email is NOT DEAD. College is NOT required…and everyone is lying to YOU about success.

Email is NOT Dead. College is NOT required. And EVERYONE is lying to you about success.

written by john c ashworth

My son Carl was bemoaning his boredom at work this week during dinner last night. A common complaint when summer starts, his hours increase, and the realities that come with the working life begin to show themselves a little more clearly.

I shared with him something I heard from one of my old sales managers in the car business. He had been having a similar conversation with his daughter. Unlike Carl who is just beginning his career, she was already working as a physician, and already complaining of boredom.

“All jobs get boring eventually.” That’s what Lance had said and I’ll never forget it.

Stick around long enough. Work hard enough. Jump from one line of work to another. Soon, you’ll discover that it’s true. Work can get boring. Heck, life can get boring. It reminds me of a bit Jerry Seinfeld did when I went to see him at the overture center here in Madison.

“Life’s not too short. It’s far too long.” And then in his unique and genius way went on to make a pretty strong argument about it while detailing all of the mundane things we must do in order to get to the good stuff. The moments that make it all worth it.

As one example, I try not to think about how much of my life I spend preparing for my swim workouts at the gym. Preparing or being prepared in advance with swim bag loaded in the car. Driving there. Scanning my membership card. Making my way to the locker room. Undressing. Showering. Swimming. And then ultimately returning to take part in the exact reverse of the same ritual. I swim 4-5 days per week. That’s a lot of the same boring routine over and over again to make that happen.

Yes! Work and life get boring. That’s why mindfullness and meditation are so important.

But there is something else that’s very important about this story and it has to do specifically with your ability to do boring things consistently so that you can be successful in whatever it is that you do. Because inevitably, your work and your life will get boring at times and your ability to overcome the lethargy that can so quickly fill this void will be your decision to simply keep going. Keep fighting. Keep moving. Keep exercising. Keep calling. Keep marketing. Keep selling. And keep preventing yourself from being numbed into a sense of complacency that can leave you feeling bored, lost, and groping for something new when what you really need to do is stay focused on the job right in front of you.

No. College is NOT required and won’t prepare you for this.

Here’s what I like to do to fight this sometimes daily battle.

First, every year I choose three words to guide me. No. There is no substitute for writing goals, but I have found this particular habit extremely helpful over the years for many reasons. I won’t go into all of them right now. What I want you to understand about this habit I’ve formed is that while it might not seem like a lot to just come up with three words, if you’re really choosing wisely, you might be surprised how long it takes you to decide on them. It’s hard to choose only three. Which teaches you something all on its own. And I guarantee you will be even more surprised at how much three little words can help keep you on track when you get bored, lost, scared, or distracted from what it is you really want to accomplish. Your mission.

Second, I write. I produce content. I communicate with my followers, subscribers, colleagues and customers. And I exercise every single day without fail. I also get up very early in the morning and read, write, ice my back, stretch and take some very quite personal time to reflect on what is needed that day.

Yes! More meditation and yoga are currently missing from this list, but I have not been that good about either of them lately so I left them off and then shared that with you as a means of reminding my innner conscious mind of their importance to me. Now that I’ve done that it’s very likely I will be led back to them more frequently in the coming months. Almost certain, in fact.

It is this second thing I just mentioned that I want to elaborate on before I go today. That I write and I communicate with you through my blog, facebook, instagram and weekly email broadcasts to subscribers because it helps me just as much as I hope it helps you from time to time.

Doing this does force a different kind of meditation that is grounded in my own personal connection with my mission here on The Ash Flash and how it is driven by the stories, insights and inspirations that pass through me and onto this page.

I’m NEVER bored when I write. I’m NEVER scared when I write. I’m NEVER more engaged with my own mind and everything that passes through than when I write, communicate, and share with you here. That’s why I appreciate you being here so much.

Should you be interested, I want you to know that I can help you build this same kind of communication engine in your own business and I can teach you how to use it to sell more stuff. I’ve been doing it for years now, and I continue to do it in my current line of work as a salesman. The process is powerful in many ways. Both personally and professionally. This body of work and expertise is a sales process that just keeps getting better all the time.

The larger point I want to make before this post gets too long, though, is this…

Everyone is lying to you about success, because no one is sharing with you all of the boring details about what it took to get them where they are today. Just remember that every time you see, read or hear something that seems a little too good to be true. It probably is. In fact, this guy who crushed it on Jeopardy this year is a great example of what I’m talking about. I plan to write more about that another time. He topped the $2-Million Mark during 27 consecutive appearances on the show, but he spent a lifetime developing and honing the skills and expertise that allowed him to succeed. That allowed him the courage to play the game the way he did.

