• Dennis Kelley

    David Kelley

    Dennis Kelley is a seasoned professional with over 30 years experience leading teams and coaching people to success. Dennis is in high demand as a speaker, consultant, trainer and an author... Read More

    David Kelley

  • Inspirational Quote

    “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” -- Michalangelo
  • Connect with me on LinkedIn. Click here to view my profile and join my network. A strong, wide network is one of the keys to success. View Dennis Kelley's profile on LinkedIn
  • July 2018
    M T W T F S S
    « Oct    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  
  • Advertisements

Eating the Elephant One Bite at a Time

“Step by step. I can’t see any other way of accomplishing anything.”

                                                                                                 – Michael Jordan

When you take a look at the goals you have set for your business and your life, do you sometimes feel overwhelmed? Does it seem like a very large leap to get there from where you are today? Don’t worry. You don’t need to try to get there in one

big leap. Your journey to success will be a progression of thousands of little steps. It’s like eating an elephant. When you look at the elephant you think, “Man, there is no way I am going to be able to eat that whole thing.” The only way to do it is to take one

bite at a time since you certainly can’t swallow it whole!

 Vision without action is simply a daydream, but trying to tackle too much at one time is simply unrealistic.

You still have your daily life you need to live. Going to work each day, taking care of your family, your home, all your other responsibilities, plus having some fun along the way still needs to happen. You can’t just put everything in your life on hold while you pursue your goals. You can do this in conjunction with everything else you have to do. You will still be able to achieve unlimited success by taking one-step at a time.

In the John Whitmore book, Coaching for Performance, he tells the story of John Nabor and his incredible journey to Olympic history. It all started in 1972 when a young swimmer by the name of John Nabor watched Mark Spitz win an amazing seven gold medals for swimming in the Munich Olympics. After watching Spitz win, Nabor decided he too would win an Olympic gold medal. He wanted to win his medal in the 100- meter backstroke. He set a goal to accomplish this in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Nabor had already won the National Junior Championship, but he was still nearly five seconds off the pace he knew was necessary to win the gold. Now five seconds doesn’t sound like much, but when you are competing at that level of competition, it is a huge deficit to make up. Undaunted, Nabor decided to break his goal down into manageable steps. He began by asking himself how much he would need to improve in each practice session to achieve his goal. By taking the number of hours he could practice over the next four years before the Olympics and dividing it into the number of seconds he needed to improve he arrived at his goal. His goal – he needed to improve by one- fifth of one eye blink for every hour of training. That’s right, one fifth of one eye blink an hour. Suddenly he had a goal he could understand and accept as doable. So, he worked diligently and hard over the next four years improving one little bit at each training session.

By 1976, he had improved so much that he was made the captain of the American swimming team, and he won not just one gold medal, but two. He won the gold medal for the 100- meter backstroke and the 200-meter backstroke, the first one in a new world record time and the second in a new Olympic record. He ate the elephant one small bite at a time and exceeded his goal. He achieved his dream and created the success he sought. Nabor was motivated by an end goal he was passionate about and chose a process that created a path for him to achieve success.

Take responsibility to determine how you will break your goals down. You must take your long-term goals and break them down into 90-day objectives. Each 90-day plan will take you a step closer to your end goal. You get to choose how you will break them down further to what you need to do each day. Every morning ask yourself, “What can I do today to make positive momentum toward my 90-day objectives?” Breaking the goals into small steps will get you there with an ease you never expected. The action you take will not be hard work; it will be exciting and fulfilling. Your positive attitude and belief in yourself, along with your satisfaction at seeing progress, will make you proud and give you the motivation and courage to continue along your path toward success.

Add an extra 15 minutes each day to the time you invest in yourself and to working on your success plan,
and you will have added an equivalent of more than two weeks each year to the achievement of your dreams.

Imagine the exponentially powerful progress you will make by taking 15 minutes away from watching television, or surfing the internet or even sleeping and applying it to developing the life you want. Imagine what would happen if you invested an hour or more each day to your success plan! This investment cannot be matched by any other thing you can possibly do. Invest more in yourself than you do in your business or career, and you will see everything in your life move in the right direction.

