Strive For Mastery, Not Perfection


Recently I was having a conversation with a long-time mentor, coach, and friend.  I was sharing my thoughts on a new endeavor and happened to mention that I was “trying to perfect” the thing I was working on, before attempting to market it.  My mentor stopped me in my tracks and said, “Not perfect.  Don’t focus on perfect, you’ll never get there.  Focus on mastery.  You want to be a master.  No one is perfect, nor will anyone ever become perfect.  But you can become a master.”

While certainly a profound statement, it wasn’t the first time I had heard this.  In fact, I recently went back and re-read one of my favorite books by Seth Godin, Linchpin. For Seth fans, you’ll know that he strongly believes in creating remarkable experiences.  In Linchpin he talks about being an artist.  Making your work, art…and art by definition isn’t perfect.  Some of the most valued art in the world is not “perfect”, instead it was created by a master, and even loved for its flaws.

Mastery is an ongoing journey while perfection suggests you’ve arrived, you’ve made it, you’re done.  What lies after perfection?  What’s left to learn?  What’s left to develop? What’s left to explore?  What’s left to invent?  The world is a timeless collection of things and events that simply prove perfection isn’t possible.  Instead, the world is changing, evolving, reinventing every day, minute, and second.

So with that, I will begin reframe my perspective to focus on mastery rather than perfection.  By accepting mastery as my goal versus perfection, it empowers me to accept life’s fact that there’s always something new to learn and invent.  Will you join me on the journey to mastery?

3 Hints to Help You Hit Your Goals in 2016: Hint #1 – Visualization


We all know goals are an important part of success.  Whether our objective is personal or professional, having a goal provides us with a “thing” to focus on to achieve that objective.

Over the years I have found 3 actions that have improved my ability to reach my goals.  I’ll share my hints this week.  Today, my first hint is visualization.

Visualization is a powerful way to gain clarity of your goal.  What is it you really want?  Can you see it?  What does it look like?

When I was younger I had a poster in my room with a picture of a mountain range in Arizona.  I was mesmerized by that picture and promised myself that one day I would live near the mountains.  And while I never got to Arizona I did move, and live in Reno, Nevada for two years at the base of the Sierra Nevada’s.  A goal achieved.

So what goal are you striving for in 2016? Is it a new house?  A new car?  A specific weight you’re trying to reach?  A book you’re trying to write?  A new job? A vacation? Bungee jumping?  Taking up a new sport or activity?

Find a quiet place to think.  Close your eyes and visualize exactly what the goal is you’re going after.  What does it look like?  Be as specific as possible.  Where is it?  What color is it?  How does it look?  What will you be feeling when you reach the goal; your emotions? When will you reach it? What’s the timeframe?

The more detail you can place around your goal through visualization the more likely you’ll be able to achieve it.  In his book The Success Principles, author Jack Canfield talks about how visualization activates the subconscious mind.  The more you visualize your goal the more your subconscious mind works to bridge the gap between your current reality and the goal you’re focused on.  He goes on to say, “Your creative subconscious can only think in pictures, not words.”  Having a clear picture, a visual, of the goal you’re trying to achieve is the first step to successfully achieving that goal.

Stay tuned for Wednesday’s second hint on improving your success in reaching your goals.



5 Things Every Salesperson Should Focus On


Sales people are an interesting breed.  They’re high-strung, often funny, and witty, sensitive and many times high maintenance.  I know this because I am one.  I’ve sold, managed, led, and built sales teams for the better part of the past 2o years.  I’ve had months when I hit my numbers and months when I’ve missed.  I’ve had sales teams that have blown the number out of the water and those who have drowned while trying to hit the number.  Yet over the years I have heard one question that continues to be asked over and over again…”what is the secret to success in sales?”.  Here’s the answer…there is no secret.

The difference between successful sales people and those who fail in this profession is simple.  Over the years I have identified 5 traits that separate those who succeed from those who fail.

  1. Clarity of goals – knowing exactly what you want to achieve and when.
  2. Discipline – being committed to perfecting your skills.  Starting your day before others and ending it after they’ve long given up.  Putting in that extra time when others are out having fun.
  3. Curiosity/Inquisitiveness – an insatiable thirst for knowledge.  Betterment.  Desire to outsmart, or out-understand others.  Constantly absorbing, learning, refining.
  4. Time Management – successful people know that time is their biggest asset.  They don’t waste it.  In Sales this means selling when people are available to be sold to.  Don’t do paperwork at 10 am.  That’s a waste of time.  Sell at 10 am and do your paperwork at 10 pm.
  5. Self-Reflect – 15 minutes a day to reflect on what you did, what results you generated, what you learned, what you’ll do different tomorrow.

Make these 5 things part of your life and success will find its way to your doorstep, not because it simply wandered over but because you attracted it through these strong and powerful habits.