Let’s get serious about our goals

For many years I struggled with the whole goal setting thing. The only goals I ever set were set just to appease people telling me that I had to have them. I never stuck with these goals and now I see why. I wasn’t vested, they didn’t have any real meaning. They were normally financially based goals and money isn’t what ultimately motivates me. So what was missing? I didn’t know and understand what my success really looked like. I now see this as the first step in goal setting.

What is your definition of success? Most often it seems that any talk of success is centered around business and when we talk about like we talk about happiness. Well, I just spent a week enjoying a visit with my mother, family and friends in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota and it really got me reflecting on what I want in life. It reminded me of what my success looks like. I want to spend more time with family, travel more and participate in more outdoor activities.

Do you want to be happy? What does your happy look like? What do you need in order to achieve your happy, your success?

Our topic of discussion this month is Your 2020 Goals and I hope this will help get some more folks on the right path to setting their goals, putting together plans they can follow that will help them to actually achieve their goals and achieve their success.

Happy Veterans Day

Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory”.

In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) was approved on May 13, 1938, which made November 11 in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I. A few years later, World War II required the largest mobilization of service men in the history of the United States and the American forces fought in Korea. In 1954, the veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word “Armistice” to “Veterans”. Congress approved this change and on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, where ever and whenever they had served.

 Here are just a couple of the local events you may want to attend;

 10:30am – 11:30am    Virginia War Memorial              https://www.virginia.org/listings/Events/CommonwealthsVeteransDayCeremony/

2:00pm – 3:00pm         VA Hospital                                   https://mrpes.band/gigs/50

3:00pm – 5:00pm         VCU Student Commons             https://www.facebook.com/events/482508279144637/

7:30pm – 9:30pm         Altria Theater                               https://z-m-www.facebook.com/events/529447164281038/

One way several restaurants and other businesses show their support is by offering additional discounts to the Veterans today. Here is one special event I know of

9:00am – 11:00am       Midlothian YMCA                   https://www.facebook.com/events/2465508290399012/

There are literally so many places that offer free meals or deep discounts this Monday I can’t list them all. Here is one pretty comprehensive list though – https://militarybenefits.info/veterans-day-discounts-sales-deals-free-meals/

I greatly appreciate everyone’s support.

Hello from Iowa!

I hope you all are enjoying your beautiful weather in Richmond, the average high temperature here this week is 37*. I’m glad I got that round of golf in last week at Ford’s Colony with the Swinging for Success group and that I was able to get in some great runs and a bike ride too. I do appreciate that I am able to visit my mother, some old friends and that I have some exciting meetings with some Omaha and Council Bluffs professionals. 

For the second week in a row I must share the loss of another great Marine. Sergeant Major Cecil McNair lost his battle with cancer on Halloween night. His funeral is this Thursday and since I am here in Iowa I won’t be able to make it. I am sure my fellow Marine Corps League brothers will be there to show our support though. 

We talk about him a lot this past Saturday evening during the Marine Corps Ball while we celebrated the 244th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Always a great evening! 

Upon my return next week I will enjoy Veterans day with my daughter and grandchildren and then will enjoy an evening with over three hundred of my favorite local businessmen at Annual Boxing Smoker with the West Richmond Businessmen’s Association. Live competitive boxing, amazing spreads of food, cigar smoking, bourbon tasting, open bar and more. If you haven’t gotten with me yet and want to go definitely let me know right away, as my guest you will save $50. 

Get to work on those 2020 goals and I’ll see you all soon.

I’m not anti networking, I am anti wasting time.

There was a time I spent as many as 20 hours a week going to different networking meetings. I had a business to grow, I had more time than money and I wasn’t scared of hard work so it seemed like a good idea. And it worked!

Or did it? Looking back now, knowing what I know now, I think that I could accomplish as much or even more and in a fraction of the time.

When my business had gotten to the point that I no longer had to look for new business I didn’t stop networking. I did stop asking for new business and instead began asking for help in my business. At that point I had a pretty big circle of influence and I received a ton of help. It was the help from my peers that gave what I needed to move my business to the point I could sell it.

After selling my business at the end of 2016 I had a lot more time and I owned a networking organization. I used this time to start studying everything I knew about networking, the data I had accumulated, my experiences with executive roundtables and mastermind organizations and my knowledge of small businesses. It’s from all of this, that WAM! and all that it is, was created. I still network, just not nearly as much as I used to and not always in the same places, but when I do, it’s done with a plan and with much better results.

