contact consulting blog watch video client list testimonials speaking meet jeff

Conquer the 10 Worst Time Wasters

By Jeff Beals

The great management theorist Peter Drucker once said, “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.”

In order to achieve your goals, you must develop superior time management skills. Time is the world’s most precious resource.

If you need more investment capital, you can find it.  If you need more talented people to work for you, you can find them.  Unfortunately, you can never find more time.  It is finite.  It is fleeting in nature.  Once it is gone, it can never be recovered.  Time is also a great equalizer – rich or poor, stupid or brilliant, everyone has the same number of hours in the day.  

Nobody actually perfects the art of time management.  With dedication and practice, however, you can come close.  The problem is that most people find time management to be quite difficult.  There are so many tempting time wasters in our lives.  What’s more, it’s a heck of a lot more fun to sit around with friends, go out to dinner and watch television than it is to work efficiently.

Entire books have been written and semester-long courses have been taught about the intricacies of time management.  In this short article, let’s focus on “time wasters,” those things that stand in the way of good time management.

Perhaps the most insidious time waster is television.  According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than four hours of television each day (or 28 hours per week, or two months of nonstop television-watching per year). Let’s say the average lifespan is 80 years.  That means a typical person would spend 13.3 YEARS of his or her life watching television. 

While we’re throwing around television statistics, consider this:  American youths spend far more time each year in front of their televisions than they do in their classrooms.

But it’s not just television that devours our time.  Video games, Internet surfing, hobbies and overly active social calendars can all be problems.

Now, none of this is to imply that you must extinguish all fun from your life in order to be successful.  That would be a mistake, for fun-haters don’t live as long and don’t lead as meaningful of lives.  We just need to schedule our enjoyable activities carefully.  We need recreation in life, but recreation becomes rather meaningless if we’re not working actively and diligently the rest of the time.

As you contemplate your goals, your work and your daily schedule, think about how you can tighten up your time management skills.  The first step is to eliminate the time wasters.  To help you know just what you are up against, here is my list of the “Top 10 Time Wasters:”

1. Television

2. Worrying

3. People interruptions when it’s time to focus

4. Procrastination

5. Inability to say “no”

6. Lack of planning

7. Perfectionism

8. Disorganization

9. Excessive social media, internet and video games

10. Too much socializing

Ultimately, no one but you should be able to control your time and how you use it.  If you allow people to abuse your time, they will do it happily.  People can be rather obnoxious when it comes to time usurping.

The colorful and controversial President Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “Heck, by the time a man scratches his behind, clears his throat and tells me how smart he is, we’ve already wasted 15 minutes.”

Decide that you are in control of your time and don’t let others take over.  Cut people off if you must or at least steer them away so they don’t siphon your time.

Jeff Beals is an award-winning author, who helps professionals do more business and have a greater impact on the world through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. As a professional speaker, he delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide.

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to anyone who might benefit from it.

Ten Ways to Market Yourself in 2011

By Jeff Beals

Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year. This is one of those years where many professionals are feeling more optimistic than they were at this time 12 months ago.

That’s refreshing. It’s a much better feeling than we had at the beginning of 2010. But while the stock market has been rising, tax cuts have been extended and business is picking up, these are far from ideal times. High unemployment persists, and the economy still has a cautious, uncertain feeling to it.

Today’s business environment remains perilous, but at the same time, there are great prospects for those who play their cards right. That’s why it is so important for you to build your brand and create opportunities.

Whether you want more/bigger clients or a better career opportunity, make a commitment to market yourself in 2011. To get you started, here are 10 items to consider:

Live actively and focus externally – Be active and involved outside your home or office. Show up at networking events. Go out of your way to talk to people when you are in public venues. Remember that 75% of all jobs are never advertised and a similar percentage of big clients only come from relationship-building.

Determine what is most interesting – You need an “area of self-marketing expertise,” something about your business or career that is fascinating to people outside your profession. Focus on this when you are networking or using social media.

Focus on results when networking – When you go to networking events, go in with a goal in mind. Sure, you should try to enjoy your conversations, but make it a mission to find a good lead or a golden opportunity.

Exploit social media – Don’t just have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Make sure you post material that is interesting and not just inane personal stuff. Use social media to strengthen your reputation by building on your area of self-marketing expertise.

