HigherLife Blog

My Top Ten Character Traits for Success

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For years, I’ve conducted new employee orientations and have shared with new-hires the core values I’ve observed that make for a stand-out person. I believe operating by these principles with bring you a higher level of influence, impact, and satisfaction.

So here goes … “Dave’s Top 10 Traits of Success”:

1. Diligence. Work hard. Exceed expectations. Go the extra mile. Give more than you take.

2. Initiative. Don’t wait to be told what to do. Look for the need and meet it. Find ways to increase your value. Be a problem solver.

3. Resourcefulness. Find alternative ways around the mountain. Be an independent thinker. Figure things out on your own.

4. Humility. Don’t take the glory for yourself. Share your success with others. Recognize your dependence on God and others. Live in reality.

5. Be teachable. Stay open to new ways of doing things. Don’t rely on past experience alone. Your way may not always be the best way.

6. Believe the best in others. Be a “glass half-full” kind of person. Look for ways to affirm others. Be an encourager. Assume the best in people.

7. Choose not to be offended. Don’t let others’ actions, opinions, or attitudes derail you. Don’t live with an offense, and don’t pick up another’s offense. Move on.

8. Stay motivated. Find ways to stay charged up. Set goals and move toward them. Don’t wait for circumstances to be ideal in order to remain positive.

9. Have integrity. Keep your word. Do what you say you’ll do. Be trustworthy with responsibility. Keep confidences. Don’t gossip. Show up on time.

10. Don’t depend solely on yourself. A person who understands his or her need for God and looks to God for direction is wiser and stronger than the person trying to prove something to others. Even Jesus did what he saw his Father doing and lived to bring glory to God.

Well, there you have it. Dave’s top 10 traits for success. I hope you found something of value to chew on. Until next time . . .

Facts Sit. Stories Dance…

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If you’ve been reading my comments for any length of time, you know I’m passionate about the “power of story”.  I believe story is the promotional currency of this generation.  This morning, I read an e-newsletter from Marcia Yudkin.  Marcia is a gifted communicator whom I follow.  The headline for this blog is from Marcia.  I asked Marcia if I could share her comments with you here and she graciously granted permission.

In writing copy, whether it’s for your website, the dust jacket for your book, or your corporate newsletter, pay attention to move beyond the facts of what you want to share and find a way to share a story…

Website “About” pages, publicity materials and promotions come to life when they shape facts using the framework of a familiar, cherished story line.  Appealing narratives

include:

* Underdog succeeds.  Since the days of the Bible, we love to root for David against Goliath, the unknown who overtakes from behind, the unglamorous tortoise who beats the boastful hare.

* Metamorphosis.  A caterpillar turning into a butterfly fascinates us.  Just beware of too many transformations in your story.  The butterfly then turning into a bird and then a monkey becomes bewildering.

* Discovery.  How did you invent, find or formulate what you’re now known for?

* Triumph.  A goal reached, obstacles defeated, the quest completed.

* Righting a wrong.  As long as the injustice remedied was uncontroversial to your audience, this makes a stirring tale.

* Unexpected joy.  The pitch for my Launch Your Information Empire course describes how in 1992, my husband and I stacked the dollar bills and checks that came in from an offer so high the piles fell over.  Describe the surprising fun resulting from your efforts.

FIND YOUR SIGNATURE STORY:  Stories can connect with clients where conventional marketing-speak falls flat.  Discover branding that highlights your unique qualifications, intrigues perfect customers and makes you (or your company) the one to choose.

If you’d like to connect with Marcia, you may do so be contacting her at www.yudkin.com/markmin.htm

Keeping Your “Other-View” In Focus…

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I recently came back from a financial success seminar hosted by two clients we serve, Ryan and Jamie Smith. It was three days filled with wit, wisdom, and tons of practical insights on wealth-building strategies for these tough economic times.

But what has stuck with me the most is a simple phrase Ryan shared in one of his talks. He said, “You serve others to make it, and you give to others to keep it.” 

I like that.

In our pursuit of the security, peace, and comfort that money can provide — and we all know that money, in and of itself, is not the true source of those benefits — it’s important to keep that “others view” in focus.

We were put on this earth not merely to look out for ourselves, but to serve others. In fact, serving others must be at the core of our motivation to succeed. Sometimes I think it’s good to be reminded of that.

Your motivation to write, to produce, to dream, and to accomplish — when rooted in the value of serving others — will bring you the peace you seek. 

If you are waiting to be financially secure in order to start giving to others, you probably won’t ever start. The time to give, to serve, and to be charitable is now. To quote a book by Pat Williams and Jay Strack called The Three Success Secrets of Shamgar, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” 

So today, who can you serve? How can you serve? Lift up your head and see the “others view” that needs to be your focus.

