Take that shot

bigshot

How to take risks when all you have is one last shot to make it big.

Most people think of the heart pounding key moments that make a big difference and forget about the million small failures that happened along the way.

Kris Jenkins missed 1000 jump shots in his college career. The one that needed to go in went in.

Many of us are too scared to take the final shot. We are hoping someone else will call for the ball.

Call for the ball.

Kris called for the ball.

Take the shot.

What if  you miss?

Michael Jordan claims to have missed the most game winning shots.

Jordan thinks his team’s would have won more games if others were willing to take the winning shot.

Many games come down to the final shot.

Most of the shots don’t go in.

You only need ONE shot to go in and you are a hero.

You may miss 1000 times.

Missed shots are feedback.

Missing the shot takes courage.

Back to the drawing board.

What is the shot you need to be taking?

Is it starting a business?

Asking the girl to dance?

Asking the guy to coffee?

Taking the job?

Asking for the job?

Most of us are average at most things.

There is one thing, one niche, that only can be served by you.

Find it.

That is your shot to take.

You will make that shot more than most.

Michael Jordan is an average baseball player.

Average NBA executive.

You can’t be great at everything.

What is your one thing?

Take that shot. 

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Masters of Rejection

rejection

Ross Perot was rejected 77 times before he got his first yes after he left IBM.

77 no’s until he got his first yes….

I hate being rejected but I’m also an expert at being rejected. Most people can’t deal with it. They’re afraid of the tribe kicking them out.

George Strait was turned down by every major record label in the 70s.

Ross Perot and George Strait, masters of rejection. So good at being told, we’re not interested. Maybe, or I’ll get back to you. Maybe means no. Let me think about it is rejection.

Average, good, and great. Average people get rejected and it stings and puts them out of commission. Good people get rejected and they go down for a bit but they eventually get back up. Great people laugh at rejection. They give rejection the finger.

How to give rejection the finger. “F” you rejection. I’m not great. I admit. But I’ve been around plenty of great people who know how to tell rejection to go “F” off. (I’m too professional to say the F word)

I’m amazed and in awe how different people deal with rejection. I have a PhD in rejection. I got my first taste of it when I was 5. Mom and Dad split up. Dad took my sister and I. All of my life I’ve felt rejected by my mom.

Here are reasons why rejection is common and how to get over it

It is easier to say no than yes

Do you want to go to dinner with me? No! Do you want buy my product? No! Do you want to have sex? No! Do you want to fall in love? Hell no?!

No is just easier. Everybody meets you and thinks no, not really. You really can’t blame them. It is hardwired in us to be suspicious of people not in our tribe.

Studies show that it is 76% easier to say no than yes. Not really I just made that statistic up. I don’t know what the studies show but we all know more people say no than yes.

You’re not in my tribe

For thousands of years we lived in small tribes. Living in big cities is new to us. Even though a majority of people live in big cities we still think and act like we live in the woods.

Evolutionary psychology points to our tribal roots as the main cause of a majority of people who reject new ideas.

People reject us because we are not apart of their tribe. Back when you and I were more like Tarzan we trusted our tribe to share food and shelter with us. It meant we had a greater chance of survival.

Even though we don’t live in the woods anymore we still hold true to our tribal roots.

No trust

I don’t trust you. You just called me out of the blue? Who the hell are you? I’ve never heard of you.

Trust is earned in small steps. Then one big step. Rejection comes in small steps. With each incremental move towards trust you get small doses of rejection.

Pattern recognition

The no pattern is easier to spot than the yes-pattern. Let me explain. Most opportunities are dead ends. We are hardwired in the woods to spot all of the no’s around us.

Don’t eat that it tastes like shit. Don’t walk over there the snake will bite me. This looks like that damn leaf that gave me poison ivy on my ass. No way.

We don’t live in the woods anymore. But we are still experts at spotting “no patterns”. Which is a good thing. You are here today because your ancestors were great at saying no to most things.