Make an extra contact knowledgeable in the area you are working on improving, or read another book, or attend another workshop, or anything that gets you closer to where you want to go. The important thing is just to do a little more each day and the rewards will be great.

To Your Success,
Dennis

Advertisements

5 Reasons Most People Fail at Goal Setting

co_obj_114Now is a great time to review your goals for the year and determine how well you are doing at accomplishing those things you wanted to get done this year. If you are like many people, you probably have a few goals that you haven’t made much progress toward achieving. You may even have some that you haven’t even started. Maybe you started to set some goals but never even went back and finished them. Many people avoid setting goals because they tried it once and when they didn’t achieve them, they decided goal setting just doesn’t work.

The fact is the people who are most successful in the world are avid goal setters. They are driven to accomplish what they set out to achieve and they know what they are aiming for. That is what goal setting really does for you – it gives you a clear target to aim for. You are much more likely to hit a target if you have one to aim for.

So, why don’t goals work for most people? The reason goal setting fails is because the goal setter has not followed the steps necessary to establish clear, focused goals that create a roadmap for success. Here are the five reasons most goals don’t work and how you can avoid these mistakes to create powerful goals that lead you to the wealth, success, happiness and prosperity you seek.

1. Generic goals – many people set very generic goals that do not create a vision of what they are trying to accomplish. Goals such as, “buy a new house,” “increase my profits,” “save money for vacation,” do not inspire action and do not give you a specific target to achieve. If you want to buy a new house then set a specific goal for what kind of house your want to buy, where it is located, how much it will cost, what it will look like, how big it is and what amenities it has. Create a very clear picture of what you want and write your goal accordingly. Determine what your goals are and BE SPECIFIC. That is the key to avoiding the mistake of generic goals.

Be as specific as possible. Create a clear vision of what you are aiming for. Whatever it is, be specific when setting the goal. If you are trying to increase the profits of your business – decide exactly how much more you want to produce. Pick a dollar amount or a percentage increase you are determined to make. If you are planning a vacation and want to save for the vacation, then determine an exact amount, where you will go and what you will do.

No matter what the goal is, the more specific you are the better chance you have of achieving it. Why? Because the more clearly you define what you want the more solidly it will be locked into your subconscious mind. Locking your goals into your subconscious is a critical component of achievement. Once you have created a clear vision of the goal and locked it into your subconscious then you will find that the actions you take tend to lead you toward the accomplishment of the goal.

2. Inability to measure results – if the goal you set does not allow you to measure your progress then how will you know if you are getting closer? Specific goals will make it much easier for you to measure progress. Generic goals that cannot be measured are doomed to fail. Measuring your progress allows you to make adjustments along the way so you stay on track. Make your goals measurable and they will be more powerful.

3. Setting unachievable goals – if the goals you set are so outlandish that you simply cannot reach them in a reasonable time period then you will become discouraged and give up. Establish stretch goals but not unachievable ones. It is good to establish goals that make you learn and grow and challenge you to reach them. However, don’t hurt your chances of succeeding by being unrealistic. Strong goals are those that are realistic and achievable.

4. Setting goals that are not relevant– make sure the goals you set tie into your long-term plans and mission for your career and life. Too many times people set goals that sound good in the moment or are relevant to someone else’s plans but not yours. Make sure your goals support what you are trying to accomplish or else why pursue them at all. Don’t waste your time chasing unimportant goals.

5. Not setting a timeframe for achievement – if you set goals that are not time bound then it is easy to let yourself off the hook and not take action. Setting a timeframe to meet the goal creates an accountability to take action. It also allows you to adjust your activity and make corrections along the way. If you create a goal to save enough money for a dream vacation in June two years from today then you can regularly check your progress and adjust as needed. If you didn’t set a timeframe and waited until you were ready to go then you may be surprised by not having the money and have to delay your dream. That would be a shame.

Avoid these five common mistakes and you will find that you accomplish more than you thought possible. Another important point is to make sure you put your goals in writing. Once you commit your goals to paper they move from a thought to an action and you create a commitment. Share them with someone else and the accountability increases dramatically.

