Archive for WAM!

How are you giving back?

Being self-employed has afforded me so many opportunities to meet so many great people, learn about so many different kinds of businesses and to help some awesome charities doing some amazing things. 

One way I have been helping over the years is by hosting a golf tournament each year to raise money for them. This year, our 7th year, we are helping a very special local charity formed when two women met while tending to their ill children at the same time. One child was diagnosed with cancer; the other with a rare lung disease. Both children started treatment plans at the same hospital system; yet there was a striking difference in the non-medical support services available to their families. At that time, no family support services existed in Richmond for children with complex medical illnesses. Better2gether RVA was born from both mothers’ desire to ensure that all families — regardless of the diagnosis — receive the support they need. 

With the support of volunteers from both WAM! and Better2gether RVA, players and sponsors we have been able to keep our rates down for the golfers, only $75 each, add all kinds of fun games and perks, and raise even more money. Because of the graciousness of Stonehenge Golf & Country Club, Panera Bread, Outback Steakhouse, Call Federal Credit Union, Albert Sestak of 1st Call Mortgage, Scott Hicks of BallyHoo Digital, Skibo Adams Photography, Matt Escobar of State Farm Insurance, Tracy George of Traylee Accounting, Ernie Rogers of River City Auction & Realty, Carl Duffey of Heritage Insurance, Rebecca Phillips of Dave & Busters, Shelby Haydel of The RVA Office Sub, Steven Sykes of Enliven Global, Lisa Linkous of Your Paperless Office, John Rabil of Launch Legal Services, Bill Davis or Supporting Strategies and more. 

We are so appreciative of the support of our sponsors that we are going to be sharing more about them everywhere and as often as we can, at the tournament and more in hopes that you will support their businesses as well. So if you recognize any names in that list, please thank and support them. You can follow it all on our tournament Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WAMRVAGolf/ and you can learn more about Better2gether RVA here https://better2getherrva.org/our-story/. I look forward to seeing so many of there on September 30th and thank you in person.

What does a successful salesperson look like?

My answer continues to change. As a matter of fact, just about everything I learned about sales has changed. I went through a lot training when I was selling advertisement, cars, timeshares and landscaping. I was also taught that a successful sales person was the one “closing the most deals”.

What if the most successful people don’t sell anything? Crazy right. I have been meeting with more and more folks who are helping new clients on a daily basis, continuously growing and at the same time, telling that they are not salespeople and hate everything about selling. How can this be?

The most common way I see this accomplished is that these folks have positioned themselves in very unique ways or with specific expertise and are referred in such a way that they are more of a consultant and instead of making a sale, they are simply offering solutions to problems. They don’t have to create the need, their clients come to them already in need. They don’t have to “close the deal”, they simply offer the solution and the client either agrees to the terms or walks away.

As a salesperson, I was constantly under pressure to find another lead, try to convince someone else to buy and then enter that ugly world of negotiation. Have you been there? Do you want to explore a different path? Does this change your prospective of what “success” looks like?

Can you believe that summer is almost over already?

I just got home from a week in Iowa on my mother’s farm and had a great time. For the first time since we were teens I was able to spend some quality time with my step brothers and sisters Shelly, Sean and Justin. I was also able to enjoy some of the sights of Omaha. I’m so glad that I was able to take this time off and enjoy myself. Week after next I’ll be back in Myrtle Beach with my beautiful wife and some friends enjoying the beach and activities there. 

There are so many studies out there that state that vacations reduce stress, help prevent heart disease, help maintain focus, help prevent illness, improves your sex life, makes you happier, strengthens relationships, makes you more productive at work, improves your sleep quality and helps you get thinner. The more I read these studies the more I realize that I need to vacation more 😊

Having the ability to take this much time off just may be the greatest benefit of entrepreneurism. Maybe by helping more people find and succeed in entrepreneurism I am in turn helping people with all of the items in these studies. lol I’m going to do my best to test these studies anyway. Hope you have a great week.

Have you taken a vacation this year?

Things are not as simple as they seem. Our training topic of the month, Do You Want To Be A Leader, has been introducing a lot complexities. To say the least, it has created some great conversations and really opened my eyes to a lot of new thoughts about the topic.

Who is the better leader, the person who is the first one to the top cheering for everyone to join them or the person at the end pushing everyone to finish? The person rewarding others for what they have accomplished or the person pushing people to do even better?