He practiced answering questions in his own living room while wearing dress shoes to get in the right mindset.

I love that story.

…and likely, until I shared it with you, you probably were not aware. You probably have not had the time to read, like I have, all about how he made himself into a success on Jeopardy.

Work gets boring. Life gets boring.

The key is to keep going. Keep studying. Keep practicing. Keep living. Keep fighting.

Keep putting your dress shoes on and going to work.

-John

PS In my current role as a salesman for a fast-growing technology company, I don’t have to wear dress shoes most days. I do, however, still wear the same McDonald’s visor every single day (pictured below). I do this for three important reasons.

First, it does help keep the bright light out of my eyes at the computer. We work in a beautiful space with a lot of natural lighting.

Second, it’s a cool visor.

Third, wearing it has become a ritual and helps me achieve the mindset I need to cultivate to be successful in my job. Could I still cultivate that mindset without the hat? Of course, but why not find the things and the ways you need that will inspire you and help make your work and your days more fun, more engaging and more productive?

Go get em’!

Don’t EVER stop Scoring

soccer ball photo john ashworth

written by john c ashworth

Want to sell more? Remove obstacles.

Sounds simple, right? Actually, it is. The hard part is not letting distractions pull you away from this beacon of truth. Especially as your sales and company grow, your focus on eliminating the things that detract and distract from the sales process become more prominent and require your constant diligence.

Think about it honestly…

How much time do you actually spend selling each day?

Very often, it’s not nearly as much as you think and not nearly as much as I’m sure you would prefer.

You must contactly guard against the three hundred pound gorilla that is standing outside your cubicle. Fist pounding. Belly growling, feet stomping. He stinks and he’s clammoring for your attention. Ignore him. He will move on to feed elsewhere, but only if you can stop him from stealing your attention. Stealing your mojo.

That gorilla can come in many forms and they are all easily justifiable until you take a closer look at what you were put on this earth to do. Sell things. Make your business grow. Make more money so you can do more great things. Serve more people with our gifts and expertise.

You can’t do that if you’re constantly trying to tame that beast who is powerful and convincing in his giant hairy armor. Constantly trying to convince you that this other thing needs to be done first or that you should be satisfied with your current progress.

I learned a long time ago from a great soccer coach that as a center forward you should always be hungry for more. Always hungry for another chance at glory. No matter how many golden nuggets you’ve got in your pocket, there is always room for another one.

This might sound greedy to you and if it does? Well, the gorilla’s got your mojo and is coaxing you into complacency. The ultimate monster in disguise.

Don’t ever let up. Don’t ever stop scoring.

-John

You have this opportunity every single day – but it’s easy to miss…

cultivation

written by john c ashworth

Cultivation.

This is a word that keeps surfacing this month for me. It just keeps surfacing over and over again an in many different ways. And as we as salespeople approach the end of the month, the power and buoyancy of this word is impressive.

There are many examples I could share with you today but literally I don’t have time. Here at Frazer, we’re working hard to close deals and make sales happen before month’s end on Friday.

So, for now, there’s one simple and poignant thing I want to share with you about this word and this process inside your sales team, your career, and your life in general.

You have the opportunity every single day to plant a seed.

Yes. It’s easy to forget and ignore the importance of this.

We get busy.

Tired.

Frustrated.

Sad.

Angry.

Self righteous.

Indignant.

Sloppy.

Negative.

The trick is in preventing these normal human emotions and behaviors from owning your mindset. Because when they do, you don’t plant anything. And when you don’t plant anything, you have nothing to cultivate.

Good luck!

You can bet there will be more thoughts on this topic later. For now, the focus is on the last few days of this beautiful month of June.

-John

Are You Treating This Important Sales Tool As Trivial? | Small Business Marketing Resources | GKIC.com

Personally, I love the PS and find it to be an important sales tool. They are also a lot of fun to write. Most don’t use them and miss an opportunity. I’ve had customers and prospects ask me why in the heck I’m bothering with a PS.

“Because you’re reading it!” 🙂

John

The other day I read someone’s definition of a “post scriptum” commonly referred to as a “P.S.”  The author, trying to educate others, described the P.S. as “generally containing information which is trivial.” To be frank, I found his explanation rather trivial…

Source: Are You Treating This Important Sales Tool As Trivial? | Small Business Marketing Resources | GKIC.com

Simplicity Sells


“In character, in manners, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

…and don’t forget that the late Steve Jobs said, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”