To your success,
Dennis

Quick…When I Say Salesmen What Comes to Mind?

salesWhen I ask most people that question the typical responses are a wrinkle of their nose and words like, pushy, intrusive, won’t take no for an answer, an interruption, and even rude. It is a reaction born from experience and stereotypes. Just think of the last time you interacted with someone trying to sell you something. Was the experience a good one? Did you find yourself becoming defensive?

Salespeople who act in ways that make us uncomfortable have confronted us all.  For example, there is the sales person that just would not leave you alone or tried to push you into buying something you didn’t need. Not all of our experiences have been bad, but they are the ones we remember…and tell others about! The good experiences tend to be ones that feel right and you did not feel pressured into the purchase. The salesperson may have been very persuasive, but their style and approach did not leave you feeling pressured.

Many times, I find my clients struggling with the concept of truly selling in their business. They are concerned others will see their business in this same negative light. “If I’m just nice to my customers and give them a good product, then they will buy,” is the common position many owners take.

But, here’s the real shocker…we are all salespeople! That’s right; we are all salespeople.  We sell every day…in our personal life, with our spouse, kids, friends and others we meet, during our normal daily activities. In your business life, you are selling to your employees, co-workers, vendors, and yes, even with your customer.

You see, selling occurs anytime you are trying to persuade someone else. In fact, the most successful sales people are those who can talk to people, listen actively, and uncover their needs to reach agreement. Selling is actually a very positive activity and extremely important in every business. No business can survive if selling is not a key priority that is practiced and coached daily.

It is also critical to understand your sales numbers. Three areas you must focus on in order to improve your results are: your conversion of prospects into paying customers, the average amount each customer spends with you each time they make a purchase and how many times they buy from you. Let’s take a quick look at each one.

Sales conversion rate – set up a simple process to measure the number of prospects your business generates and how many of them make a purchase. Your business already generates prospects so converting more of those prospects to paying customers is a low-cost way to increase revenues. This includes how many people contact your business through website visits, phone calls, personal visits, pro-active salesperson contacts, etc. Improve your conversion rate and your marketing efficiency increases making your business more profitable.

Average amount sold to each client – measure the average ticket size per sale in your business. Increasing this average through cross-selling and up-selling will increase revenues very cost effectively. Your average will increase by offering your prospects and clients additional services or adding value to their purchase. It goes without saying that this must be done ethically and be in the interest of the client. However, there are many ways to increase the average amount sold. Some of these include offering additional products or services, service agreements, or other valuable items that are in the best interest of the customer.

Number of times a customer buys from you – keeping your current customers coming back again and again is cheaper than finding new people to buy from you all the time. Build a base of loyal customers and keep them coming back to grow your business. Successful businesses know how to keep their customers coming back while also attracting new ones. Build customer loyalty programs, communicate with them on a regular basis, understand and meet their on-going needs and be sure to thank them for their business.

I define selling as “professionally helping others to buy.”  Note the term professionally as that is a critical part of the process.  It is not about being pushy, rude, aggressive, etc.  It is about finding a need and showing the prospect how to meet the need through your business and its products…professionally. 

Changing perceptions, either yours or those of your team, about what selling is and how to do it will help you grow your business revenue and even more importantly your profits. 

Now go sell, sell, sell…professionally!

To your success,
Dennis

Do You Love What You Do?

60The recent economic crisis has caused many people to reevaluate their business or career interest. As a result of the turmoil, I have had the opportunity to speak with different individuals and groups about the concept of finding your true passion in business. The idea that what you do is what you love to do. Knowing yourself, finding your true purpose in life, is the essence of true and real. You have to be, before you do, to have lasting inner peace. In other words, making a living is not the same as making a life. Find what makes your heart sing and create your own music.

Many people work all their lives and dislike what they do for a living. In fact, I was astounded by a statistic in a USA Today survey that said 53 percent of people in the American workplace are unhappy with their jobs. It is amazing that the majority of people don’t like their jobs. How can you be productive and dedicated to something you don’t like to do? Loving what you do is one of the most important keys to living a “true and real” life.