Why not sharing everything you know is a good thing…

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Some time ago, I was invited to lead a workshop for the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. It was an honor. During one of the sessions, I heard a speaker, Ron Hutchcraft, make a statement that stopped me in my tracks. He said, “Everyone creates programs to tell us how to evangelize. The trouble is, we don’t need more programs that tell us the how to. We need programs that give us the want to.”

I had never thought of that before, but it makes perfect sense. People who aren’t deeply motivated to want to do something won’t be motivated by programs that teach them how to do it.

The principle applies in many areas of life. Maybe you are a personal trainer and want to write a book or develop a course that teaches me how to tone up my abs or develop biceps that feel like steel pipes. Great! But until you’ve motivated me to want to do that, telling me how is a waste of effort. You can apply the same principle to dieting, investing, becoming a better spouse or parent — you name it.

The solution? Focus on inspiration before moving to information. 

I tell first-time authors all the time that their book ought to be 70% inspiration and 30% information. Why? Because the purpose of the book shouldn’t be to tell me everything you know about your subject. It should be to motivate me to want to know more. Big difference!

Notice the rhythm of an infomercial. They give you enough information to make their success claims credible, but far more time is spent saying and re-saying a simple inspirational message.

I’m not suggesting you should write a book filled with fluff that repeats the same thing over and over again. I am saying the main focus of your book should take time to compel, convince, move, and motivate me toward a new insight or action.

Don’t impress me with everything you know. Instead, move, encourage, and motivate me to take action!

The Emotion of Your Message

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Emotion sells. I don’t care how many objective facts about your product or service you have going for (or against) you. The simple truth is that emotion is what sells almost every time. Oh sure, some people are more left-brain, logic oriented and make buying decisions in a dispassionate, analytical fashion. But there is almost always some level of emotion attached to making a buying decision.

We are emotional and relational creatures. That’s just the way God made us, so it stands to reason that emotion will be wrapped up, at some level, in most all our decisions.  The person or company who does a better job of tapping (positively) into the emotions of their customer will have far better results over the person who relies solely on facts and figures in presenting their case.

Have you identified the key emotions that can be shared in presenting your story, your product or service? Figuring this out will be critical to your success. Rather than sharing examples, let me show you what I mean. Watch the two short video presentations below. Both are professionally done. Both share sound benefits related to the service provided. But you tell me how you felt as you watched each one. Which video made you more interested in connecting with the doctor promoting his services?

YellowPage video:
http://www.affinityhealthcarecenter.com/

Sticky Story Video:
http://www.stickystoryproductions.com/dr-brent-baldasare-chiropractor/

See what I mean? So, before you write your next ad or create your next campaign, think about how you can create stronger emotion in your presentation. Of course, we are always here to help. Give us a call.

Keeping Your “Other-View” In Focus

Blog,Core Values,Inspiration No Comments

I recently came back from a financial success seminar hosted by two clients we serve, Ryan and Jamie Smith. It was three days filled with wit, wisdom, and tons of practical insights on wealth-building strategies for these tough economic times.

But what has stuck with me the most is a simple phrase Ryan shared in one of his talks. He said, “You serve others to make it, and you give to others to keep it.” 

I like that.

In our pursuit of the security, peace, and comfort that money can provide — and we all know that money, in and of itself, is not the true source of those benefits — it’s important to keep that “others view” in focus.

We were put on this earth not merely to look out for ourselves, but to serve others. In fact, serving others must be at the core of our motivation to succeed. Sometimes I think it’s good to be reminded of that.

Your motivation to write, to produce, to dream, and to accomplish — when rooted in the value of serving others — will bring you the peace you seek. 

If you are waiting to be financially secure in order to start giving to others, you probably won’t ever start. The time to give, to serve, and to be charitable is now. To quote a book by Pat Williams and Jay Strack called The Three Success Secrets of Shamgar, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” 

So today, who can you serve? How can you serve? Lift up your head and see the “others view” that needs to be your focus.

Why People Buy

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I recently watched a video short by Simon Senek on why people buy.  In the video, he talks about the “golden circle”.

In his presentation, Simon talks about the difference between how truly inspired leaders and companies communicate versus the rest of us.

He says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy based on why you do it.”

You see, most of us communicate from the outside in.  We start with WHAT we do, then maybe progress to HOW we do it and most of the time never get to the WHY.  For example, “We make computers (what) we make them fast and sleek and user-friendly (how).  But the truly inspiring companies communicate their beliefs and values, their WHY, first.  For example, Apple might say, “We believe in thinking outside the box, in breaking tradition (their why), and that’s why we make things sleeker, faster and more user-friendly than anyone else (their how) and oh by the way, we sell computers, (their what).”

