The Difference Between Writing Fact And Writing Fiction…

Fiction has to make sense! This was written by a writer of television series. Over the past year if I’ve learned anything, and I’ve learned A LOT, fact is often much stranger than fiction. Who would have thought when the Governor told us we’d need to shelter in place for 17 days we’d still be sheltered almost a year later? Certainly the professional painter I met with by the name of Jed didn’t!

Jed and I sat down last week, face to face, to talk about changing the direction of his residential/commercial painting business in 2021 from the direction it took in 2020. When 2020 was all said and done Jed’s revenue in 2020 was down a little over 31% from what he’d done in 2019. This revenue drop took him from being profitable to a slight loss and that included losing one of his more reliable and well paid painters due to cost cutting. Jed was seeking my help to make 2021 a better year. When we got down to specifics and I learned how much better he was expecting I suspected there would be a problem.  

Jed’s “line in the sand” goal was to increase 2021 to at least 50% above his result from 2019… not 2020. This was a must have. The goal meant we had to return the business to the 2019 level and then we needed to add an additional 50% to that! Growing 30% would not be easy but is possible. I was all in on this goal. Growing another 50% on top of that and delivering a quality product (which he does!) while having lost his best painter was a fool’s game. When I told him this he wasn’t happy. I love helping an owner deliver what’s realistic and possible. I felt good about a 30% increase.

Since this wasn’t a good fit for either of us we went on our way. I gave Jed some marketing ideas he could use along with promising to stay in touch with him. On the one hand I’d love to be able to help him realistically grow his business and on the other hand I don’t want to be involved in pushing someone to attain what’s likely unattainable in a single year. What advice would you give Jed?      

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

Did You Know That 6 Of The 8 Female NFL Coaches Are Working Sunday?

Many purists are borderline apoplectic due so many new coaches in the NFL being women. To be clear, these are women who have likely never played a down of high level tackle football in their life. What could they possibly bring to the table? I’ve been asked that question a lot during my own career about how I can help my potential client and my ability to learn and solve problems has taken me to a lot of unexpected places. From what I’ve read it’s taking many female coaches to places they may never have expected.

When the only tool someone knows how to operate is a hammer everything needs to be a nail. The NFL has always been a game reliant on size, strength and power and these attributes will always matter. In 2021 the NFL has evolved to the point where finesse and problem solving skills are more important than ever. Defeating a complex offensive scheme demands different thinking. Complex game plans on either side of the ball demand thinking in a very different way. Imagine how differently a 5’ 6” police officer must think when they work to enforce the law in any gang infested neighborhood just so they can go home after their shift is over? The thinking that got her the job won’t get her home!

People from all walks of life, all ages, all colors, all sexual orientations and all backgrounds learn to be great lawyers, skilled surgeons, accounting geniuses, and anything else you can think of. Others who have the talent to excel at these professions are complete failures for many different reasons. Some of the common traits of anyone who excels at anything comes down to hard work, the willingness to learn something new and someone who said “What the hell do we have to lose?” From my side of the desk I know more about how to successfully market a business than my potential client does and when they let go they see the results. There are 8 female coaches in the NFL and six of them work for the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Kansas City Chiefs. Coincidence? Finding and retaining world class talent matters now more than ever! I Guarantee I Can Help You!      

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

What Did You Tolerate In 2020? What Won’t You Tolerate In 2021?

2020 was a reality check for all of us. My personal takeaway is 2020 could happen again so plan accordingly. As a direct result of the fallout from the pandemic it occurs to me that anyone tolerating less than they deserve has become more of a volunteer than victim. Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it and there is much to learn. Nothing I do from this day forward is about me… It’s all about those I serve.    

According to Google the definition of the word TOLERATE means to “allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference.” It goes on to mean “a willingness to accept or endure (someone or something unpleasant or disliked) with forbearance.” What have you tolerated in 2020 and are you willing to continue? Everyone has a choice!  