You can’t fake passion. Passion is the fuel that drives any dream and makes you happy to be alive. However, the first step to loving what you do is to self-analyze, to simply know what you love. We all have unique talents and interests, and one of life’s greatest challenges is to match these talents with career opportunities that bring out the best in us. It’s not easy – and sometimes we can only find it through trial and error – but it’s worth the effort.

Ray Kroc, for example, found his passion when he founded McDonald’s at the age of 52. He never “worked” another day of his life.

John James Audubon was unsuccessful for most of his life. He was a terrible businessman. No matter how many times he changed locations, changed partners, or changed businesses, he still failed miserably. Not until he understood that he must change himself did he have any shot at success.

And what changes did Audubon make? He followed his passion. He had always loved the outdoors and was an excellent hunter. In addition, he was a good artist and, as a hobby, would draw local birds.

Once he stopped trying to be a businessman and started doing what he loved to do, his life turned around. He traveled the country observing and drawing birds, and his art ultimately was collected in a book titled Audubon’s Birds of America. The book earned him a place in history as the greatest wildlife artist ever. But, more importantly, the work made him happy and provided the peace of mind he’d been seeking all his life.

Can you say the same about what you are doing today? Do you get out of bed every day looking forward to your job or to running your business? You may love the work you do but maybe struggle with some of the challenges you face. Don’t give up on what you love…find a way to get the support you need to find your sense of fulfillment. Of course, if you’re not doing what you love then it is time for some self reflection and maybe a change.

The current theory is that this economic crisis has changed the way we will live our lives for some time to come. Now is the perfect time to take a critical look at yourself and your passions and determine what changes you need to make to help you live the life of passion that fuels success.

To your success,
Dennis

7 Questions to Ask Yourself to Confirm Your Leadership Success

puzzzle peopleIt’s no secret that leaders today must be able to balance many responsibilities and roles in their quest to succeed in business. Leaders are pulled in many different directions and can find themselves caught between what they need to do in order to create a winning team and keeping all their constituencies happy.

One of the big mistakes a leader can make is to believe the development of their team isn’t their top priority. The best run companies are the ones that devote significant time and resources to developing the skill, values, beliefs and identity of their team. It is impossible for any single person to accomplish everything that must be done in order for a business to grow and prosper. That is where the team comes in. A leader with a strong team around them will see exponentially greater results than a leader with a mediocre team. There is no greater responsibility for a leader than to recruit, train, develop, coach, recognize and reward the people who are responsible for the success of the leader’s business.

In order to make sure you are devoting the time and effort necessary to build a winning team ask yourself these seven questions and see how well you stack up. If you are strong in all these areas, then congratulations – you are well on your way to the highest levels of leadership success. If you still need to work on some or all of these areas, then make a commitment to yourself and your team to get started today.

Does your team possess a clear understanding of your vision?  Many companies spend time developing a vision but only communicate it to the senior team. A vision is useless unless the people responsible for delivering it through the company’s products and services know, understand and live the vision. As a leader, you must have a laser focus on your vision. You must communicate it to the team and then reinforce it through coaching, at meetings, and through your recognition and reward programs. People want to feel significant in the work they do. When they understand the company vision and how their job fits into it, they will feel connected and valued.

Does your team have clear, specific, measurable goals that support the vision? Once you communicate the vision and your team understands how their role fits into it, you must now make sure they have specific goals to measure their progress. The power of goals cannot be understated. Goals bring accountability to the team and allow the leader to measure how the team is doing in accomplishing the vision. It allows you to reward team members who contribute to the success of the team, and provide appropriate support to those who don’t.

Does the team understand the system of rewards and consequences? Strong leadership requires that your team understand the consequences of their performance. Too many businesses fail to develop and communicate clear systems for handling team performance. This is like a disease within the team. It destroys morale and creates mediocre performance because the team members begin to recognize that no matter how hard they work – or, for that matter, how little they achieve – they will be treated the same as everyone else. Why work harder or do more than expected if there is no consequence? Make sure the team understands there are consequences to not contributing to the team and consistently apply them.