The no pattern is important because our brains can’t recall enough knowledge to know everything. We can’t have Google brains so we need to recognize patterns. Pattern recognition works and requires less knowledge.

Saying no to most things is right

Remember the movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey? Great movie and it is funny because life would be really strange if we said yes to everything.

Life is too complex to say yes to everything.

Women can’t say yes to every guy.

The egg can’t say yes to every sperm.

The soil can’t say yes to every seed.

The publisher can’t say yes to every book.

The sun can’t say yes to every planet.

The universe can’t say yes to every star.

Everyone can’t say yes to this post.

 

Passion can ruin your life

passion

Steven Pressfield wrote the best book on turning pro. He doesn’t talk about being passionate. I don’t remember one single line in the book about passion. The War of Art, I’ve read it 3 times. I’ll read it 3 more times.

Most passion is bull shit and will get you in trouble. My passion gets me in more trouble than helps me. I don’t know anything about passion helping me at my job. It usually freaks people out.

You have to follow your passion? Blah blah blah. Following passion may cause you to fall off a cliff or into the wrong person’s bed and at the wrong end of a shotgun.

I’m completely qualified to discuss how passion can ruin your life. I even won an award for my passion. I don’t know how that happened.

Having passion sounds sexy and cool. Having passion may even get you around more beautiful people.

Pursuing success and passion are the rabbit hole. “Take the red pill and you wake up in Wonderland”.  Passion is The Matrix.

Passion is a byproduct

Gasoline is a byproduct of oil. Invention is mostly  a happy accident of curiosity and tinkering. Batteries, a happy accident, a byproduct of something that happened in a steel mill. Really smart people call it the adjacent possible.

Passion is the adjacent possible that comes from pursuing any work or venture out of curiosity and then passion shows up late to the party. You think wow what took you so long passion.

Measuring Passion

Measuring passion  is like trying to measure the current in a river. It is fleeting. Just when you notice it is here it is already gone.  A pro knows that passion comes and goes. Some days you are in love and other days you hate your kids.

Passion makes me a terrible father. Commitment and routine make me a better father. Passion is fire that left unchecked will burn a hole in my chest.

But don’t you have to love what you do?

Love is not passion. Love is altogether something different. Love doesn’t just arrive at the door when you ask her to. Love has to be nurtured  and developed. Like a delicate flower that grows serendipitously.

Passion is more like lust. You have to be right. They have to be wrong. You just have to have the forbidden fruit. You must have the object of your desire.  I have to be rich. If I can just be the boss then everything will be better.

If I can just ….(fill in the blank)

We can go on for days here. If I can just be promoted then my wife  will respect me.  If I can just be passionate about Tax Law then I won’t want to blow my brains out.

If I can just get her to notice me then she will let me have sex with her and then we can have a house, kids, dogs, and credit cards bills.

If I can just get my boss off my back then I’ll perform better.

If I can just be passionate about my job then I’ll be happy.

There is no “If I can just “ it’s the red pill in The Matrix. This constant thought pattern will ruin your life. Add some passion to this thought pattern and then you are in for a disaster.

You can’t stop the thought pattern from coming. You can stop it from running wild in your mind. Be aware when the “If I can just” thought pattern infests your mind and makes its home in your brain.

Curiosity is better than passion

I’m curious about people. I don’t know why. I go anywhere I want to hear your story. Others would say wow he is really passionate about people. I’m not really. I’m curious.

I sell for a living. Selling from a position of curiosity works better for me than selling from a position of passion.

1 + 1 = 0

Being passionate about your work plus working for a company who is passionate about other things equals zero.

For example, you are passionate about improving your company’s product. The company is passionate about cutting costs. This formula equals zero. Go to the higher ups. Determine what they are most interested in. If there is alignment then you have something. If not, plan your exit strategy.

It is difficult for your personal  passion to align with your boss or even the CEO. Finding that alignment is key. When there is alignment your job is 10 times as fulfilling.

If you don’t know what you’re passionate about. That’s okay. Be grateful that your passion isn’t digging you a deeper hole where you are at.

