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Confidence

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Confidence

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”, Henry Ford

People who are self-confident tend to be admired many times by others and can inspire others with confidence.  They can appear to be more of a risk taker because their confidence allows them to face many of their fears head-on, unlike those with less confidence.  They typically are full of positive energy regardless of what they are going through in life.  They simply see that the world is filled with options and opportunities and believe their glass is at least half full.  What a great way to go through life!  Having more confidence should be on everyone’s list of goals in their life plan. 

Think about this: if U don’t believe in yourself, why would U expect others to?  Self-confidence is a state of mind that comes from a belief in your own abilities, skills and experience.  It can be improved through training, talking with other people and personal development. 

Here are some things that will help U boost or increase your confidence levels.  Some of them might sound very superficial, but they work:

  • ¨ Groom yourself properly; showering, shaving or putting on makeup is somewhat of a basic thought, but when U do these things, to the extent of your own style, U feel good about U, and that helps your confidence.
  • ¨ Now that your body is clean, the clothing U put on is also important and can build your confidence.  Dressing for the occasion and to your own style makes U feel good about yourself, U feel more successful and others may see U that way, and again, will increase your confidence.
  • ¨ Think and act positively, it builds; don’t think or act negatively, it destroys.
  • ¨ Much confidence comes from knowing who U are, your values, your principles and the direction U want your life to go. When U study the material for an exam thoroughly, U are confident U will do well, right?  When U prepare a life plan, which helps U understand in which direction U want to head, that builds self-confidence as well.
  • ¨ Life is filled with many challenges that need to be overcome, don’t look at them as problems; instead focus on the solutions that bring the challenge under control by your terms.  That change in view can make all the difference.
  • ¨ Be generous to others.  Giving makes us feel good inside, and our gifts can help others in need.  Confident people give and help others.
  • ¨ Become an active person.  Exercise regularly, get out and go places, meet others, and engage in your life.  All of these activities build up your confidence and self-esteem.  This is your life; enjoy it, don’t hide from it.
  • ¨ Explain something U understand and know well to others.  Maybe U are knowledgeable on a specific sport, have a hobby where U have an above average level of experience with or U experienced something unique that U can share as somewhat of an expert. 
  • ¨ Work on developing yourself into the character U see as your future self in your own life story and make U a better U as part of your life long plan.  Add more knowledge, develop more skills and create new experiences in your life.  When U work harder on U, U will feel more prepared to take on and deal with anything that comes up with confidence.

Summary of Things That Build Confidence:

  • ¨ Positive thinking, looking for the good in things
  • ¨ Work on becoming a better U
  • ¨ Add exercise and activity to your life, be active
  • ¨ Meet new people
  • ¨ Give yourself credit for being U
  • ¨ Avoid negative people, places and thoughts
  • ¨ Learn from mistakes, (“all of us” make them)
  • ¨ Develop plans, take action and do things
  • ¨ Be prepared; creating a life plan will help with this while also building confidence
  • ¨ Learn a new skill or ability

U Can Learn More About Confidence by Reading These Books:

By Gary Kiecker

LifeLongU™

 

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Passion

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Passion is an exciting word, isn’t it?  “PASSION”!  It elicits several different meanings, but for purpose of this discussion we are referring to the non-sexual meaning of your true passions, which are those powerful emotions of extravagant fondness, enthusiasm or desire U may feel for doing or experiencing a specific thing.

Living life every day without interacting in an area that is not part of your true passion can be very monotonous.  Isn’t enjoying those things U truly love, partially, what living is all about? 

I have always loved being by or on the water, after all I grew up in Minnesota, the “land of 10,000 lakes”, but for various reasons I never did.  So, after my divorce, I had a work opportunity on Hilton Head Island, in South Carolina.  My passion for being by the water, walking on the beaches, watching the sunrise and set and feeling the wind on my face, rose to an all-time high.  Within seven months, I took more than 2000 photos of what I saw there, and I still could not get enough beach time.  That kind of passion might live in each of us.  For me, I did not realize it was a passion, or something I simply liked, until I experienced it fully and over a long period of time.  Taking so many pictures, hurrying to get through work and get back to the beach to once again experience the peace and beauty I felt there was evidence enough for me that it was one of my passions.  

Your passions, of which there may be several, may not fully manifest in your life until U have an experience that heightens them to a level where U feel them for the true passions that they are.  Until then, U may just see them as preferences or things that U may like to do, given the chance. U can learn to distinguish a passion from a passing interest by asking yourself whether it is something U can take or leave depending on the situation or whether it would really matter to U if it were not in your life. 

