Monthly Archives: August 2014

Episode 96: Outside Your Comfort Zone | Niveen Salem, Multi-Level Marketing and former Chevron Executive

Niveen Salem talks about getting outside your comfort zone.Niveen Salem is in the MLM marketing business, so the multilevel marketing business. During the interview she talks about personal development and how important that is to success. You know improving yourself, making yourself better, and she’s going to talk about getting outside your comfort zone and more in the interview today.

Niveen Salem is a former Chevron Executive and a current business owner who is passionate about transforming people’s lifestyles and helping them have control over their destiny. She is now working globally with entrepreneurial business minded people who are motivated to create financial independence and time freedom. She coaches and trains people to create passive income which allows them to build their dream lifestyle and not being traded as a commodity in the corporate world anymore.

Zeb’s Take – Going Outside Your Comfort Zone

I had a great time chatting with Niveen today. I mentioned that I met Niveen at the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce and her and I have become friends. We interact on a regular basis through social media even though we don’t see each other as much as we used to.

One of the things that Niveen really highlighted in the interview today, she talked about the importance of personal development and how that leads towards success. She mentioned that she overcame a lot of obstacles and a lot of self-doubt and she went outside of her comfort zone to accomplish and do things that she really didn’t feel comfortable with in the beginning. Now she is much more seasoned and it has led her down a path of greater prosperity and she feels much more comfortable in her skin. In doing so that has made her much more comfortable in offering value and services to others.

She really spent a strong focus of her skill set doing things that would, one push her out of her comfort zone, and two would also offer the ability to develop herself to become better at the skills she needed to acquire her new clients, her new businesses, her new customers, and then use that in future endeavors that she is going to be on to in the future.

Niveen had a lot of great points and I need to mention that she really did me a favor today. The appointment I had today cancelled and I knew she was doing cool amazing things, so I reached out to her on Facebook and asked her to interview right now. Within a matter of minutes she was with me on the phone and she did a fantastic job. If you haven’t met or connected with Niveen, definitely check her out.

Check our Facebook page let us know what you think of our podcast and let us know what you’d like to hear on The Defining Success Podcast.

Go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Niveen Salem and her Products

Visit NiveenSalem.com.
To connect with Niveen visit Facebook.com/NiveenSalem2

Quotes

  • “The main products that we’re always selling with networking marketing is lifestyle. We’re teaching people how to lead a better life, be healthier with the physical product itself, but live a different lifestyle.”
  • “What I did not anticipate was the stigma that is existing in this industry. Now after being in the industry for a while, after reaching success, and having a team and dealing with very professional people, I understand why. Because a lot of people deal with this business in a very unprofessional way. They are not being real. They are not being sincere about it.”
  • “Personal development is a huge milestone in reaching success in any business.”
  • “Any business that you run, you have to be professional about it otherwise you never succeed. I don’t care what you do.”
  • “In any business you need to look at 5 major key factors of success: the company, the products, the trends, the compensation plan, and the training. If the first 4 are there, but you lacking good training and leadership, you’re not going to do well.”
  • “This business is all about vision. You have to dream big and you have to see the really big vision behind this.”
  • “Hone your skills. Learn the skills, hone them, and be professional. if you are able to do these three things you are in the business for sure.”
  • “If you are thinking in terms of finances — wait, it will happen. But it’s not going to happen without a passion and without growing yourself first.”
  • “I always drive on a daily basis to be consistent, to learn the skills, and to be professional in all my dealings with people around me.”

More from the Interview

Niveen was a corporate executive at Chevron and she loved working there that it was a global company. She made good money, but it took up too much of her time. She wasn’t able to spend enough time with her girls. She had to quit. She decided to start her own eCommerce business in the wedding industry. It was another struggle and she lost a lot of money. After that her friend introduced her to a new business model. She works to transform people’s experiences/people’s lives, she works from home, and she works globally.

At Chevron she was able to work her way up the ranks. Working at a company like that can be a very demanding job. Many days she would go to work at 6 in the morning and get home just before her kids went to bed. She also did not have any luck finding a good nanny. She went through 13 nannies in one year and she says, “It was really hard.”

She couldn’t stay like that for too long, she had to do what she had to do. Family comes first.

Niveen can’t just stay home and not do anything, she’s a business person. When her kids started going to preschool she had more time, especially in the morning. She knew she wanted to work, but she knew she didn’t want a full time job, because she probably would leave it again. She was looking for from home work opportunities. A friend of a friend of her’s ran a baby shower website from home and she thought it was really interesting. She thought she could do the same thing and work in the wedding industry. It took her about 6 months to do all the research, find the wholesales, shippers, learned the ecommerce platform. She did a ton of work just to get the business going. She spent much of her money on her SEO efforts. She outsourced to handle the large workload.

At first she was very sad to close the business, but now she’s happy that she did because it wouldn’t have worked out for her very well. She can just imagine herself right now sitting and taking orders all day long. She struggled with that business very much, she did everything possible to make it work and she couldn’t even break even. After a while she entered the third stage of her life, her current business came into place and she decided to close her wedding business.