Does getting more done in less time appeal to you? I will be attending the two meetings on the 12th, one on the 14th, two on the 19th, two on the 21st and one on the 27th. If you would like to be my guest at one of these just let me know and I’ll get you set up. If you would like to visit one of the other meetings, I will introduce you to the facilitator. I’m looking forward to hearing a lot more success stories this time next year! 

Heading into the week with a determined mindset

How was my week? It was filled with great stuff again. I attended another group exercise class, I’m really enjoying these and took my newly purchased mountain bike on its maiden voyage through the trails at Meadow Farm park. On top of all of that, I pushed myself through another 5 mile run. I am definitely getting in better shape and glad that my time management and calendar management efforts are helping me to schedule the time to do these things.

Having a new office has also made quite a difference in my productivity. I do pretty good at home but I just can’t seem to concentrate or work as hard as I want to. I am one that needs accountability partners in almost everything I don’t “want” to do and working in an office environment keeps me pushing harder and slacking less. This really came in handy this week since I had a lot of desk time creating a new sales process, writing mission and vision statements, helping one client create an entirely new service package and preparing to host a three hour sales training class for another client this week. 

Of course I mixed in some personally enjoyable things to. I shot pool with league team, served dinner at the monthly Veterans & Athletes United event, attending a chili cook off event with a friend and colleagues, hung out with the Marines at our monthly meeting, enjoyed a nice cigar at Cigar Realm with friends and had a great date with my wife.

On Sunday afternoon, I did have to attend a funeral. If you recall the story of the man I met at Mission BBQ one evening last year that was dining alone who I later discovered was a well known hero, well he passed away. He lived an amazing 93 years that I know I will never measure up to. I am thankful that I was able to meet him and get to know him in his last year with us. The ceremony was amazing and I witnessed that I was only one of thousands of people this man had impacted. Rest in Peace, Dr. E. Bruce Heilman. 

If I don’t see you on the golf course or at the workshop I am hosting on Wednesday, I do hope I will see you soon.

Your 2020 Goals

It’s time to start working on your 2020 goals! Yes, NOW.

It has come to my attention that most people don’t have any written goals at all and the few who do don’t have a plan in place to actually achieve them. Why is this?

They don’t know where to start. For me, it has always been difficult to start on something in which I can’t envision it completed. I would find myself just staring at a blank page until I gave up and put it aside. If I made a goal at all it was a last minute exercise and was only done to satisfy others. I actually told people “I don’t need goals in order to make me work hard”. 

What I have learned now, is that the first step is to just start writing something down. Anything! There are no rules and you can’t “do it wrong”. These are your goals right? Entrepreneurs and leaders are most often fixers. Well, you can’t fix it until you have something to fix.

The second thing that I have learned is that I am not alone. I spent so many years fearing what others would say, hiding things because I didn’t want to be embarrassed and pretending that I had this all on my own. When I look back I laugh, well except for when I see all of the time I wasted. Take your rough draft of your goals and share it with your peers.

Another one I have learned, most people really like helping others. They aren’t going to judge you, they are going to try and help you. If you are open to their help, with their help you can formulate some good goals for yourself and a plan that will help to actually achieve them.

That’s why for the month of November, WAM! topic of discussion is “Your 2020 Goals”. We are going to help each other get them in writing and create a plan in which we can help each other and track our results throughout the year. We are going to achieve our goals and make each other more successful than ever.

How is your week shaping up?

How was your week? I really enjoy the letters that some of your write, if you ever thought about responding, please do so!

I kicked off the week attending the WRBA board meeting and then another one of our dinners with another unique speaker. I’ve been a member of the West Richmond Businessmen’s Association for only a few years. I greatly enjoy the fellowship with fellow male professionals from the area. I am super excited about our upcoming Boxing Smoker during which about 350 of us will watch live boxing, enjoy amazing food, partake in some cigars, sample some bourbon and I believe scotch too and more. If any of you men reading this are interested in attending get with me, as a guest I can save you $50.

