Archive for the Southwestern Consulting Category

Unconditional Confidence

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Southwestern Consulting with tags , on February 8, 2017 by Dustin Hillis

Do you believe confidence is something you are born with or not? At Southwestern Consulting, we found that confidence can be developed and strengthened through awareness and training. There are 3 Types of Confidence. We all have experienced all 3 types in some form or fashion in various ways. Our goal is to progress through the 3 types of confidence quickly and end up with Unconditional Confidence in every area of our lives.
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The 3 Types of Confidences: False Confidence, Conditional Confidence, and Unconditional Confidence.
False Confidence is saying you can do something, but deep down inside you think there is no way you can actually do the task. It is fake self-talk. A good example is someone whose group of friends talks and acts as though they were superman or superwoman, but when put into an unfamiliar selling situation, they change from superman to super-scared. False confidence comes from F.E.A.R. which is False Evidence Appearing Real. Sometimes we all have false confidence and “fake it until we make it”. However, we all want to move out of false confidence as quickly as possible.
Conditional Confidence is why a sales job can be frustrating and emotional. Why do you think that selling can be frustrating and emotional? It’s because we develop conditional confidence and attach our self-worth to results (aka whether or not we make a sale).  Many people have made one, two, or three sales in a row and their confidence goes way up. Then they go a day, a week, or a month with no sales and their confidence bottoms out. Conditional Confidence hits peaks and valleys like a roller coaster. This confidence is conditional on the outcome or result.
Unconditional Confidence is the most important type of confidence. It separates all top producers from average. Top Producers who strive for unconditional confidence have that something special—charisma, swagger, or mojo. How do you develop Unconditional Confidence? Unconditional confidence is based on your beliefs and habits. To develop unconditional confidence, you need to know that you do have innate skills and that your momentum comes from your work habits. Every day you can gain more confidence by focusing on the habits that are within your control.

There are 3 key areas that anyone can control every day:

  1. Your attitude, self-talk, and energy level. No one can control your attitude besides you. Knowing and believing you are created for a purpose and having positive self-talk is the most important area of focus in anyone’s life. Your energy level is a choice. Your attitude is a choice.
  2. Your schedule and time management. You determine what time you go to sleep, when you wake up, what time you make your first prospecting call, what time you make your last prospecting call, if you’re going to work on the weekends, or not. You are in control of your time.
  3. Your activity. No one can force you to work. You have to decide to get as much done as possible with the time allowed. Break your day into goal periods and decide what you are going to do with your time every minute, every hour of every day. Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla, Space X, and Solar City) breaks his day down to 5 minute time blocks that are scheduled before he starts every day.

The key to being unconditionally confident and having self-worth in business is to not attach your self-worth to how much you produce.  Your gauge on whether or not you’re doing a good job is based on work habits – Activity, Attitude, and Schedule. That way at the end of the day, you look in the mirror and don’t ask yourself “did I sell anything today?”  Instead you will ask yourself, “did I focus on controlling the controllable habits today and do my dead level best?”  When you are growing and improving every day in your beliefs and habits, you are creating Unconditional Confidence.

A good positive affirmation to use when forming unconditional confidence is saying to yourself every day when you look into the mirror:
“I do not expect success all the time, but due to the belief in my gifts and God-given abilities in addition to my knowledge and acquired skills, I can be fearless in the moment. In reality, self-worth has nothing to do with the outcome. So when the pressure comes, I cannot hesitate. Knowing sometimes I will do well and sometimes I won’t, regardless, I know failure is temporary and success will happen with perseverance.”

The Navigate Behavior Styles

Posted in dustin hillis, Leadership Coaching, Motivational, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, southwestern company, southwestern company truth, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2016 by JordanKinard

While it may be no surprise that “Selling the way people like to buy” gives you the best chance to serve your customers and clients, knowing “how those people like to buy” is another story.

The Navigate system is built to help you understand the people around you, so that you can connect with your prospects in a deep and meaningful way during the sales cycle. Our years of research have found that people tend to fall into one of four dominant behavior styles: Fighters, Entertainers, Detectives, and Counselors.

As a Navigator it is important to understand these behavioral styles and be able to identify first your own style and then your prospects.

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  • Fighters are cut-to-the-chase, bottom-line drivers with little time and less patience. They are motivated by results, and it’s important to them to be in control.
  • Entertainers are social butterflies and enthusiastic extroverts. They love people, possibilities, and rapport—and they care more about emotions than facts.
  • Detectives are practical analysts. They are always on the hunt for details, and unlike Entertainers, they rank the value of facts over emotions every time.
  • Counselors are “steady Eddies.” Laid-back diplomats, they have the interest of the team at heart. They love security and consistency, and they make decisions by consensus.