Make people feel important – When you are talking to someone, make him or her feel like the only person in the world who matters to you at that moment. This will help you develop advocates, people you can count on when you need help.

Build your “Google trail” – Rest assured, that people are Googling you on a regular basis. A prospective client will probably Google you to know who he or she is dealing with before meeting with you. That’s why a Google trail is so important. If nothing or very little pops up when someone Google’s you, there’s a problem – they’ll assume you don’t have much going on. Therefore, Google your own name on a regular basis. If you’re not very visible on line, deliberately get your name out there to build an Internet presence.

Ask probing questions – Don’t just chit-chat and make small talk during networking conversations. Ask some questions designed to uncover the critical information that leads to new opportunities.

Refresh your elevator speech – Does your 20-second intro speech need updating? You need to be able to say what you do quickly, clearly and in a way that captures a person’s interest.

Listen to your clients and colleagues – When we get too busy, it’s easy to start making assumptions. Those assumptions can cause you to lose opportunities. Instead, ask the important questions and truly listen to the responses. Don’t just go through the motions. Let the other person’s words sink in and make an impression on your brain.

Never let up – When things are good, don’t let complacency stop you from perpetually marketing yourself. When things are going poorly, don’t let discouragement be an excuse for apathy.

May 2011 be your best year yet!

Jeff Beals is an award-winning author, who helps professionals do more business and have a greater impact on the world through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques.  As a professional speaker, he delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide.   You can learn more and follow his “Business Motivation Blog” at www.JeffBeals.com.  To discuss booking a presentation, call (402) 637-9300.

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to anyone who might benefit from it.

Healthy Living Is a Prerequisite for Success

By Jeff Beals

Nearly 300 years ago, a British physician, preacher and intellectual by the name of Thomas Fuller said, “Health is not valued till sickness comes.”

Such sage historical wisdom still holds true today. Those who hope to achieve the highest heights in the 21st Century economy need to take care of something as simple as personal health.

Making a commitment to healthy living is a prerequisite for success. But it’s not only physical health that matters.

Those who enjoy long-term success realize that their personal lives must be in order. That means you should care for your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health as much as the health of your career.

It is very difficult to be successful at work when your personal life is a mess. If your marriage is dysfunctional, it’s hard to focus on high-level career achievement. If you lack a set of core beliefs, you may not be able to create philosophy of life that guides you to some great achievement. If you are barely keeping your financial head above water, you don’t have the financial ability to take on entrepreneurial endeavors. Whatever the problem, you will be more successful in all facets of life if you take care of things at home.

A good attitude does wonders for your success. Think positive thoughts and constantly reinforce yourself in your own mind. As Norman Vincent Peale taught us in his famous book, The Power of Positive Thinking, you can cause successful outcomes by forcing yourself to be optimistic.

After you adopt a positive attitude, there are several other things you can do that will make you a healthier person.

If you have a faith, I recommend you practice it. Believing in and answering to a higher power has an amazing affect on career success. Prayer, meditation or whatever you choose to call it, purges the toxins from your mind and gives you strength and confidence.

After faith comes family. No matter how ambitious you are, your family should be one of your highest priorities. Do whatever it takes to protect your familial relationships. If things ever get really tough, you want to be able to depend on those who share your blood. Stick up for your family members and look out for their interests. In the long run you will be far richer if family comes before career.

Close friends are almost as important as family. A long-time friend who truly understands you is worth his or her weight in gold. Put the important people in your life on a pedestal and make them your priority. If you go out of your way to put people first, you will have more business opportunities than you can handle.

Because family and friends are so important, you should adopt an attitude of acceptance. Let them be who they are and enjoy them in spite of all their flaws and weaknesses. Forgive them any time they wrong you. Bite your tongue, when you feel like saying something hurtful to a friend or family member. These relationships are so important, that it’s foolish to put them at risk over some temporary passion.

While relationship-building contributes to career success, so does physical health. You don’t have to be an obsessive gym rat, but being in shape and consuming the right nutrition gives you more energy and stamina.

Keep your home life organized. Make sure your house is generally clean and tidy. Have a good system for organizing your bills and other important papers. Develop systems and routines for the simple, daily things. If you run a tight ship at home, you will have time for important things. After all, it’s awfully hard to conquer the world if you’re constantly misplacing your car keys.