In the next several days you are likely to have some downtime. Choose wisely how you spend that time. You could watch re-runs of the bachelor, learn something new or plan in writing what your best case result will be from 2021. For my contribution here are a few things I will no longer tolerate:

  • Poor diet and poor exercise routine
  • Comparing myself to others
  • Negativity in myself or others
  • Procrastination, lack of motivation and refusal to learn
  • Holding grudges or making excuses
  • Worry about what anyone else thinks of me

I’d love to learn what’s on your “won’t tolerate list” if you’d be willing to share. E-mail me at steve@assaultmarketing.com and I will publish an anonymous list for all of us to review. There’s magic in thinking like a team and learning from each other.

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

Who Did You Decide To Be This Morning?

At one time my favorite actor was Robert DeNiro. I don’t like his politics however his approach to his craft is worth emulating. My favorite movie with him is Midnight Run. This movie is about a bounty hunter and capturing and bringing back a bail jumper. I won’t spoil the movie but I suggest you watch it. Very entertaining. What I learned about his approach to the role he played as the bounty hunter made me love it even more.

I read in an article that DeNiro rode with a real life bounty hunter for almost 8 months so he could actually understand the motivations of the role. What were the motivations and what drives the bounty hunter deep down? DeNiro still does this for many of the roles he plays and the reason is simple. Acting is more than reciting words from a script. Being at the top of any field comes down to who are you going to be and not simply what are you going to do. When you view whatever you do from this prism you will naturally approach it differently.

If you are selling something are you just saying the words necessary to sell or do you become the person who wants your prospect to buy something that will actually solve their problem? The one who wants you to buy the solution has an easier time I would argue. NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon (#24 NASCAR) forbid any contact with him outside of his crew chief within 24 hours of a race because he was busy getting his game face on. What he was actually doing was becoming the champion race car driver he needed to be and any thought that didn’t support that was eliminated in advance. I guess that’s why he drove in the manner he did and won as often as he did. It had more to do with who he was being than what he was doing. His mental focus supported the physical work he was doing.

Do you put this sort of focus and intention into what you’re doing? What about your staff? This may be one of the components that get in the way of the explosive growth we are all after. Who are you being right now? If you want to show up in a different manner on a consistent basis we should talk.

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

The Trip That Seemed So Long Is Actually Shorter Than It Seemed

    Be forewarned… This e-mail will be blunt and in your face. If that bothers you quite frankly I don’t care as long as you pay attention to every word! My sister called me yesterday morning to tell me my father passed away. Even though not unexpected, it was also not easy to hear.
     My father was never the loving guy with lots of amazing advice who would comfort you and leave you with the wisdom of the ages. He was closer to the drill sergeant you’d have in basic training who wanted you to stand on your own two feet before you could even walk. I heard the term “walk it off” more often than I care to think about. I won’t tell you I always appreciated his intensity or that it was easy. Maybe that’s why I moved out between my junior and senior year of high school. Maybe that’s why I named my company Assault Marketing and not Bunnies and Kittens Marketing. Also, the domain bunniesandkittens.com was taken. Maybe that’s why I succeeded.
     So here I am today… a 65 year old orphan. I’m also incredibly fortunate. Two weeks ago I spent the weekend with my father, both of my sisters and my brother at my fathers home watching the COVID version of the Indianapolis 500. At the time I felt it might be the last time I’d have to actually interact with him. Sadly I was right. I made certain I told him what I needed to, made certain to hear what he had to say and be certain he knew that I was there to support him in any way I possibly could. He’d give me a decent grade on that. I did the best I could.
     Losing someone sucks. Losing someone is especially hard when it’s a parent, sibling or child. I learned much from my father I use daily. Another benefit has been listening to and sharing with other men and women stories their fathers and their takeaways. I always thought my childhood was uniquely difficult. I’ve learned I was not unique in thinking I had a difficult childhood. Today I have a much more clear meaning of what Mark Twain meant by “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles but most of them never happened.” In retrospect my childhood was pretty freaking good. 
     It’s funny… I wanted to write about delayed conversations today and I’m writing about a conversation that wasn’t delayed. Good on me. I’m going to write next time about someone who delayed a conversation for 7 years because of fear. He has since seen first hand what having the results from that conversation has meant to him and his family. I’m pretty good at talking to anyone about anything yet my father always intimidated me at least a little. Perhaps you can relate. If you’re delaying a conversation with someone sack up and get it started. Look for middle ground. Mend a fence. Apologize. Hear someone out. Help someone who just might be having a more difficult time than you can imagine.
     If I can help you with your business or by simply listening I will happily do so. Just tell me this one’s on Lloyd!  I’d be honored to talk with you. Pick a time at www.speakwithsteven.com and let’s connect!      

