Ask yourself this: Who’s influencing you?
by Kevin D. Crone
When I was 28 years old, Dale Carnegie and Associates, especially the General Manager, big John Cooper, approved my purchase of the Ontario franchise. I was excited and within a couple of weeks, I attended my first owners meeting in Chicago. There was plenty on the agenda but I was more interested in seeking out the top four franchisees in the world and asking for, and receiving, mentoring on their specialty.
I wanted to learn about marketing, sales, administration, managing money, building a team, and building a compelling offering. I chose carefully, then approached each one and asked for a sit down meeting. Everyone agreed and they were honoured to help the kid who would actually listen and record what they said. It was three days of inquiring into what works, doesn’t work, what needs to be done, how you do it, etc., and summarizing it into an actual plan. I made an action recording before I left the hotel on one of those old tape recorders that began with, “Kathie here is what we need to do immediately.”
We listened to it every week. Kathie was my ‘get things done’ assistant. (She eventually became the president of the company because she knew how to get things done, and with the willing co-operation of others).
We swung into immediate action and stayed in constant communication with our mentors. Within a year, we were a point away from winning the award for “best organization” in the industry. Within two years, we won that recognition and outperformed every mentor.
As I look back after all those years, three things stand out as it relates to success. See what resonates with you.
1. Hang around with winners, those who positively influence you. Whether we realize it or not, the company we keep influences us. Who are you influenced by today? Are they influencing you to positively move forward? Are you still eager to ask them for suggestions? How do you feel when you are around them? Everything matters and you don’t need to be influenced by pressures and people who steer you negatively and add little value.
2. Listening is more important than telling others what you are doing. Do you still listen to act or just listen to be informed. (The judgmental listening that we all do once we get experience interferes with honest, open listening.) Listening to those with savvy and a sincere desire to help us is still the key. Who are you going to listen to in 2015 in a genuine face-to-face dialogue? Googling doesn’t count… Asking for and listening to suggestions doesn’t make you look weak. On the contrary, you are the smartest person around and everyone knows it.
3. Action is all there is . It still amazes me how people will throw out thoughts with no commitment behind them. “We should do this and that.” A year later, they still have the same issues in spite of many meetings, seminars and conferences. A successful entrepreneur friend and long term mentor of mine, Stu Scott, told me once, “The difference between those who achieve success and those who don’t, is the winner pulls the trigger on plans quickly one way or another.” The point is – you must act. You’re never completely prepared, or have every answer in advance so move on the facts you have. Yes you can fail at some things – especially because you didn’t act on what you know you should be doing. So! There’s no life or business manual written just for you. You can create and learn from what happened and move forward. Besides, very little in life is terminal. You must act. Most people don’t. Losers don’t even ask let alone listen and act. That is not you!
How did this message resonate for you this morning?
- What are you going to do?
- Are you going to check out who is influencing you?
- Are you going to find a mentor or two you can listen to?
- What actions could wake you and your business up this summer?
Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
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