These people probably sound familiar. You’ve met them all before in some shape or form, and a few of them have most likely driven you up the wall in the past. But when you begin to sell to the four behavior styles the way they like to buy, that paradigm of frustration changes fast.

All you have to do is learn to Navigate. Want to learn more?

 

Being Decisive

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Motivational, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , on June 7, 2016 by Dustin Hillis

What do people like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? Other than being billionaires, they all are decisive. They know what they want. They understand their priorities. They make decisions. You’d probably never hear any of them say, “let me think about it”. Billionaires don’t have time to “think about it”; it’s either a “yes” or it’s a “no”. Opportunities are lost every day from not making a decision.

What is there to think about? Most of the time if we have to think about something, it’s because we don’t have a clear vision for what we really want. People are so focused on the day-to-day minutiae of life, that they cannot set their sights down the road on the bigger prize. It’s interesting to ask people the question “what do you want?” Most people respond with something generic like “happiness”, “make a lot of money”, “world peace”, etc. If someone asked you “what do you want?”, could you answer the question? Knowing what you want is the first step in being a decisive decision maker.

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Considering your priorities and reorganizing priorities based on what is going to get you another step closer to your goal every day is a skill. We are all busy being busy. Nobody on the planet thinks they aren’t “busy”.

Why do so few people exceed their goals in life? They have their priorities out of order. If your priority is to become the number one producer, become financially independent and build wealth, then why are you spending so much time checking email, reading up on current events and chit-chatting with your co-workers by the coffee machine? You should spend 90-95% of your time doing things that only you can do with your unique skills and talents. Understanding your priorities will help you to stay focused on the things that only you can do.

All that is left now that you know what you want and you’ve got your priorities reorganized daily is to take action. Stop thinking. Pick up the phone. Book the trip. Ask the girl of your dreams out on a date.

Stop thinking and start doing. Make decisions. Be decisive. If 90% of your decisions are right, then the 10% that are wrong will be made up from making more positive decisions.

Being Present In the Moment

Posted in dustin hillis, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , on April 12, 2016 by Dustin Hillis

Recently a man was taking a picture with his smart phone and backed off the ledge of a cliff and died. Being present in the moment can be the difference between life and death. Being present in the moment can be the difference between staying married or getting a divorce. Being present in the moment can be the difference between your child growing up feeling loved or alone. Being present in the moment can be the difference between winning someone’s business or losing the deal.

The greatest gift you can give someone is your attention.

When was the last time when you were in a room and everyone was engrossed in their cell phones and not paying attention to their surroundings? Can you recall the last conversation when the person you were talking with was looking over your shoulder and not making eye contact with you and you could tell they were listening to less than half of the things you were saying? When was the last time you were barely engaged in a conversation? Of even worse, you only focused on looking good by trying to impress the other person by talking about yourself, and not caring to ask the other person questions about themselves, resulting in a balanced conversation. People who are more focused on being interesting versus being interested will always have a difficult time fostering authentic relationships.

3 Levels of Not Paying Attention

Level 1. Attention Deficit

There are a large number of people in this world who are naturally wired to be on the go and cannot sit still long enough to ask questions and listen. While this might be a gift or a curse that God has given you, it’s still not an excuse not to be present in the moment. Some individuals with extreme cases end up taking medication for ADD. After being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), I was prescribed medication which caused me to experience hyperfocus. It also caused me to also experience negative side effects that caused me to stop taking the drugs. I found that after years of practice I could control my ADD and hyperfocus when I put myself in the right environment with no medication.

Level 2. Addicted to Technology

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Smart phones are making us stupid. The world is addicted to their phones. A large number of people are spending a majority of their time on their smart phones. Between Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, blogs and email, everyone is living a virtual reality versus living in real time. The most interesting man in the world (in my favorite Dos Equis beer commercial) says “I live vicariously through myself.” Life is beautiful. All we need to do is put down the technology and pay attention and see the real time Instagram-worthy things all around us.

Level 3. Consumed with Oneself

When someone is so consumed with himself or herself that they don’t care about other people, they enter another level of not being present in the moment. Think of the last time you went to a dinner or had a meeting with someone and at the end of the time together you knew everything about them and they knew nothing about you? Do you have friends who don’t really know anything about you? Are they really your friend? If someone is so consumed with how awesome they are, it will be difficult for them to be present in the moment and have a genuine conversation with you.

