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Being On Mission When No One Is Watching

Being on mission is not easy. Let's get personal. Five years ago I wrote a post about how you can really paint yourself into a corner. The subject was the possible price of success, and whether you are willing to pay it.

Back then I was a big fish in a small pond. Online marketing was still in its infancy and people looked to me for direction. Of course I was not the only person nor even one of the most prominent people in the industry, but I was a lot more visible than I am today. In the time since, the marketplace has become overrun with shouting, unskilled marketers: when the barrier to entry is the cost of a Facebook ad at pennies a click, anyone can claim expertise and draw leads into a funnel.

Let me be clear: I was around in this field when Facebook ads did not exist. I remember when advanced targeting for Facebook ads came out...and I remember because it was painful. I had just blown through $3000 in a week doing the incredibly sinful thing of sending traffic directly to a conversion tool. (Don't do that. Leadgen has never been my thing. I'm a Conversion guy and now hire smarter people to handle Traffic generation.)

At any rate having seen the 2014 article it got me wondering where my thinking about success and the price to be paid for success is at today.

megatron character price of success who are you are when no one is looking being on mission

The Evolution of Being On Mission

I have seen many "flash in the pan" marketers appear, make a splash, and then vanish back into the murk as quickly as they arrived.

I have witnessed many people become the temporary darling of the marketing world (ah, to be that individual again as I was for a time in 2012), the golden boy who is the shiny object that will fix all problems...and watched as they, too, either submerged never to appear again or instead elevated to guru status and became one of the old boys of the IM field.

I saw Frank Kern capitalize on his "surfer dude" persona...only to change it a few years later via a snazzy square haircut and suiting up, and become the President of the Internet. And good for him: while I don't slavishly follow his initiatives I do believe he generally wants to help people, and does know what works.

There are young marketers today who don't know who Frank is.

They don't recognize the name Dan Kennedy, either.

You don't have to, of course: it's not a prerequisite to have studied the past to be successful in the future.

I have become a small fish in a vast ocean.

Being On Mission and Your Definition of Success

Success to me means something different than it did five years ago. Back then it was largely about dominating the marketplace...being the go-to guy for answers on Conversion topics. Ensuring that as much of the traffic as I could get was drawn my way. I knew I was in the best position to help those folks.

A hell of a lot of "Tall Poppy Syndrome" was going on in and around that marketplace at the time. Some people just couldn't stand it that someone else was doing better than they were. Occasionally some of these individuals raise their heads and bray, unconscious of the fact that I have long since moved on and they have not. If you intend to be successful, you will have to put up with this kind of nonsense.

Which reminds me: an aside. Something I have noted about hate is that everyone squeals. When they are not the subject, they will tell you, "Be cool; water off a duck's back." But when it's their turn as the target, when the cannons are turned upon them, they squeal as loudly as everyone else.

Back to the price of success. When your personal definition of success has changed, the price to be paid changes.

Much of that price for me personally is encapsulated in this question: "Who should get my time?"

I suppose this question was hidden in the background half a decade ago as well. But it is most prominent today.

The Ongoing Results of Being On Mission And The Meaning of Success

In pursuit of answering this question I have expanded and raised the level of my circle. These decisions have forced me to stop pursuing some things I have been good at in favor of others I am not so good at...yet. And on an almost daily basis I have had to confront the "Can I really do this?" question.

As your circle of control and influence expands, you'll be running up against problems that are larger than anything you've ever tried to handle before.

My 2014 problems were centered around straightforward sales & marketing.

My 2019 problems are centered around often-undefined subjects of attention and focus.

My concept of the system I'm operating in has moved from closed to open.

The problems I see today are frequently overwhelming: considerations about the future and how human life will be, what to do about serious problems we face today, how we can use technology in ethical ways to solve those problems.

Data science and philosophy have bubbled up to the top.

It has been said that character is who you are when no one is looking.

And it goes both ways. Megatron is "on mission" regardless of whether the world is watching or not.

What does success mean to you? And what price are you willing to pay for it?

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and conversion expert. Book your session with Jason by clicking here <<

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Head Trash and Why It Is So Important

Head Trash is the limiting beliefs you have. I have them, too. They're different from yours, but the effects are similar and bad, so we should talk about them.

A limiting belief is, foremost, an unconscious belief. You are not aware of it. If you were, it would not stick around very long: like fog in the sunshine, it'd "burn off" and you would be free of it.

And the worst thing about head trash is this: you don't suspect you could be a victim of it.

You're walking around with your point of view of the world...and you think it's 'normal,' the only way anyone could possibly see things.

"It ain't."