A friend of hers introduced her to the networking marketing industry. When she worked at Chevron she lacked time. When she was running her wedding business she had the time but she did not have the money. She spent some time wondering what do people do to leverage time and money. She considered real estate, but it really takes money to buy properties and be able rent them.

She says, “All my thinking was how in the world can I get some passive residual income. That thought kept lingering in my mind but I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t know about networking marketing at the beginning. When my friend introduced me I said no because I thought I’d be selling products and, guess what, I was already selling products.”

6 months later her friend told her to sit down and see how the business end of it works. She told her that she could develop it strategically in more 50 countries, it’s a global business. You can help people transform their lives and their experiences along the way. She learned how to do it, she learned about the steps. She saw the business end of it and she loved the compensation plan. She says, “It’s been a journey of it’s own.”

She works with anti-aging products. Including nutrition, things for energy, weight loss, cutting-edge technology when it comes to anti aging from the inside out. She says, “The main products that we’re always selling with networking marketing is lifestyle. We’re teaching people how to lead a better life, be healthier with the physical product itself, but live a different lifestyle. So this is, really when I look at this business part I would say it’s lifestyle, that’s the product. But the physical product is anti-aging and nutrition.”

There are really good people, incredible good people in this industry. She says, “What I did not anticipate was the stigma that is existing in this industry. Now after being in the industry for a while, after reaching success, and having a team and dealing with very professional people, I understand why. Because a lot of people deal with this business in a very unprofessional way. They are not being real. They are not being sincere about it.”

Her business allowed Niveen to make great relationships and friendships. She says, “Without this business I would not have stepped out of my comfort zone and be there.”

“Personal development is a huge milestone in reaching success in any business.”

“I look at myself years ago. I look at myself now. I was an extremely shy introverted person. I couldn’t really speak to anyone. Now, I go to meetings and chambers and I talk to people on social media and here I am doing a podcast with you. These are part of the personal development successes that I’m achieving on a daily basis.”

Niveen creates videos and puts them out online. She does this because she realizes social media is help people know, like and trust you. In person it’s easier to build that know, like and trust. Online it’s more difficult. Videos will help people get to the point where they know, like and trust you.

“Any business that you run, you have to be professional about it otherwise you never succeed. I don’t care what you do.”

“In any business you need to look at 5 major key factors of success: the company, the products, the trends, the compensation plan, and the training. If the first 4 are there, but you lacking good training and leadership, you’re not going to do well.”

“This business is all about vision. You have to dream big and you have to see the really big vision behind this.”

Niveen says, if you are thinking about your personal gain, then this business is not for you. Of course you are going to gain personally out of it, of course. It’s all about that time and financial freedom. But you have to think about other people this business is about transforming people’s lives and lifestyles and experiences and everything.”

“Hone your skills. Learn the skills, hone them, and be professional. if you are able to do these three things you are in the business for sure.”

She says, being consistent, seeing the vision, learning the skills and being professional to sum it up.

“Success for me is, number one, being very passionate about what you do and growing yourself to the level you want to be. As simple as that. If you are thinking in terms of finances — wait, it will happen. But it’s not going to happen without a passion and without growing yourself first.”

“I always drive on a daily basis to be consistent, to learn the skills, and to be professional in all my dealings with people around me.”

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Episode 95: Delivering the Wow | Corey Poirier, professional speaker, radio show host and author of the Conversations With book series

Corey Poirier Delivering the WowCorey has done so many cool things and he’s interviewed thousands of people. He used to be a professional comedian and now he’s a professional speaker giving speaking engagements to corporations and to people who are looking for a little bit of motivation and inspiration to go out and do cool amazing things. One of the things that Corey brought up in the interview, which I thought was super cool, was he called it ‘delivering the wow’. He made some comments about some organizations that are often delivering the wow and do some things that are super cool that get people talking about them. That’s what I want to focus on at the end of the episode today: working on delivering the wow. Enjoy!

A Canadian Professional Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur and Corporate Customer Service & Sales Training Specialist, Corey Poirier is publisher of Island Business News, author of four acclaimed books in the Conversations With series, creator of three audio programs and the host of a new radio show entitled “Conversations with Passions,” a variety show that features interviews with world-wide leaders such as David Suzuki and Jack Canfield.

Zeb’s Take – Delivering the Wow

Corey had a lot of insights and he’s done a lot of really cool things. Being a stand up comedian in and of itself is probably a pretty difficult task. You have to overcome a lot of hurdles about getting in front of people and putting yourself out there like he did. I know for sure that has led him to do some things that are outside of the box and have pushed him outside of his comfort zone. It’s very cool that now he’s speaking to businesses and organizations about stepping outside of their comfort zones. I’m sure the his speaking engagements are always well received and that he does a great job with those.