I was also able to attend two of the WAM! meetings this week and continued to learn and gather more about “the sales process”. Every time I attend a meeting I end up going back and tweaking my own sales process. The conversations around our monthly topics are definitely one of the most valuable parts of what we do. For the month of November we will talk more about defining our goals and creating plans that help you achieve them. Our members are going to be prepared come this January!

Of course I also got in some golf, shot some pool, hung out with friends and family, hit the gym, ran and more. This coming week includes much of the same. There are four WAM! meetings this week and I will be attending two of them, Tuesday Night and Downtown WAM! Thursday for lunch. If you want to be my guest let me know and I will reserve a seat for you.

I do hope you have a very successful week! 

How are you holding yourself accountable?

Last week I talked about the importance of writing your plans out and basically writing out as many steps and procedures you can in regards to your business. Seeing it in writing can have a profound effect. I’m surprised at myself on how hard I resisted this and just kept convincing myself that I had it all straight in my head. Write it down! 

Once you have it written down and better defined you can start tracking it. In most cases, you can’t track it unless it’s written down and if you don’t track it, you probably don’t know where you’re really at and may be closer to just winging it then you realize. For me, tracking it, requires me to involve other people to help me, to hold me accountable. If I don’t have it in writing and am not tracking it how is anyone going to help hold me accountable?

Write me and let me know if you need help with this or how you are using it and how it’s working for you. If not me, share it with your peers and ask for their input. Have a successful week!

Are you hindering your own growth?

It’s good to be proud until you are too proud to ask for help. It’s great to be smart until you think you are too smart to learn anymore. The joy of a sale today pales in comparison to the loss of a good referral source. You’re never as successful as you could be. 

Too often I think the hardest part for some people to overcome are ideas that cause them to think they have to do it all on their own, that asking for help or admitting struggles is somehow a sign of weakness and that making a sale today is the most important thing in their business.

I’m not going to expand on this, I simply ask that you read through them again and that you honestly evaluate how some of these may be affecting you. The biggest successes I have seen in our WAM! Meetings start when an individual opens up, shares their challenges, asks for help and then closes their lips and listens.

I’m trying to make sure that I am applying these ideas effectively for myself and hope this helps you as well. Have a successful week!

Don’t forget the positive!

Let me start this week telling you just how much fun I had at the golf tournament last week. We only had 15 teams but they were 15 teams of some really great and generous people. Better2gether RVA and everyone that volunteered did a great job of getting everything organized so that everything went off virtually flawless. The course was in great shape, the food was awesome, the weather was perfect and there were a ton of prizes for the raffle. We raffled off over $6000 worth of prizes! At this time I think everyone of this year’s sponsors has already agreed to sponsoring again next year. With that and the fact that we have already scheduled, organized and are working on next year’s tournament, I have no doubt that it will be sold out early. Take a look at our Facebook page and look at the over 100 pictures that have already been posted. https://www.facebook.com/WAMRVAGolf/

I attended four different WAM! meetings last week, one of which was with just the facilitators. I wish we were able to meet even more because I got a ton out of that meeting. We are very close on clarifying our mission statement, who we are helping and how we are helping them. I am always grateful for the awesome people helping me.

We have scheduled another workshop as well. This one will be focused on helping each other to better keep up with all of those messages, voicemails and emails! As the world transitions to more and more business being conducted on line it’s important to your business to be able to keep up with it all. Only $25 to attend, No Charge for WAM! members. Here is the link to hold your seat now – https://www.wamrva.com/event/communications-how-to-keep-up-with-it-all/

That covers the work week but how about the weekend. Since my wife was working all weekend, she put in 42 hours on the clock in three days, I had to keep myself busy. I had dinner with my father on Friday night, ran 4 miles on Saturday morning, cleaned out my truck, drove to northern Virginia to visit my daughter, granddaughter and son inlaw, volunteered with Marine Corps League at the Green Top Expo and then attended the DiSavino Racing watch party in Midlothian. I got up early on Sunday morning, got in some yoga, headed back to Green Top for a few hours, then helped a friend serve food to homeless people in town and then finally got some work done yesterday evening.

I want to close by sharing once again how appreciative I am for all the good in my life. If you are reading this, I appreciate you doing so. It really is amazing how many great things there are in your life when you focus on them. I encourage you, when you’re down and thinking of the bad things just stop and focus instead on all that is good. Even better, make it a point to do this every morning and you might just find yourself thinking less and less or completely different about those so called bad things.