Head Trash and Your Point of View

The point of view you have at the moment is weird...individual..."site specific" if you will.

head trash man throwing liquor bottle away bad idea

We all have limiting beliefs. When you find one, and clear it, another takes its place higher up the perception spiral. I'm not sure we'll ever be free of them.

But we can definitely identify and clear out the limiting beliefs most weighing us down right now!

Imagine Pareto's Law, aka the 80/20 Rule, applied to your life:

A small number of decisions have the majority of the effect upon your life.

A small number of perceptive filters have a big effect upon your business.

The decisions are driven by the filters.

You act on what you believe to be true.

What you believe to be true is what you think is possible.

If you view yourself as "the janitor," you're not going to walk up to the CEO and propose a deal, are you.

Your perception of that role would be a limiting belief.

It's possible for someone to take on the job of janitor, but not identify with the role of janitor as their personality, you understand. But for nearly everyone, they'd get sucked into that view of themselves because of the role they took on.

And that would block them from doing this or that action because "janitors don't do that."

Are you starting to see what I'm demonstrating here?

Head Trash is a collection of limiting beliefs that stop you from doing what you'd really like to do.

How do you identify you've got head trash?

When you find yourself saying, "I can't do that"—usually to yourself—stop and ask yourself, "Why not?" Write the answers down. Review them: there's your head trash.

The Granddaddy of Head Trash: Money Tolerance

Money Tolerance is a critical limiting belief. It's a highly effective thermometer to tell you exactly how you're feeling about yourself at this very moment.

How much is "a lot of money" for you? Who told you that number? Where'd it come from? Because it's a BS story: thousands of people out there, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, believe whatever number you said is a tiny amount. (The typical range for the garden variety human is $500 - $2500, by the way.) If you believe the BS story that $2500 is "a lot of money," how on Earth will you ever invest in a $5000 program to help yourself or your business? And how will you ever sell a $5000 offer? You can't! You'll find ways to screw the sale up.

Fortunately, Money Tolerance is a head trash limiting belief, and the goal posts can be moved. Yes, there is a lower limit to Money Tolerance as well as the more visible high figure...I won't bother to sell $50 items, for example, because it's a "waste of my time and energy." (How many good money-making opportunities am I cutting myself off from because of that 'truth'? I well know making money is only about Traffic and Conversion, and if we can get those numbers high enough we can make plenty of money on a $50 offer. But somehow it's still a "waste of my time." Exploring this belief would open up possibilities to me that exist now, but I have cut off from my perception. See?)

When you find yourself blocked, self-painted into a corner, unable to proceed...ask yourself, "Why? What do I believe about this situation?"

Why can't you move to another city?

Why can't you start that business?

Why can't you approach this prospect?

I'll give you another example of head trash before we finish.

A Personal Example of Head Trash In Action

In the past year or so I've been working on getting into the Space field. To do that, I've been meeting, engaging with, and doing interviews with Space experts.

There's a guy who runs what I consider to be the best explainer channel on YouTube for Space, and the rapidly rising subscriber count echos that statement. But for a year, though I connected with him on Facebook, I didn't "feel right" about approaching him to be an interview guest.

Some limiting beliefs held me back.

I was only able to ask him a couple months back, and then had to wait around 45 days for the actual interview date to come around after we booked. I had to get another Space expert on my show before I could ask this person to be a guest.

Would he have been a guest much sooner if I had just asked outright? If I had simply been comfortable with asking him a year ago? Probably (we'll never truly know, but I strongly suspect so)!

But I felt I needed "credibility" first in this situation.

See how that held me back for at least six months from proceeding in the direction I wanted to move in?

That I needed "Space" credibility was my limiting belief. There's something about self-worth in this field, a gap that I believed I needed to make up before moving forward.

These things are not rational.

You may have a low money tolerance because as a small child you heard your parents arguing about a $600 washing machine purchase in one of those "listening at the top of the stairs" moments. That number got installed for you, as most head trash is. And for decades you've been walking around with this unconscious belief fueling the voice in your head that says, "That's a lot of money!" whenever you encounter a price at or above it. "Yeah," you reply to yourself unconsciously. "It sure is." And this drives your emotions and actions.

Identify that moment, clear it, replace it with something else (note that it'll be a NEW limiting belief: a higher figure of "That's a lot of money," but still a fake story you're telling yourself!), and your range of possibilities will expand.

Few things are more exciting than getting rid of head trash, and observing what you or someone you like can now imagine as possible.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. Book a call to discuss your situation with Jason using this link. <<

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Three Quick Checks When Hiring Salespeople

Hiring Salespeople: this is the last Sales Tactics post of 2018. That means we're about to head into the FIFTH YEAR of this blog—how many people do you know who have stuck with a thing as long as that?