Stop trying to find your passion

Worry less about what you’re passion about. Instead focus on what you are curious about. Do an inventory of what interests you. Ask those you are closest to what you’re good at.

Ride the river of curiosity and along the way and the currents of passion will carry you.

 

 

Asking for a raise

Asking for a raise

He printed off a list of all of his accomplishments and what he had achieved the past year. Brian was a strong recruiter no doubt. He embellished a few of those achievements. Did he deserve a 10% increase in salary? Sure, why not. But that’s not the point.

As an employee you work at a discounted rate so that your employer can make a profit on your work. Those are the rules to the game we all are playing.

Asking for a raise is not a bad thing. If you go in asking for money be ready to show personal arbitrage.

For me asking for a raise is awkward, self absorbed, and very risky. There are so many variables beyond your control.

Do you bring 5 times, 10 times, or 20 times a return on the money you are currently paid?

Asking for a raise is a math problem. I’ve been hearing this term a lot from business guys.

Asking for a raise is not a “worth” issue. If you look at the raise through the lense of your worth then you’re hosed. Your comp is a line item on the balance sheet of a department or company. That’s it. Math. Accounting.

Money is personal

I know money is personal. We all compare our worth and salary with others in our field and we want the respect. Stop thinking that way. It will ruin your life.

I’m going to contradict myself. You can’t control the “salary is my worth” thinking. But you can channel it and observe that those thoughts are going through your mind. Don’t let them linger.

Math problem

Needing 28K is a math problem. Ask yourself why you need the extra money. Because money is almost never the issue. Unless you are stuck in living below the poverty line.

If you are a linchpin (check out Linchpin by Seth Godin) then you stand a good chance of getting the raise.

Another great book, Eat the Frog, by Brian Tracy will teach you how to position your value to make more money.

He tells the story of a guy who showed his boss all the mundane time sucking tasks that generate very little return on his time.

By taking those tasks off his plate he was able to focus more on the high return work that made the company more money.

His boss doubled his pay. It is rare to get your pay doubled. I had it happen to me. I didn’t ask for it.

Boss’s hate talking money

I could be wrong here. I probably am. Talking about how much money you are worth is really uncomfortable for your boss. I hate talking about how much money I need to make to my boss.

Your boss is looking at a budget and seeing 28K as a new hire. That person will know nothing and contribute little at the beginning. They may not see the equation the way you do.

Arbitrage

If you are going to ask for 28K then the burden is on you to show how you bring in 5 times or 10 times that in value. Show them how you added 300K to the company.

That is how business works. If the business isn’t growing and flourishing it’s dying.

Thinking you deserve a raise because of what you did in the past is like putting a bullet in your brain. Don’t do that. That’s negotiating suicide. Nobody cares about what you did in the past.

Real players want to know what you can do now.

Conclusion

I have NEVER asked for a raise. Maybe I’m not qualified to answer this question. I have been given significant raises through-out my career.

Add value is a cliche and is over-used, I know. To make more you have to change your mindset from the employee to that of an owner. Or from a taker to a giver.

Owners, producers, and givers make more. Earners, employees, and takers make less.

Money is only a byproduct of value. It is the market’s way of saying thank you for delivering.

Every time I’ve been greedy and stingy money hides herself from me.

Every time I’ve given, money magnetizes herself to me.

Brian got a 2% raise and he quit 6 months later.

 

 

Job Search Insanity Part 1

insane

I had been rejected again. Bob told me to leave and that I wouldn’t need to finish out my two weeks notice. I was jobless. Apart of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics blah blah blah.

Then I suddenly became deranged and actually thought about owning a fleet of 18 wheelers because I thought I was good at logistics. What does logistics even mean?

I went to truck driving school for Swift to get my CDL. Because in order to own a fleet of 18 wheelers you need to know how to drive one. My flawed logic.  I had to take a Greyhound bus from Northern Michigan to Memphis. Worst trip of my life. I cried.

