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

The Economic Explosion Resulting From The Coronavirus Vaccine Or Do You Want Fries With That???

CVS, Rite-Aid, Walmart, Sams Club along with just about any place that has a pharmacy cannot get the Coronavirus soon enough and for reasons that may not be clear to everyone. This morning on Stuart Varney I saw the statistic that 41% are ready to get the vaccine as soon as possible, 44% want to wait a bit and 15% said they would never be willing to get vaccinated. While these are the highest acceptance rates I’ve seen I don’t doubt them. Why are so many companies in line to provide this service? The reason is selling fries with that vaccine.

McDonalds became very profitable after training their counter staff to ask “do you want fries with that?” This simple question raised the average ticket by only $1.79 (the cost of a medium fry). While $1.79 may not seem significant on its own merit you must consider McDonalds sees 62,000,000 customers every day! If only 20% are upsold to that means an additional $22 million in sales daily and $8 billion in sales annually! This all comes from asking “do you want fries with that?”

When you know what you can sell your ideal customer and you combine that with what else you can sell them you enter the Zone Of Pure Genius! These companies know that 41% of the nation cannot get the vaccine soon enough. In these stores the place where you will physically get the shot is at the back of the store. They’re betting you’ll do some shopping for other things while you’re there anyway. This is a very solid plan. I’ve already had e-mails from two of these named companies reminding me that they will be offering the vaccine and asking to place me on their list. It gives them a reason to contact me with the expectation I will open and read it. The initial e-mail also contained coupons for products related to colds and the flu. As a friend who is a CPA tells me “whenever the IRS announces a tax simplification measure it is the same as a full employment act for accountants!”

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 

A Business Without An Active Mailing List Isn’t

      If you’ve been in business more than a few hours and still don’t have a mailing list you’re using at least twice every month I wonder what you’re waiting for. After the start of this pandemic I was getting calls from business owners I’ve met with who poo pooed the value of a mailing list…. who all of a sudden wanted to create a database really quick without the raw material to do so. A truly heartbreaking case was a family owned restaurant with great food and a not so great location. When we initially met a couple of years earlier they didn’t want to bother with a mailing list or an active social platform (which could work as a secondary mailing list). Today they have closed their doors permanently and filed bankruptcy. The reason he didn’t want to take the time or spend the money to create this list is they were “too busy” and based on the level of business it wasn’t needed. 
     I’ve seen so many businesses spending money on advertising to get a new customer then balk at spending less money to keep the customer they already have. If a business makes a sale to their customer twice a year on average and they increase that average to three times per year they have increased their business by fifty percent (50%)… How would accomplishing this be a bad thing? People who already buy from you know what it’s like to do business with you and are the easiest to get a return visit from. These same people are easier to get an increased dollar value sale out of as well.
     Few owners make the connection between the value of their business and how it relates to having a database. True Story…  Several years ago I was working with an HVAC company who maintained their customer database within their billing system. They weren’t using the database for marketing purposes. Everything was kept on a tape back-up which was left in the back-up slot in the office computer. Nothing was ever taken off site. I suggested they learn how to restore from a back-up and also recommended the back-up be taken off site. A tragic fire happened late on a Sunday night several months later (not suspicious in any way) and the physical business burned to the ground… A complete loss. Some technicians took their vans home and they were unaffected. Monday morning I had them go to a local office supply store and buy a computer with a tape back-up already installed. They went about restoring the data. By a little after 11 am that same morning they had their database reinstalled along with their A/R and A/P and due to remote call forwarding were already taking calls for service. They had a database, knew how to restore it, knew how to use it and leveraged that information. They continue to use it even today and most of their marketing is driven from their internal database.
     How do you use your database? There are several businesses who have already come out of this and doing better year over year compared to 2019. Great! Top Of Mind Awareness is critically important right now. Create, use or enhance what you have and you can move from a market participant to your market leader. Being the leader is what this is all about! I have a few suggestions so you can move in that direction!        
 If I you want to talk let me know 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

“A” Players Hire “A” Players. Who Do “B” Player Hire?

       It’s a fact that “A” Players only hire “A” Players when they need something done.  Why work with someone who produces a result below your current skill set.  This is about who hires “B” Players and more importantly why they hire them.
I decided long ago it was easier and less expensive in the long run to work with “A” Players exclusively.  It seemed  expensive at first… turns out it was one of the least expensive things I ever did.  Working with “A” Players kept me off balance and uncomfortable and as a result I was productive instead of busy.  “A” Players demanded results from me I would have never demanded of myself.
  It turns out the “B” Players hire “C” Players!  Why have people around you who are constantly nagging you to do this or create that?  Seems like a lot of work.  Another good about hiring “C” Players is they aren’t invested in the result they help you create.  They are happy to cruise along, settle for less and pretend to smile.  Sure, low standards and a commitment void is a shitty way to live and unless you tell someone the secret is yours.  We make choices every day about working with “A” or “C” level people.  Whose on your team?

        My name is Steven Clauson and I coach “A” people to take “A” level actions, be their best and win more often.  I know the one taking action most often wins.  Taking action means you will hear the word “YES” more than ever.  Are you one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required to hear the word yes more often?  People accustomed to the word “YES” are winners on the field playing full out and dominating.  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

 

Participation Trophies In The News.

After everything that has been in the news recently about the idea and value of participation trophies I spent a few minutes looking around my children’s rooms.  My children were active in pursuits like Soccer, Football, Media, Track & Field,  Lacrosse, Cheerleading and Swimming.  I was looking for any remaining “awards” they are proud of for just showing up.  I found none!
Upon closer examination what I did find was a varsity letter my son earned as a Varsity Swimmer for Elk Grove High School, my daughters awards for Academic Excellence, Academic All American and a Cheerleading award she was given that was voted on by her Cheer team at Pleasant Grove High School and my Step Daughters awards from the Media Communications Academy at Center High School where she excelled and set the standard she would use as a Cast Member at Disney .  Not one of them kept awards for simply participating.  I don’t think this is a mistake.
My Son recently was awarded the title “Customer Experience Expert” from Mazda Corporation.  This is an award based on sales, experience and customer service ratings where Mazda calls the customer to drill down about their experience.  This award comes with a title and a monetary bonus.  In short, it matters and is earned.
My Daughter was recently placed into the management training program with Safeway Corporation based on effort, hard work, management approval and again the biggest factor is customer feedback.  Feedback matters.  I would add that my daughter will earn her certification as a welder in December and takes pride in maintaining the highest grade level and skill level in her class because this allows her to be the leader she knows she is.
My Step Daughter has recently been elevated at Disneyland from Cast Member to a manger based solely on Direct Customer feedback.  At Disney direct feedback means that a guest captures someone’s name and has to go to a specific office near the main gate and write out what the Cast Member did to make their day memorable.    Many Cast Members never have this happen and she has had it happen twice in the same week.  Her name is Sammy and she is in Disney California Adventure and I promise you that if you seek her out it will be an experience your children will not soon forget.  Disney expects that once you hit the stage you are all about the guest experience and this is difficult at best.
Each of these now adults were given participation trophies and each of them say that none of them mattered.  What matters to them are the results they produce because that is a life trophy and one that matters

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 maximize their efforts.  Are you in the stands or on the field?  Winners are on the field playing full out. These are people for whom 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