Posts Tagged ‘success through a positive mental attitude’

The One Element You Can Always Control

With the world spinning at a crazy pace, what can we actually control?  Probably not politics other than to exercise our right to vote.  Probably not the economy other than to pay close attention to our personal income and expenditures.  Probably not the weather.

What can we control?  We can control our own thoughts, words, actions and our personal attitude.

Improving relationships and peace

Key to better relationships

A bad attitude is like a flat tire.  Change it or you are not going very far, very fast or very smoothly.

Situations happen and not all of them are exactly the way we anticipated or desired.  We cannot always change what has happened but we can always control our attitude.  We have the right, the ability, and the responsibility to control our personal attitude.

We can choose to growl, grumble and complain – none of which will be likely to achieve any positive result for anyone, including ourselves.  We can choose to ignore it and hope that it goes away; that may work for an ostrich which sticks their head in the sand, but not highly recommended for humans.  We can choose to adopt the attitude of “what good can come from this?”

When you intentionally look for the good, you are far more likely to find it.   

You apply to refinance your house.  You go through all of the hoops, loops and mountain of paperwork with assurances that all is well and everything is going forward.  Days, weeks and perhaps a few months drag by only to be ultimately denied.  What can you do?  You can apply to another financial establishment, you can plead your case with this one, or you can go to work correcting whatever element caused you to be denied.  If your credit score was too low, start working on raising it.  If your income was low, find a way to earn more money.  You can adopt the attitude of being appreciative that they flagged you on the items to make your life better.  The situation is the same; it is your attitude which can find the positive now and for the future.

Adopt the same mindset for a big sale, relationship or promotion.  You may have had your heart set on the achievement.  You were already dreaming

Choose your attitude

Choose your attitude

about the future with as a fact.  Take a moment to adjust.  What good can come from this unexpected result?  Could it be that something better is just around the corner?  In any case what benefit is there to you or anyone else by adopting a negative “oh woe is me” attitude?  None.

What good can come from this? 

Though it may feel like it for a short time, no sale, relationship or promotion loss is fatal.

No matter what happens in your daily life, the one element you can always control is your attitude.

“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”  John C. Maxwell

Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring

Create a legacy

Create a legacy

Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Let me inspire you to reach your potential.  www.Elaine4Success.com, www.Elaine4Success.com/contact.

Whine or Perform an Attitude Adjustment

Sometimes you have to reach deep and climb high to make an attitude adjustment.

Sometimes you have to reach deep and climb high to make an attitude adjustment.

How many times have you felt an inner GRRR and realized that perhaps an attitude adjustment was in order?  If you are like me, probably more times than you care to admit.

The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.”

You cannot always adjust the situation to your preferences, but you can always adjust your attitude about the situation.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  Wayne Dyer

Have you ever had your bank account, email, or credit card hacked?  Me too.  It is a genuine pain in the schedule.  Every time you turn around there is one more adjustment to be made to set things right.  You can whine, complain, feel sorry for yourself or blame others.  None of these will make any change whatsoever in the situation or what needs to be done to correct it.  You can say “This is not a good time for this.  I don’t have time to deal with this right now.”  Okay, I get it.  Be honest, there is never a good time for a hacker to invade your life.

I recently had a hacker get through the online banking system enough to change my personal contact information in one account.  After the initial “Oh no” (or something to that effect), I said “Thank you to the fraud department at Wells Fargo that they caught it so fast.  The fraud department was on it instantly before any money could be transferred.”  Yes it was a pain to change the automatic deposits, automatic payments, order new checks, and reconcile all of the transactions.  The good news was that they were my transactions and not those of the hacker.

Attitude choices:  Whine, Complain, Get Frustrated, Get Angry or Get Busy and Get it Done.

“I cannot change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”  Jimmy Dean

Life is a continual adjustment of internal feelings to external situations.

Building a successful business is never a smooth, easy, gentle learning curve.  The challenges and the way you face them either give you ulcers or a few more stars in “Entrepreneurship Heaven.”  Maybe it is a throwback to elementary school, raising a family or . . . but I prefer stars.

“It’s not the heavy load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it.”