Hobbies and recreation are also parts of a healthy life. Having enjoyable stimulation outside work recharges your battery and contributes to creative thinking. Just don’t go too hog wild with your hobbies. Some people get so deeply involved in hobbies that they hurt their job performance and drain their bank accounts.

Speaking of bank accounts, personal financial discipline is part of a healthy lifestyle. Just as you need to get your body in shape, you need to shape up your financial condition as well. A long time ago, philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.”

There has always been a portion of the population that has chosen to live on the edge of the financial abyss, recklessly spending all they have, investing little or nothing. Unfortunately, that portion of the population has been growing rapidly, and it’s becoming quite a problem.

Living a financially reckless life will eventually catch up with you and hurt your career. If you have no savings, you have no “go-to-hell-money,” the power to walk away from a job or a client when you’re not happy. A lot of financial debt can prevent you from taking some lower paying job that might actually make you happier. For every minute you spend worrying and fretting about how you will make ends meet, you are taking away time from your grander goals.

It sounds so elementary, but it’s worth a reminder. Live a balanced and healthful life in order to reach the top.

That said, let’s end with one disclaimer: don’t be obsessive-compulsive in your quest for a healthy lifestyle, because as comedian Redd Foxx said, “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”  

Jeff Beals is an award-winning author, who helps professionals do more business and have a greater impact on the world through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques.  As a professional speaker, he delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide.   You can learn more and follow his “Business Motivation Blog” at www.JeffBeals.com.  To discuss booking a presentation, call (402) 637-9300

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to anyone who might benefit from it.

Avoid the Meeting Trap

By Jeff Beals

Comedian Fred Allen once quipped, “A committee is a group of men, who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.”

Few things cause professionals to roll their eyes in disgust more than a disorganized, unnecessary meeting. In today’s business world, there are simply too many meetings. A significant portion of the meetings we attend are simply unnecessary. Even if a meeting is needed, the majority of time during that meeting is filled with unnecessary content.

The first step in escaping the meeting trap is to avoid meetings whenever possible. If you are in charge, try to find ways that your people can be empowered to make individual decisions at the lowest level possible. Good organizations should expect professional team members to keep each other informed, but for the most part, they should be encouraged to behave as confident individuals.

If your presence is not essential, try to get out of going. Don’t go to meetings just for the sake of making your calendar look more impressive. If you don’t have an active role in the meeting, and assuming your boss isn’t ordering you to attend, try to get out of it. Professional success is measured by results, power, influence, impact on the world and compensation, not by the number of meetings you attend each week.

If you must go, there are ways of making it more efficient. If you are leading the meeting, create an agenda in advance. Stick to the agenda and don’t allow participants to stray too far from it. Use good meeting facilitation techniques to keep it moving. You will have to periodically bring people back when they go off on verbal tangents.

When I must attend a meeting in which I do not have an active role, I bring paperwork with me or handle emails on my phone. I sit in the corner or back of the room and am productive while the meeting is going on. If you do this discreetly, most people won’t mind.

This is not to say all meetings are bad. In an era of business when collaboration is important, we need face-to-face time. The key is to make meetings valuable.

Otherwise you can “meeting” yourself to death and start to live like a politician. Nobody goes to more meetings than a politician as attested by these poignant quotes:

“I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I’m in a cabinet meeting.” – President Ronald Reagan

“Congress seems drugged and inert most of the time… its idea of meeting a problem is to hold hearings, or in extreme cases, to appoint a commission.” – Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: Sales, Marketing & Personal Branding Lessons from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Traits of the Top 1%

By Jeff Beals

The thing that ultimately separates successful entrepreneurs and salespersons from the not-so-successful ones is the level of risk they are willing to take.

So says consultative selling expert Mark Hunter, who has been actively studying the traits of the top one percent of salespersons and entrepreneurs over the past 12 years. Widely known by his professional moniker, “The Sales Hunter,” he has compiled a list of these traits and uses them to help his clients do more business.

Of all the traits, risk-taking comes out on top.

“That doesn’t mean stupid risks,” Hunter says, “but calculated risks.  We have to be willing to step outside our boundaries.”

