Mindset & Behavior

Leaders Have a Growth Mindset

One of the most important aspects of leadership is being the change maker and the first to try.  But how do you know what to change and how to make it stick?  And how do you have a growth mindset without having to always be pushing for bigger numbers?

Posted in Mindset & Behavior, Success Strategy & Tips, Videos | Comments Off on Leaders Have a Growth Mindset

The 5 P’s to Setting Yourself Up For Success

If I can come from a kid who was in an out of jail 3 times in high school, total hippie, no sales experience, no business experience and basically very little education and build myself into a successful business owner, coach and trainer, then YOU can accomplish anything you want as well.  

Path across endless labyrinth

1)    What is the PROJECT that you're working on? What do you want to accomplish? 


Too many people let other people tell them what their goals should be.  Take ownership of your goal.  Go after something that YOU get excited about.  Be specific.  "I want to sell ______ by ______."


2)    What is the PURPOSE of this goal to you?  What does it mean to you? 


Too often we wander aimlessly toward something that we want to achieve without ever defining for ourselves why we're doing it in the first place.  What does accomplishing the goal mean to you long term?  What will it help bring more of into your life?  Meaning is the #1 thing most people are missing when there is a lack of excitement or motivation. 


3)    What is the PLAN for getting there? 


Once you know what you want and why you want it, then it's time to get to work.  Break down the goal to the ridiculous.  What is the ONE daily action that when done consistently, day in and day out, will make the difference between achieving the goal or missing it. 


In our business it's usually the # of calls that need to be made.  So, break it down.  Sales Goal / Average Order / Closing Ratio / # of Appointments / Cancelation Percentage / # of Calls / # of Days / # of Calls per Day. 


Once you have this info then you have to schedule the time to go after it.  What are your personal life priorities?  Put those into your calendar first.  A lot of people sacrifice their lifestyle for work.  When we lead with lifestyle in making our schedule, all of a sudden work becomes exciting, because it becomes the vehicle that makes the lifestyle possible.  So, personal first.  Then fit the business activities in around it. 


4)    Who will be your PARTNERS in the process? 


We all need to hold ourselves accountable first.  But no one accomplishes something great by them self.  So, who will you talk to every day to celebrate the wins?  Who will be there to support you and help pick you up and keep you going during the losses?  Who are you helping get to the next level?  Make sure you surround yourself with people who know the goal, know the plan, and agree to be there for you to talk to and support you every day throughout the push. 


5)    How often will you track your PROGRESS


One big mistake people make during a challenge is they never check in on their numbers.  They get to the last few days only to realize that they are behind and they don't have enough time left to catch up.  Sit down every day and review what the goal is, what the plan is, where you are so far, and see if you're on track or off track.  Then make adjustments to the future plan to compensate for either.  My rule is that if I'm ahead of where I need to be, I don't change anything.  If I'm behind, I either adjust my schedule OR I adjust my focus. 



Finally ... All of this only works if you also have a great mindset.  I maintain what I call the Shark Cage Mindset.  It protects me from all the evil distractions that are out there that are wanting to get in my way and pull me from my goal.  Things like self doubt, negativity, friends who don't get it and just want to play all the time, bad results, etc. 


It starts with a BELIEF that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.  It's true.  Look at the history of the world.  If you don't believe that anything is possible, pick up a book on someone great from history and read their story. 

And it ends with a COMMITMENT to DO YOUR BEST AND FORGET THE REST.  This commitment puts us in the position to simply do our best (Take Action) and forget the rest (Don't Worry About the Results).  Anytime we end up focusing on the results we usually are less productive and things are more stressful.  Anytime we simply focus on the actions and doing what we know to do and doing it to the best of our ability, the results are always better and the process is simply more enjoyable. 


Again ... this stuff only works if you have a great mindset AND you get out there and work.  Nothing worth doing is ever easy.  If you're not willing to get out and get some work done (on your business and on yourself) then this may not be the right place for you.  BUT, just the fact that you're reaching out and looking for help says that you care about improving and you want to do better.  That tells me that YOU have what it takes!!

