My BDE adventure (First 5 days) — January 24, 2017

My BDE adventure (First 5 days)

Day 1: Woke up at 5am, went to work dressed reaaal nice. (take a picture) – Talked to Directors, went over the company/product on white board.. Handed Laptop and was told to read blogs, website etc. Asked Joey what he is reading and impressed him. He told me to read psychology books.

Day 2: Read blogs more, sat in on phone call, Joey is really funny and well spoken (talked to Brits), sat in on my first company sales meeting. Read more and more blogs/asked questions. Listened to the other reps go through a Mock phone call.

Day 3: Met new Sales manager, listened to more calls. A bit quieter today… Went out to intro lunch in Directors nice Audi A7, talked about gambling, drinking, and Fantasy sports drank and ate at the Depot. Went back with Joey and grabbed bottles of wine because he was leaving for Italy. Go back, talk to Ken and Joey.. Ken is cool and we briefly go over mock phone call. Then talked for a while about how to qualify prospects, get them to open up. Try coming up with cold emails (not great at it lol)

Monday 7/18 Day 4: Not much going on,  try reading about cold emails and coming up with my own. Email Mike trying to come up with more email templates. Finally ask about my list to start trying to drum up business! Ended the day listening to one more phone call with a salesman and Ken told him we could help him provide leads. He even taught me that the software/product could be scaled down to one person. (This allows us to get a foot in the door at that company).

Tuesday 7/19 Day 5: I got my list! It’s not many and a couple of them don’t even seem relevant. I started making an excel sheet to put names, linkedin profiles, and emails or phone numbers. Then Mike emailed a newsletter that would send newly funded businesses. So I subscribed to a bunch of them… Afterwards, started making drafts of emails I’ll try sending out this morning.

Reading this is pretty funny… I was a noob (it’s been 7 months, holy $h!t) I wish I kept this up but unfortunately I did not.  I’ll start this again, but with more complaining of course. I found this post in drafts and must of forgot about it. Anyways, it won’t make sense to many, but when I look back I can have a good chuckle.

Tilting — January 16, 2017

Tilting

You thought you Knew

Imagine the excitement when you get the news you landed the job you’ve been googling for weeks, crafting your resume to fit the job description, nervously drove to the interview and you nailed it. You effin’ got the job that was going to open doors, showcase your smarts, and make yourself a ton of money. — That’s how I felt when I landed my first sales job. I still feel that way except I haven’t showcased my smarts or made myself a ton of money. I am opening one door though, and that’s to the exit. Sales is a monster that I underestimated.

I’ve learned a lot in the last 5 months. And I know that is a small sample size, but I’ve been schooled more than I probably realize.

The P word

In Business to Business sales, large purchases are not made in a day (at least not for me). It’s a continuous process to try and secure a sale. It takes time to build relationships and get a prospect to understand /trust you’re trying to improve their business. Long sales cycles test your patience like you can not believe. I think I can relate it to having a baby… You have this awesome moment ( You got the Intro Meeting!)  and then have to wait 9 months before you see the results (Send over the SOW, Let’s do this!). I’ll come back to that analogy when I actually have kids (or a sale for that matter) and see if I still agree lol. However, my arguement is… Waiting for something has become almost a sin. We’ve become an impatient society, i mean people get pissed if they have to wait in line for any amount of time.

Right before I started writing this post, I watched a man waiting for coffee and as each second passed, he became more agitated. The lady behind the counter asked, “Sir, are you still waiting for your coffee?” And he rolled his eyes and replied, “Yes, i’ve been standing here for over 5 minutes… and I’m waiting for 2 coffees, not just 1”. — In my mind, I thought how long it would of taken him to just make coffee at home… I see scenarios like this all of the time. I WANT IT IMMEDIATELY. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. Or I’d have a billion sales by now… 

TL:DR is for impatient people

There has been many life lessons that I’ve had in the last 25 years that have offered to teach me patience, which i need to be a little more open to learning. But if I’m being honest, I too love instant feedback and results. We have this awesome tool called, Yesware that lets me track each email i’ve sent to see if it was opened. After I send a few dozen emails out, I wait. Patiently… for about 2 minutes before my mind starts internally going bananas because not one of those bastards has opened my email! WTF! And then maybe another 3 minutes goes by and I see a ton of open notifications going off in the bottom right hand corner of my screen and the dopamine floods my nervous system. I’m happy for a few seconds.. all is good. Until I think, WHY HAVEN’T THEY EMAILED ME BACK?! 

