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Are You A “Business” Olympian?

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are right around the corner! I’ve always been amazed at what it takes for an athlete and their teams to succeed. As a former amateur athlete myself and a successful business executive, I can really appreciate all the training, preparation and commitment it takes to be successful as an Olympian…the best of the best. I’ve been fortunate to attend both the 1996 Summer and the 2002 Winter Olympics to see this first hand.

Imagine if you will…working on one goal, one dream, everyday for at least four years and having it come down to an event that in some cases only lasts for a few precious seconds. All that blood, sweat and tears to see if you get the gold medal…and either the glory is yours or you go home without the prize. Incredible isn’t it? Just look at what Michael Phelps has achieved.

These participants share key qualities: intense discipline, focus, world-class training, the will/determination to succeed and a passion about their future. And these are the same qualities we need as business leaders within our organizations. The only major difference is Olympic athletes have coaches around them everyday, helping them keep these critical qualities in front of the athlete’s mind as they go for the gold. In coaching my sales clients over the years I’ve always told them they were like athletes. The only difference is that as industry leaders, you wear a different uniform and play on a different field. But like these athlete, you need to incorporate the same use of discipline, focus, world-class training, the will to succeed and the ability to have fun. Learning your business, practicing your “art”, growing and executing will deliver the desired results and give you peak performance.

Let’s look at these qualities to see how you can incorporate them into your organizations:

1. Discipline: You need discipline in your work habits and helping you turn bad habits into productive habits in performing your genius work and discipline in your vision of what you want, where you want to be and how to get there.
2. Focus: What are your goals? What are your company’s goals? Are they compatible? Are they attainable? Define your mission statement and the steps to help you achieve your company’s success.
3. Proper Training: The Olympic athlete trains to achieve their ultimate goal. They train, train and then train some more. Can you apply this mind-set to your career? The Olympian goes over the same training techniques, again and again and again…it’s called developing the basics to toning their mental muscle. I’m sure you’ve heard “we need to get back to the basics” before, there is a reason why. Are those on your team trained to perform like this? What are you doing to train and grow the “mental muscle” of your teams?
4. Have Fun: Let’s face it, we spend more time at work than we do at home so make sure you either love what you do (be passionate) or make your work environment a rewarding experience. It’s not that hard to do…it’s all about attitude and altitude!

TPPTip: Being an Olympic athlete is not much different than being an “Olympic” business athlete. Just adapt these four principles to your business acumen and watch your success and your organization grow! Good luck!

About the author: Andrew Botieri is the founder of Total Peak Performance®, a business coaching and sales training company with over 55,000 hours of coaching and training companies and sales professionals around the country. Andrew was former Vice President of Sales & Operations for AllApartments/SpringStreet.com, now Move.com; “Turnaround Specialist” and National Sales Trainer for HPC Publications and a published author. His new book “A Celebration of Life- A Story of Hope, A Miracle & the Power of Attitude” is available on his website www.andrewbotieri.com. or on Amazon. To email him: andrew@ andrewbotieri.com

A Voice is Worth More Than 1000 Photos

Upon returning to Massachusetts in 2000 after helping take HomeStore.com public, my Italian grandmother was in a local nursing home not far from my house (which is why I chose to live in Plymouth). She was in her mid-nineties and still full of life and laughter.  She was the love of my life! She would always ask me when I was going to get married and I’d tell her “not until I find someone as good as you Noni”. She would always chuckle. Throughout the years she would tell wonderful, sometimes sad and incredible stories of her family immigrating to the US from Italy, growing up in the depression and the loss of my grandfather’s eye that would keep him from playing professional baseball. Her stories spoke of a simpler time, of close knit families, friends, community and her faith.

At some point I knew these stories needed to be preserved. So when I would go to visit her in the nursing home, I would bring her and her roommate coffee and donuts and a tape recorder. I told her I wanted to keep her stories with me after she passed for the whole family to enjoy. Sure we can all look at family photos taken over the years of those who have gone before us, but to cement their memories forever in the spoken word is priceless. As we sipped our coffee we’d spend the time chatting into the microphone as she re-told stories of growing up in Plymouth, MA in the early 1900’s, the hardships, the fun and how times were back in those days. From the horse and buggy to the automobile and then some. Some of my favorites were when she and one of her sisters, my Aunty Dolly, got scolded by their mother for wearing red lipstick! Or when she and her sister’s would walk 3-4 miles to a blueberry patch and pick blueberries for the owner when they were around 10 years old. For each pint of blueberries they picked, they would get 5 cents. Upon arriving back home, their mother would take all the monies and give them back a few pennies. Everyone had to contribute to the family finances…that’s just how it was back in those days.