I would enjoy anyone writing in and sharing how you would answer these questions and your additional thoughts on the subject. I’ll share my answer in next week’s letter.

As with so many things, I think the answer falls in the middle. It’s a balancing act. I think the best leaders are the ones creating even better leaders and it is my hope that many of our members will further develop their leadership skills by becoming facilitators and then helping other members to do the same. 

Our next quarterly facilitator meeting is coming up and I am looking forward to it. It’s shocking to see how much progress we have made in just over a year. I’m excited to see how much more we can do in the next year! Do you want to be a WAM! Facilitator? If so, just let me know. 

Meanwhile, I hope you have a fantastic and productive week.

Do You Want To Be A Leader?

How do you define the word leader? What are bad examples of leadership? What are good examples of leadership? What are the benefits of becoming a better leader? What are some of the reasons you might be hesitant to be a leader? 

This is our monthly training focus and the questions pertaining to it. The first two meetings last week explored these and came up with many more.

I was reminded of why I joined the Marine Corps. Many may be surprised to find out that I was first enlisted in the Air Force. My father had discouraged me from joining the other services and all for different reasons but a great friend of mine, Brian Peters, pushed me hard to talk to his Marine Corps recruiter and I finally gave in just to get him off my back. That recruiter, Sargant Kirk greeted me with something completely different than all of the other recruiters had. Instead of sharing with all that the service could give me in the way of more tangible benefits he instead introduced me to the 14 leadership traits. He had a ring with 14 plastic tags on them, each with a different trait listed. He went through them one by one sharing with me what they were and meant. Justice, Judgement, Dependability, Initiative, Decisiveness, Tact, Integrity, Enthusiasm, Bearing, Unselfishness, Courage, Knowledge, Loyalty and Endurance. I haven’t spent any time on these since my active duty days but will definitely be digging back into them this month. 

One big one I got from the feedback of the members in the two meetings this past Thursday was that good leaders look to create good leaders. I hope that I can be a part in helping people in that direction and that I can become a better leader myself in the process.

I would really like to hear from more of you on this topic. Look back to the questions in the first paragraph and bring your thoughts to one of our meetings or write me and let’s explore this and help each other.

Wow! What a week.

Personally, I am beyond grateful. I had a great match Tuesday evening with pool league, was able to play golf at Williamsburg National on Wednesday, hung out with some old friends on Thursday spent two great days with my father on Friday and Saturday, snuck in some fishing and am going to visit my mother in Iowa tomorrow.

In business I was able to make some amazing progress in building the infrastructure for WAM!, hosted an amazing goal planning session that was well received by the business owners present, had some great person to person meetings, super productive client meetings, attended to WAM! meetings where I got some great feedback from members on this months training focus, “Do You Want To Be A Leader”, and starting booking folks on the first WAM! Mastermind at Sea that sets sail August 1st 2020.

Coming soon, WAM! is hosting a Linkedin workshop on Thursday August 29th at 3:00pm, our Member Happy Hour on September 11th at Tarrants West and our biggest single event of the year, the WAM! Charity Golf Classic on Monday September 30th at Stonehenge Golf and Country Club benefitting Better2gether RVA.

On top of all of this, we get to welcome three new members this week. Tom Langston who helps business owners and investors with their commercial real estate needs, France Santarela who owns Bar Solita, Max’s on Broad, Little Saint, Tarrant’s Café and Tarrant’s West and Paul Sakellariou, a very experienced certified financial planner. All three of them bring some varied and valuable experience to our organization. I can’t wait to see who will join the ranks next. 

Have a fantastic week and I’ll be writing you next week from the ranch in Iowa!

Why Do I Need To Know This?

Ever meet a person who is intensely curious and loves to learn, but in school was a rebel and struggled with academics?

Strange contradiction right? Do you remember that teacher-infuriating question they were always asking?

Why do I need to know this?

Industrial education is pretty bad at answering this question to the satisfaction of the class clown, and the human brain asks the same question every time it’s confronted with new information.

The more complicated the information – the better the answer needs to be, but most of the time we don’t even bother to answer the question before launching into a complicated explanation.

Then we wonder why nobody seems to want to listen.

Nobody has time to learn everything. Most of our day is spent ignoring the irrelevant. The first step to successfully educating somebody on something important is making sure it’s relevant to them – and second helping them see why.

Like the class clown who goes on to launch a billion dollar business after school – you’ll find most people are eager to learn something – if they understand why they need it.