An entrepreneur’s or salesperson’s risk tolerance is especially important during economically challenging times. That’s when the low-hanging fruit has all been picked, forcing professionals to try new things and take chances.  Tough economic times bring more opportunities than ever before for those who are willing to take risks.

But risk-taking isn’t the only trait of the top one percent.  Some of the others include:

·         Niche-focused

·         Open-minded

·         People-centered

·         Passionate

·         Client-focused

·         Implementers

·         Innovators

·         Strong work ethic

·         Confident

·         Competent

·         Persistent

·         Resilient

·         Optimistic

·         Driven, results-oriented

If you look at the first two listed traits, “niche-focused” and “open-minded,” there appears to be a dichotomy.  In other words, how can a high-performing professional be niche-focused yet open-minded at the same time? 

Hunter admits that these two traits appear a bit paradoxical, but “niche-focused” implies that a salesperson or entrepreneur is incredibly driven toward one specific thing.  He or she has an amazing level of commitment to the mission and goals.

“Open-minded” refers to a high performer’s willingness to try new things, to see what else is out there.  As Hunter says, “I want to sniff, feel and discover.  I want to meet people and network.” Open-minded professionals study everything and translate what they learn back to their company.  Such people always have at least one close friend in a different industry.

There’s one trait you will definitely NOT find on the list: arrogance.  Over the years, Hunter has found that arrogance may put a person in the top one percent temporarily but won’t sustain them.  Those who are at the top, and stay at the top, truly understand the merits of being confident without coming across as cocky or self-serving.

Perhaps disappointing to many people, “servant-focused” is also not one of the universal traits.  Hunter sees it in some top performers but not all.  That may come as a surprise, because many leadership gurus have written extensively on the virtues of servant leadership.  Hunter suspects that some of the top one percent are so focused on and driven toward what they want to accomplish, they may not always view themselves or be seen by others as servants.

By the way, if you would like to contact Mark Hunter or learn about his services, go to TheSalesHunter.com.

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: Sales, Marketing & Personal Branding Lessons from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Set Aside Time ‘Off the Top’ for Learning

 By Jeff Beals

Days were growing longer, temperatures were warming, and the flowering trees of late April were in full bloom across the campus.  The spring semester was nearing its end, and even as a part-time faculty member, who only taught one course, the end of the school year always brought a sense of excitement.

For seven years, I taught juniors and seniors in the business college at my local university.  I used to get a kick out of the things students would say in our after-class discussions especially as the spring semester waned.

“I can’t wait for graduation,” said one burned-out senior, “so I never have to study again.”

I chuckled a little to myself when I heard that comment.  Not wanting to burst her bubble, I said nothing, allowing her to enjoy the excitement of her approaching graduation.  It wasn’t the right time to tell her that her education was actually just beginning.

In order to succeed nowadays, learning never ends.  You must be a lifelong learner.  High-achieving professionals are students until they die or are so incapacitated they are no longer capable of doing much of anything. 

Your continual learning is both formal and informal.  If you have a deficiency in your formal education, now is the time to correct it.  If you are no longer interested in pursuing degrees, you should still find yourself in a classroom periodically just to keep up with the fast-moving, über competitive economy in which you work.

Lifelong learning prepares you for unanticipated happenings.  We never know what business or career opportunity might come our way.  By learning all you possibly can now, you set yourself up for unforeseen opportunities and increase the likelihood that you will respond appropriately to those opportunities.

If you are an entrepreneur, lifelong learning allows you to continually hone your craft.  You will become better at operationalizing new innovations.  You will be a better manager, more innovative and more likely to be on the cutting edge.  You will learn more effective ways to sell your products and services.

Lifelong learning allows you to prepare for a polarized reality of today’s workplace.  On one hand, you need to have a specialty – something that you do very well that few others can.  On the other hand, you need to be a generalist – someone with a diversity of professional skills and experiences.  Shape your educational and intellectual pursuits in such a way as to pursue both of these seemingly dichotomous realities.

Regardless of your line of work, it is healthy to assume that all your competitors are vigorously trying to improve themselves.  You need to continue educating yourself just to keep up, let alone to get ahead.  Carve out time for your own self development. 

