Where we challenge what you won't say or you don't know…yet

5 people

Jim Rohn told us and since then we have heard many times that we are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. We are told to choose wisely as we select the people we allow into our inner circle. We hear from experts and leaders that the more we interact with successful people the more successful we will be.

That’s great advice. Thank you to all that give us this information. Here is the challenge…who are the 5 people we should be selecting? Do we get to just choose these people and all of a sudden they are in our world and impacting who we become?

5 people you spend the most time with

If that was the case some very popular and successful people would have a lot of inner circles to be a part of and wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of them selecting their 5 people?

Maybe we can set this up like a sports draft and take turns selecting people until they are taken. Wonder who your first round draft pick would be and who you think would still be waiting in the 5th round of the draft.

Instead of worrying about who the actual people are why don’t we take a look at the role each of these people should fill in your life and then you can fill in the right person.

Jenn (no last name) wrote a wonderful blog on how to surround yourself with greatness and telling us that these 5 people should be:

  • The Drill Sarge
  • The Teacher
  • The Shoulder
  • The Cheerleader
  • The Comic

In another blog Jayson Bradley tells us that the  5 people you should surround yourself with should be:

  • Idealists
  • Doers
  • Givers
  • Dreamers
  • Lovers

We want to get even more specific as we take these suggestions and build upon it.

Lets take a look at who we believe the 5 people you spend the most time with should be to improve everything about your life.

Just because you want someone to be one of your 5 it doesn’t happen overnight.

  • You might need to get an introduction to them.
  • You might need to start spending more time where they spend their time.
  • You might need to read more of their writings (that is spending time with them) or watching more of their movies, shows, or performances. *Please remember that choosing to spend more time with Harry Potter by watching his movies and reading his books will not help you develop magical powers, it will just help you become someone that doesn’t live in reality.

As you select the 5  you want to have in your inner circle keep this in mind.

  • Are they fit? Then fitness is most likely in your future.
  • Are they lazy and sit around? Then you will find yourself on your sofa a lot more.
  • Are they debt free? Then you will find yourself clearing up any debts before you know it.

These people that you spend the most time with each have a role to fill in your life. You might find that one person can fill two or three of these roles. Nothing wrong with that as long as you are choosing good people. These people will switch in your life as you grow, develop and change. While you don’t want to lose who you become, you might want to take that next step forward which means new people in some of these roles. You can always continue relationships with these people, just at a different level.

We are not saying that you can only spend time with these 5 people as that would get repetitive after a short time. We all need the input of outsiders, engagement with new people and new stories to share. Even on Gilligan’s Island it seemed visitors came by so the episodes didn’t get stale with the same 7 people. Amazingly the guests always got rescued while the original 7 remained stranded. – sorry for the tangent there.

Who do we believe the 5 people you spend the most time with should be?

  1. Partner
  2. Mentor
  3. Protege
  4. Best Friend
  5. Peer

5 different people

Let’s take a look at these 5 people in more detail.

1) Your Partner
This is your life partner, whatever that means to you.  This could be your spouse, your roommate that you have kept around. In the business world this could be your business partner.
This is the person that is there for you day in and day out. This person has seen you at your best and celebrated, while also seeing you at your worst and still wanting to be there. This person can fill many of the roles mentioned by Jenn above, such as the shoulder, the cheerleader, and even the teacher and drill sergeant.
Choose this person very carefully and strategically. Again we can’t all choose the same person and just say we want to be married to them, otherwise Vin Diesel and Scarlett Johansson might by very busy.
Choose someone that you want to share everything with forever and that you know will grow with you as you both grow in all aspects of your life.

2) A Mentor
Ask the top people in any area from business to atheltics to personal character and they will all tell you that they have a mentor or a coach in their life. We believe that this person should be more of a mentor than a coach. The difference? According to the Center for Coaching and Mentoring, mentoring is a power free, two-way mutually beneficial learning situation where the mentor provides advice, shares knowledge and experiences, and teaches using a low pressure, self-discovery approach. Also freely sharing their own experiences and skills. The mentor is both a source of information/knowledge and a Socratic questioner.
A mentor is someone that is one, two or maybe more steps ahead of you on the path you are choosing.