Before I knew it, I had filled three cassettes worth of her stories. She passed away peacefully as my sister Karen and I watched her transition to her eternal rest in November 2001. Several years later I transferred those tapes to CD’s and one Christmas I gave my siblings the CD’s entitled “Conversations with Noni”. We now all have her voice around forever! When I’m cleaning around my house I pop in a CD and listen to my Noni’s stories and hear her laugh all over again. It’s like she’s right there in the room with me. If you don’t want the memories of your grandparents or parents to fade to where the next generation will never know them…I highly recommend it. Let me know what you think…because a voice is worth more than a 1000 photos!Noni0001

New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work!

Champagne Bottle

So how did you make out with last year’s resolutions? Like most people you probably had the best intentions and by March forgot all about your resolutions. Most resolutions don’t work because they are too vague, i.e. “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get a promotion”. One recent article said 46% of people cancel their gym membership after January…go figure! “Life resolutions” on the other hand do work. So, what’s the difference?

“Life resolutions” are specific and focus on long-term goals rather than immediate change. Some examples include: “I want to take piano lessons and play in a recital by November”, “I want to complete my N.A.L.P (or C.A.M.) before December”, and “I want to read two industry magazines each month”. For life resolutions to be successful you must approach them like you would approach goal setting and then execute them. If you don’t, you’ll be here next year wondering what the hell happened.

So this year, instead of creating a New Year’s resolution that you most likely will fail at, create a twelve month life resolution plan. Treat your life resolution as you would any major personal or professional goal by importing a process of implementation. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. List the top ten things you want to achieve within the next five years. Narrow these down to the three or four things you want to accomplish in 2016.
2. Write down the specific steps on how to accomplish these resolutions. If you can’t visualize these steps, your goal is too vague. Remember a goal is a dream with a deadline in writing!
3. Set target dates for each step. Remember, goals can shift so be flexible in your timeframes and execution dates.
4. Only by writing down your life resolutions can you track your results and visualize yourself accomplishing your new goals. Review them weekly.
5. Recite out loud your life resolutions twice a day, once in the morning and right before you go to bed. This helps to condition and discipline your subconscious mind.
6. When resolutions are achieved, reward yourself to reinforce successful behavior.
7. To keep balance in your life, take out your day-timer and write in all of your personal “stuff” (vacations, family time, exercising, days off, etc.) Now wrap your business “stuff” around your personal life. Only by balancing your personal and professional life together can you gauge your ability to accomplish your life resolutions.

Life resolutions are important for creating success in your personal and professional life. Remember, your life is defined by the choices you make every day. What will you choose? Have a rockin’ `16, on purpose!!

TPPTip: Make a copy of this article and share it with your family and work team and challenge them to incorporate these points to start off their powerful 2016. If you’d like more information about “life resolutions” or life coaching tips, please email me at andrew@totalpeakperformance.com Good luck and have a Happy 2016!

Time Isn’t On Our Side

Watch Photo

Tick…tick…tick, the minutes and hours just seem to roll off the clock and out of our day.

It seems our lives are so crazy with trying to manage our time, our activities and the amount of increased hours we work every year. In fact, in most western European countries, upon getting your first job as a young adult most likely you’ll be given four to five weeks of vacation right off the bat. No waiting 20 years like we do here to get our four or five weeks of paid vacation.

Tick…tick…tick, the minutes and hours just seem to roll off the clock and out of our day.

It seems our lives are so crazy with trying to manage our time, our activities and the amount of increased hours we work every year. In fact, in most western European countries, upon getting your first job as a young adult most likely you’ll be given four to five weeks of vacation right off the bat. No waiting 20 years like we do here to get our four or five weeks of paid vacation.

Do you know how much time we waste every day? The numbers will amaze you. Putting our lives into perspective, assessing what is and isn’t important is an on-going battle. What if you could find a few more minutes in a day, a few more hours in a month and more days over the years? Balance is the key!

So, this got me thinking about our way of life in the United States and how we continue to work more and more hours each year compared to our counterparts in industrialized countries. Now keep in mind there is a sacrifice and reward proposition going on here. The two countries, United States and Japan, who work the most hours each year also, have the world’s strongest and largest economies.