I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s always better to sell benefits rather than features.  In the example above, the features are the how…our computers are sleek, fast, user-friendly.  Not bad…but it would be much stronger to lead with sharing the benefits of buying our computer.  For example, if you buy our computers you’ll have more time to do the things you love, or our computers will give you an edge over your completion.  This is better copy because now you’re selling benefits not just features.

But what I learned in this video is the importance of communicating your WHY.  Now, if your WHY is simply to make money, I’m afraid you’ll be better off just selling the benefits of your product.  But when your WHY is based on a belief or a value that resonates with your audience, you’ll will be most effective if you communicate your WHY first, then share your benefits.  “We believe in bringing people together because communication is the key to living in peace and harmony.”  If this is your WHY, then lead with that.  People who relate to and identify with your WHY will be more motivated and more strongly moved to buy than if they are simply attracted to your benefits, or to an even lesser extent, just want the features your product or service offers.

So in telling your story, in promoting your message, product or service, take time to consider your WHY.  Evaluate the core beliefs that motivate you to do what you do.  If people connect with your WHY, they will be more likely to respond.

Need help in discovering and sharing your WHY?  Call us.

The Power of Story

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“Story is the promotional currency of the new millennium and millennial thinkers.”

That’s a phrase our team is probably starting to tire of hearing me say.

But I keep saying it because it’s true.

We’re all aware that technology is pushing our society to change and adapt at an ever-quickening pace. We are connecting more and more with people through ever-expanding social networks, and yet our relationships seem to be getting shallower and more superficial.

Have you noticed?

As more media and more images bombard our senses, it becomes harder and harder for any one message or any one voice to stand out or get noticed. This is the world in which we live.

So how do you publish, promote, and market in this environment?

I contend that story is the answer.

Think about it. Whether you’re at a cocktail party or listening to a sermon in church, you tend to “zone out” and not retain but a fraction of what you hear . . . that is, until someone begins to tell a story.

People love stories. They gravitate to them. Why is that?

In part, it’s because stories create emotion.

Whether you are a left-brain analytical thinker or a right-brain creative thinker, you are still an emotional creature and respond to emotion.

Any good salesperson will tell you that most sales are made on emotion, or that emotion is at least involved. So when you can take your central message and tell it in the form of a story, you’ve got a much greater chance that your message will be heard.

Maybe you don’t think you have a story. But you do.

And with some creative coaching, you’d be amazed (and maybe even a little impressed!) with just how cool, how unique, and how moving your story can be to the audience you want to reach and serve.

As publishing and marketing experts, helping people tell and sell their story is what we do. Need help with your story? Put us to work for you by calling 407-563-4806. We’d love to help you succeed!

The Power of Passion

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The older I get, the more aware I’ve become of my shortcomings. I see how many people in the world are smarter, more determined, and more accomplished than I am.

Maybe you feel that way sometimes, too.

But I’m coming to appreciate a quality I possess that serves me well, and I think you would benefit from embracing more of it in your own life.

I’m talking about passion.

People are drawn to those with energy, enthusiasm, belief, and conviction. Most people in the world walk through life anxious, worried, distracted, stressed, and overwhelmed. But when they encounter someone — like you — who speaks with a light in their eyes, an energy in their bones, and a fervor in their spirit, it stands out. It makes others feel better just to be around someone with that kind of passion.

So when you speak to a group or talk with someone one-on-one, I encourage you to do so with a level of energy and enthusiasm. It’s infectious.

Because let’s face it: the world could do with a little more passion. Let it start today with you!

The Long Road to Becoming an Overnight Success

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Most successful people will tell you becoming a success did not happen overnight. The guy who commands $25,000 every time he speaks? The woman who hits the best-seller list every time she puts out a new novel? These folks didn’t get there overnight.

Sure, there are exceptions to every rule. But the vast majority of successful people and companies know the road to success is long and arduous.

Are You On the Ground or Airborne?

Creating media buzz for your product or service is like getting a plane off the ground. You spend a lot of time building up speed, working to get enough air rushing under and over your wings, and then all of a sudden, Voila!

You have lift.

So it is with sound marketing campaigns. You start making connections and doing all the things you know how to do in order to create a base of fans who love what you’re about and decide to tell their friends. That takes time. And the smaller your starting customer base, the longer it takes to reach liftoff.

Analyze as You Go

Whether you’re at “ground zero” in building a fan base or already well on your way, you need to pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t. Some of your efforts will bomb, and others will bring unexpectedly positive results.

But you keep going.

When working your marketing plan, I’d recommend having someone more objective than you look it over and help you set realistic timetables and goals. If you have a sound product or service that meets a real need for an identifiable and reachable segment of the market, you will likely be very successful.

You just need to give it enough time.

Need an objective, seasoned, creative partner for your marketing strategy? Our HigherLife marketing division creates customized strategic marketing plans. Put us to work for you by calling 407-563-4806. We’d love to help you succeed!

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