I’m realizing this is a roller coaster of emotions that is actually kind of funny. I can’t wait to write part 2 of this post

This was just rambling… if I had the patience to sit and really think, this would be better. Maybe next time. Well played, patience, well played.  

Just Listen —

Just Listen

When you hear it…

It’s an amazing feeling when you stumble upon an opportunity. They certainly come around often but we’re so zoned out from reality we often miss them. I’m starting to realize if you hear a few of these magic phrases, your ears should perk up and you should direct your attention accordingly. 

I’m talking about when people say, “Ah, I hate that, I can never…” and, “I wish I had…” or, “I can’t figure out…” — Its music to my ears. It means people either don’t know about the solution or there isn’t one. I’ve finally had my own Ah Ha moment. This is the most excited I’ve been since I booked my trip to Punta Cana. I can’t figure out why this hasn’t happened more. 

Don’t forget the Idea

I have started whipping out my phone or a piece of paper when I have an idea and when I hear people complaining about something. I kind of wish I heard it more often, but there’s only so much complaining you want to actually listen to lol. The alternative is trying what James Altucher suggests, exercise your creative brain muscles. He wants everyone to think of ideas every day, expand, innovate and move forward with the better ones. For example, I was watching a commercial where people were using VR(virtual reality) headsets. Why the hell aren’t we making 360 degree movies where you can control the vision of the main character? We could control the vision of our favorite movie characters and see situations in a whole new light. I’m picturing myself looking around in a James Bond movie… Jumping off of roof tops, bullets whizzing by my head, checking out hotties at the bar. Yea, our movie directors should get on that… 

How to capitalize

You come up with an idea, think its the best you’ve had and want to move forward with it, now what? I think the easiest course of action is create a simple plan. Making anything simple is really freaking hard though. As I go through this process, ill record everything and keep you updated. 

New Year, New Systems — January 4, 2017

New Year, New Systems

Hello from the year 2017.

Let’s Recap What Just Happened

First and foremost, I’m going to change my life this year. How do I plan on doing that you ask? Well, I’m going to create a system that will ensure my success. Lets back up though and recap a bit, 2016 wasn’t all bad.

Some big changes happened in my life. The top 3, I quit my family’s business, I moved out of my mom’s house to an apartment in Boston (closer to my girlfriend), and landed my first B2B (Business to Business) sales job. To be honest, these decisions made me feel uneasy. You always read in self-improvement books to step outside of your comfort zone, I freaking took a leap outside that bitch…

I am extremely lucky and fortunate though. I have no debt from college, my car is paid off, my cellphone bill is taken care of, and I live with a college buddy and down the street from my high school friend. I’m sitting pretty at the moment.

Which is why I plan to leave my comfort zone once again.

The New System

Back to the main point of this post, how am I going to change my life. I read a number of books last year and probably should reread a few of them. There was one book that really inspired me to have a system though, which was, How to Fail at Everything and Still Succeed, by Scott Adams the creator of Dilbert. He reiterated the idea that we should have systems in place rather than goals. For example, my goal is to write 5 blog posts a week… sounds good right? Well as we all know or should know by now, shit happens. If I failed at writing 5 blog posts a week, I would give up. So instead, I plan to write something every day even if its just a paragraph written from my phone talking about my bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Communication is a valuable skill that I want to continuously get better at. So in the following months I should start to see incremental improvements. By the end of the year, I should be able to look back and say, damn… I’ve come a long way since then. 