 - Josh Mueller

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Posted in Mindset & Behavior, Success Strategy & Tips |

A Changed Mind – Fickle or Fruitful?

changing mindWhen I was twelve, I wanted to be a lawyer.  I think I just liked arguing a little more than was healthy, and it seemed lawyers got paid well.


When I was fourteen, I thought many foods were disgusting.  Those included broccoli, onions, bananas, tomatoes, olives, and spinach.  I also thought I knew everything I really needed to know in life.


When I was sixteen, I thought I had a pretty good handle on life.  Work your ass off, stay out of trouble, get a decent job, and find someone to marry and make kids with – that’s the way to live the good life.  Oh, and at that point, I wanted to be an accountant, because that was the only business class I had in high school. 


When I was twenty, after having anthropology, astronomy, philosophy, and literary analysis classes, I really wanted to change my major to something more interesting than marketing (which it was by that point).  But I also wanted to do something practical that would almost guarantee my marketability after college.  The goal is to get a job, after all.  Also, I thought about my fourteen-year-old self and thought, “I can’t believe I thought I knew it all.  I clearly didn’t know it all then, but I’m pretty sure I know everything I need to know now.”


When I was twenty-two, I opened my own business in sales and marketing, and it was successful.  I made a profit, had good people on staff, and got to be my own boss.  I had seriously dated four different guys by that point, any of which would have been good men to marry, but my career came first.  There always came a point in our relationships in which they could see my choices were my choices – not our choices – and they’d get sick of being the second priority.  After opening my business, I relocated it three times in pursuit of bigger territories, and each time, I left a man behind.  I’d date a wonderful guy, pick out a new territory, and let him know he could come with me, if he wanted to.  Is it surprising they didn’t follow?


I was twenty-six when I realized that most of what I always thought I wanted turned out to be what I didn’t want. 



My Initial Blueprint


I previously thought money and status were the main priorities.  My new perspective was that helping people – as many people as I could have a positive impact on – was the way to live my best life.    


I previously thought I didn’t need a man (or anyone else) in my life to be happy.  My new perspective was that connecting with others is the largest provider of fulfillment in life.


I previously thought working hard, even if you don’t like your work, was just part of life, if you wanted to be successful.  My new perspective was that working a job you hate is just throwing your life away, and doing something you love is within your grasp, no matter who you are or what you are passionate about.



My Current Blueprint


Today, I am in a career I love that gives me fulfillment.  I am married to a wonderful man who stuck around while I was still figuring out that relationship / connection priority stuff.  I love broccoli, tomatoes, bananas, and spinach – they are all staples of my diet.  I still don’t like olives, but no one’s saying you’ll change your mind about everything


I don’t feel bad about having a different mindset when I was younger.  Though I don’t share the same values with my twenty-year-old self, that person led me to where I am today.  I’m not saying what I used to believe was wrong – I’m saying it was different.


I don’t have a tattoo, and mostly, it is because when I think of how drastically my life has changed since I was a young adult, how my tastes in nearly everything has transformed, how what is important to me has shifted over the years, I think it is unlikely I could pick something that I’d still be glad I had a decade from now.



Is Change Good or Bad?


It is a natural process for people to grow and change their minds.  With each new experience comes new data for your mind to process, evaluate, and foster opinions about.  Whether it is good or bad is a perspective choice.


Sometimes, I see people being given a hard time for changing their minds.  Maybe they are deemed uncaring if they decide they want something different in a romantic partner than the traits of the one they currently date.    Maybe they are called flakey when they can’t choose a major or have switched it a few times.  Maybe they are called fakes or frauds when they decide to transform themselves, especially when those changes conflict with previously stated values.


The point is… people change.  The world changes.  Technology changes.  Markets change.  The economy changes.  Everything changes!


So if you’ve come to realize you want to make some changes in your life – changes that could improve your level of happiness, fulfillment, success or self-worth – then go for it.  Don’t feel bad that you are leaving the old you behind.  Don’t feel bad if your family or friends don’t understand or if they think you are crazy.  Change is necessary for progress.  Forge ahead.


written by Amiee Mueller. facebook. 

Posted in Mindset & Behavior |

Don’t Be Judgmental; Be Helpful.

