they know that too. To get rich you have to invest your money before you spend it.  According to what I’ve read, most people have habits that cause them to fail financially. My mom used to say it’s a simple formula: you need to spend less than you make. Then you will have some left over to invest. I know this is a tough one; there are so many things to spend your money on with new things coming out every day.

If you want to be successful, you will have to spend lots of extra hours working at your trade. You need to ask yourself, do I have the gumption to keep at it and give up other things? It seems that both success and financial freedom require giving up something in the present to get what you want in the future. You will have to endure names like “workaholic, cheapskate and other unflattering descriptions. You must be willing to take consistent action and get out of your comfort zone. Dreaming will not get you much except maybe a good night’s sleep. You must take your dreams and turn them into actionable items.

I was listening to a friend of mine talk about her illnesses; most of which are fictional. Yes, she has a bad back but who doesn’t? She has been told to take Yoga and water aerobics to stretch her tight muscles.  She continues to go from doctor to doctor to get some sympathy and the magic pill. Why doesn’t she just do the work? She won’t because effort is out of her comfort zone. Her middle name should be “the easy way out.”

We’re all guilty of looking for short cuts. I have a friend who won’t train his dog to learn simple commands. He doesn’t care if the dog jumps on you, nips at your hand (he taught the dog to play rough) or doesn’t come when his name is called. (Of course he doesn’t know his name, why should he come?).  His owner is unwilling to do the work to socialize or make his dog successful.   Maybe it sounds silly when I say “successful” when talking about the dog, but he needs certain skills to live in society. One wrong move and he will be back in a shelter and considered not adoptable.

If you want results, you will have to take action. You can’t let things happen to you or say, “I’m not lucky.”

The sad thing about all of this is that we are all destined to become successful but only a small portion of us will make it.

Some of you are cuter, richer and smarter but not of this guarantees success.

You need to do the right things to get the results you’re after. How will you find out what you should be doing? The best thing is to learn from someone who is successful. Once you know how they did it, just apply the same strategies. At l least, it will put you on the right road. You may not get it exact the first time, but few successful people do. Just get a plan and keep at it.

I hate the expression “no pain, no gain” but it’s probably so. Be willing to sacrifice and you will get the rewards.

And like I said, you’ll have to do your own pushups.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing training and  mentoring for over 30 years. Join her in Panama City, FL for two days of workshops: sign up at http://www.mohawkuniversity.com/2DayPanamaCitySeminar2014.aspx

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By |June 20th, 2014|Blog, Success|0 Comments

Success Happens One Bite At A Time

One bite at a time.

I recently joined Weight Watchers. Those of you that know me are laughing—where is the weight? Well, I’ve put on 5 pounds and when you’re 4’11” every  ounce makes a difference. I figured, why not; I’ll learn something and lose the weight. I enlisted my running pal Molly, who also attends. (I don’t know why she goes , but she says she’s over her legal weight limit too!)

It was a very big group, and no one laughed when I got on the scale. “I said I’m here to get rid of those 5 pounds before they turn into 20.”

“Good idea said the woman behind the counter.” I knew this was serious.

I have always been weight conscious since my beloved grandmother died weighing well over 200 pounds, and she was also 4’11” tall. She used to treat me to hot fudge sundaes after we went to the movies. I remember she used to get on the scale and weigh herself. I asked her what she was doing, (I was too short to see the numbers.) She kindly said, “It’s none of your business.” That was Grandma Christina; always nice to me unless I mentioned her weight.

The history of Weight Watchers goes back to Jean Nidetch, a 41-year-old 214 housewife who decided to start her own support groups.

 

In 1963, Weight Watchers incorporated and had their first public meeting in Queens. There were 50 people standing in the wings because Jean had only rented 40 chairs! In 1978, it was sold to HJ Heinz and has continued to support health initiatives in this country.

The cheerful group leader was an 85-year-old dynamo that had lost 150 pounds 20 years ago. Actually, she was more like a drill sergeant; I liked her immediately. I thought, what a great job; helping people succeed.

After some niceties, the meeting began.

The first question was, why should we journal our food intake? She liked my answer, “It shows accountability; I yelled.”

You know I was always one of those kids who needed to be first and yell out the answers, and this was the place to do it. The takeaways were right on target. If you need some “pumping up” check yourself into Weight Watchers.

  1. You didn’t get fat in one day so don’t expect to get thin in one day. I love this! I would say, success is a process not an event so stay with it.
  2. If you fall off the wagon, get back on. One day off won’t kill you. I love the expression: Neither success nor failure is permanent. How much you can eat is determined by how much you weigh and is on a point system. They give you extra points weekly in case you fall off the wagon!
  3. Hold yourself responsible and keep track of your goals. Holding yourself accountable,  means you’re serious; if you want it, make it happen.
  4. Remind yourself of what you have done, not what you haven’t done. Making yourself a victim never helps other than to provide an excuse for yourself.

