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 Latest Trend… Tutor Shaming

Parents Who Pay $100 To Hire Tutors For Their Children Drive Up Demand For Tutors And Increase Inequities…

During the pandemic some parents are hiring tutors in an effort to get their kids a step up on their competition. Some see hiring tutors as increasing inequalities… I think this is the express purpose! These parents intend to keep the playing field uneven for their children for life if possible. A $100 per hour tutor may not help anyone’s child rise to the genius level but consider if you’re hiking with a friend and encounter a bear, you only need to be faster than your friend to survive. Their kids just need to be a little smarter than the competition to excel.

I hired my first business coach when I had no money to do so. I had everything all figured out. I knew where I wanted to position my practice, I knew who I wanted to serve, I knew how many people I wanted to serve and when everything was said and done I was wrong on almost every detail. My first business coach was Chuck Gibson and he systematically upended everything I thought I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it and how I wanted to go about it. I listened. Starting from my very first month in business I was profitable and it only got better. He knew things I didn’t and helped to educate me as we went along. He was 100% correct.

Now I get to be that guy. I love the impact I have on my clients. In the last month a client moved into their dream home based on the profits he created from our work together. I’ve had clients take their first ever family vacation where they actually had a chance to reconnect with their children based on our work and the systems we implemented. I don’t take credit for these results. I expect these results going in.

Business owners often know they have to work on their business and not just in their business. They tell me with their next breath they aren’t sure what to work on or how to work on it. Not knowing what you need to work on is no better than being unwilling to do the work. Abraham Lincoln said the man who can read but won’t is no better off than the man who cannot read. Prove him wrong! My personal business coach lives in Arizona… his name is Martin Howey. Feel free to google his name. Call him if you’d like. Yes, he taught me a lot of what I know. If you want to expedite the process of getting from Point A to Point B you and I should talk. If your business is getting you everything you want (the ability to do what you want, when you want, as much as you want, as often as you want and with whomever you want) why are you even reading this? If not, pick up the damn phone and let’s 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 

There Is No Adversity Without A Solution… None!

Having worked at success for the past 35 years I’ve helped many people from many different walks of life embrace the idea of “massive imperfect action.” Some refer to this as fake it until you make it… I don’t agree. Even before I opened my initial chiropractic office I knew I wanted to be unique in my approach along with the level of success I enjoyed.
          Early on when I was seeing very few patients every week, I acted as if I was seeing many more. In my mind I figured out what it would take to move from treatment room to treatment room and take films, do a report of findings, adjust my patient and take chart notes while still doing the other things required to build a bigger practice. My goal was to deliver a certain dollar level in services annually with a 35% overhead and do it all without advertising. I accomplished this and never quit growing. I eventually exceeded 300 patient visits per week in 21 hours. Keep in mind this was accomplished without advertising and was 100% referral based.  In 1995 I injured myself in a permanent manner and sold my practice in 1996.
          Times were not always great. There were times when I focused 100% on the internal aspects of my practice while placing the external aspect on the back burner. There were also times I placed things on the back burner longer than I should have and I paid that price as well. That doesn’t happen any longer. When I see it happen with a marketing client or a coaching client we come to an agreement on either discipline or justice. Discipline are actions you take on yourself. Justice are those actions done to you from an external force. Justice is when you’re caught speeding and get a speeding ticket. Discipline is when you notice you’re speeding and slow down on your own. 
          When a marketing or coaching client leaves things on the back burner for too long a period of time for any reason or they’re looking for a period of extreme growth in their business I help them with a plan to REACT to the reality they created. This plan is not one size fits all. This plan has yet to fail myself or anyone else. I shared this plan with my personal coach to use on me. I learned about this plan in a book titled “Overcome” by Jason Redman. Lieutenant Redman is a retired Navy Seal with multiple awards who was severely injured in the line of duty. He and his family have seen a side of hell most of us cannot imagine. 
          The willingness to walk down difficult roads requires the willingness to think like an adult and in an intellectual manner. This is only for those who demand results and don’t have a pre-designed back door they can escape out of such. Back door escape hatches appear as a rich family or someone who has a pile of money and they are willing to spend what they need to live on. Creating, implementing and living a plan like this requires courage.
          What’s your current plan?  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      
     

The World Has Changed… What Skills Will You Need Moving Forward?

For many people in the pre-pandemic workforce required skills boiled down to remaining relevant. Could you do those things that were minimally required of someone in your position? With the overly stressed labor pool that existed in 2019, if you were minimally competent you were pretty well set. It was Woody Allen who so accurately said that 80% of success was just showing up. My suspicion is the post pandemic world will change a lot of that.

The shift for many from in-office work to working from home sounds great on the surface and it also brings with it the statement “Be careful what you wish for.” Working from home while being both productive and busy will be a real test for most people. Learning to do a Zoom meeting is just the beginning. Being comfortable with new tech will be critical and self-learning will likely define tomorrows leaders in these new and uncharted waters. The rules will be made as we go along and unless you’re one of the lead dogs the view will never change…. Neither will your paycheck!

Self-learning will not revolve around watching a YouTube video or Ted Talk. Self-Learning for many will come down to a return to reading and starting to re-invest in your personal education along with the development of a personal library. Books will once again matter in my opinion the sooner this starts the better. You can either resist this shift or embrace it but make no mistake the shift is happening as we speak. What’s your plan?

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

Most People Work On The Symptom Not The Problem…

I spoke to a business group recently and ended by taking questions. This was a group of legal and accounting professionals and their questions were many of the same questions general contractors ask. All questions were symptom related and avoided the actual problem. A symptom question would be “How do we get busier?” and a problem question would be “Our director of outreach is getting more potential customers in the door and I want to know how to change the demographic they are reaching?” Symptom as opposed to problem.

To make the shift from symptom to problem requires better questions. Great questions define the actual problem. Poorly framed questions produce only tactics. Tactical answers don’t have the ability to change the result but make you feel like progress is being made toward a worthwhile goal.

Here’s cheat sheet on asking better questions. Start with a question that outlines the actual thing you need to repair. Once you have a clear and true understanding of the actual thing work on simplifying the thing to the greatest extent possible. The last action is to expand the different ways you can get there. In 1958 Dr. Robert Schuller needed to raise $1 million dollars to build his church and that was a lot of money in 1958. If he could find 1 person with $1 million it would be easy… Finding that 1 person would be very difficult. Then he looked at 2 people at $500,000 which was still hard and he finally settled at $100 from 10,000 people. He outlined what he needed, simplified what was needed and expanded the possibilities until he got the right answer.

What is your right answer and how much more time will you spend asking the wrong question?  

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