A little side system 

I also want to begin tracking my meals and my energy for a few months. This is another idea from Scott Adams’ book that we should all be conscious of what food we eat and how it affects our energy levels. Especially me with a poor gut to begin with… Health is priority numero uno. My hypothesis is that I’m eating too many starches which is why I crash during lunch time. My eating habits aren’t terrible, but can be altered quite a bit if I’m being honest. Oh well, lets see what happens. 

With that said, I’m done rambling for the moment and should think about going to bed.

Peace out, girl scout

Who doesn’t love guidelines? — June 2, 2016

Who doesn’t love guidelines?

Ingenius: A Crash Course on Creativity by Tina Seelig has been a pretty awesome read thus far.

Something I wanted to share from this book is Tina’s take on brainstorming. Now, I never would of thought that brainstorming could be complicated or actually have guidelines other than writing a bunch of ideas down. But, she has given some pointers that actually make sense… I guess that’s why she wrote a book about it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ll will do my best to give you the bullet points…

To begin, what does the room look like in advance?

  • The need for proper space is a must.
  • Everyone should be standing as standing is more energetic and engaging.
    • It even allows for quick changes in the flow of ideas.
  • Use whiteboards and sticky notes to cover the WHOLE room, use the entire space

Next, Who should participate? Participants are very important

  • The people invited to brainstorm should have different POV (points of view) and expertise
    • (This will not be the group of people who makes the final decision!)
  • Example: Brainstorming for a car Include –
    • Engineers will build it
    • Customers who buy it
    • Salespeople who sell it
    • Mechanics who repair it
    • Valets who park etc.

What is the brainstorming topic? Framing the topic is mission critical.

  • You want it to be provocative that generates the most excitement.
  • Can’t be too broad or too narrow

What else should be in the room? Fill the room with things that get the creative juices flowing.

  • She uses the example of designing a new pen
  • Bring a bunch of different writing instruments and any other toys
  • Bring simple prototyping materials so you can actually see the product rather than drawing it

How do you start a brainstorming session?

Start with a warm up:

brain lubricant

  • Mad libs
  • poems
  • Silly prompts such as “How would you design eyeglasses if we didn’t have ears?”

What are the rules of brainstorming? This is the exploration phase afterall

  • EMBRACE ALL IDEAS
  • Encourage wild and crazy ideas
  • Explore all possibilities

What is the brainstorming process?

  • Only one conversation at a time so everyone is in sync (not the boy band… I’ll see myself out)
  • What ever the most obvious solutions are to the problem, toss them out.
  • Try reframing the prompts along the way —
    • For example, ideas for a new playground
      • Ask for the design of a playground on the moon or underwater
      • Design it for $1 or $1,000,000 etc

How do ideas get captured?

  • Make sure everyONE has a pen and sticky notes – avoid having one person control the flow of ideas
  • Utilize mind mapping
    • Start with the central topic and draw lines to the sub topics

How much time does a brainstorming session take?

  • Should keep the energy level as high as possible
  • Typically about 45 minutes to an hour
  • Best way to end the session is on a high note

Finally, What do you do when you’re done?

  • Have the participants pick their favorite ideas for different scenarios
    • Most cost effective idea
    • The idea that can be implemented immediately
  • Final step is to document all ideas and give them to the decision makers
    • The other ideas can be revisited if needed

 

I kind of want to try or see this in action… Can you imagine if you get the right group of people in one room for an hour? I wonder what type of prompts would produce the most ideas? I’ll keep everyone posted when I come up with one. The future of innovation is upon us, we could easily hold a google chat and set this up from the comfort of our own homes. Lets try it sometime!

Thanks for reading.

Take it easy

(Basically this whole post is all Tina Seelig and she deserves the credit – I am a huge fan of her books)

Time to Re-evaluate — May 30, 2016

Time to Re-evaluate

I’m still addicted…

I can’t stop thinking about it…

How do you get over Fear?

(I hope you didn’t think I was going to talk about drugs 😉 )

Over the weekend I finished reading Tina Seelig’s book, What I Wish I knew When I Was 20. A brief background on Tina, she is a Stanford Professor that teaches classes on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and also the Executive Director of Stanford Technology Ventures Program. I wish I would have read her book before I went to college.