 

I couldn’t eat all my food points—you are told that you must. I was also told I probably not eating enough of the right foods and then overeating. (In my case, treating vegetables as my major food group.) Vegetables are free, eat as much as you like, but you need other foods other than pasta.

Not hungry yet and I had corn-on-the Cobb and olives with  my oatmeal this morning. So far, so good.

 

Rome also wasn’t built in a day either.

 

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers through customer service and powerful communication training. To hire Lisbeth for your next event, she can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

 

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By |September 29th, 2013|Blog, Success|0 Comments

Is Success What You Really Want? 11 Top Reads to Keep You Motivated in 2013

With the New Year around the corner, I start thinking, how will I continue to motivate myself to take on the tasks ahead.  The next statement is always, what are the tasks?

My friend, The Growth Coach,  John Stahl,  l told me not to let work get in the way.

Interesting thought.Work that really doesn’t make a difference?

I find that having a yearly plan helps me stay focused and show results. If you don’t do some soul searching, life will just drag you along, and you’ll become part of someone else’s success plan.

With the New Year around the corner, “we can all use a little prodding” to get us to success and more out of life. And who doesn’t want more out of life? Here’s my list of what I call “the read and re-read.” I’m also addicted to pod casts, listening to them every night before I go to sleep. Of course, I fall asleep in the middle but maybe my subconscious is getting it.

 

  1.  Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting, by Lynn Grabhorn. She calls her life journey “the physics of thought.”  The book is easy to read and gives us another link on how to get more out of life. Her theory is that we get what we want through feelings, not necessarily because of planning and sweating. The book helps you understand how your feelings can help or hurt you. Personally, I think it’s worth owning, underlining and reading it again
  2. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz This is an old book, but it too is super—easy read and it makes you want to call Miguel up and have a conversation. His best advice,  “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”  How many times a day do we take things personally? You can sign up for his Academy of Awareness which is very cool.
  3. Are you Ready to Succeed, by Srikumar S. Rao. This is another personal favorite. The book has readings, , exercises and lessons to help you reconstruct and improve your professional world. This has lots of ideas on “getting unstuck.”
  4. 212, The Extra Degree, by Sam Parker. The premise: at 211 degrees water is just hot. At 212 degrees, it becomes steam and is powerful enough to move a locomotive. Who can argue with this? The tiny book will keep you captivated and wanting to read it over again. Tapes are also available.  Read it out loud to anyone who will listen.
  5. Outliers,” by Malcolm Gladwell. This has to be one of the best books I’ve read. Based on the premise of when you were born, where you were born and what was going on in society had a huge effect on you. It made me look deeper into  my own life and how lucky I was to miss attending the first grade by one year! You’ll love this. If you can’t  get enough of Malcolm, I can’t,  start listening to Malcolm’s pod casts. Freakonomics.
  6. The Myth of the Entrepreneur by Michael Gerber. This is a quick with great insight. If you haven’t read it and own a business, go get it. This is definitely a reread.
  7. The Great Wing, by Dr.Louis Tartaglia. I just ordered 21 of these for a customer service class I’ve been teaching; it’s the kind of book you can’t’ put down. Gomer is a baby goose in the midst of learning how to survive the great yearly migration. Somewhere  in our lives, all of us have “bellied up to the bar” and done something we haven’t wanted to do. Fellow trainers Lou, Sam and I created a workshop for the board of directors at the Toledo Opera Company. It was a blast with everyone yelling, “flock yes.” A great parable and you will feel for Gomer’s struggle.
  8. Build from Scratch,  How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew The Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion, by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank. A true life story about never giving up and those that believed.  Will there ever be another story like this?
  9. The Thank You Economy, by Gary Vaynerchuk. Who will win the customers? Not the rich guy but the guy who can show the customer how much he’s loved. A little longer read but really good.
  10.  What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekends: A Short Guild to Making the Most of  Your Days, by  Laura Vanderkam. No,  they’re probably not watching television but they’re staying away from their inbox and have a plan. Check this out.
  11. Abundance, by Peter Diamandis. The world is better than it looks and has plenty of opportunities. Get to this book fast.

What are you reading? I know Dan Alcorn must have a couple of good suggestions. Let us know your ‘good reads.’ Happy New Year.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal customer relationships through customer service and sales training. she can be reached at redhotcusotmerservice@nycap.rr.com.

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By |December 22nd, 2012|Blog, Success|1 Comment