Why People Like Peyton Manning Are Invaluable…

peyton manning

With apologies to San Francisco 49er fans, I watched the Broncos vs. 49ers game Sunday night. This game was billed as the Kid vs. the Vet. Kid Colin Kaepernick is a complete physical specimen and a great athlete while Peyton Manning is supposedly at the twilight of his career given his advanced age and 4 neck surgeries. Here are a few of the facts and what we should all take away…

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The 49er Quarterback is younger, faster, stronger, more mobile and can do things that the older Manning cannot even consider. What Manning has going for him is that he has seen everything that any team can throw at him, he does his homework   at an level few can believe and when the coin is tossed before the game he knows that he’s done everything possible to get the win. While the win is never         promised he over prepares himself, demands the same from his teammates and demonstrates what is expected. This is part of the reason he has thrown 510 touchdown passes in his career and will likely hit 600 according to his former coach Tony Dungy.

I am privileged to work with people that display this demand to win on a daily basis. One of those people holds the positions of Sales Manager and Lead Sales person for Brower Mechanical. Mark is slightly older than Peyton Manning and while he does not have the desire to climb around in attics or climb on roofs he has something that eliminates the requirement to do these things. Mark is a   master at paying close attention to his customer while learning everything about them before deciding what to do next. There are times that Mark will walk away from what could be a sale because he knows that there’s not a fit between his solution and the prospect! He has learned a lot in his years of in home sales and knows what works and doesn’t work. Like Manning, Mark does his homework and over prepares for each situation he goes into. Mark is a great salesperson and he lives the mantra “They will never care how much you know until they know how much you care!”

From the reading I’ve done it’s clear to me that whenever anyone gets to the top in what they do, they are both a hard and smart worker. I recently learned that Jimmy Kimmell works between 75 and 90 hours every week and is always the first one to the show to get the ball rolling. This is why he’s able to make it all look so easy… He is over prepared and it shows! When things go wrong on his show or a joke bombs he takes responsibility for it and moves on. This is what Manning did after he lost the Super Bowl to the Seahawks and what Mark does when he doesn’t close a sale he believes he should have closed. Responsibility, when it’s combined with hard work is the easiest thing in the world to handle.

As you may know I took last week and spent it in Las Vegas. This was a combination of work and rest. While I was away I took in 5 webinars and met with 6 potential clients from the Las Vegas area. I am not sure who said that business and pleasure don’t mix but they were wrong! You not only can do both but you should do both in my estimation. The people I know that do well all have this in common and it shows. I had a client recently go to Italy for a week and told me in advance that he wanted and needed educational material for both he and his significant other for the flight there and back. He does this every time he goes away for pleasure and this is what keeps him at the cutting edge of what he does I’m convinced. Don’t take anything I’m writing to suggest that your life should be all about work because that is NOT what I’m saying. As Jeff Olson points out in the book The Slight Edge, it’s easy to do the things that will make you a success and it’s easy to not do the things that make you a success. Reading 10 pages of a good book every day is easy to do and easy to not do. Which easy thing are you going to do?

What about the rest of us? What could you add to what you do that your competition is unwilling to do? Are you going to simply outwork and out prepare your competition or are you willing to leave it to chance? Being a leader requires just a little more work than being a follower and unless you are the lead dog the view isn’t going to change!


If you demand to be the leader you were meant to be give me a call at 916-230-0176 or email me at steve@stevenclauson.com and let’s get to work! There is much to be done and less and less time to do it!



First Sears… Then Wal-Mart… Then Amazon?

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As I sit here today and reflect on 25 years ago, I remember that the lead dog in the retail land was a little company called Sears or Sears and Roebuck for those old enough to go back that far. They were the undisputed leader and that was in pre-Google times! Much has changed since then. In the last 10 years Sears was bought out by another failing retailer by the name of K-Mart and few would question that they will ever return to their glory days.