There was a well-known speaker (temporary memory lapse on her name) who lugged suitcases stacked on top of suitcases, back packs and dragging a cart with more boxes on to the stage.  Each case and box was labeled: anger, guilt, blame, pity party, whine, and every other imaginable complaint.  Her theme was that you can mentally and emotionally drag all of that with you all day every day or you can release it and go forward with your life.

Personally, conducting an attitude adjustment is far easier than dragging that useless, unproductive baggage.

“When we put things off until some future – probably mythical – laterland, we drag the past into the future.  The burden of yesterday’s incompletions is a heavy load to carry.  Don’t carry it.”  It’s far easier on your shoulders, back and spirit to conduct an attitude adjustment.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to:  www.Elaine4Success.comwww.Elaine4Success.com/Contact

Living on Someday Isle

It's your future.  Go for it.

It’s your future. Go for it.

Every day is a new beginning.  Yesterday is recorded and closed.  Tomorrow is a possibility.  Today is the fresh screen before you.  Are your fingers poised over the keyboard ready to compose?

You have a choice.  Either you compose what you choose for today and plan for tomorrow or by default others will do it for you.  Each day is your opportunity for a fresh start.  You know what you want for your future.  Go for it now.

Dream bigger, let go of regrets, manifest miracles, live fully.

Dream Bigger

Your future is can become whatever you choose.  Age, background, ethnicity, financial status, education nor intelligence are factors in your dreams.  If you knew that you could succeed, what would you start today?  Just for a moment, set aside any self-limiting beliefs and allow yourself to dream.  What would you really, really, really like to do with your life…your future?

What is stopping you?  Be honest with yourself.  Think about what you are telling yourself in response to that question.  How many of those “reasons” are truly self-limiting excuses?

Remember the old question about what is the worst that could happen?  If you shoot for the moon and miss, you still land on a star.  Why not go for it now?  Create a success plan and achieve it.

Let Go of Regrets

Focusing on “I could have,” “I should have,” or “I would have” is only significant if it serves as a lesson for what to do better, differently, next time or as a confirmation of what to do again in the future.   Regrets are negatives. Either turn them into growth lessons or let them go.  Don’t give regrets free rent in your head.  Save that valuable real estate for positives.  Regrets are your nemesis.  There is no room for regrets in your success plan.

Manifest Miracles

Today and your future are fresh screens waiting for you to compose whatever you choose.  If you want to achieve your dreams, take examples from those who achieved their dreams.  “I have a dream. . .” made history and changed the world for the better.  (Martin Luther King)

“Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity.  The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere.  Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary.”  Warren Bennis

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  What is the worst that could happen?  If you can live with catching a star instead of the moon, what are you waiting for?  Go for it.  Your future is in your success plan.  Start achieving it.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”  Walt Disney

Live Fully

As far as I know, we only have one shot at this life, go for it now.

It has been said a thousand different ways, but the message remains the same.  In order for your dreams to come true, it is essential that you get started on the process.  Stop talking about it or living on “Someday Isle” (Someday I’ll…).  Live fully.  Live as if your future depended on it.  It does.  Start achieving your success plan.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to  www.Elaine4Success.com or contact Elaine at Elaine@Elaine4Success.com

Time to Go Fishing

Relationships play a significant role in personal and professional success.

Beauty of a rose

Symbol of beauty and appreciation.

Relationships within a business impact the culture of the organization.  In the final analysis, attitudes are the core of all relationships.

“Relationships never die a natural death.  They are always murdered by attitude, behavior, ego, misunderstanding or ignorance.” 

Attitude and the manner in which it is displayed can enhance or destroy a relationship.  There is a quote “My attitude toward you depends on you.”  Conversely, the attitude of others toward you depends on your attitude toward them.  Relationships are a two sided coin; both parties are responsible for the result.  We can never control the feelings and behaviors of the other person, but we can certainly take responsibility for our own attitude and actions.

Paul Oldaker, internationally renowned hydro geologist, wrote “I went fishing and caught a new attitude.”  In order to improve the quality of our relationships, sometimes it is wise to go fishing for an attitude adjustment.

“Attitudes are contagious.  Make yours worth catching.”

We are each responsible for our own attitude.  The blame game is alive and active in relationships; the core of all relationships is individual attitude.