I was there for 3 weeks. I think. I barely graduated. My truck driver trainer called me “Nervous” in this strange down home brother like accent. I was nervous and now it was my nickname.

I was sent back to Detroit to await my driving assignments while living in a motel. All I did was eat fast food and watch TV for 10-12 hours a day. I gained weight.

My 18 wheeler business dream ended in 3 months. I couldn’t hang living in rest stops and sleeping in the back of trucks. You take showers in scary places and eat out of vending machines. There are no Whole Foods for truck drivers. Great business idea!

I told Swift that they could have their truck back but they wanted thousands of dollars for teaching me how to drive their truck. I disagreed with them.

I was now jobless. I use to sell cars and was pretty good at it. I had a reputation for selling the shit out of cars. Every dealer I called gave me the runaround. I was doomed. I was freaking out.

I went to Manpower and got a factory job. Yes a job a robot could do ten times faster and more efficient. I would pick up plastic parts off of a conveyer belt and put them into a box for 8 hours a day and I would do it at night.

I was a professional salesman who couldn’t get back in the game. I was blacklisted. I would beg car guys to hire me. I would cry. I would dream about selling cars again. I was insane.

Then Robin, one of the best men I know, called back. He got me a gig selling cars. I cried. I finally get to check out of the insane asylum.

Ideas for coping with the insanity of a job search.

It really isn’t you it’s us

When any business is hiring somebody they get spooked out. They overthink the process. They don’t want to hire the wrong person and waste time and money firing them and then replacing them.

The boss loves to have as many resume options as possible for the job they need done. There is this belief that there is an over abundance of qualified people for the job and if you’re patient the right resume may come along.

Education doesn’t equal opportunity

Colleges don’t see their job as preparing you for finding a job. Their goal is to educate you and that’s it. Sure they have a career advisor you can talk to.

A college’s goal is to teach you to think critically. Your livelihood isn’t their problem. I’ve worked with recruiters with Masters Degrees that didn’t know how to recruit.

The best recruiter I know is a Marine. I don’t think he has a degree. Semper Fi baby!

Amateur Hour

I went to a networking event and interviewed some college kids who are all brilliant and smarter than me. But most of them were amateurs. They know how to study and do class projects. They also know how to party.

You and I live the real world. There are no As and Bs. It is get the job done or don’t pay the bills. Cars get repossessed and houses goes into foreclosure. We don’t have much margin for error.

Amateur hour in a job search is applying to jobs online blindly without knowing how to get through a window.

Find a window

A pro doesn’t need to go through the front door of a company. They don’t want to because they know that there are a 1000 guards ready to smash you.

Submitting your resume with a cover letter to HR, blah blah blah puke I’m getting sick, is how an amatuer searches for a job.

Our applicant tracking system hates your resume and it will get lost. I’m sorry but your resume is one of a 1000 that company received this month.

Finding a window means knowing someone on the inside. Crawl through the window and stop the madness.

I’ll follow up with a part two with more job search strategies that helps me keep my sanity.

 

A boss’s recommendation

A businessman sat on a rocking horse

I was constantly avoiding my boss. I didn’t want to return his calls or acknowledge his existence. I had been offered a contract recruiting gig that was going to be a more interesting job than the one I had.

I didn’t know how to tell him that I was leaving him. I can’t use him as a reference. Maybe I can use him but I feel bad for leaving him.

When I worked for Dennis I did the same thing. I was lured away by another dealership that promised me the world. I was dreaming big and didn’t appreciate how good I had it.

Dennis did write me a good reference. You can see it on my LinkedIn profile.

Here are a few options for getting your boss to give you a reference for a new job.

Promotion
Tell her it’s for a promotional opportunity. If you’re good at what you do, they will have no problem giving you a strong recommendation.

Another field
Jumping from the nonprofit world into recruiting made getting a recommendation from my boss easy since I wasn’t jumping ship to another competing non profit. Nonprofits compete for donations and charity. It’s weird but it is true.

Demoting yourself
Maybe you want to move out of a position that isn’t as high stressed or allows you more free time to work on a few side ventures. Your boss will most likely envy your situation.