Along came Wal-Mart… they are now the leader of the pack. Wal-Mart leveraged small markets and quietly became the largest retailer on the planet. They show no signs of   slowing down! Even Wal-Mart has done a poor job of talking about what they do. The     average train of thought is that everything they sell is made in Japan, Korea or China when in fact less than 10% of what they sell comes from other countries. Most of what they sell is made in America but you’d never know that. Things like food are almost all from America! It seems that Wal-Mart is here to stay as the lead dog in retail for the rest of our lives. I don’t think that anyone cleared that idea with Jeff Bezos from Amazon even in light of their current issues.


Amazon started as a small online book seller and not much was said about them other than the fact that they were losing money and would soon disappear from the landscape. That message was never received by Bezos. Amazon continued to lose money on every book they sold and they parlayed that into a retail beast that Wal-Mart will have to reckon with. Amazon is a     company that was able to get the Post Office to start delivering packages on Sunday using   non-post office staff driving Post Office vehicles. This is a huge advantage over Wal-Mart and I just learned that the Post Office is going to start delivering groceries via the Amazon platform! While people may hate the Post Office studies show that most people love their letter carrier. Amazon working with the USPS is an example of buying credibility. Amazing!

How does this equate to what each one of us does on a daily basis? Simple! What Sears,     Wal-Mart and Amazon bring to their customer matters to that unique person or cross section of buyer. What does the buyer of your product actually expect to be delivered and how can you add to that in an effort to amaze? Steve Jobs changed the game with the iPad and iPhone and sadly he passed opening the door for Samsung. Samsung saw what Jobs did and created a hybrid of a phone and a tablet called a “Phablet”. Samsung now leads the industry in this category. I have no doubt Apple would have arrived here first with Jobs in the picture. Jobs isn’t and Samsung is the gold standard with Apple in the odd role of playing catch-up. How can you redefine yourself, change and enter this game?

I know that if you have the identical business today that you had 3 years ago you are dying! Things change too fast and too dramatically for any of us to remain the same. If you are a general car repair you need to start the transition to Hybrids because they are the rage. If you sell insurance you better sell financial investments as well. Work in heating and air conditioning and you had better sell Solar,     insulation and lighting or you are going to get passed by. In other words you need to stay informed and respond to trends… and trends change! To survive and thrive in the years ahead you are not only going to have to change, you are going to have to be comfortable with change. Change is where the             opportunity lies and where you will need to live.

Last week I referenced the book “The Slight Edge” where he writes that doing little things to   succeed are easy to do and easy to not do. Reading 10 pages of a good book every day is easy to do   and easy to avoid. Just like listening to 15 minutes of good content on your car stereo or exercising for 20 minutes 3 times per week. These things are all easy to do and scary easy to not do. Investing in your own success is the gold standard today and even a small investment will create a big result. The people I work with that are doing the best are the ones that are pushing daily and staying in a position of being             uncomfortable. A lack of comfort at some level today creates massive comfort down the road and the   reality is that most people who retire become lost, dead or start greeting at the local Wal-Mart. If you think retirement sounds good I would invite you to visit the same local donut shop 5 days in a row take note of the people there. They share the same stories daily, the same pictures daily and you can almost see them age during your week of observation. A truly sad waste of talent and experience.

I know a man who sold for Hilton Vacations for years. He made great money and loved what he did. His friends begged him to retire and join them and he did just that. He went bat shit crazy within a year and had to get back in the game of sales. It took him a while but he did it on his terms. I’m convinced he is happier than ever. He changed several times in a little bit and it served him. It will serve you as well if you let it!


Get comfortable with change. I promise it’s here to stay! Change everything that seems   reasonable. Exercise, read something that fosters growth, take your spouse or kids out to dinner with no cell phone for anyone, mentor a child (possibly your own) and decide that this is your time. Statistically there will be 10 people at your funeral that will cry so what the hell? Make some mistakes and change some things! Call me, I can help!