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Dave’s blog

I’m Still Getting Better – Part 2

In Part 1 of this post, I shared my son’s thoughts about my continuing to make mistakes.  The focus of Part 2 is recent work at improving my skills.

Last April, as it became clear that COVID was going to be here for a while and I’d have time for deep work, I decided to invest in some training on sales messaging.  I’ve mentioned books by Oren Klaff called Pitch Anything and Flip the Script many times in my What’s Dave Listening To column.  I hadn’t done substantial, deeply focused training in a while, probably because I felt “capable.”  Oren Klaff’s new thinking felt enlightening to me, so I decided that perhaps it was time to dive into it.  I signed up for coaching by Oren’s team, and with their help and I’d estimate about 100 hours of work, I’ve become WAY BETTER and more effective at something I thought I was already pretty good at.

Even with all that work, I still make mistakes, still wish I’d made another edit to a released document (mostly to make it shorter) or had or hadn’t said something.  Overall, I’m encouraged to know that a) I HAVE gotten a LOT better, and b) if I’ve worked this hard to improve, even though I continue to fall short, I’ve gained on “the field.”

 

I’m Still Getting Better – Part 1

Not long ago, I told my older son that I’d thought that by about the time I’d really become an adult, certainly by age 50, I’d be done making big mistakes.  And I really did.  Sure, I knew I’m make small mistakes, overlook things, but when I was in my 20s and 30s, I really thought by the time I was 50 (and more) I’d have figured things out.  My son responded, “Dad, you’re still in the game and the world is still changing.”  Smart, and he’s right.  

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And at the same time I’m still making mistakes, I’m working SMARTER.  Interesting how both can happen concurrently.  Check out what I’m listening to now:  Great at Work, The Hidden Habits of Top Performers, and watch for Part 2 of this post!

Sell Something and You’re in Business

In my interview with Randy White, co-Founder and CEO of Wheel Pros, I was surprised to learn that when he started Wheel Pros, which in 2020 sold over 3.5 MILLION aftermarket vehicle wheels representing 30 brands, he didn’t have a real vision or much of a plan.  Isn’t a business plan the first thing one is supposed to do??  When I started my multimedia production company, I didn’t have a plan either – I had a hopeful spreadsheet that I used to rationalize getting into business.  I always felt foolish about that – and yet, many entrepreneurs much more successful than I, also started without much of a plan. Michael Dell had no plan to create a public company worth billions – he just started building superior PCs in his dorm for people who wanted to buy them.   

Randy White’s Wheel Pros has been a HUGE success, admittedly without a plan or even a vision.   What do Randy, Michael Dell, and countless successful entrepreneurs who started without a plan have in common?  They knew exactly how to get a product they were passionate about to the customers who would buy them.   

BACK TO NORMAL OVER DOGMATIC RESISTENCE

Six months ago as vaccines were in early trials, many people were rebelliously saying, “I’m not going to take a new vaccine!”  I’m struck by how the citizens of Israel accept that getting a vaccination is what needs to be done to get on with life for the good of the country and their fellow citizens.  I wish that attitude were more universal in Colorado.   

people waiting in line for vaccine concept

Still, I always suspected that for many who vowed not to take the vaccine, it would just be a matter of time before the weariness of being susceptible to COVID, the desire to be with family and friends, and a possible requirement to show proof of vaccination to get on a plane or attend a concert would outweigh dogmatic rejection.  That’s happened – as many of us are clamoring to be next to roll up our sleeve, it bugs me that for some in line the rejection of science was only overcome by the desire for a more active and convenient life.   

Move On To the Next Play

Jason Gay is a sportswriter for the Wall Street Journal.  After the Super Bowl, he wrote, “Brady plays within his limits – he doesn’t try to exert his will on the game; he will take the incomplete pass and simply move on to the next play – and maybe that’s really his secret, not the protein shakes or deep-tissue massages.”   

Simply move on to the next play – what a statement.  It reminds me of my conversation with PROCO360 guest Avrum Emakis of CLMBR.  He said, 

What I think is great about the TRUTH is that it always wins… It’s not about selling – it’s about sharing knowledge with people and letting them make a decision.” 

American football player Tom Brady for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL) takes part in a football training camp in Shanghai, China, 20 June 2017.

I told him his views are sort of like “Zen selling.”  Tom Brady is quoted as saying, “I’m pretty calm all the time,” so maybe Brady’s approach to playing quarterback is “Zen football.”  Most entrepreneurs are going a mile a minute, scrambling like some great quarterbacks do.  In a to-be-released PROCO360 episode with John Street, CEO of Pax8, John says that one way he’s matured in his leadership is that he’s thinking more and listening more.  Sure, it’s fun to watch Patrick Mahomes scramble around and he’s awesome – people love him.  Many entrepreneurs think scrambling is what’s expected and needed to succeed – and for sure, startups often need to scramble – that’s just the reality.  This comparison reminds me that staying thoughtful and focused, at least when on can, is a more mature way to win.   

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