If you are like me, it is occasionally necessary to do an attitude analysis; the most significant determination is usually a self-analysis.  I admit that occasionally I am the one who needs to catch a new attitude.  Long hours, busy schedules, and stress can cause attitude deterioration.

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire.  If you don’t change it, you’ll never go anywhere.”

When was the last time you went (or should have gone) fishing for a new attitude?

Attitude Adjustment

What is your most effective attitude adjustment?

For me it is to step back and take an objective look at the cause of my attitude.  A friend of mine once told me that he used HALT as his guideline.

HALT = Hungry – Angry – Lonely – Tired

Overloaded schedules and tight time frames are perfect opportunities to reach for fast food or snacks rather than balanced nutritious meals.  Poor nutrition leads to low energy and reaching for the Tums.  Stock your office refrigerator with carrots, apples or other healthy snacks rather than attacking the candy dish.

Anger can be a killer emotion.  Anger rarely solves any issue; it frequently makes the situation worse.  The major portion of the destruction is personal damage to the angry individual.  Feuds between nations and individuals have lasted for generations.  In many cases these prolonged conflicts could have been prevented or at least mitigated by both parties catching a new attitude.

Lonely can be solved by doing something thoughtful for someone else.

Production increases dramatically when you are rested and refreshed.

Frequently negotiations get deadlocked by an inability or unwillingness to consider the opposite point of view or an inability or unwillingness to accept personal responsibility.

The solution is clear, but not easy to do.  Go fishing for a new attitude.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to  www.Elaine4Success.com or contact Elaine at Elaine@Elaine4Success.com

Fabulous 5 Daily Activities

Taxes are going up.  ObamaCare continues to roll out more complications, contingencies and costs.  The

Push past emotional blocks

Push past emotional blocks

dollar is losing its former high status in the world economy.  Our national debt is rising.  Is all the news doom and gloom?  No.  As entrepreneurs, we still have a business to run; ideally running that business at a profit.  What can we do?

 

Running Your Business? 

 

How many times have you reached a point in your business when you experienced a bit of a slump in profits?  What did you do about it?

 

During the initial growth days of Mountain Castles, I was focused from morning until night calling on Realtors, devising new ways to attract clients and servicing the clients already under contract.  The business of running the business soon consumed all of the time and active personal marketing dwindled.

 

We know what happens when marketing decreases.

 

What Worked Before?

 

Go back to the basics.  What activities were you doing when your business worked the best?  Chances are that you were doing one or more of the “Fabulous 5” Daily Activities.

 

  1. 1.      Daily action plan

 

At least the night before write out the most important tasks to be accomplished the next day and exactly what time you would dedicate to each activity.  Follow through.  (My preference is to lay out my entire week on Sunday for the upcoming week.  Each primary activity has its time slot.   Non-business emails and phone calls are ignored during that time.  Turn your phone off and minimize your email program.)

 

  1. 2.      Prioritize Activities According to Goals

 

If the activity will advance you toward the achievement of your goals, do it.   If the activity takes you away from your primary goal, eliminate it.

 

Are your goals written?  Thoughts about goals rather than written goals are merely wishes.

 

Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).

 

Specific Goal – weigh 120# by June 30, 2013

 

Measurable – scales do not lie (no fair standing with one foot on the floor or in the air.)

 

Attainable – if the current weight is 130, a reduction of 10 pounds in 105 days is certainly attainable.  If the current weight is 230, that goal would not be attainable without surgery.

 

One or two pounds reduction per week would certainly be within reason.  Gradual weight reduction is more likely to stay off.  Note, I did not say lose weight; if you lose it, you may find it again.

 

Relevant – A goal to weigh less at precisely the time you open a chocolate shop would be a conflict.

 

Timely – The specific goal included a completion date.  Setting checkpoints along the route is advisable.  In the example above, the weight reduction was one pound every ten days; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

 

Analyze each of your goals according to this formula.  Since it is difficult to go in multiple directions at the same time, it is recommended to set a maximum of three main goals with every minor goal tying directly to one of the three major goals.  In the weight loss example, it could be exercising three times per week.

 

  1. 3.      Income Producing Activity

 

Lead generation and following up on leads fills the sales funnel.  It is a simple progression – marketing – leads – follow up with leads – sales – delivery of goods or services – customer service – profit – repeat orders.