Continuing education is like investing.  Just as you should set aside investment money before you pay bills and spend on entertainment, you need to set aside time “off the top” for learning.  No matter how successful you are or may someday become, you can always go further if you make a commitment to never stop learning.

**** 

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: Sales, Marketing & Personal Branding Lessons from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Who Protects Your Greatest Vulnerability?

 By Jeff Beals

Have you ever seen The Blind Side?  It’s an acclaimed movie based on a true story first described in a best-selling book by Michael Lewis.  It’s quite an inspiring story.  

The Blind Side introduces us to Michael Oher, one of 13 children born to a mother addicted to crack cocaine living in a Memphis housing project.  When the story begins, the teenage Oher doesn’t know his father, his birthday or even his true last name.  His reading and writing skills are almost non-existent.  A victim of utter neglect, he spends his days and nights unsupervised, wandering the crime-ridden, inner-city streets.

Through a twist of fate – or perhaps divine intervention – Oher finds himself enrolled in an upscale, suburban prep school where he meets an affluent family that eventually adopts him.  With this new love and support, he overcomes culture shock, catches up academically and discovers the game of football.

He not only discovers football, he turns out to be darned good at it, and receives a full-ride athletic scholarship to the University of Mississippi.  Today, Oher is a star offensive lineman for the National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens and consequently a very wealthy man.

While the compelling story behind The Blind Side is the amazing metamorphosis of a young man, there’s a second story line: the evolution of the game of football.  You see, there’s a reason why Oher is such a wealthy player today.  He plays a position that is critically important and perhaps the most difficult one for a coach to staff: left tackle.  There is a scarcity of truly great left-tackle talent.  That makes Oher unbelievably valuable to coaches and team owners.

Why is the left tackle so important?  Because he protects the quarterback’s blind side.  Most quarterbacks are right handed, so when they drop back to pass, they can’t see pass rushers coming from their left sides.  Given that, defensive coordinators usually line up their most ferocious athletes on the quarterback’s left side.

As the highest paid and typically most valuable player on the team, the quarterback must be protected at all costs.  But it’s not enough for a left tackle to be big and strong.  He must possess the rare combination of size, strength, speed, balance and agility.  In other words, a left tackle must be a huge guy with the agility of a little guy.  Very few human beings possess this priceless combination of abilities.  Michael Oher is one of them. 

As a quarterback, you need a world-class left tackle covering your blind side, your greatest vulnerability.  If you get blindsided too much, you not only lose the game, you might lose your career.

Just like a professional quarterback, you are incredibly valuable.  You are valuable to your company, your colleagues, your staff, your family, your friends, your community, and just as important, to yourself.  Like a quarterback, you have a blind side that must be protected at all costs. 

In today’s competitive, high-stakes economy, you can’t afford to be blindsided.  You need protection.  You need your own Michael Oher, so to speak.

So, who or what protects your blind side?

Your left tackle could be a trusted colleague, who keeps you informed, covers for you and stands with you when the going gets tough.  Perhaps you serve as his or her left tackle when that person is distressed.

Your left tackle could be a staff with which you have built great synergy or a boss with whom you have developed a symbiotic working relationship.

Actually, your left tackle does not necessarily have to be a person.  Your protector could be a carefully designed management system with checks and balances designed into it.  It could be a strategic plan with contingencies built in. 

Whatever or whoever you choose to be your left tackle, you need one. There’s no need to go through life paranoid, but take some time to develop your own left tackle.  When your blind side is protected, you have a foundation to stand upon.  You have the liberty and security necessary to take risks and chase your dreams.

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: Sales, Marketing & Personal Branding Lessons from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

You Never Know Who Could Be Your Client Someday

By Jeff Beals

Back in the 19th Century, the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle told us, “A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.”

Aside from simply being the right thing to do, following Carlyle’s advice serves your best interest.

To get ahead in business and in life, you certainly must build relationships with the “right” people, but you have to be careful. If you become too obsessed with impressing the rich and powerful, you might miss out on the many other people who have wonderful things to offer you. After all, those who are tiny in their professions today can grow to become monsters in the future.

So, as Carlyle recommended, if you want be truly great, start by taking time for all the people around you even those who seemingly can do nothing for you.