Dr. Steven Clauson
916-230-0176
steve@stevenclauson.com 

Ps: If you don’t already know, I help business owners and entrepreneurs get where they want to be and have a life in the process. If you’re already taking action the next question is what’s next and what actions should you take to create an even greater impact. 

Pps: How can I help you?  Anyone who has a plan and implements that plan will lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. If you’re one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you’re likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter. Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or schedule time with me at www.speakwithsteven.com 

Why The lowest Paid Employee Could Have More Influence Than The President

 I called the “customer line” instead of the ‘back line” of a new client yesterday. What I heard horrified me. I’m 100% certain its costing them money in many different ways. The person answering the phone was overly distracted and had no way of knowing if the person I wanted to talk to was even on-site. I asked a friend to call them a little later and their experience was much the same. My friend was of the opinion my client needed a new person on the phone. I dug a little deeper. The companies initial training plan was to give the receptionist/admin an anchor and ask them to swim. This plan is used far more often than most want to admit!
     The real issue that has to be dealt with is training, standards and follow up. Typically the lowest paid person in an office is the one answering the phone. This person is the first voice representing the company callers hear. For many of these staff members their entire training program boils down to “Here is the phone. When it rings answer it!” That completes all the training you will have now good luck!  Heck, these team members often aren’t even invited to attend the staff meeting/complaint sessions the company has! This happens when we fail to inspect what we expect.
     Just imagine your favorite NFL team designating the center as the lowest paid and least valuable member of the starting line-up. The center touches the football more than the quarterback who is typically the highest paid member of the team. The logic defies explanation and yet it exists. I often hear the argument “if I spend money training them I’m afraid they’ll leave” and the most useful response to that is “if you don’t train them I’m afraid they’ll stay” and that is a far greater risk.
     Little hinges swing big doors is a phrase I’ve said for years. An untrained, overworked and forgotten receptionist/admin may be the best example yet and one that consistently proves the point. When your home is for sale you spend time and money to improve your homes curb appeal to entice them to look deeper. For many businesses the person answering the phone is their curb appeal.  
 If I you want to talk let me know at www.speakwithsteven.com      
     

Optimism Or Reasoned Optimism?

In the current climate we’re living in, being optimistic may be a good thing. In the current climate we’re living in creating multiple reasons to be optimistic is an unstoppable force. Personally, I prefer reasoned optimism.

One of my favorite quotes is “Dig your well before you get thirsty.” For most this is easy to understand and the actual doing can be very different. I dig my well daily and the results speak for themselves. I understand that intelligent outflow creates meaningful inflow. I’m shocked at how many people wake up each day and play at a level 1 or 2 on a scale of 10. What do they think is going to happen?

I’m reminded of a short story I heard from Robert Ringer who wrote the book Maximum Achievement… Every day in in Africa a Lion wakes up and already knows they must run faster than the slowest Gazelle or they won’t eat. Every day in Africa a Gazelle wakes up and already knows they must run faster than the fastest Lion or they will be eaten. Each knows when they wake up they must start running to survive!  Have you started running yet?