Mean JudgeThe elderly gentleman in the rusted, old truck next to my car had thick eyeglasses and a frown decorating his face.  He glanced at me as I left the veterinarian clinic.  Our vehicles were parked next to each other in the shopping center lot.  I put my cat, Spike, in the passenger seat of my car, and as I walked around to get in the driver seat, I heard the old man’s engine make some noise but fail to start.

I had started my car and was ready to pull away but decided to see if I could help.  After all, it was a blistering hot day.  I couldn’t imagine leaving him stranded in an old truck with no AC.

I got out of my car, walked over to him and knocked on his window.  He didn’t respond right away, so I knocked again thinking maybe he didn’t hear me the first time.  He turned and looked at me, then opened his door. 

“Do you need a jump?” I asked.

“Yes.  I think I do,” he said.  “That would be great.”

I maneuvered my car so the batteries were as close as I could get them to each other with the small space I had to work with, pulled out my cables, and gave them to him to hook to his truck battery.  It only took about 20 seconds for his truck to get enough juice to start, and his engine revved to life.

Though the entire process didn’t take very long, it was hot enough that we were both sweating.  Since I had a cat and groceries in the car, I wasted no time bidding him a friendly farewell.  He said thank you more than once as I placed the cables back in my trunk.

With a “you’re welcome,” I turned to get back in my car, and I noticed a gentleman working in one of the stores watching us and smiling.  I smiled back, and as I drove away, a few thoughts ran through my head.

How long would he have sat there, stranded, before asking someone for help? 

He looked at me before I knew he was having trouble, but he didn’t stop me to ask if I had cables.  Maybe I didn’t look like the type of person who would have an emergency car kit in my trunk - prepared for a break down.  It reminds me not to judge people on appearance alone.  I learned that lesson years ago when I was a new sales rep.  You never know who is going to buy and who isn’t.  You should do your best job, treat everyone great, and let the customer decide.  I had many clients surprise me when they bought larger orders than I would have expected based on appearance alone.  I also had clients that appeared to be very well off not buy at all.  A purchase is usually not about money; it’s about the value one places in a product or service, so do a great job and don’t judge prospects.  The elderly man should have just asked me if I had jumper cables.  If I didn’t, he’d have been no worse off.  If I did, he would have found his solution.

Help others, even if when it’s not super convenient for you.

It was not an ideal time for me to be out in the sun on a hot day.  I wasn’t dressed for it, since I had thrown jeans on that morning, which were sticking to me by the end of our rendezvous.  I had groceries in the car that needed to be refrigerated.  My cat, who hates riding in the car, was meowing a storm of protests.  Also, since I hadn’t eaten much yet that day, I was hungry and low on energy.  However, when I heard his truck not turning over, none of that mattered.  If you’ve been stranded in a broken-down vehicle before, you know that it is worse than any of the smaller discomforts I had from not getting home sooner.  Giving up a few minutes of my time, and giving up being dry, was a small price to pay to save an older man from possibly hours of misery.

DOING good makes you FEEL good. 

I know I didn’t do much.  I’m not expecting a medal of valor for giving someone’s dead battery some vigor.  I hesitated to even write about it, because it’s barely noteworthy.   It does remind me, though, how good it feels to help another person.  I left with a smile and a lighter heart, and that is noteworthy.  I didn’t ask his name.  I didn’t give him mine.  He can’t even give me credit when sharing the experience with others, because he doesn’t know who I am.  The only benefit to me is knowing in a world of good and bad, I put a put a grain of sand on the good side of the scales today.   And that is enough. 

Posted in Communication & Interaction, Mindset & Behavior |

Kindness Begets Kindness

Deliberate Acts of Kindness


It’s no surprise that when one person does something nice for another, the recipient is more likely to do something nice for a third person, and so on.   Research has shown that just as acts of aggression toward others can lead to a chain reaction of aggressive behavior in others, so too do acts of generosity lead to more generous behavior in the recipients.  If you want to help mold your college campus, work environment or community into a kinder place, it starts with being the altruistic example.


Will you commit to doing at least one of these acts every day?  If you do, you'll see the impact it has on you and those around you.

Acts of kindness:

  • Say "please" and "thank you" and really mean it.


·      Say "Good morning" to people you cross paths with in the morning.