The seemingly non-powerful people in your life may have great influence over powerful decision makers. Administrative assistants come to mind. Oftentimes, a salesperson could be so focused on impressing the decision maker in the corner office that he or she brushes past the administrative assistant with barely an acknowledgment. A job candidate could be so focused on impressing the hiring manager in an interview that he or she does the same thing. Both are big mistakes.

As any savvy professional knows, decision makers tend to be very dependent upon their administrative assistants as well as their direct professional reports. If a staff member feels disrespected by a prospective vendor, the staff member will probably sabotage the would-be vendor’s chances of getting the business.

As an outsider, you don’t know the hidden relationships that may exist between the powerful person you want to impress and the staff members surrounding him or her. Treat all people like gold, because your success depends on it.

Even when you’re not in “sales mode” or “job-seeking mode,” it’s worth your while to take a little time for everyone. You never know who could be your boss someday. You never know what person at your neighbor’s cocktail party could hook you up with your biggest client ever. Constantly build relationships now to sow the seeds of future opportunity. Any relationship has the potential to bear fruit if you simply tend to it.

Finally, when thinking about building relationships for your professional benefit, don’t forget the people right in your own backyard. Too many times we are tempted to focus solely on those who are far away from us, the hard-to-reach people who we dream of doing business with. In pursuing them, it’s easy to forget about the people already around you. They might know more and could be accomplishing more than you think.

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Be Famous for Steady Achievement

By Jeff Beals

“A culture that fixates on celebrities is a culture that is cannibalizing itself. Embracing the base while rejecting the noble will produce more of one and less of the other.”

So said the venerable newspaper columnist Cal Thomas awhile back in one of his columns.

Thomas went on to quote a magazine article published in the early 1980s that lamented, “there are almost no famous people anymore; only celebrities. That’s because fame is too suggestive of steady achievement.” If that was a problem 30 years ago, it’s an epidemic now.

You may be surprised that I, as author of a book on self marketing, completely agree with Cal Thomas. I agree despite the fact that I advise professionals to become “a celebrity in your own sphere of interest.”

But I think of “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” the way Thomas defines fame – being known for an on-going series of respected achievements.

Living as a “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” requires the virtue of humility. After all, there is a fine line between good, healthy self marketing and egotistical boasting. Without question, you need to stand out in today’s ultra competitive marketplace. The key is to promote yourself while making it look like you’re not trying. Let people know what you’re doing without being obnoxious. Above all, make sure you have real accomplishments to promote.

Thomas wraps up his column by saying, “The list of celebrities whose lives turned into train wrecks is long and lengthening. Why would so many want to follow these people and their broken relationships, drug use and plastic surgeries, especially when we see where it leads for so many of them?”

Don’t be like THOSE celebrities.

Instead, be a “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” and make sure you are famous for something that provides economic, social or cultural value to society.

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Could Someone Translate It into English?

Upon arriving at the office one morning, I opened my Microsoft Outlook and saw this email:

Hello Jeff. I am writing to find out who at your company would be responsible for evaluating suite-of-services solutions that expand your competitive advantage across the enterprise.

Huh?

“Suite-of-services solutions.” “Competitive advantage across the enterprise.” Could someone translate that into English for me?

If this salesperson’s goal was to promptly get his email deleted, he succeeded. I can’t think of any reason on Earth why a prospect would bother responding to such a message. Not only is it a red warning flag that a salesman is stalking you, the message is full of annoying junk language.

Sadly, junk language is not limited to email sales pitches. It’s seemingly everywhere in today’s business world.

I’m amazed at the drivel that too often comes from the mouths of professionals at networking events. Go to any cocktail party mixer, ask someone what they do, and you might get an answer that sounds something like this:

“I engage progressive, forward-thinking Fortune 500 companies that are seeking to shift their paradigm and adopt more of a global platform. I facilitate the development of strategic, integrated, highly actionable management solutions, which will boost their bottom line.”

Whatever.

When people talk like this, they’re trying to sound impressive. Unfortunately, when we use twenty-five-dollar words, industry jargon and the latest, in-style buzzwords, we end up sounding anything but impressive. Convoluted double-speak is often used to cover up the fact that the speaker really doesn’t know what he or she is talking about.

Plain English, carefully crafted and skillfully delivered, is far more impressive than the gobbledygook that too many people believe sounds “intellectual.”

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.