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out and you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the field playing because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

Don’t Give A Damn What You Think…

       Stop giving a damn about what you think!  Everything you are worried about is never going to happen.  None of it.  You can have and do what you want starting now.  You can have the income you want, work with the people you want, work the hours you want, work the days you want, have the vacations you want and design the business and life to be exactly as you want them to be.
What most people are best at is setting boundaries on themselves and those around them.  The leading cause of boundaries is a thing called fear.  Fear comes in many forms and can manifest differently on a daily basis.  Fear is crippling to those who embrace it and freeing to those who learn to manage it.
The letters in the word FEAR tell the story we need to hear.  False Evidence Appearing Real.  When I ask someone who wants to accomplish something they have as outside of what they can do I typically get a series of fear related responses as opposed to actual actions they have taken to get where they want to be.  I call it Wimp Junction and this is where dreams go to die.  We have all seen too much death in our lives and the fact is our dreams don’t need to be on the casualty list.
Stop wasting time worrying about whether you can or can’t do something.  How about telling the person who won’t let you off the hook what you are going to do.  In a great quote by Ayn Rand who wrote Atlas Shrugged “It’s not who is going to LET me, it’s who is going to STOP me!”  Go for it!   

       My name is Steven Clauson and I coach people who want to come out of the stands and onto the field or are already on the field and demand to work to their potential.  Are you in the stands or on the field?  Winners are on the field playing full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

 

Price As The Primary Sticking Point

 I hear salespeople tell me story after story about how their competitor is underselling them and they are practically giving their product away or how the exact same produce can be purchased on the internet for less in every case.  In fact I was reading a book over this past weekend called “Secrets Of Successful Selling” and that book talked about how competition has reached levels never before seen and customer awareness has reached a point that required salespeople to operate at levels never before considered.  This book was written in 1952! 
Competition has always been here and thank goodness it will always be here.  The problem isn’t product knowledge, competition or even smarter customer… The real issue is are you sold on your product?  You need to become so sold and so convinced on your product and service that you know it would be a mistake for your customer to do business anywhere else.  So convinced that you can tell them why it would be detrimental to them if they buy from anyone but you.  So sold that you lose sleep when a customer doesn’t buy from you no matter the reason they give you.  That level of commitment may seem too much but this is what people are searching for.
Champions in any field know they must produce results with what they have to work with.  Champions look at the team they have and determine what their strengths are and as a result what actual assets they have to work with.  They play the cards that have been dealt to maximum effect.  They focus on winning the game they are involved in at that moment and never think about losing.  David kicked Goliaths ass because he was sold on the idea he could get it done.  Who is your Goliath?
My name is Steven Clauson and I coach people who want to come out of the stands and onto the field or are already on the field and demand to work to their potential.  Are you in the stands or on the field?  Winners are on the field playing full out and dominate. For these people results matter.  Tired of results that are less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

Your Mom Was Wrong… Start Talking To Strangers

  

Many of us were told by our Mom and Dad to not talk to strangers.  This is very good advice when you are growing up and it becomes very bad advice around the age of 14 or the day you start playing team sports for many reasons.  It is also around this age that many of us start to show a sincere interest in the opposite sex and if you aren’t willing to talk to strangers you are bound to remain lonely and confused.  When you enter the world of being employed the problems multiply!

Zig Ziglar once said that timid salespeople have skinny kids and experience has shown he’s right.  Whenever you miss the chance to meet someone for the first time, otherwise known as talking to a stranger, your world has the chance to expand dramatically.  There are degrees of separation and meeting new people changes those degrees and that separation.  We know that statistically each of us knows 200 people +/-.  If you were to meet 1 new person per day and took weekends off at the end of a year you would know 450 people +/-.  If you sell anything you are going to make a lot more money and impact a lot more people.  Stay in touch with these people and remind them how you met, who you are and what you do.  Do this frequently and with a purpose.

I know that as I have aged I need to make it a point to stay in touch with people more often.  To start with I don’t know when they won’t be around anymore and most people are like me in that they get busy and prioritize in different ways… ways that don’t always work.  These people you know matter and make life richer in more ways than one!

If you don’t have a plan to meet these 5 new people per week call me.  We will design a plan and I will show you how to stay on top of that plan and what you can make out of it.  My name is Steven Clauson and I coach people who either want to come out of the stands and onto the field or are there and want to maximize their efforts.  Are you in the stands or on the field of play?  Winners have to get out of the stands.  Tired of getting your ass kicked?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com