When I believe I’m doing the right thing, no one should have to give me permission. I either make it happen or I am stuck waiting for god knows how long for someone to give me the go ahead. This was my primary takeaway from her book. Tina also provides short stories of how she challenges her students to see past failure and fear. Some of her exercises seemed strange at first, like the exercise to write down one good business idea and one bad one. She then takes all of the ideas and throws away the good ones and redistributes the bad ones and asks the students to turn them into great ideas. You can guess what happens next.

Many of our ideas that we come up with may seem like bad ones and we don’t share them with anyone out of fear or rejection. A zen proverb states, “Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it’s dark”. This quote resonates with me because I too am guilty of fear. After reading Tina’s book, I believe as a future entrepreneur and innovator, there’s no room for fear. Watch this How Bad Do You Want It video and let me know if you don’t feel like getting up tomorrow and making something happen.

I know if I keep grinding, somethings bound to happen. I know if I keep grinding, somethings going to click. I just can’t be scared to take that next step and neither should you.

Next post will be less serious lol. That video though… Man, that hit a nerve. It made me feel like I don’t know what hard work is. And then when I finished the book I felt like I haven’t been trying hard enough to go the extra mile. It’s awesome how words and videos can evoke these feelings.

Thanks for reading

Take it easy

 

You’ve got this, just keep going — May 29, 2016

You’ve got this, just keep going

All parents want their children to live a happy life. They try to put us on what they believe is the correct path to success. They have the purest intentions to keep nudging us along and making sure we’re making the right choices and sticking to the plan. Except what if we don’t want what they want?

grown ups and calvin

We don’t need permission to go off and live the life we want. Of course getting advice is helpful, but no one knows what we want better than ourselves. It sucks when we have no idea what path we actually want to travel though ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

The best way to find out is to try new things, get out there and experiment. For instance, I’ve been trying to find a new job and if you haven’t tried it yet, finding a job is a freaking job. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there, kind of like dating. You put on your best outfit (resume), you go to the social gathering (job boards), and you start hitting on every good looking person you can (job descriptions). Let me tell you right now… That shit ain’t a walk in the park. You get denied, rejected, and sometimes flat out ignored. But it teaches you resilience.

 Calvinthesalesmanlife

Life isn’t easy, it’s full of hard lessons. But as I’ve learned, if you want something, go and get it. Keep chipping away at your lofty goals. Being resilient, in my opinion, is one of the greatest abilities to have. You’ll develop it early but will often overlook it. Everyone has the capability to push themselves through tough circumstances if they want the desired outcome bad enough.

I believe when we find the challenges that we are so motivated to overcome, thats our signal. The signal that we found what we are passionate about. My girlfriend is currently grinding out class after class, accumulating direct patient hours, and doing everything she can to become a Physician Assistant. She has been so inspiring through the ups and downs and how she has overcome the worst of lows. She’s a woman on a mission and nothing is going to stop her. Her effort will result in her getting into the program she wants.

Sometimes the inspiration of others builds a fire within us to get us going. The best part, it’s just the start of many of our adventures and we have so much to prove. I look forward to proving to myself that I can do anything I can put my mind to. Especially if I want it bad enough and so can you.

Thanks for reading.

Take it easy

 

“You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane” — May 3, 2016

“You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane”

 

I just started a new routine where I walk around my neighborhood after work for about 20 minutes. In those 20 minutes, it’s very peaceful and everything is quiet. I get to escape reality for a bit. It makes me wonder where my head is at the rest of the day. Is it working hard or hardly working? Our minds are so complex and unique that I would assume it will take another lifetime before we figure them out. If we ever do…

What are you curious about? Do you pursue the answers to your questions? Curiosity has made me question the way people approach and solve problems. The way people view others and their interactions with them. What makes people tick? What gets you excited or nervous?

I have so many questions and I know you do too.

Our experiences give us answers to some questions, but what if we never get to experience what others have already? Read a freaking book… or go on the website quora and ask the question that has been idle in your brain. Someone might know the answer or know where to direct you to the answer that you seek. I strongly believe we need to read more. The stories that are out there give us a peak into someone’s mind and experiences. But sometimes you just feel like no one gets you. Right now, my mind is in chaos.