Now that we’ve identified the 3 levels of not paying attention, let’s discuss how to be present in the moment.

The first step in being present in the moment is to slow down and take a deep breath. Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Who always wins in Aesop’s Fable The Tortoise and the Hare? The tortoise wins every time! Pay attention to your breathing. By simply taking a few deep breaths, you will slow your heart rate down and you’ll be able to be more present. Just by simply slowing down, you will start noticing things that are beautiful all around you that you may have never noticed before. I love how my 4-year-old daughter, Haven, always notices any flowers and makes us stop and look at them and smell them. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

After you’ve learned how to slow down, start working on being grateful. Every day either when you wake up or when you’re going to bed take out a piece of paper or a journal and write down 10 things that you are grateful for in your life that day. Throughout the day, pray or affirm your gratitude for all of the little things in life. When good things happen to you, don’t get over excited and when bad things happen to you, don’t get overly upset. Always stay even keeled in your emotions and grounded in thankfulness and gratitude. Just be thankful to be alive and healthy every single day. Everything else is just a bonus!

Get a better routine. Wake up and go workout, read some affirmations, eat breakfast and then maybe check your email for 30 minutes and then put it away. Then have a scheduled time in the middle of the day to check email and technology, then one more time at the end of the day. Checking email 3 times per day and social media one time per day should be enough! We do not need to be consumed by our social media all day long. Our relationships are suffering if we are addicted to our devices.

Finally, get over yourself. No one cares how awesome you are. Emotional midgets are the ones who care so much about what others think about them that they only want to talk about themselves. We need to honestly care about other people, ask questions and listen. We need to empathize with other people’s pains and struggles. Focus on maintaining eye contact, look for the non-verbal communication to make sure that what they are telling you is the whole story or, if you need to, keep asking more questions to get them to really open up and tell you what is really going on.

At the end of the day, we are all called to love one another. There is no way we can show love if we are too busy being busy and consumed with our own selfish human nature. This has been and will continue to be a struggle of mine.   Hopefully, you will join me in the pursuit of loving other people and being present in the moment.

3 Ideas How to Take the Pressure Off

Posted in Motivational, Sales Coaching, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , on February 8, 2016 by Dustin Hillis

We live in a world of unmet expectations. We are consumed with struggling through the daily grind to be successful, or stripping away stresses to find our inner-self and calmness, or indulging in everything life has to offer to just be happy. We feel “less than”, pressure, and frustrated when we don’t achieve what we are longing for. We make an idol of success, tranquility or happiness.

Tim Keller said it best in his book Counterfeit Gods, “When an idol gets a grip on your heart, it spins out a whole set of false definitions of success and failure and happiness and sadness. It redefines reality in terms of itself.”

It’s mind-boggling how some of the most successful people I know are so full of insecurity and self-doubt. The outside world thinks these people are the most successful people who have it all together, and the reality is they are freaking out on the inside and putting too much pressure on themselves. I remember feelings of extreme pressure that I would put on myself, and thoughts of being less than no matter what I accomplished or achieved.

I’m sure you’re asking yourself right now, “this sounds good, but how in the world am I supposed to do this?”

Here are 3 Ideas on how do we take the pressure off:

  1. Take a reality check. Ask yourself these two question:
    • During your idle time, where is your head at? What do you literally think about when you are left by yourself?
    • If you were 100% honest with yourself, where are you at emotionally?
  1. Find the root of the problem. Typically, there are three main root issues that cause us to put too much pressure on ourselves.
    1. “Comparison is the thief of all joy” – Any time we compare ourselves to anyone else, it creates pressure. There will always be someone else who is better, faster, better looking, stronger and smarter. We are all inadequate to everyone at something.
    2. Not having fun. – Your attitude is a choice. Your energy level is a choice. Choosing to have fun and be joyful in every single thing you do every single day is a choice.   Most people live in a reactionary state. They just let things happen to them and just think “woe is me”, or they take themselves so seriously they leave no room to simply have fun.
    3. Feeling like a failure. – Feeling like a failure is the granddaddy of all root issues when it comes to putting too much pressure on ourselves. Failure is part of life. No one is perfect. Anyone who expects to be perfect at anything will be guaranteed to feel like a failure because it’s impossible to be perfect at anything over a long period of time. At some point, we will all break. Often, it takes us reaching our breaking point to be able to accept our brokenness and dig down to the root of our problems.