I asked for topics and "how to screen for good salespeople" came up. This is a good one because it illuminates several key issues ongoing in many businesses—and business owners!

Let's be clear: there are an infinite number of things you could screen for to help you make your decision when hiring salespeople. Over the last two decades plus, though, from my own experience being the sales candidate with my own agenda of getting the job, the hiring authority sometimes pressured to make a decision NOW, and the sales coach charged with cleaning up the mess...here are the most impactful ones.

Check #1 When Hiring Salespeople

First, will they fit into your culture?

This is, in my opinion at least, more important than anything else.

Even if they can be an effective salesperson and do the second thing I recommend you screen for, their time at your organization will be a mismatched misery should they not fit into the culture.

You'll note all three points I raise here about hiring salespeople fit together. Consequences roll from one into the others.

At the last startup I co-founded, we were crystal clear about our culture. We wrote it down. This manifesto was posted on our website, and we sent it to sales candidates who were initially eager to work with us.

This had the desired effect. The "hardcore closer" types? Pulled a fast fade when they realized their style wouldn't match ours. Nobody's time got wasted. We were left with what we wanted: the consultative, fully honest types we wanted representing our clientele.

You must have clarity before starting the hiring process. What kind of organization do you want? Attitude, standards and expectations start at the top and flow down...what you allow is what they will allow. When I find a company with a nasty receptionist, I know that attitude is permitted and even encouraged from "on high"...and it's a sign for me to go elsewhere.

hiring salespeople sales tactics

Hiring Salespeople: Check #2

Second, are they a high performer—and will they sell here?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: talk is cheap. Statistically speaking, the hiring person would have better odds in picking a successful candidate by pulling a name out of a hat compared to the job they do in the interview.

Culture Fit is very important here, because when a person feels they fit in and enjoy going to work they tend to perform better. That should be obvious but it isn't, out there in the hiring world.

Resumes are all well and good, but they are a marketing piece which has the purpose of getting the candidate the interview. That's it: not the job itself. You need to remember that as much as the candidate does.

Past experience similar to your role may seem good, but it's not an Insta-Win.

So ask questions to draw out stories. They've got numbers on their resume? Great...what's the story behind them? How did they make that big sale? Does what they tell you sound like a process that would fit in with your expectations (be ready for some wild surprises here)?

I've talked with too many executives who told me some version, sometimes in these very words, of, "I'm a great study of human nature. I can tell when someone's got the qualities or not." Wrong. Not true. Sorry about the ding to your ego, but you don't. And neither do I. Certainly not from a resume and interview in which the interviewee controls the narrative. I'd say three-quarters of the time or more as an interviewee I controlled the discussion by the way I answered the questions. Especially when the interviewer(s) had the hiring authority and didn't have oversight of an HR administrator. Got the offers, too.

Here's a question you can ask that will draw out any dissatisfaction and potential culture misfit:

"Tell me about a situation in which things didn't turn out quite the way you'd have liked...and what you'd have done differently if you could do it all over again."

This question is worded to do several things. It subtly insists on an answer: few candidates are going to be alert enough to realize they have the choice of NOT giving an example. It lets them vent, which humans like to do. And it shows you an answer to the "What is your greatest weakness" question without having to say that dumb combination of words out loud.

Easy to follow up to their answer with more questions to determine fit.

Watch for salespeople from bad experiences and environments, too. Their poor performance may have been the result of bad leadership and surroundings.

Check #3 When Hiring Salespeople

Third, are you too enthusiastic?

I am a good interviewee. I am comfortable with multiple interviewers and have been since my mid-20s. Therefore I stand out well and as in other selling situations have been able to make the sale and get hired into jobs I really should not have gotten into. I made the sale because I could.

Why did I do this?

Because I was unemployed and needed a job, silly.

Short Term Thinking.

And this is an affliction that will catch you by surprise, too, if you're not careful. A candidate will come in with a stellar resume. Their numbers and stories will be good, from a production perspective. You get the idea they will take the opportunity and run with it. But...

...will they really fit in here?

...will they really sell here?

...are you simply too excited and about to make a bad, in-the-moment, emotionally-based hiring decision?

Are you being a victim of Short Term Thinking to get out of the interview process and have the decision made?

Very common.

Give it a day to cool off.

Don't hire because you are excited about this person. "White Knight Syndrome" in particular, in which an external party is going to ride in and save your day, is a terrible reason to hire and a terrible pressure to put on that salesperson.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer and business owner. To discuss your hiring process and how to improve it, book a time to talk with Jason. <<