I feel as though I am being pulled in all directions. If you are in your 20’s or have already been through them, it’s easy to relate. Is your career what you want it to be? Do you constantly compare yourself to your friends and peers? It is rather difficult to know what we want in life, especially at a young age. We overthink things and get caught up with mundane conversations with ourselves about the future.

And where have I been going with all of this? When I feel like shit is hitting the fan, going for a 20 minute walk puts the chaos on hold. So I challenge you to find something you enjoy doing. Find something that allows you to just day dream for a bit. Find something that stirs your curiosity in a direction other than serious life decisions.

Try going for a walk tomorrow.

 

Take it easy and thanks for reading

“Visionaries… Psychiatric wards are full of them.” – JamesBond — April 8, 2016

“Visionaries… Psychiatric wards are full of them.” – JamesBond

What is your vision of the future? How much do you let your imagination run wild?  I often imagine… What the hell will this ever-changing world look like?

We’ll have flying cars for people who are still materialistic and teleporting for the folks who just want to get from A to B. Next, Robots will be our personal helpers that don’t require payment or gratitude because who wants to shell out compliments or money? Food won’t be consumed like normal, we’ll just pop a pill that lights up our flavor sensors and… We just had a buffalo chicken salad that was freaking delicious!

You get where I was going, I could just paint a futuristic landscape in my head for the next 10 minutes. Nevertheless, all of those ideas are not even mine. I have read or seen those ideas before. So how do we come up with unique ideas?

We steal them!

pablo picasso

We steal these ideas and make them better, a little faster, a bit bigger or smaller, and more appealing. Then we re-introduce these stolen ideas to the world. We turn people into believers that our product or service is superior and there is nothing like it! But we have to first believe in our selves.

I think we all have a little innovator inside of us that is ready to start breaking ideas down and envisioning something greater. Maybe that something could be completely new? Would it not be amazing to create the next innovation the entire world talks about? To go from zero to one?  Hell yea it would! That something could be rumbling around in your head right now, but without letting your imagination loose, we might not get a chance to witness it.

maxresdefault

I propose we bust out our little kid imagination and let it take over every once in a while… You never know what we’re capable of creating next 🙂 Maybe a great story that captivates your audience and puts them on the edge of their seats?

 

Take it easy and thanks for reading!

 

“I don’t stop to think about it” – JamesBond — April 1, 2016

“I don’t stop to think about it” – JamesBond

I often wonder how any of us are able to manage our time…  Every day we are unwillingly challenged to a dual against the relentless, unforgiving and all powerful force of Time. It never stops, it never hesitates, it just keeps going as we watch the seconds go by which are now forever in the past. Time will test us for the rest of our lives.

But it serves many purposes… Especially when it comes to creativity. (Below is one of my all time favorites of Calvin and Hobbes)

LastMinutePanic_CalvinHobbes

“Creativity: the ability to make new things or think of new ideas” – merriam-webster.com

Do you know how difficult it is to create new things and think of new ideas? It’s easier to come up with excuses why we can’t… How do the innovators of the world come to possess such abilities to create something new? I can’t answer for them, but I know for me, I just have to step outside of my comfort zone and just do it (Please endorse my blog, Nike 🙂 ). It’s ridiculously scary to think how short life can be and we shouldn’t waste it coming up with excuses why we didn’t do this or that.

“You may delay, but time will not.”
― Benjamin Franklin

Mr. Franklin makes a valid point, don’t waste time… That is why I created this blog, to step outside of my comfort zone and create something I’ve been talking about for a while now. My friend and I were discussing how we both wanted to start writing, quickly we came up with one excuse and then another, but realized we don’t have time for excuses and put our words into actions. Challenge accepted…

We should all embrace the challenge that time has offered us and accept the outcome when it’s over. Time won’t stop and let us go back and try again, but hopefully we will have learned from the experience. So when the opportunity to battle time again arises, we will be able to approach the situation a little wiser.

Take it easy and thanks for reading