3.  Focus on Unconditional Confidence.

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the highest level is “self-actualization” which focuses on morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts.

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The difference between Maslow’s “self-actualization” and Unconditional Confidence is that Unconditional Confidence cannot be found inside yourself. Unconditional Confidence is not a goal or something you achieve. Unconditional Confidence comes from an understanding that you were created for a higher calling. You were created to die to your selfishness, and your highest achievement in life is to love, serve and care for other people. Another great book by Tim Keller – Every Good Endeavor – does an excellent job at describing in detail how to have Unconditional Confidence.

There are three types of confidences and our goal is to strive to be Unconditionally Confident.

  1. False Confidence – Faking it until you make it has its place and time. However, we need to quickly get ourselves out of a false confidence state once we embark on trying something new. False Confidence is saying you’re going to do something, or thinking you are good at something with no real evidence to back it up. There are plenty of people out there who say “I could have done that if I really wanted to” or “I’m going to be number one.” Etc.
  2. Conditional Confidence – Conditional Confidence comes into play after we’ve set the stage with our False Confidence. We’ve set an expectation for ourselves that we are supposed to be a certain way or accomplish certain things, and then when the results are less than what we hoped for, we feel defeated and less than. Conditional Confidence is contingent on results. If we win, we feel good. If we lose, we feel pressure. Conditional Confidence is equivalent to the 4th level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – “Esteem: self esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for others, respect by others”. Most of us get stuck with Conditional Confidence our whole life.
  3. Unconditional Confidence – People who are Unconditionally Confident have figured out their purpose in life and what they are called to do. Once we have figured that out, we then get to work every day knowing we are making a difference in the world through our work habits, not our results.

If taking the pressure off is something that you need to focus on, print off this quote and read it aloud every day for the next year:

“I do not expect success all the time, but due to the belief in my gifts and God-given abilities in addition to my knowledge and acquired skills, I can be fearless in the moment. In reality, self-worth has nothing to do with the outcome. So when the pressure comes, I cannot hesitate. Knowing sometimes I will do well and sometimes I won’t, regardless, I know failure is temporary and success will happen with perseverance.”

20 Ways to Be a Good Salesperson

Posted in Sales Coaching, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , , , , on July 1, 2015 by Dustin Hillis

The world is full of dichotomies, the yin and the yang, the black and the white, the good and the bad. At Southwestern Consulting™, we are on a mission to change the perception the world has about the word “salesperson”.  Unfortunately, over the years, really bad salespeople have created a negative stigma for what used to be considered the most honorable profession in the world, selling. I attended a church service once where the preacher literally was referring to being a “sinner” as being a being a “salesperson”!

The reality is everyone is a salesperson. It doesn’t matter if you are an accountant, teacher, engineer, doctor or a stay at home mother… everyone is selling something always. Selling is simply communicating. Every day we are selling an idea to someone else. My 4-year-old daughter Haven is the best salesperson I know. Every day she is selling her mother and me on something she wants, and she is really good at negotiating and handling objections!

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wallstreet

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

In the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio does a fantastic job of demonstrating all 20 traits of a bad salesperson. The Wolf of Wall Street is the best example of a horrible, self-centered, high pressure, manipulative salesperson. At Southwestern Consulting™, we work with some of the best auto dealers in the world.  Some of the used car salesmen and saleswomen that we work with are the most ethical, honest and hard-working people we’ve ever met.  However, it is so unfortunate that a group of bad salespeople like The Wolf of Wall Street got into the used car sales business and gave the honorable industry a bad name.

Steve Reiner is a Top Producing Salesperson at Southwestern Consulting

Steve Reiner is a Top Producing Salesperson at Southwestern Consulting

The other day I was in Denver, Colorado working with a really good salesperson named Steve Reiner. Steve is a Partner at Southwestern Consulting™ and is an executive sales and leadership coach. It was so invigorating to watch him meet with a very savvy sales manager and extremely competent regional director and then present to a group of seasoned sales professionals at Wells Fargo Advisors. If Steve was a bad salesperson, he would not have gotten into the door with these folks and the seasoned sales team would have eaten him alive. So why did they not only let Steve come train them on how to be better sales professionals, but then afterwards a good number of them signed up for one-on-one sales coaching? Steve is a servant salesperson. He focuses on asking really good questions.  He listens with a heart of service and wanting to help other people reach their goals in life. He is not focused on himself and personal gain. He is patient and persistent and creates a comfortable buying atmosphere and sells the way people like to buy.