  • Your mentor could be someone from work that is doing now what you want to be doing in a year.
  • Your mentor could be that person you know that has the perfect relationship with their spouse or their children.
  • Your mentor could be that person that knows how the computer systems work that you are attmepting to understand.

Find that person, examine everything about that person, you don’t want a mentor at work that is a workaholic and has no relationship with his family if a family life is important to you. Then ask this person if they are willing to mentor you and help you continue to grow. If they think they don’t have the time or the energy just show them this blog and person #3 that we should all have in our inner circle.
Looking for a little more help in how to find the best mentor for you? Check out this blog post by Under30CEO about the 13 Important Qualities to Look for in a Potential Mentor.

3) A Protege
Most successful people are teaching others how to be successful as well. Nobody succeeds on their own and success leaves clues.

  • Veteran athletes take the rookie under their wing and teach them the ins and outs of life in the sport.
  • Business leaders know that at some point they will pass the business on to someone else to keep it going.
  • Parents pass on their stories, their successes and the lessons from their failures to their proteges, also know as their children.

Look around you and find that someone that you know wants to get where you are in life or in  business and take them under your wing.
The energy you will get from their passion will increase the passion you possess, and bring you new solutions to challenges.
As John Maxwell, a man that has many proteges says, he who thinks he leads , but has no followers, is only taking a walk.

4) A Best Friend
This person can be your mentor, your protege and if you are lucky and chose wisely this person could be your partner.  Maybe you inherited this person as a sibling or a parent or a child that you have a wonderful realtionship with.  If you have this person as someone else on your list you can combine these. Just because this isn’t your spouse that doesn’t mean you did something wrong, some people had the best friend first and have kept them forever.
The main task of this person in your life is to be the person that tells you yes when you ask do I look fat in this outfit. A best friend plays the role of shoulder to cry on when needed, kick in the pants when needed and the person that is always there to celebrate with you.

5)  A Peer
This is a pretty open ended sounding person to choose to have in your circle of 5 and yet this could be the one that makes all the difference in the world. Most of us spend more than half of our day awake with our peers. Who you choose to spend that time with when away from the other 4 people on your list matters and it matters a lot.

  • Who are you sharing books with?
  • Who are you sharing ideas with?
  • Who are you having lunch with at work? Are they heading to the fast food place or are they bringing a healthy choice to have for lunch.
  • Who brings that competitive gene out in you making you want to push a little more and be a little better?

Choosing the best choice for a peer partner to fill this spot could say more about you than any of the other people that you choose so make sure you spend your time with the right people.

Now that you know who we believe the 5 people you spend the most time with should be, do you know who these people are in your life already or do you think you need to make some changes?

Nothing is stopping you from growing into the person that you want to become. Just choose the 5 people that you spend the most time with and choose wisely!

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Chadalyst - Take a look at who you are spending the most time with over the next month and see who you are the average of.

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As the flowers and trees begin to bloom, we start to think about spring cleaning. Don’t limit that to tossing the clothes you haven’t worn for a year. Expand your thinking and get ready to spring clean your business and your life.

One of the biggest challenges with the purge that comes as we clear out drawers and cabinets is figuring where to start. The same challenge can be present in your life and in your business. You think that everything is going great and don’t always take the moment to clean where the deep cleaning is really needed.

You do not need to limit your cleaning to spring time or to just the old items in your home that should be donated or thrown away (nobody wants your old socks with holes in them.)

A successful cleaning can, and should, include your business focus and probably some parts of your life.

We have all heard the story of how when Steve Jobs returned to Apple they had too many different products and he had most of them scrapped and had the company refocus on what would make a difference. The rest of the story is history as the odds are high you, or the person next to you, is reading this on an Apple product.

What about the story of your friend that decided to cut out soda and lost weight quickly?

There are many examples of people who changed the people they surrounded themselves with and watched their whole world change for the better.

Forget all of the stories and examples and let’s focus on you and what you should and could be doing to make the most of this cleaning.

New Year’s resolutions find us making commitments to things that we never did before and think we will magically start doing now. Spring cleaning is where we get to toss away the things that just don’t belong anymore.

Spring Cleaning

Let’s start with our business.