 

Regardless of the marketing method: paid online marketing, social media, printed marketing, or personal contact marketing, leads must be generated.  Income producing activities are critical every day.

 

  1. 4.       Personal Development

 

Customers always relate to you first and the product second.  Unless you are the only possible source for the product and they desperately have to have the product, buyers purchase from the salesperson who emotionally connects with them.  Patricia Fripp, first female president of the National Speakers Association said, “You only have to connect with your audience emotionally if you want them to remember you and what you said.”

 

Personal development is knowing yourself.  Celebrate what is going well in your life and constantly strive to improve other elements one by one.  Personal development is key to a peaceful and productive life.

 

Journaling, meditating, listening to educational/inspirational/thought-provoking material, reading books and magazines with informative content and attending motivational seminars all enhance the opportunity for personal development.  Invest in yourself by completing the exercises in Emotional Ice Water.  The best information in the world will not help you unless you take action and apply it to your life.

 

  1. 5.      Cultivate an Attitude of Success

 

When you believe in yourself, believe the best in others, associate with positive minded leaders, and take action on those constructive thoughts, you will progress.  Bob Moawad said, “You can’t make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt.”

 

Think positive, take action and achieve your goals.

Reflections and Realizations 2012-2013

 

Commit to making 2013 even better than 2012

Looking back over 2012, what were your highlights?  Being a glass half full and optimistic person, I prefer to focus on the positives.  Yes, I learn from the negatives as well as the positives.  Since it is a known fact that we always receive more of whatever we give our time, energy and focus, I prefer to concentrate on the positive.

 

What were the personal highlights of 2012?  What did you learn about yourself?

2012 was an eventful year for me.  My first book, Emotional Ice Water was published.  The comments about how much it helped people to get out of their own way and start truly living life to the fullest warmed my heart.  One man very close to me said, “It was better than I thought it would be; that could be a compliment.  I’ve decided to take it as a left-handed compliment.

 

Even though it was an entire year ahead of schedule, I became President of the Castle Pines Rotary club in July.  With the unexpected turmoil which caused my early ascension, it has been a bumpy road but we are making progress.  I jumped in with both feet up to the top of the curls and relate 100% to the values and mission of Rotary.

 

A few unexpected financial events have made a wonderful and truly appreciated upswing in income toward the end of 2012.  That is never a bad turn of events.  Nice way to end the year.

 

 Which relationships meant the most to you in 2012?

Once again, the deepening friendships with Rotarians have astounded and pleased me.

In fact, the genuine outpouring of caring from friends and my sons has truly been heartwarming.  I can’t say enough loving words about my sons.  Wow, am I fortunate.  I’ve laughed that I’m not certain if the fine men they have become is because of me or in spite of me, but I’m grateful nonetheless.

 

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced this year and how did you handle it?

For me as for many Americans, the challenge was endeavoring to keep the income above the outgo.  There are conflicting points of view as to whether the economy is getting better or if the Band-Aid on America’s debt will pull loose revealing a deep gash.

 

 What did you do for fun in 2012?  What was one of your fondest memories?

One of the highlights of my year is always related to my grandsons.  Those adorable little guys have Gamma wrapped securely around their little hands.  For instance at 5 am on Christmas morning both little guys pounce on the bed and say, “Up Gamma, you’re missing Christmas.”  Sleepy-eyed but smiling, we all head upstairs to the Christmas tree.

 

Even though the questions and answers could continue, the importance is reflecting on 2012 in a positive way and seeking the wisdom to commit to making 2013 even better than 2012.  Not just commit, but follow through.

 

When we build positives on positives, the world becomes a happier and more fulfilling place.

Emotional Roller Coaster Solutions

Holiday seasons can be an emotional roller coaster.  Black Friday ads permeated the air, clogged your inbox and assaulted you from printed publications stuffed into your mailbox.  Today it is “cyber Monday” ads.  The media is telling you to BUY BUY BUY for the upcoming gift giving season.

 

Holiday lights and decorations appear in our neighborhoods, stores (some stores even start their Christmas displays before Halloween) and every public area.  We are told to be happy, excited and spend with exuberant abandon.

 

This is a tough economy.  People are out of work or underemployed or simply struggling to make the financial ends wave at each other.  The goal of actually making the financial ends meet and have money left over is simply not a reality for far too many people.