Do you pull the weeds when you need to? Believe it or not, your team will respect you and perform better for you when you remove the weak members from the team – pull the weeds. Think about a garden of beautiful flowers and what happens when a weed shows up. The weed starts to grow and before you know it, it starts to choke off the flowers. More weeds grow and more flowers disappear.

The same is true on your team. If you have a team member that does not perform or creates conflict on the team, you must be willing to deal with it. Do not pretend it will get better or hope they choose to leave. One of the major mistakes leaders make is to let these non-performers pull the whole team down. The strong performers know who isn’t performing and they will respect you more if you deal with it.

 Does your team receive regular communication, coaching and development? Once you have communicated the vision, provided clear goals and communicated the consequences now you can kick back and take it easy, right? Of course not. Strong leaders are also great communicators and coaches. Your team will require regular communication as the business and environment change. Adjustments must be made to the strategy. The team must be kept abreast of updates and issues impacting their roles.

Does your team fear the “F” word? Teams that are in fear of failure in their day-to-day attempts to become better at their job will become paralyzed by that fear. They will fail to take action without first checking with you on even the most trivial point. Winning teams are willing to do what it takes to get the job done and will take reasonable business risks.

As a leader, you must support this risk taking. Trust your hiring decisions and your coaching talents and let them do their job with minimal interference. If you and the team communicate regularly and you are coaching effectively, your level of risk will be minimal and their development will soar.

 Does your team trust you and respect you? There is a saying in sales that if your customer likes you, trust you and believes you then, they will buy from you. The same is true in leadership. Understand that you are selling your team every day on what you need them to do and why they should do it. If your team does not trust you or respect you then they certainly will not buy what you are telling them. If you lose their trust and respect, it will be very hard to get it back and it will have a negative impact on their performance. Do what you say you will do – even if it is not popular.

Be fair, honest and ethical in your dealings with them and they will follow your lead. Never compromise your ethics or tell your team simply what they want to hear. There are times when confidentiality will prohibit you sharing everything with them, but do not hold it over their head. Deal with them honestly and keep their trust – it will pay big dividends.

As a leader, your primary role is to create the strongest possible team you can. The more successful the team the more successful you will be. Many people say that your employees are your greatest asset. The truth is that it is the RIGHT people on your team, doing the RIGHT things, which are your greatest asset. Work harder on developing your team than on anything else – if you do then you will be successful.

To your success,
Dennis

It Takes 100% Commitment to Your Plan to Succeed

Stay committed to your plan to reach new heights

Stay committed to your plan to reach new heights

There are three areas you must focus on in order to achieve the success you desire. In difficult times like these it is absolutely critical that you learn these three key skills and apply them every day in your business and life.

Self-Discipline

One of the most difficult things to master when you are self-employed is maintaining self-discipline. It is too easy to become distracted or lose sight of what is really important. In times like these it is very important to stay focused on the big picture. There may be times when you need to deny yourself small things until you can achieve the big goal you really want. That is what self-discipline is all about. It is important to recognize that our mind plays tricks on us. Sometimes it will attempt to divert us from achieving our goal when it looks too much like work. Sometimes we stall our own best efforts by not practicing self-discipline.

Learning to be self-disciplined helps to nip this problem in the bud. So, what does self-discipline mean? It is the ability to do things we need to do even when we don’t really feel like doing it. The hardest part is staying focused on doing what needs done. The good thing about developing self-discipline is that it is fairly easy to train your mind to it. It can be compared to training a muscle. When you exercise it on a regular basis, it becomes strong and healthy. On the other hand, if left unused, it will weaken and atrophy.

Self-discipline is built from habits and repetitive patterns of behavior. When you establish a pattern of achieving your goals, it creates momentum. This makes it easier to stay committed to your objectives. After you have experienced the satisfaction of completing a few of your goals, you will be more disciplined. You will want to achieve the next goal and then the next goal until you have reached your dreams. Show self-discipline toward the goals you have set, and you will have the outcome you are aiming for sooner instead of later.