Where should you start?

What are you doing each day that you shouldn’t be?

  • Are you doing paperwork that is not your strength?
  • Are you focused on too many different projects?
  • Are you spreading yourself too thin and using  too many different forms of lead generation for your business?

Take a moment and think about all of the things that you could just stop doing or have someone else do. Think about the success you could have if you only worked on one project or only used two main sources of lead generation.

“To be everywhere, is to be nowhere.” – Seneca

By running around in a circle we don’t accomplish anything other than getting dizzy. Choose a path and follow that path. Focus on the things that bring you a return and don’t worry about all of the other things your competitors are doing. Let them waste their energy.

Alexander Graham Bell said it like this. “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

Now let’s look at our life.

What are you doing each day that you could clean out of your life?

  • Are you spending time with people who you know you shouldn’t be?
  • Are you eating and drinking too much of the things you should cut out?
  • Are you filling your mind with negative thoughts from too much news, internet, victim friends?

Take a moment and figure which of these, or what other things, it is that you could remove from your life at least in small doses as you work on your ongoing cleaning.

Remember as you prune the weak buds and branches off of a rose-bush, the other roses will grow stronger and larger. The same can be said for you if you take a moment to spring clean your business and your life.

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Chadalyst - Write down the three things you will clean out of your life. One for your business, one for your personal life, and one for your drawers and cabinets as they need to be cleaned out as well still.

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Has your 2014 resolution failed already? Don’t feel badly. Studies show us that 88% of all resolutions that are set, fail and most of them, fail quickly.

We flip the calendar from December to January and two things happen. We write the wrong year on our contracts and checks and we create resolutions that are not based in reality.New Years Resolution Failure

The reason that resolutions fail is that we set an unrealistic expectation of ourselves. We figure that just because the calendar changed from December to January that we will be a new person. Amazingly we don’t think that when we change from May to June, why not?

For us it does not have to be that way. Instead of an unrealistic resolution set a realistic goal for yourself.

  • If your resolution was to workout each day and you didn’t work out last year at all, how about setting a goal to start to work out 3 times a week.
  • If your resolution was to not eat any more sweets, and we know how that worked out last year when we made that same resolution, set a goal to cut your sweets in half (I mean the amount you eat, not cut them in half so you can save some for later)
  • If your resolution was to talk to 50 people everyday about business and last year you didn’t talk to 50 people in a month, just set a goal to talk to 10 people a day for now.

One of the best things to remember is that we do not have to wait for next January to set new goals. Find the success that comes from these small steps and push them to the next level in February by working out 4 times a week, eating half the sweets you are still eating, and talking to 20 people about business.

By the end of this year you will be talking to more people than you thought, working out harder and faster than you originally even believed and eating healthier than ever.

The key is to remember, it starts with realistic goals not unbelievable resolutions.

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Chadalyst - Write down your one habit someplace you will see it each day and don’t end the day without completing it!

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Successful Sales Contests

Business slow? Need to motivate the troops? Looking to figure out the best way to run a successful sales contest?

It doesn’t matter the time of year you run your contest if you can remember these 5 simple steps needed to run a successful sales contest.

We already know the 3 Rs of education. Actually this could explain the state of education in our country when only one of the 3 Rs really starts with R! Sorry for thinking out loud.

Women all know the 4 Cs of diamonds and men should quickly learn them.

By learning the 5 Ss you will understand the best way to build this powerful motivational tool.

  1. Short - The time frame for any sales contest must be short. Depending on your industry that is going to be 30-90 days. Some contests results will need time to show up. Do not plan to run a contest all year long as it will lose energy quickly. Start strong and finish fast!
  2. Simple – To make your tournament work it must be simple to all of the people that it is meant to inspire. That means simple to them to understand and that means choosing one thing for your contest to focus on. Your contest is about new clients, new sales, larger sales or whatever your goal is. Your sales challenge cannot be all in one!
  3. Self-scoring – Whatever the format you are using for your contest at work it must be one that the contestants can score themselves. This will allow them to know where they stand at all times. Of course you have to be able to track the contest as well with something specific for the honest final results.
  4. Synergistic – A contest should never be mano-a-mano. Have people work together and they will motivate each other and encourage each other to reach for the highest level possible. Small teams within your larger team will make your race more fun to run.
  5. Spotlight – Studies have shown that it isn’t the cash, the trip or whatever you are offering as a prize that motivates people. It is the spotlight that they seek in one form or another. Some want it really bright and focused on them. Others want to hide from it most of the time and still want the recognition that comes from winning and being the best. The earned respect is the best way to run a successful sales contest.Of course prizes along the way help

Keep it simple and short, just like this blog post and success will be yours.