 

If you are not in an ideal emotional relationship or even in an acceptable emotional relationship, holidays can be an emotional drag.

 

What do you do?  How do you handle the holidays in a healthy emotional mindset?

 

Holiday parties abound.  Every organization seems to promote their holiday party.  Holiday parties frequently come with adult beverages – sometimes excessive adult beverages.  Alcohol is a depressant.  You may have heard someone call those beverages “holiday cheer.”  If you are feeling up and happy and festive, they may be holiday cheer.  Caution.  If you are feeling down, a few drinks, or a few too many, can plunge you even further down.

 

What can you do?  Am I telling you to avoid parties or curl up in a corner, hide from life and pretend that the holidays do not exist?  No, of course not.  There are things you can do.

1.    Arrive at the party a little late and stay a short time rather than the entire time.

2.   Be certain you eat something.  Food helps ease the effects of alcohol (if you choose to indulge in an adult beverage.)

3.   In my early twenties I discovered the strategy of sipping an orange juice or a ginger ale with a slice of lime.  Other guests were comfortable because we all had a glass in our hand.  Later if someone offered me a glass of wine, I was perfectly fine to have one.  One throughout an evening was perfectly acceptable.

4.   Steer clear of the David and Debbie Downers.  Grumpy bears and angry, critical people can send your mood plunging down at a rapid rate.

5.   Spend time with upbeat people you enjoy speaking with; spend time with the people who encourage you and bring you up.

6.    Go help someone less fortunate or a friend who needs an emotional lift.  Concentrating on bringing them up will help you stay up yourself.

 

Emotional solutions for the holidays

Positive ways to deal with negatives

Here are only a few ideas to keep a firm grip on your emotional sanity and even bring it up a few notches.  The book Emotional Ice Water  is packed with helpful ideas to boost your emotional spirits.  It is written in an enjoyable story form; you can relate to the true life stories.  More than anything, you will appreciate the positive solutions you can implement into your life immediately.

 

Don’t let the roller coaster of emotions over the holidays or at any point in your year get the best of you.  There are positive ways to deal with negative situations.

 

For more information on overcoming negative feelings and situations, stay tuned to www.Elaine4Success.com.  Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching.  Purchase Emotional Ice Water.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact or www.MeetElaineLove.com

Nerves to Success

Your knees are shaking and your throat is dry.  Your nerves are all firing and the speech is 3 days from now.

Elaine Love

Presentations coach, professional speaker, author, and trainer

 

You know your subject matter.  You have researched the company, spoken with the meeting planner and know exactly the problem you are being hired to solve, and you even practiced your speech.  What’s the problem?  You are so nervous that your mind is flashing images of suddenly forgetting your speech, being so tongue tied that you can’t deliver a coherent sentence and even having such sweaty hands that you can’t hold the microphone.  Stop!  Breathe!  It is time for a mind shift.

 

You need to calm down.  Quiet your mind and refocus on positives.

 

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.  One is Evil.  It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.  The other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.”

 

The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

 

The old man gently replied, “The one you feed.”

 

If you fear failure, you are feeding your mind negatives instead of encouragement.  Refocus your thoughts.  It is all about what you think, feel and do.

 

Give yourself advantages instead of handicaps.  Start with something very easy to do.

 

If you are like me, you always feel better when you are wearing one of your favorite outfits.  When you wear your special outfit, you hear compliments. “Wow, you look amazing today.”  “That color brings out your eyes.”  “You look great today.”

 

When you feel attractive, you naturally relax.  Give yourself every advantage possible.  Dressing in one of your favorite outfits increases your feeling of success and relaxes you.

 

Try visualizing the audience smiling and nodding approval.  See the audience members taking notes and slightly leaning forward in their seats with rapt attention to you.  Picture them relaxing and enjoying your content; they even laugh at the appropriate sections.

 

Top salesmen frequently visualize in advance of their presentation how the client will demonstrate signs of approval during their presentation.  The most successful salesman will picture the client smiling as they sign the sales contract.  Top earners picture every deal of a successful sales call in advance of stepping one foot of their designer shoes in the lobby door.