At the end of the day, we all have a decision to make. Are we going to be a bad salesperson who is focused on ourselves and how much money we can make, and be consumed with what we deserve?  Or are we going to be a good salesperson and focusing on serving others, asking good questions and listening, and caring more about helping people get what they want than we do making a commission. After all, people can smell your commission breath a mile away.

Here are the traits of a bad salesperson and a good salesperson: 

20 Traits of a Bad Salesperson:
1. Are selfish and focused on making a commission
2. Make things up to get someone to buy
3. Talks too much and too fast
4. Force people to do things they don’t want to do
5. Don’t work a referral system
6. Pressure people and makes them feel sold
7. Don’t dress for success
8. Are not disciplined
9. Say one thing and do another
10. Are lazy
11. Have call reluctance
12. Don’t have a schedule
13. Don’t track their activity
14. Don’t know their numbers/selling ratios
15. Think about prospects in terms of how much money they can make off them
16. Make excuses and blame others for failures
17. Take credit for a collaborative team effort
18. Lie and are dishonest
19. Don’t know how to close properly so they create undue pressure
20. Are ego driven and focused on looking good

20 Traits of a Good Salesperson:

1. Has a servant’s heart and focused on serving other people through helping them meet their needs

2.Asks really good questions and intently listens

3. Qualifies prospects quickly and doesn’t sell to people who are not qualified
4. Are aware of their surroundings and considerate of others
5. Closes quickly once a prospect crosses the buying line and doesn’t over sell
6. Uses Feel (empathy), Felt (relating), Found  (solution) and 3rd Party testimonial stories to answer all objections
7. Helps prospects buy with ease and have fun when they are buying
8. Sells the way people like to buy / adapts to others’ buying styles
9. Always is dressed appropriately for success
10. Always on schedule and on time
11. Works a efficiency warm referral system
12. Has a positive attitude in all circumstances
13. Tracks their activity
14. Knows their numbers/selling ratios
15. Does the work and doesn’t care who gets the credit
16. Doesn’t make excuses and finds a way
17. Are team players
18. Tells the truth even when it hurts
19. Studies the art of selling and closing to help prospects feel comfortable and excited with buying
20. Has a humble and loving approach towards everything they say and do

I challenge you to be one of the good guys.  Be a Good Salesperson!

R.A.F.T.

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Sales Coaching, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , on March 2, 2015 by Dustin Hillis

Flat Tire

My very first summer selling I was out in the backwoods of Missouri where I got not one, not two, not three, but 10 flat tires. My 10th flat tire happened while I was driving a rental car. By that time in the summer, I had gotten pretty quick at changing out a flat and had formed a habit of jumping out of the car to change it, timing myself to see how fast I could do it to try to beat my NASCAR pit crew record breaking time.

On this particular day, I did not beat my NASCAR pit crew record-breaking time because in that rental car I’d never had a flat tire. I put it on the jack and didn’t realize in that car you’re supposed to pull the emergency break before changing the tire. The car fell off of the jack. And if you’ve ever been in the backwoods of Missouri and have a car fall off its jack, I can promise you that you’ll understand that this is not a fun experience! So I ended up having to move the car and work as hard as I could to get the jack out from underneath the car, jack the car back up, and change the tire. It took forever!

I’m loading my boxes back into the trunk and I looked down and realized that my skin looked like it was moving for some odd reason. Upon further inspection, I realized that I was completely covered in ticks. It wasn’t just a few ticks; it was not just a couple of dozen ticks…I’m talking hundreds of ticks that were in the canopy of woods above my head while I was changing the tire which had been falling on my head for over an hour while I worked on that rental car.

What did I do? What any other rational human being would do…I freaked out!  I stripped down to the nude, took my clothes and threw them in a blue Walmart bag that was sitting in the back of the car because I didn’t want to get the ticks in the car. Then I jumped in the car and drove off still freaking out! I remember thinking, “What’s going on?  Why am I out here selling in the middle of Missouri?” I wanted to quit, I wanted to go home, and I determined that that’s what I was going to do.

I pulled up into the only gas station in the entire town. It was the hangout for the city. It was the only place to go, evidenced by all of the people there. I opened the door of the car and I realized—wait a minute—I’m buck naked!  So I jumped back in the car, reached into the Walmart bag and grabbed my covered-in-ticks pants, putting them back on while I started running across the gravel, bare feet and all.