Risk versus Reward Analysis

Any path you choose will have a variety of risk and rewards.  Of course, the ultimate reward will be achieving the success you are working toward. Throughout the journey to success, you will be making risk reward assessments. The analysis should be to look at the objectives you set and verify they align with your ultimate goal. This exercise will help to increase your level of commitment providing encouragement that you are on the right track.

When you compare the action you are currently undertaking to a long-term goal, the positive feelings associated with those dreams are reinforced. Stirring these feelings helps to increase the power of the vision you have of your ideal life. The reward you are giving yourself will outweigh the risk of taking the step you are committing to get you closer to your goal. 

Of course, if you do this risk reward analysis and determine the step you are about to start doesn’t get you closer to your objective, then you will determine not to do it. Don’t forget about the importance of giving yourself small rewards as you accomplish certain milestones. The determination of the rewards you will receive by taking action against your goals will dramatically increase your commitment to taking the needed action.

Focused Attention

You get what you focus on in life. By controlling our attention, we are able to control our outcomes. By focusing our attention on what it is we want in life, we are keeping it off the things we do not want. Whenever you find yourself beginning to drift away from the things you want to accomplish in life, then re-focus your attention. 

Your short-term goals help you determine areas in your life to focus on for the purpose of achieving that goal. It can be any of the goals you have established including financial, spiritual, mental, physical or educational in nature. Select one specific area and decide that you are going to focus your attention on it today in order to understand how you are creating improvement or change there.

If it is financial, focus your attention on how your money is spent by keeping records to review. If it is spiritual, determine where you need to focus your attention to better connect spiritually. If it is mental, determine what is causing the mental concern and seek advice about overcoming this concern. If it is physical, ask yourself what you need to do to improve the physical situation and create a plan. If it is educational, determine what book, program, class, job or other format will provide the knowledge and focus on completing it. A strong focused approach to taking the steps you have outlined in your success plan will keep you committed to them. 

Focus your attention first thing in the morning to set your mental focus for the day. Do it again at bedtime to lock in the progress you made during the day. This allows your mental state to stay focused on the positives. You achieve what you focus on, so keep your thoughts locked in on what you want and what you have achieved. Be pulled into action each day by keeping positive focused attention on your expected outcomes. 

To Your Success,
Dennis

Secrets of a Top Salesperson – Special Offer

51glYO9FnqL__SL500_AA240_Today Sales can be one of the most fulfilling, exciting and lucrative careers you can choose. But let’s face it—sales can also be very frustrating—financially, emotionally, and intellectually. If you are a professional seeking unlimited success and financial freedom–or if you aspire to be– you want to minimize your learning curve.

Especially during a tough economy. How? By learning from someone who has been through the exact challenges you are facing—and succeeded superbly.

Introducing Paula Pagano, 30 year top producer, sales trainer and author of Secrets of a Top Salesperson – How Emotions Make or Break the Sale. Paula writes with raw honesty and heartfelt humor about the emotional journey of succeeding in sales. That’s right – the part most people gloss over when they leap straight to the end of their success story.

Secrets of a Top Salesperson is where Eat, Pray, Love meets The Art of the Deal. This new book has sparked much praise within the business and literary communities:

• Barbara Corcoran, NBC’s Today Show Current Real Estate Guru says, “Secrets of a Top Salesperson is a powerhouse of ideas for entrepreneurs and anyone who has been hit by the mortgage/ real estate crisis.”
• Ray Brown, best selling author of ‘Home Buying for Dummies’ and 15 Year KNBR radio host recommends Secrets to all real estate agents.
• Mike Larsen, well-known literary agent claims, “Secrets of a Top Salesperson is truly inspirational!”

SPECIAL OFFER – today only buy one copy of Paula’s book during our special promotion, and you will instantly receive several hundred dollars of bonus gifts from experts—workbooks, audio materials, and coaching by these pro’s—including free sales coaching by Paula.

You can even enter a drawing for a 3 day/2 night cruise! Discover all the bonus gifts here: http://topsecretsofasalesperson.com/?id=0022. Paula knows that life is about more than making money. It is about the journey of personal transformation that you absolutely must experience in order to become highly successful.

Act now! Learn the coveted secrets of a top salesperson today. http://topsecretsofasalesperson.com/?id=0022