I’ve recruited a ton of engineering managers who wanted to go back into the trenches and not have to worry about being the boss.

Commute
Tell your boss that this new job is much closer to your house and you will be saving time and gas going to work everyday.

Telecommute
Negotiate this benefit in the job you’re looking to get even if it means one day a week you can work from home. Either way, your boss will be understanding of this added benefit if you don’t currently have it.

Work life balance blah….blah….blah….
This term is all the rage right now. Every company thinks they give great work life balance but most don’t. Again, tread lightly your boss may love all of these options and want to come to this new job with you.

Paying for school
This new company is going to pay you to go back to school and get some fancy graduate degree. Maybe your current company offer this, but whatever the case, you’re trying to convince your boss to give you a great recommendation and getting a better education is a good option.

This new company is going to be the next Google
Be careful because again your boss my want to follow you along to this next company. Talk about the innovative business you are about to embark on. Yeah, talk it up. Don’t be surprised if your boss doesn’t ask you to push their resume through.

When I left the nonprofit world I actually had that happen to me. Colleagues and bosses wanted me to “hook them up” because I was going into the recruiting world.

They have a fitness program
You want to get in shape and taking this job will allow that for you. You need this reference to score this sweet gig with a fitness program.

Figure out what the best option is for you and let your boss in on your game plan to jump ship. Good bosses will want the best for you.

If your boss thinks you stink at your job then the ideas presented above may not be very helpful.

Lying to your boss

angry boss

I use to lie all of the time. Mainly to avoid the wrath of my father and getting my ass whooped by him. I didn’t know that they called it child abuse. He really wasn’t abusing me. But I lied to his face a lot and I had the ass whooping coming.

You have lied to your boss about missing work and you made up a story about your fake cousin’s death……

Now your boss wants proof.

You may be in a pickle, my friend.

Option 1:

Take the high road and let your family shame you. Lose your job and slowly work toward rebuilding your life.

Option 2:

Have Fiverr.com create a obiturary of your fake cousin’s death. I doubt that getting a copy of a death certificate for a random cousin is necessary. An obituary is much easier.

Option 3:

Avoid your manager. Keep blowing him off. Tell him you’re ridden with guilt about this whole situation. Take the lie even deeper if you want. Tell him that you some-how feel responsible for your cousin’s death.

Option 4:

Appear absolutely delusional about the entire situation. Go to a psychiatrist and tell them that you hear the voices of your parents in your head telling you you aren’t good enough. You need meds to calm the voices down. You may not have access to this option. I don’t know.

Option 5:

Be over dramatic. Bosses hate drama. Go into a long diatribe about the drama in your family over your cousin’s death and how it impacted the family dynamic. When my employees go on about their drama I shut down and stop listening. Maybe that’s why I’m a terrible boss. I don’t mean to, I just do.

Option 6:

Tell him that your cousin was so poor that the family didn’t have a funeral. You couldn’t even find a priest or whatever appropriate religious figure to perform the ceremony. Go on about him being homeless and how he was a shame to your family but you were the only one who stood by him. The bigger the story the better.

Option 7:

Most of the people on this post want you to buck up and tell the truth. Well you probably should but who am I to judge. I’m guilty of telling lies. I would be a hypocrite. We all lie to ourselves everyday.

Option 8:

Keep insisting that you gave the information to your boss over and over. Then accuse him of sabotaging your ability to follow the bereavement process.

Option 9:

Tell him, I’m assuming your boss is a him, that you need even more time off and that you need time to clear your head about this whole situation.

Option 10:

This is the most absurd and craziest option. Beware as this might piss some readers off. Tell your boss that you think you were in love with your cousin and that he or she was your soulmate.

Falling in love with a cousin is common. He will most likely understand since he almost certainly had a cousin back in the day that he had a crush on.

9 of these options are really bad. Only 1 is true and noble. Tell the truth and start the journey to restore your character. In my experience, it has been worth it for me.