You have known about the 3 Rs and about the 4 Cs. Now you know the 5 Ss. Keep them in mind and you will run a successful sales contest time and time again! Run a Successful Sales Contest



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Chadalyst - Put together a contest to help your team grow

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Your Journey is a Jigsaw

Forget what you have heard in the movies about life being like a box of chocolates and instead imagine that your life journey is a jigsaw puzzle.

If life were like a box of chocolates, it would make you fatter, give you a sugar high followed by the sugar crash and then leave you with the empty box. Nobody wants a life like that.

puzzle piecesThis is why we suggest you consider your journey as a jigsaw.

It starts as a mess
Life does start messy and confusing, just like starting your jigsaw puzzle. When most people go to begin a jigsaw puzzle they open the box and dump all of the pieces on the table. This leaves you with a pile of pieces. Some of these pieces will be upside down, and some are already stuck to another piece. Some of these pieces even manage to fall to the floor where they are hopefully rescued before they are thought missing.

We being to have some order
The first place most people will begin working on a puzzle is by turning all of the pieces face up and separating the edges and the corners from the other pieces. By doing this we begin to get order to the mess that was our puzzle. Just as in life, we start to learn and develop routine and feel like we have some order to everything.

We can start to see the Big Picture
As we create the border of our puzzle we are finally able to see the big picture coming together. We have taken the image on the box and have made it a reality. As we complete this stage of our puzzle we feel that sense of accomplishment and pride before we move on to the next challenge that is ahead of us.

We get to work
Now we dive into the puzzle. Some pieces click perfectly in our puzzle. Some pieces don’t seem to fit anywhere. We go through bursts of success where it just seems that the puzzle is putting itself together, to moments of frustration where we can’t find a piece no matter what we do. Hopefully this isn’t the piece you lost on the floor earlier in the process.

We achieve Success!
Finally that last piece drops into place and with a sigh of relief we look at our masterpiece. What was once trapped in a box, became a mess. From that mess came order and then a big picture. From that order came the magic of bringing everything together.

Now you have success and get to decide your next challenge and maybe start all over again.

  • Will you choose to redo the same puzzle again and again?
  • Will you choose to get one with more pieces or a more challenging image and push yourself?
  • Will you just leave the puzzle you have completed never wanting to take apart your hard work?

In life we find many messes that we can turn into a success.  Remember, life is not like a box of chocolates, life is like a puzzle waiting for you to solve it!puzzle piece

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Chadalyst - Just as you do with a puzzle, sit down and figure out your border and see the Big Picture before moving forward.

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It is the 4th quarter of the year finally!

You work hard all year-long to be ready to pop the champagne and celebrate a successful winning season. The question is have you eliminated yourself before the year even ends or are you ready for the big push?

Have you taken the season and given up, and said, wait for next year, like a Chicago Cubs fan?
Are you someone who takes a set back like Bethany Hamilton did after her surfing career was put on hold due to an act of nature, and finds a way to come back and reach the goals you had set for yourself?
Are you a believer that anything can happen and that like Team USA in the America’s Cup this year you can still pull off a win even if it seems impossible?

Take a look back to the start of the year. What were your resolutions or goals for the year?

  • reach a specific sales plateau
  • lose a certain amount of weight
  • have a target amount in a savings account

Whatever your goal was for this year, it doesn’t matter how far behind you are you can still push forward and comeback to win.

Remember the Buffalo Bills in ’93 as they were able to come back from a 35-3 deficit to the greatest NFL comeback and win 41-38.
What the Boston Red Sox come back from 0-3 in the ALCS of 2004 against the New York Yankees and how that propelled them to their first World Series Championship in 86 years.Finish Strong

You can do the same thing!