When U spend time in your passions, your thinking is much clearer, and your mood and overall attitude is so positive that the other things U do in your day are also much more enjoyable, even if they are not passions of yours.  Just spending some quality time in your passions may be all it takes to turn all of the parts of your life in new positive directions.  Figuring out what your passions in life are should be one of your goals in your life plan.  Spending time in your passions will affect your life in powerful ways and will certainly make your days more enjoyable.

When U think about where your true passions lie, think about what U want your life story to be.  By thinking this way, U will likely be able to identify your passions.  Are U a world traveler, a writer, a photographer, a business person, a social worker, a minister, a teacher, a mother, father, wife or husband?  Do U love to help others, help animals, or help the environment?  Are U an explorer?  Do U like to fish, hunt or pick up seashells on the beach?  Do U love fashion, being in top physical shape, or working on cars?   Your life story is yours to tell all the world.  It is up to U to live up to your full potential and do what U were made to do — and if U are passionate about what U do, U never know how far U really can go in life.  Follow your passions!

Find your passions by:

  • Finding out who U want to be in your life story
  • Owning your uniqueness, include that in your life plan and be the person in your life story
  • Understanding that waiting for a better time or for more money to enjoy your passions are just excuses; U will be happier if U enjoy your passions, U simply need to figure out how best to make that happen
  • Thinking about what U really love to do and then go do it

Some Books You Might Want to Read on Passion:

  1. The Minimalist Mindset:  The Practical Path to Making Your Passions A Priority and to Retaking Your Freedom by Danny Dover
  2. GUTS:  Find Your Greatness, Beat the Odds, Live From Passion by Sam Bracken
  3. The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose by Janet and Chris Attwood
  4. Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

 

By Gary Kiecker

LifeLongU™

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Make Your Time Count

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Time

U know, of course, that there are only 24 hours in any day, and how U use them is totally up to U.  However, it certainly may not feel like that is the case.  It is very common to wish U had more time, and in most cases that wish can be granted by simply becoming more organized and following a few simple rules regarding the management of your time.  Below, we have listed several things U can do to give yourself more time or to get more done in the time that U have. 

Your time is yours, and U are given only so much of it.  That fact is very important to remember when U are working fervently on an activity that is not part of your life plan.  Think about what U are doing.  Does it add to your life long plan and story?  Many of us get caught up in “ruts”, and it may take a serious life event (such as the illness or death of someone close to us) for us to recognize that things need to change.  At that time, because of the event, we may be open to big changes in our lives. 

Have U ever sat down and thought about how U spend a weeks’ worth of your time (equal to 168 hours); from Monday to Friday and also Saturday and Sunday?  The short and easy task of quantifying what U do can tell U a lot about what needs to change.  LifeLongU™ has developed a time template in Excel™ format that can help U identify where your time goes.  It allows U to walk through your week and allocate time spent in different categories, and it helps U by adding it all up and showing U how U are using it.  This quick activity will show U how your time is being spent, and then it’s up to U to change the patterns.  U can find it at http://lifelongu.com/life-balance/time-spent/.

For instance, say U come home from work and sit down, and watch a couple of hours of TV, because the day was long and U needed a break.  If U do that every day during the work week, that is five days multiplied by two hours per day, for a total of 10 hours of used time.  What could U have done with better use of that time.  This little example becomes even more striking when U multiply it by 52 weeks per year, now U have 520 hours vested in watching TV.   How else could this time be used? 

It goes without saying that we all need a break to relax from time to time.  But too much time spent on activities that do not help U grow into that person U see yourself becoming in your future can be viewed as wasted time. Now if U decided to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike during this TV time, that would be different.  What if U replaced some of that TV time and read several books on things that interest U like a hobby, biography or something on your career.  What could U learn with better use of that time?  Time spent together watching a great movie or TV series can be quality time with your loved ones as long as U feel it is time well spent.  This is just one good example of an area where it is easy for us to get into a rut without realizing it and waste a lot of our time.

Your life, itself, is a special gift and the remaining time U have left, is also a special gift.  If U learn to use it wisely, your life will benefit greatly by doing so.  Make your time count!