 

Successful stage performers picture the audience engaged and enjoying their entire performance.  They may even picture the audience giving them a standing ovation at the end.

 

Sales, actors and speakers are all giving presentations.  They are all seeking approval and repeat performances.  The difference is that a speaker is seeking a standing invitation more than a standing ovation.

 

Success starts with a positive expectation.  Success starts with the desired image prior to the actual performance.  Success begins within your own thoughts and feelings.  Give yourself every advantage.

 

  1. Research the company in advance
  2. Know exactly what problem you are hired to solve
  3. Customize your solution to the audience (client)
  4. Think and visualize positive outcomes throughout the presentation before the event
  5. Write, tweak and rewrite your message until it flows easily
  6. Practice, practice, practice.  Practice speaking your message aloud.  Spoken messages need to sound conversational, not as if you are reading.
  7. Dress in your favorite outfit to look and feel your best
  8. Step on stage with confidence.  Focus on doing the best for the audience.
  9. Deliver the message you intend to convey with poise, conviction and authenticity

 

Remember the words of the wise old Cherokee; the wolf who wins is “The one you feed.”  Rephrased as the tag line of the book Emotional Ice Water, “It is about what you think, feel and do.”  You have control of the situation when you have control of your own mind.

 

For more information on visionary leadership and positive performance, stay tuned to www.Elaine4Success.com.  Anticipate the arrival of the new book Now to WOW scheduled for publication in 2013.  Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or presentation coaching.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact or www.MeetElaineLove.com

 

 

Success Plan for Toastmasters Contest

Life is not perfect. Neither are Toastmasters contests. Perhaps, a few are perfect; however, I have not attended one of those yet. Perfection as defined by the organizer and perfection as defined by observers and participants may differ.

Just as Ed Tate, 2000 World Champion, reminded us that speaking requires a “debrief.” Toastmasters contests require a “debrief” as well.

What if:
1. Your chief judge does not arrive. No notice, no excuse, just no show.
2. Your Sergeant of Arms and 3 judges arrive 15 minutes or more late.
3. You have a combined area contest and you have zero paperwork from the contestants in one area.
4. The stand in for one area governor does not arrive until 20 minutes late and does not bring any of the forms with him.
5. There is a protest against one of the speakers and against one of the judges.
6. A car dealership meeting room was selected for the contest. The public address announcements are quite annoying and distracting. Even though the dealership did their best to turn the sound off in the meeting room, it was still quite obvious.

Oh NO. What if all of these things happen in one evening?

Background of preparations before the contest.
1. Toastmaster, table topics, food, timer, vote counters, judges, contest chairs all received multiple emails throughout the weeks preceding the contest with detailed instructions including the contest location and time to arrive.
2. Contestant names were all verified and listed in the program accurately.
3. Certificates of participation were beautifully printed and ready in advance.

Contest day – what went right. . .
1. All contestant paperwork was completed prior to the contest and neatly arranged by area and category.
2. Trophies as well as second and third place certificates were completed and ready for the winners names.
3. The contest room was prepared and arranged in advance in an appropriate manner.
4. Dignitaries were properly acknowledged.
5. The contest team was absolutely amazing about picking up pieces and banding together to assist in making it as smooth and “stress free” as possible for the contestants.
6. Judges, contestants and supporting team roles were all briefed on their duties.
7. Food and beverages all arrived on time and in sufficient quantity.
8. Last second adjustments were made and all roles were filled with qualified personnel.
9. Timing lights and back up cards arrived and were operating.
10. Proper paperwork for judges, counters and timers was available and distributed in advance. Judges certification was verified and documented.
11. Room was filled to capacity and sufficient programs were available.
12. Contestants were not seated by judges and everyone was able to see and hear.

By all logical standards, every possible preparation was completed in advance. So what went wrong? How could the chaos have been prevented?

Instead of emailing the key volunteers, phone calls could have been made until the volunteer was actually spoken to directly a week in advance of the contest. Apparently some people do not open their emails or if they do, they do not read them. Go over the location, arrival time and importance of arriving on time; receive a verbal commitment that the volunteer will in fact arrive on time.

Read the entire rulebook word for word and ask a top district officer if there were any possible questions. Perhaps even hold a face to face meeting with each key volunteer a week prior to the contest. Does this seem like overkill and treating mature adults as children? Perhaps. Who knows where the fine line is drawn on delegation of responsibility. My error was expecting volunteers and contestants to open and read emails and not giving sufficient follow up for confirmation.