·      Put a shopping cart back in its holder – even if it wasn’t one you used.

·      Take off your shoes when you enter someone’s home, without being asked.

·      Give out compliments – even to strangers such as the person at the register.

·      Hold open the door for people coming in behind you.

·      When someone lets you in, on the road, wave a thank you to them.

·      Remember your restaurant servers name and say thank you to them.

·      Listen intently when someone speaks to you.  Look at them, not at your phone.

·      When introducing someone, give them a stellar intro – make them feel great.

·      When you arrive at someone’s home, take their newspaper to the door.

·      Roll empty trash cans from the curb to your neighbor’s drive for them.

·      When you arrive at the bank, wait to pull in line for the drive through until you are actually ready, so you don’t hold up the people behind you.

·      When leaving a store, give any coupons you aren’t going to use to someone else entering the store.  Or leave them sitting near the products they are for.

·      Give a child selling lemonade $5 for the cup they are selling for $.50 and take no change.

·      When leaving your hotel room, pile all of the towels in one spot to help the cleaners.

·      When your delivery guy drops off a shipment, offer him a bottle of water.

·      Pay the toll for the driver behind you.

·      Take a minute to direct someone who is lost, even though you're rushing.

·      Write a letter to a child who could use some extra attention. Kids love getting mail.

·      Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor, especially in extreme weather.

·      Give a homeless person a bagged lunch.

·      Say "I love you" to someone you love.

·      Put a coin in an expired meter.

·      Help a mother carry her baby stroller.

·      Each time you get a new item of clothing, give away something old.

·      Take someone's shift as the car-pool parent or the designated driver.

·      Bring your assistant, co-worker, or friend coffee, tea, or a smoothie.

·      Out of the blue, send flowers to someone.

·      When you're on a crowded train or bus, offer your seat to an elderly, disabled or pregnant person.

·      Send someone a hand written note of thanks (or leave it on your table for a server)

·      Send a ‘thinking of you’ card to a friend or family member for no reason.

·      Buy a coffee or water for a person working outside.

·      Cut your neighbor’s lawn when cutting your own.

·      Walk your friend’s dog.

·      Give a compliment about your waiter or waitress to his or her manager.

·      Send someone a small gift anonymously.

·      Stop and help someone replace their flat tire or get a tow.

·      Let someone jump the queue at the bank, grocery store, or coffee shop.

·      Pay for drinks for the next person in line (or few people).

·      Give a huge tip to a service person when they least expect it.

·      Hold the train or elevator door open for someone rushing to get in.

·      Write notes of appreciation at least once a week.

·      Don’t litter!  Pick up others’ littler as you walk by it, and throw it away.

·      Compliment a work or school colleague for their excellence.

·      Recommend one of your customers to another one of your clients that could use their services.

·      Give another driver your parking spot.

·      Let someone in front of you who is trying to switch lanes or turn on to the road.

·      Help an elderly person carry their groceries out.

·      Leave a copy of an interesting book on a train, bus, or in a waiting room.

·      Donate the books or magazines you’ve read to a library or a book resale store.

·      Buy an inspirational book for a friend.

·      Send a thank you note to a person who has helped you in the past.

·      Smile a lot, at everyone.


If you have ideas to add to this list, send us a message or leave a comment.  We’d love to add them.  


When you implement these acts, send us a message or leave a comment on how it impacted that person or how it made you feel.  We’d love to hear your positive stories.



Posted in Lifestyle, Mindset & Behavior |

The Learning Stages

Learning - we all do it from the time we leave the womb to the time we leave this life.  How consistent, how in depth, how often, or even just how we do it, is up to us most of the time.


Early in life, we learn a lot of things quickly – from making sounds to speaking a new language, from rolling over to walking, and from being fed to feeding ourselves.  In fact, when I inquire from parents what their favorite thing about parenting is, I usually get an answer that involves being a witness to their child learning new things.  Of course, at age five, typically, we go to school and begin a thirteen-year journey in which learning becomes our priority or duty each day.