 

Here is a short list of things that can lead to U having more TIME:

  • ¨ Set several main goals for each day
  • ¨ Prioritize those goals, and work on only the most important one until it is complete before starting the second-most important, and so on
  • ¨ Pick one goal, work only on it until complete
  • ¨ Check your email less often
  • ¨ Learn to say no
  • ¨ Delegate to others and let them help U
  • ¨ Understanding how U currently spend time
  • ¨ Automate as many things as U can
  • ¨ Understand that there really is no more time and that having “more time” is really a matter of how to use the time U have in better ways
  • ¨ Eliminate those things that waste your time

 

U can learn more ways to free up your TIME by reading these books:

¨ The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R Covey
¨ Time Management by Brian Tracy
¨ Time Management from the Inside Out, 2nd Edition: The Foolproof System for Taking Control for Your Schedule & Your Life by Julie Morgenstern
¨ 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students & 239 Entrepreneurs by Kevin Kruse
¨ Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, & Sharpen Your Creative Mind by 99U

 

To learn more about this and other pathways of self-improvement, download our Personal Development Pathways Volume I guide at www.LifeLongU.com

Gary Kiecker

LifeLongU™

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Strive for Excellence

 Strive for Excellence

What does it mean to be a man in today’s world?  What do you think a woman thinks a man should be?  If you are a man, what plan do you have for your life?  Does it include your family?  Are you looking for your perfect mate?  Do you have a plan to make your life better?  Are you striving for excellence?

Dr. Wayne Dyer writes that to attract the relationship you want you need to be that yourself. If what you are looking for in a relationship with another person is an exquisite sense of love, be that yourself.  He goes on to say that”You do not attract into your life what you want.  You attract what you are.” So what type of man are you exactly?  What are you attracting?  Is this what you want or need?

 

Some women say they need

I myself have been on several dating sites off and on over the past several years after my divorce looking for that special someone and I have read many profiles (to many) of what a woman really is looking for from a man.  I have to tell you, some of these are spot on and need to be brought to men’s attention.

Here are what some women say they need:

  • I need a man who is striving for excellence in every aspect of life.
  • I need someone who is striving for excellence mentally because I need conversation & mental stimulation. I don’t need a simple-minded man.
  • I need someone who is striving for excellence spiritually because I don’t need to be unequally yoked…believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster.
  • I need a man who is striving for excellence financially because I don’t need a financial burden.
  • I need someone who is sensitive enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded.
  • I need someone who has integrity in dealing with relationships.  Lies and game-playing are not my idea of a strong man.
  • I need a man who is family-oriented. One who can be the leader, priest and provider to the lives entrusted to him by God.
  • I need someone whom I can respect.  In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn’t taking care of his business. I have no problem being submissive…he just has to be worthy.

 

Are You Striving for Excellence

I think this is a fantastic list for men to be striving for and discussing it with a woman they want a relationship with — many things have changed in the woman/man relationship over the years.  God created man / woman and placed them in the Garden of Eden to work together.  As time went on I think many of them stopped working together and woman got placed in the home and men out of the home.  In the not too distant past, the world wars helped to bring women back out of the home, but now most men and woman do not understand how to work together…the rules seem to be different and most do not understand how to respect the other much less plan for growth of them both, together.  That is a big problem I fear.  But one that can easily be overcome, if we as men, as leaders, as examples to others, take control of our own life; which means being responsible for those in our family and create a plan of always striving for excellence; then we can show the women in our lives that plan and work together with them and have the lives we both want.

As the list above shows you, many women want a man who shows he is a man by working at becoming a better man, does the difficult things, has strong convictions, morals and values, has integrity and treats her with respect.  Many women want you, the man, to show her you have a plan for excellence, a plan for your future and that you are working on it and showing progress.  If you are such a man or striving to be such a man you more than likely are on the right path to attract the woman of your dreams into your life, if she is not there already.  You will earn or have earned her respect and probably her love.  If you continue to further develop and work that plan throughout your life, you will most likely will keep her love or make it stronger.

If you are not doing many of the things listed above, why not?  What makes you think you should be made responsible for another person’s life if yours is a mess?  Why should a woman make herself submissive to you, when she and probably others, see the way you truly are. 

If you roll out of bed each morning, at 7:30AM and I mean roll because you are so out of shape, you certainly are not striving for excellence.  If you think your female mate is supposed to keep herself in tiptop shape for you, why are you not doing the same for her?  Remember, your body is a temple for God (1st Corinthians 3:16) and it’s your responsibility to keep that temple in good shape, for Him, for her and for yourself.

If you spend 2-4 hours or more watching TV shows or sports each day, you are not improving your mind in a way that will help you and your family prepare for a changing world, and it’s up to you to make sure your family is prepared.  You are the leader of your family, man up. 

If you have not owned up to your debt or taken responsibility working out a plan to repay it, again, you are not striving for excellence.  You may have to figure out how to create more revenue streams for yourself by adding a second job or by developing a business that provides more income to pay off the debts, but this is your responsibility, own it.  Yes, it may take some time, but share your plan with your mate and assure her you have a plan, and then work the plan.  Not having adequate income to repay your debt is just not an acceptable answer, it’s an excuse.  Don’t go there, figure it out, it’s what a man does. 

