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Overcoming Your DNA and Choosing To Change The World

Posted By Michael Roby | November 6th, 2017

Our survival instincts are not designed to advance beyond out physiological needs. It is only by being truly human we move to love, esteem, and self-actualization.

Our DNA makes it hard to do the little things which would improve our lives and the lives of those around us.

What is it that makes us more than mere animals? That gives us the power to dream? To take risk and do more that just subsist? Our instincts keep us in survival mode, always watching for danger.

Psychologists Thomas Gilovich and Kenneth Savitsky described something they called “The Spotlight Effect”, a phenomenon where people feel they are noticed more than they are actually. It magnifies risk in our brains, and can influence people to choose to retreat into silence & hesitation. These micro-moments of decision result in our not stepping up to challenges and opportunities. We allow fear to affect our decisions. Setbacks exacerbate the fear, and overwhelm and doubt set in. Paralyzed in some sense by this irrational fear, we fail to reach our potential because we are afraid to fail.

How do we go from what we know is truth toward action about the truth and in the truth? If we know what to do, and really want to do what we need to do, and use our instinctive way of problem solving to do what we can do and want to do and need to do, we move toward a better reality.

Everything comes down to your choices. Don’t allow the world to make decisions for you. Choose to act. Decide.

The secret? Move. Act. Do what you want to do based upon what you know the way you strive instinctively. Do it. Do it now.

Do I Smell Bad: Lessons From The Deodorant Isle

Posted By Michael Roby | October 13th, 2017

Next week I travel to New Orleans to speak to an audience of CEO’s in a Vistage Group facilitated by Joe Liss, CPA. Joe has been a good friend and mentor for many years. Back to this audience. These people own their companies. CEO’s expect performance. They want good ideas and hate wasting time. They want me to give them great, actionable ideas to help them sell more, lead their teams, hire better people, and grow their businesses. This won’t be 30,000 foot platitudes. It will be rapid-fire, actionable ideas… for three and a half hours. The pressure is on. I must stay cool, calm, and collected.

I believe in system redundancy. I insist in having two bottles of roll-on deodorant; one for home and one for my travel bag. This morning I used the last of one bottle. While I am not obsessive-compulsive, I did run into Walmart on the way to my office, and here is what I saw:

What was amazing is they didn’t have my brand! So I left. I’ll try another store, probably today. What lessons came out of this 6:45 AM jaunt into the largest retailer in the world?

  1. We live in a great country. We grow enough food to feed ourselves and the world. Most people can work if they want to work. They can freely practice their religion. Americans have a greater choice of products and services than anywhere in the world. And more brands of antiperspirant / deodorant exist than one could try in a lifetime.
  2. As Sheena Iyengar, a professor of business at Columbia University and the author of “The Art of Choosing,” demonstrated in her 1995 study, we are paralyzed by too many choices.
  3. People are brand-loyal. The vast majority of U.S. Adults want “their” brand (82%) and “their” retailer (84%) according to the 2017 Study by the International Council of Shopping Center.

These facts raise an interesting question:

What is your brand?

A brand is a relationship between a provider and their buyer. Brand creates a feeling in the buyer. Brand creates a pride of ownership, a status, a comfort level in the user. If you don’t purposely create, reinforce, and manage your brand with your client you are just another Fill-In-The-Blank commodity.

Build your brand. Be your brand. Sell your brand.

That’s all for now; I need to run to CVS…

Work Hard & Have Fun!™

Barbershop Wisdom: Self-Discipline

Posted By Michael Roby | October 9th, 2017

This morning I went to the barbershop in for my weekly haircut. Over the last four years, my barber Matt and I have organically grown a relationship which transcends that of customer-vendor. While we aren’t pals, since 2013 we have spent upwards of 50 hours discussing family, friendship, football, faith, and business. Matt develops deep relationships with his customers, and I would guess he sees upward of 60 – 70 people like me even week.

This morning we discussed football, and the discipline demanded by Nick Saban, coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide of his players. Matt said something that was genius in it’s simplicity:

“Discipline isn’t pretty but the results are so worth it.” ~ Matt The Barber

Often mundane, incremental activities provide no immediate results. We want immediate gratification, and when it does not come, we quit. Dieting, exercise, prospecting, sales calls, writing, building relationships; all of these provide exceptional long-term benefits and measurable results. The only problem we face is doing them long-term!

However, when we commit, and stick with it, the execution of small, achievable activities, pointless things done over and over provide meaningful, sometimes life-changing results. Long-term, metrics provide evidence of the worth of our efforts, and justification for our persistence and patience. But the daily grind, the chipping away, saw-sharpening, and relentless pressure to perform make pressing on difficult at best. What provides the necessary drive to stick with the ordinary and tedious daily activities and disciplines long enough to see meaningful results?

Keys to Self-Discipline:

Principles – Most people find choices of activities provide good results when based upon principles. Principles act as our personal and professional compass, helping us to make responsible decisions in the midst of stress or emotion. Principles are fundamental, primary, or general laws or truths.

Passion – Passion releases significant energy we can direct toward goal achievement. Passion creates enthusiasm, and a willingness to do whatever needs to be done to achieve a goal. It allows you to confidently step forward into the next big thing. Passion fuels persistence and perseverance.

Purpose – Humans are, to the best of our knowledge, the only species which contemplates purpose. Purpose means having a goal, objective, or situation for which you strive. Purpose rises above instinct. Purpose says if we have a strong enough why we can figure out the how. It doesn’t happen; Purpose, by definition, is intentional.

The pain of discipline is temporary. The pain of regret lasts forever. Matt was right; discipline isn’t pretty but today’s discipline gets you to tomorrow, and repeated daily ultimately get you to where you want to go!

Work Hard & Have Fun!™