Once we leave school, it is up to us to continue learning new things.  Our personal development often helps determine our career outcomes or professional opportunities.  Jim Rohn once said, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”


Continued learning (much of which is outside of academia) is important to our overall success and fulfillment.  We feel better about our lives when we continue to make progress.  I’ve never heard anyone say they prefer a stagnant or monotonous existence, and though none want that, some get it because of their lack of personal progress.


Kudos to you for continuing to seek out new information.  Since learning can be challenging in some cases, I’ve broken down the learning stages.  This will help you determine where you are within those stages as it pertains to something you are currently learning and it helps to understand that wherever you are in those stages is where you are meant to be.  When you finish a stage, you’ll be ready for the next.  So don’t beat yourself up for not being able to learn as quickly as Neo or Trinity.  Until we develop the technology allowing for new skills to be uploaded to our brains instantly, we’ll have to pass through these learning stages.


Stage 1:  The enthusiastic beginner

Stage 2:  The disillusioned learner

Stage 3:  Conscious competence

Stage 4:  Unconscious competence


In stage one – the enthusiastic beginner – we know we are going to learn something, but we haven’t received the information yet.  We are excited to begin or at least to get the new skill.    This is the stage I was in when I bought Rosetta Stone in the fall knowing I would start the program in the spring.  I happily anticipated my education of a foreign language. 


In stage two – the disillusioned learner – we begin implementing the new information, but it is usually not generating the outcome yet that we were hoping for.  This is the stage that requires the most effort and usually pays the least dividends.  I was clearly in this stage when others would speak to me in the new language and I would struggle to grasp the few words I recognized in their sentences.  It was also apparent when I would try to formulate sentences and they’d be choppy and slow as I searched my brain for words.


Stage two is the hardest stage, so if someone is going to give up, this is when it happens.  This is when you will hear people say, “I tried it but it didn’t work for me” or “It won’t work for me because of _____ circumstance.” You must realize that to master ANYTHING, you have to continue practicing to get through this stage and on to the next.  It’s okay if it doesn’t work the first time.  Successful people either succeed or learn, but they don’t quit.  And failure only truly occurs when you stop trying.  You will make it work as long as you keep working on it.


Sometimes you’ll feel negative emotions when in the early stages of the learning process and it may make you feel like giving up or that the new skill isn’t right for you, but in most cases, those doubts are a natural part of the that process and the part you have to push through.  Eventually, the new skill will be established and those negative emotions will be replaced with either no emotion or more positive emotions.


In stage three – conscious competence – the new skill is working and we are seeing gains in our results, but it takes consciously implementing the new information in order to get those results.  A good example of this is a child who has learned to tie her shoes, but is still using a rhyme to walk herself through it; “Bunny ears, bunny ears, playing by the tree.  Criss-crossed the tree, trying to catch me. Bunny ears, bunny ears jumped into the hole, popped out the other side, beautiful and bold.”


In stage four – unconscious competence – the repetition of the activity in the third stage has transformed it from something you have to think about to something you just do without thinking about it.  We tie our shoes, speak our first language, drive our vehicles, and use our food utensils without having to tell our selves how to do it.  When’s the last time you had to focus on using a fork in order to get the food from plate to mouth?  Chopsticks may still fall under stage three, but you are pretty handy with the silverware.


Once we’ve completed all four stages of the learning process on one particular skill, it’s time to return to stage one with a new subject.  By continuing to learn and move through these stages, we develop ourselves as people, leaders, and good examples to those around us.



Posted in Mindset & Behavior, Success Strategy & Tips |

A Frozen Guy Teaches Us To Hope

Hope is a powerful tool in achievement.

iceman with hope

Corpsicles Unite

Just because Bredo Morstoel is cryogenically frozen doesn’t give the town of Nederland, Colo., the right to hold its Frozen Dead Guy Days festival every year. Morstoel’s grandson, Trygve Bauge of Norway, has asked the town to stop the annual festival, which features coffin races, Grandpa’s Blue Ball, and the Ice Queen Look-alike Contest to commemorate the corpse kept frozen in town. Why? Money, of course. “Since we don’t get any of the proceeds, we have no reason to continue to tolerate such indecent, disrespectful and inappropriate behavior,” Bauge complained. Town officials won’t cancel the festival, though. “He’ll stop the festival over my frozen dead body,” promised Ron Mitchell of the Nederland Chamber of Commerce. (Denver Post) ...Let’s hope that cooler heads will prevail.”  By 2013, the festival was still going strong.