If your desire to win is strong enough the opportunity is always there to finish the year on a winning note.

  • How many extra calls do you need to make or extra people do you need to meet for that sales goal?
  • Step up the workout program, or finally step into a gym at least, and cut out that extra snack to fight for the weight goal
  • Check the budget, push hard at work and the savings account will grow before the year ends

The best teams, the best coaches and the best of the best are the ones that make the most of the 4th quarter.

This is your time!

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Chadalyst - Take your goal/resolution from the start of the year, figure where you are now and write out the plan to finish this year strong!

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A common question asked is where did you learn everything you know about social media?

The answer to that is surprising to many. Everything I know about social media was learned from spending time with great friends like Ernie, Oscar, Bert, Elmo and others. That’s right…all we need to know was taught to us from our friends that live on Sesame Street.

When Sesame Street was being created their goal was to build a children’s television show that would “master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them.” How about helping us master the now addictive qualities of social media? By following the same lessons as the show, you will be able to do something good with everyone’s social media addictions.

With a show that is broadcast in over 140 countries and has won over 140 Emmy Awards you have to figure they have done something right. A survey shows that 95% of all American preschoolers had watched Sesame Street by the time they were three years old. Now that is a large following!

If they can have a following and growth like that, so can you if you follow their lessons.

What are those lessons?big bird

  1. Give Value (then ask for money)
    That’s right you have to give to get. You don’t see commercials when watching Sesame Street like you do on every other television program. You get value, you get lessons, you get fun and then when it is time, you are asked to donate to keep the show running.
    Do the same thing in your social media world. Give value, offer some lessons and share the fun. Then when you have the relationship built and the time is right you will be allowed to market and ask for money (or sales of your product, or whatever)
  2. Play Nice With Others
    People and monsters all work together in the world of Sesame Street. Any disagreement is quickly resolved and forgiven and usually came from a simple misunderstanding.
    Work with others in the social world. Don’t bash, don’t argue, and if you disagree that is ok, just don’t hold grudges and move on for future growth.
    Remember if there is someone you just can’t play nice with, you can unfriend them, block them or stop engaging with their business page.
  3. Use Humor
    One of the things that made Sesame Street fun and easy to follow is that the laughs continue throughout the program. Have you ever watched a child sit and stare and laugh at the silly monsters, funny things that happen and of course the bright colors.
    Make sure your social media voice is one that has humor in it. We are not looking for knock knock jokes or anything like that. Just make sure to share funny things (other than cat photos) that you see, that you hear and that happen to you. We all walk into a wall while texting, get in the wrong car in the parking lot or fall up an escalator. Let others laugh with you and they will engage much more.
  4. Share
    If there is any lesson that I still remember from Sesame Street from years ago it is to share. Share with your friends, share with people you just meet and everything is better. Amazingly there is always more when we share instead of keeping it all to ourselves.
    Share other people’s information. Did someone share a posting that you found interesting? Share it. Did you read someone’s blog or an article that was worth sharing (like this one hopefully) then share it! By sharing information you will increase a relationship with more people, create more opportunities in your life and get more people sharing with you.
  5. We All Have Short Attention Spans
    Bright colored monsters moving quickly around the screen. Fun songs to sing and dance to. Interaction and engagement by having the viewing children talk to the people and answer the simple questions. All of these techniques kept children focused and sitting at the tv for long period of times. Some people found this a bad influence and some, mostly parents, found this a wonderful blessing of a few moments to get other tasks done.
    The short attention span is even more of a challenge now with the internet always blinking, changing and offering us instant gratification. How do we combat that? By using information that is a valuable lesson, that is fun and that makes us want to engage and interact. Keep that in mind as you create your tweets, postings and updates. Know that we aren’t staying long unless the content is good.Speaking of short attention span…are you still here? Hopefully the images and the strong content kept you engaged!

Everything I know about social media I learned from Sesame Street and if you think about it, so did you. Sesame Street has been running and a success for over 43 years and with these lessons your social media success should have a long shelf life as well.

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Bert and Ernie

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Chadalyst - Did you enjoy this blog, then use lesson #4 and share it!

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