If you and your family are not going to church or your wife or partner is going by herself, you are abdicating your spiritual leadership role of a man and may be losing the respect of this woman.   Do you make sure to pray at meals giving thanks for the food on your table or pray with her together at night thanking the Lord for your blessings while praying for others in need?  This is what a Christian man does for and with his family.  He leads.  He strives for excellence in everything he does.

 

Take a Break, But No Pity Party

Am I perfect, absolutely not; have I ever been dealt what I thought was a raw deal and felt a little to sorry for myself, unfortunately at times, yes.  However I am a person who believes in striving for excellence and am on the path to being the best I can be in each area of my life, and this is a terrific feeling.  Creating a plan to strive for excellence in everything you do and then doing it, is what gives you self respect and makes you a better man while growing you to your new potential.  It’s your responsibility to do this, it’s what many women want you to do and it is the right thing to do.  Try it; I’m sure you will agree.

Everyone does get a break from time-to-time or may need a “pass” on something they did or something that happened to them; we all can understand that.  But don’t let it eat you up and certainly don’t expect a “pity party” to be held in honor of you going through something.  Be a man, man up and take control of things; you will keep yourself respect and feel better.  You will show others you are striving for excellence and a man of your word.  You will show the woman you love that you are worthy of her love, she will admire you more, look up to you with respect and things will be much better for it. 

Striving for excellence in all things is the manly thing to do.  Take responsibility for yourself, be worthy to others, create your plan to strive for excellence and then get it done!

 

If you would like to discuss creating a plan to strive for excellence in your life, please feel free to contact me at Coach@LifeLongU.com

Gary J. Kiecker

LifeLongU™

Are You Producing Customers?

Are You Producing Customers

Are You Producing Customers?

Successful businesses focus on generating new customers in multiple markets while servicing current customers constantly strengthening the value being offered by their product and service.  This enables a business to add additional product offerings to customers and increase the lifetime value of each customer to their business.

Where do your new customers actually come from?  As an owner entrepreneur or business manager, you should have a good handle on how a prospect becomes a customer within your organization.  What type of sales team do you have?  Do they have the correct incentive plan motivating them to convert prospects to customers and generate sales?  Are they properly trained and managed?  Can you use Rep’s to plug some of the holes in your sales territories?  Do you know where the holes are?  Does your product or service have a good presence at area trade shows?  Is your company getting any business from trade shows?  How many new customers do you generate each month?  Again, where did they come from?  What are the average sales per customer?

As the owner entrepreneur or business manager, you should have the answers to these questions.  Cash is King, but without sales, there is no cash.  Every business should be generating new customers and trying to increase the average sales per customer.

How are you spending your advertising dollars?  What market segments are you targeting?  Are you hitting those targets?  How do you know? Metrics should be in place to determine how successful each advertising campaign is doing.  How much is spent and on what type of campaign?  How are the prospects being handled when they come into contact with your company representatives?  Is each prospect contact being documented, presented with the correct response to their inquiry and then later followed up on with additional information, offers for product or service or personal sales call scheduled to close a sale?

Today’s businesses cannot allow themselves to sit idle and wait for sales to come to them.  If they do, aggressive competitors correctly going after business will find your customers as their prospects and convert them to their own customers.  They will gain one new customer and you will lose one valuable customer; how many times can you afford to have that happen?

With today’s social media and online presence, it is very fast, easy and inexpensive for savvy small business competitors to show up almost daily and begin to chip at your customer base potentially weakening the market position you worked so hard and long to create.

Here is a “Must Research & Do List” to help you prospect, convert, grow and retain your customer base:

Prospect

  • Identify who your customer is
  • Learn where that customer can be found or where they do their business
  • Define what their needs are (from your product or service perspective)
  • Ask prospects what products or services they currently are not able to get adequately

 

Convert

  • Learn the different ways to approach your prospect
  • Develop a sales training program and train your sales team
  • Present your value offering with three ways to become a customer
  • Close one of your three ways during your sales cycle

 

Grow

  • Analyze what your customers are buying, their average sales and quantity of sales
  • Find out what they are not buying and why
  • Research your customers and find out what they may need or have trouble getting
  • Provide new products or services to fill customer’s needs
  • Add new customers
  • Incentivize your sales team
  • Manage your sales team

 

Retain

  • Deliver an acceptable quality product or service quickly for a fair price
  • Provide great communication often and customer service promptly
  • Take care of any problems customers have with your product or service quickly

 

The growth, prosperity and longevity of your business depends on how well you fine tune your prospecting and customer conversion process.  Make sure you are producing customers that want to purchase more and more from you.

 

Gary J Kiecker

LifeLongU™