So with all of this said what can we do to find a better balance in our life? The key is our ability to place value on everything we do and then decide if it’s worth the investment of our time. Here are some thoughts:

  1. We are always planning and scheduling our work and major appointments, so what about scheduling our personal life? Like family time, vacation time, exercising or children’s sporting events? Aren’t these major life appointments?
  2. Think in terms of “quality” not “quantity”. This is priceless.
  3. Turn off the TV and “turn on” family conversations around the dinner table.
  4. Spend five minutes a day, just five minutes, to sit and reflect.
  5. When you have that first cup of coffee or tea in the morning, think about how grateful you are for what you have, instead of what didn’t get done yesterday.
  6. Learn to say “no”…don’t over extend yourself; it can lead to undo stress.
  7. If you live within your means, then the need to work more hours is diminished.
  8. The daily choices we make in our life shape and mold our destiny. Choose wisely.
  9. Take lunch breaks or afternoon breaks and see them as a reward for your hard work, not an intrusion.
  10. Don’t feel guilty if one weekend day you don’t feel like doing anything.

TPPTip: If you’re not managing your time; you’re not managing your life! Print off the above article and keep it as a cheat sheet to help you bring your life back into balance.

About the author: Andrew Botieri is the founder of Total Peak Performance®, a coaching and sales training company. Andrew has over 55,000 hours of coaching and training teams around the country. He is also a published author of “A Celebration of Life- A Story of Hope, A Miracle & The Power of Attitude”.

The Real Art of Giving- Is it Doable?

chakulla

Every once in a while you meet people who inspire you to the point of taking action and doing something to solve or alleviate a problem or issue. Someone who inspires you to forget about the “non-essential” things in your life and focus some quality time and effort into making a difference in the world or even your backyard. I was very fortunate this past summer to meet such an individual who inspired me to do more to help others-will you join me?

This person is Chakulla, yes Chakulla! This guy is as cool as his name. As a board member of Project Arts of Plymouth, a non-profit 501-3C we are responsible for bringing together some of the area’s best musical talent for our free music series on the Plymouth waterfront. I met Chakulla on Saturday July 18th at our annual Roots & Folk festival with over 10 bands over 2 days with music, crafts, food and fun.   [[Photo of Hunger Bus]]

As I began looking into Chakulla and his mission, I came across some powerful stats that made me think, to take action regarding hunger and food insecurity:

In the United States today, 16 million children face hunger. Consequently, one in five kids are facing greater obstacles to reaching their fullest potential. The future of America lies in our children. When hunger threatens the future of a child, it threatens the future of our nation as well.

  • 84 percent of client households with children report purchasing the cheapest food available, even if they knew it weren’t the healthiest option, in an effort to provide enough food for their household.
  • Among Feeding America client households with children, nearly 9 in 10 households (89 percent) are food insecure.

As a leading charity organization, Feeding America is dedicated to helping solve the child hunger problem. Our network of community food banks serves 12 million children.

[This following I have taken from The Hunger Bus website www.thehungerbus.com]

Chakulla (affectionately known as Grandfather Chakulla) is an individual, expressing his music with an organic grove of worldly rhythm’s, unique guitar cords, catchy and memorable melodies. He sings out with an acoustic guitar using a loop pedal enabling leads, harmonica, marimba, conga’s, percussion, and vocal percussion lines to manifest on the spot and live .

He is best described as the Folk/World/Jazz/Americana artist, and in his 4 decades of writing and playing music Chakulla has shared his music at concert venues seating 60,000 people, and in Clubs, at House concerts, Festivals, TV and radio appearances, and singing out in the streets.

He has shared the stage with Richie Havens, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Buddy Miles, Aztec Two step, etc. Chakulla has a profound effect on audiences connecting, including, inspiring, and inviting them to participate and to sing along leaving them with a smile.

At every concert event and venue Chakulla will be “Singing out for Food” asking and reminding us to remember those less fortunate and give to your local Food Bank, Pantry, soup kitchen, etc… to HELP FEED HUNGRY CHILDREN PEOPLE!!!!!!!!

So what are you doing to help the cause of hunger? Not many of us have the deep passion and commitment that Chukulla has. But I feel that we have to do something, even if it’s just a little. Maybe volunteer at a soup kitchen with your children to give them awareness of hunger in America or look for local non-profits addressing hunger in your area and invest some personal time or money to help out. So what is this blogger going to do? For all my upcoming music performances I am going to ask those coming to bring non-perishable canned goods so I can donate them to my local food bank. We all have to do something since it’s right in our backyard, or it could even be your neighbor. So I hope after you go onto the www.thehungerbus.org website you’ll be inspired to get involved.http://www.thehungerbus.org