All paperwork for the other area could have been requested more insistently in advance and personally physically obtained in advance if necessary.

Extra judges could have been recruited and available on a “just in case” basis. The judge disqualification was handled smoothly prior to the contest without any mention of names or personalities. The contestant disqualification followed the Toastmasters rule book to the letter, thanks to a detailed last minute chief judge.

An additional tip which was received the night of the contest was to prepare clear plastic strips with the names of all contestants pre-printed. The appropriate labels could then be affixed to the certificates for the second and third place winners and affixed to the bottom of the trophies for the winners. Regardless of how attractive the handwriting of the contest chair, area governor or division governor, this would give an attractive professional representation of the winner’s names. The suitability of this suggestion depends on the quality of the pre-printed label.

Good news. The contest appeared much smoother to the audience than it did to the area governor in charge. The contest was completed in its entirety with an equal playing field for the presentations.

Oh yes, it was a learning experience for myself as the presiding area governor. What to do, what not to do and what could have been done differently or better has been duly noted and internalized Learn, grow and do better next time.

Confidence Factor

Your most important sale is always to yourself. If you have been involved in sales training, motivational seminars or even reading mindset books, you have heard the phrase, “I am sold myself.”

Point of consideration – Whether you are selling a product or service, interviewing for a job or asking someone for a date, you must first convince yourself that you are worthy. Granted, you may stammer and hesitate when you ask the object of your affection to go out with you; however, if you do not believe in yourself, why should they believe in you?

During my years as a single lady, especially with the last name “Love,” I have encountered a wide variety of “come on lines.” The demeanor of the man ranged from shy to confident to absurdly arrogant. One of the most unique was Don A. He confidently walked into the doorway of my office at March Tire and stated his purpose, “Are you the owner’s wife?” “No,” I replied. “Are you anyone’s wife?” “No,” I stated with an amused grin. “May I sit down?” Confidence means being courteous but getting to the point of the conversation. We enjoyed each other’s company for many years.

Interviewing for a job requires you to be confident of your abilities and confident of your capability of successfully mastering the duties of the job. Be prepared to present examples of prior successes as they relate to that specific position. Answer questions honestly and clearly. There are more candidates than positions available during a challenging economy. Don’t waste your time or the interviewer’s time by not being prepared.

Selling a product or a service requires a positive mental attitude, knowledge of your product and belief in the product. It does not mean that you have to know every tiny detail of your product. It certainly does not mean that you immediately start expounding upon every bit of knowledge you do possess. Very few people, certainly no one that I know, want to be pressured by a hard sell approach. When someone accosts me with an “I will not take no for an answer” attitude, I am immediately searching for the nearest escape route. Used car salesmen, insurance salesmen and even some network marketing salesmen are reputed to be so pushy and forceful that people avoid them.

Treat others the way you wish to be treated. What type of presenter appeals to you? Personally, I prefer that someone show genuine interest in me and in my needs. How do you do that? Ask questions and actually listen to the answers. Most people love to talk about themselves. When you are confident and possess a positive mental attitude about life, you can more easily shine the spotlight on others. Asking questions about their interests and how you might help them, builds rapport. What problem can you solve for them? It is not about what you have to sell, it is all about how you can serve them and help solve their problems. You will never know exactly what problems exist unless you ask questions and listen to the answers.

Being willing to focus on the needs and interests of others is a mark of confidence in yourself and a mark of respect for others.

Exactly the same principles apply whether you are selling a product or service, interviewing for employment or seeking a date. Be confident in yourself and what you have to offer. Demonstrate genuine interest in the other person and what problem you can solve for them. Build a relationship. High pressure is a turn off. Confidence is a turn on. Caring is a positive.

Hire Elaine Love to speak to your next event. Hire Elaine Love as your personal coach and mentor. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com or www.ElaineSpeaks.net to continue the conversation. Let me know how I can assist you.

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”Elaine spoke to our top leaders from 8 states, she gave us new and positive ways to connect with people
which is EXACTLY what we wanted. Thanks Elaine”
-Tom Fajardo, State Farm