I opened the door to the gas station and find an old lady sitting in the corner. She asked, “Son, what’s wrong with you?” “Lady, I have ticks!” I told her. I think she laughed while pointing me in the direction of the bathroom. I quickly grabbed the only thing I could find in the store to help my situation: a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a razor, and ran to the bathroom. Inside, I looked myself in the eyes and, for the first time in my life, was absolutely convinced I wanted to quit.

I never wanted to quit more at anything in my life. And I’m not a natural quitter. But this day, I wanted to pack up my bags and go home. I didn’t care how much money I was making. I wanted to quit. And I’ll never forget looking at myself in the mirror, just picking off ticks and feeling miserable and sorry for myself. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

It was during this time that something in me began to stir. I remembered going through  training at Southwestern before that summer began and hearing Lee McCroskey teach about this very time in one’s life, the point in which someone feels ready to quit. He explained that everybody has an excuse why they quit and quitting happens in different forms in each different person. Some people quit and literally go home. They are through. Some people quit mentally while keeping at it physically. Some people quit on a month; some on a week; some on a day; some on a goal period…

I’ll never forget hearing him say that and writing down on a card, “I will never quit on my summer, on a month, on a week, on a day, on a goal card or a customer.”  I pulled out that card and re-read it. Looking myself in the eye, I decided, “All right, I’m going to do this.” I took out that rubbing alcohol and razor and I shaved the ticks off, one by one. That wasn’t the best day that I’ve ever had, but it was one of my most important days of my life.

It was important because I made a decision that day to push through.

I didn’t quit.

I had a few customers after that and it was brutal. But you know what? I finished.

After that, quitting was never an option.

I want you to think of a time in your life where you wanted to quit at something—whatever it is—and you didn’t quit. You pushed through. As the country song goes, “…if you’re going through hell, you keep on going. And you get through before the devil notices you’re there.”
When have you done that? When have you pushed through pain to the break through on the other side? On the other side, life becomes easier and quitting becomes less and less of an enticing choice.

At Southwestern Consulting™, we created a technique to help you do this consistently. It’s called RAFT.

R-A-F-T.

Try to imagine this acronym as your life raft, as something that helps you navigate the tumultuous waters that life brings your way.

R stands for Realize. You have to realize an event is occurring. Many times, realizing that you’re in the middle of an event is the hardest part. What is an event? An event is anything that takes you off schedule, anything that takes you out of your routine, anything that takes you out of your normal rhythm.

In my story, my event was the flat tire and finding myself covered in ticks. Events come in all shapes and sizes. It could be as large as a crashing economy, death of a loved one or loss of a marriage. Or it could be as small as a rainy day, flat tire or bad hair day. All of those events, regardless of size, can end up disrupting your momentum.

A stands for Accept. You have to accept that the event is occurring. This is another very difficult part! Acceptance is a psychological action. When I was getting my Psychology Degree at the University at Tennessee in Knoxville, I was so interested to learn that what psychologists are really doing as part of their job is working to drive their clients towards acceptance.  More often than not, people don’t like accepting things.

There are three things in life that you should put your energy and focus on.

1.    Controllables (your work habits, attitude and schedule)
2.    Things that you can influence (people)
3.    Things you have to accept (the events in your life—these are things that you can’t control. Instead, you need to roll with the punches as they come at you)

What’s interesting is that most people choose to spend their time, energy and thoughts focused on things that they just should instead be accepting. But that’s not fun! Everybody loves to gossip, to have an excuse, to talk about why something can’t work. It’s a rare individual who doesn’t make an excuse, but instead finds a way.

F stands for Focus. You have to focus on the controllables. Like I said above, there are only three things you can control—one of which is your attitude. Attitude is a choice and I challenge you to choose wisely. You can also control your schedule and your activity. Are you making wise choices?

T stands for Transform. You must transform the negative event or the negative emotion into positive momentum. Emotions are good, but even bad emotions can be harnessed to slingshot you into positive and record-breaking production.

It’s not coincidence that the week I broke the company record for making the most money in a single week was the week following learning my parents were getting divorced.
At that time, I made a choice to do RAFT:  to focus on the controllables versus quitting. Football players do the same thing. They get knocked down. When I played football, after somebody blindsided me the first time, that was when I had my best game ever.

Make sure you’re doing the following:

1) Realize the event is occurring.
2) Accept that the event is occurring.
3) Focus on the controllables.
4) Take the momentum of the negative and slingshot yourself into positive momentum.

If you can do those things, you will be able to be self-controlled, break records and take it to the next level.

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