--Used with permission from ThisIsTrue.com.  Visit www.thisistrue.com for more weird but true stories.


Grandpa Bredo resides in a shed on a Colorado hilltop where each month volunteers pack 1600 pounds of dry ice to keep him frozen until the day he’s thawed. 


The above story (by Randy Cassingham) made me chuckle, but more importantly it leads me to believe Grandpa Bredo, his family, and the volunteers that help to keep him at negative 60 degrees are all filled with hope for a better future.  Why else would anyone put in so much effort or expense if not for the perception of a great return.  That hope and a willingness to display it in a unique way may also be at least part of what inspires Nederland’s residents to celebrate. 


When I’m looking for a way to battle any negative emotion I’m feeling (anxiety, frustration, anger, sadness, fear, etc.), I’ve found it helpful to kindle the flame of hope. 


Ways to spark hope in yourself:

·      Read inspirational content such as stories of others who have triumphed over negative or    seemingly impossible circumstances.

·      Watch any of the many awesome TED talks or similar videos.

·      Talk with someone you can count on to be optimistic or encouraging.

·      Recall from your memory the past challenges you’ve overcome.

·      Search for stories of people doing good things that benefit others.


Hope is not to be underestimated.  While spending my childhood in superbly challenging circumstances including poverty, neglect, and a toxic environment both physically and mentally, there were times when all I had was the hope that I would be in a better situation some day.   With that little flame burning away, the possibilities of a better life flickering in the embers, and a tendency to focus on what I wanted rather than what I lacked, I increased the likelihood of a brighter future.


“Hope is a waking dream.”    ― Aristotle


“Hope itself is like a star- not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. ”    ― Charles H. Spurgeon


“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted in Mindset & Behavior, Success Strategy & Tips |

Zapping Self-Doubt

Zapping Self-Doubt


We checked in to our room at a sunny resort in Dominican Republic, thanked our bellman with words and cash, and I kicked off my shoes.  Filled with excitement for the coming week with plans of relaxation, spending time with our friends, and exploring the area, we began to unpack. 

Since I used my computer during travel, it was low on battery, so I pulled it out of the bag and bent down to plug it into the outlet under the desk.  After standing, I attached the cord to the power outlet on the laptop and received a little zap.  “Got my finger in between the two metal pieces,” is what I thought.

I proceeded to move the laptop to the corner of the desk so it would be out of the way, and when I touched the metal laptop case, I received my second shock.  A vibration shot up my arm.  This time, I let out a small shriek as I jumped back.

That got my husband’s attention.  He asked me what I was doing, so I explained the zaps I was receiving.  He walked up, put his hand on my computer, and… nothing.  Then he looked at me funny.

Confused and wondering if I imagined the zaps, I put my hand on the laptop again.  Zaaaap!  It happened again.  And again, he put his hand on it, and… nothing.

It was at that moment I wondered if I was losing it.  Was I going crazy?  Could I be imagining it?  It felt very real.  My mind raced as it argued with itself.  It was experience vs self-doubt – “I’m not crazy.  I know I was shocked.” Vs “it’s not shocking him, so I must be crazy.”

Experience won.  I told myself, “I was shocked.  He wasn’t.  Figure out what the difference is.”  A few seconds of silence passed.  Then a thought zapped into my mind that felt as unexpected as the electricity that passed through my arm.  He is wearing his rubber sandals, whereas I am barefoot.

“Take off your shoes and then touch it,” is what I said to him.  He smiled, kicked off his shoes, and put his hand on my computer.  “Whoa!” he said.  “What the…?”

Turns out, I am not crazy.  There was something strange going on with that outlet.  He unplugged my computer, and we took it across the room to a different outlet.  For the rest of the week, I was cautious when using my laptop, but thankfully received no more shocks. 

The lesson I was reminded of that day was – Self-doubt will creep in at times, and it’s my job to recognize it and fight against it.  Self-doubt only affects me if I let it.  I can use will, focus, and experience to overcome those doubts, as can we all.

Posted in Mindset & Behavior, Success Strategy & Tips |