One of the things he brought up in the interview today was, he was talking about delivering the wow. I think that’s a cool thing for any business to do. There’s a lot of ways that businesses could go about doing that. I just want to touch on it, because I think it’s so important for a business not just to do what you say you are going to do, but offer something that really offers that wow factor. Make people go Wow, that’s something that’s really nice to do. Businesses need to think about delivering the wow, and how they can do that within their business.

He shared one example from Disneyland. Anywhere in the park, if someone drops an ice cream cone, any employee can go and get them a fresh ice cream free of charge. That’s something that’s pretty cool. That’s delivering the wow. Where most organizations, they’re looking at the bottom line, they say that doesn’t make sense. But that’s something where they are delivering that wow factor which gets people to come back more and more often. Another example would be if a child was waiting to get an autograph from one of the characters but they ran out of time. An employee could go and get that signature for them and deliver it to their hotel or something cool like that. Those are the type of things that really leave a lasting impression with people.

I think in business sometimes people get caught up in, “What do the shareholders want? What is this going to be worth? What is the value of each little thing that we are doing.” But when you do those cool things, those are things that can’t be measured but can lead to amazing success for an organization.

I think about my tutoring business. One of the greatest decisions we ever made was offering our Share Your Passion Scholarship. We just did something that we thought was cool. We offered a scholarship for students who could write an essay that would talk about what they are passion about, why they are passionate about it and how they are using their passion to help others. By doing that we got a lot of word of mouth from people in our community, from counselors in high schools, that just really expanded our business greatly. The real reason why we wanted to do it, we just wanted to do something cool.

I think that if we leave those things for the world; we do cool things for the world, we leave those wows for the world; that one the world is going to be a better place, and two that we will be better served for it.

I had a great time talking to Corey, it looks like we’ll have strong collaboration moving forward. we talked a bit after the interview. I want to leave you with one more thing and that is to go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Corey and his Projects

Visit ConversationsWithPassion.com to find out about his show and hear the show.
Visit CoreyPoirier.com, his speaking related website.
Connect with Corey on social media using links from either of those websites.
Interestingly if you want to find out more about Corey, check out his first music video, Your Jacob on YouTube.

Quotes

  • “No matter where you are at in today’s global world you can be highly successful and you don’t have to leave the place that you love to do it.”
  • “We’re in an information heavy/wisdom light world, so it means ciphering through the information so you can get to the knowledge that matters.”
  • “Super achievers realize the importance of and know how to be absolutely all in.”
  • “These high achievers are living their purpose and living with passion.”
  • “They don’t necessarily love everything they do, but everything that they do is for a bigger purpose, and they are doing it passionately because they are passionate people and where that started is because they found their passion and that is how they are living their life.”
  • “I made my business fit into my life rather than the other way around. To me success is being able to know everyday that I made a difference, but at the same time, I made a difference doing what I love.”
  • “I believe that I’ve impacted a lot of lives and I believe what I am doing is worthy. And I actually really like me.”
  • “I’m trying to be awesome everyday.”

More from the Interview

Corey has kind of a neat starting point, different from the rest of our guests. He started his journey as a stand up comedian. It’s a strange entry point for entering the speaking world. He feels that stand up comedy prepared him well for his career. He really does a lot of storytelling, even the message he shares through the written word.

He spends most of his time as a professional speaker. He has companies bring him in to do motivation talks, educational talks, all that kind of stuff. They bring me in to share a powerful message with their attendees, or staff members, their association. Those messages can be anything from how to find your passion in life to what are the common traits of super achievers, to how do people define success and how can you make that work in your life. He also has a radio show, and a newspaper and other areas where he shares those messages.

One of his speaking engagement topics is Standing Ovations from Every Customer. He actually turned the speech into a book a couple years ago. It’s a fictional tale of a stand up comic teaching a business person how to get standing ovations in their customer service role or the customer service experience that they create.

There are 4 steps to get a standing ovation from every customer. They sound basic on the service, but they are not as basic as they sound to put them in play.
1. How do you make it about your customer?
2. Involving the customer.
3. Being in the moment.
4. Delivering the wow.

One of the little things that you could do that are worth their weight in gold that in some cases may not cost a thing, that make the person go, “Wow, I never saw that coming.” It’s the thing they didn’t even know they need yet and you’ve given it to them.

Companies that are delivering the wow regularly are companies like Apple and Disney. Apple, solving problems with your phone that you didn’t even know you had in the past. Disney, in their training they teach employees to recognize that if visitors are wearing jewelry brought from Disney to tell them, “Welcome back to Disney.” That’s something Corey heard from a trainer who does customer service and training sessions at Disney.

At Disney if a child drops an ice cream cone anywhere on the Disney grounds any employee is empowered to get them a new ice cream cone. Or if they waited for an autograph from Pluto but they were too late. An employee is empowered to get that autograph for them and leave it for them in their room if they are staying at a Disneyland Hotel. All those things are them delivering the wow.

Another one of his speeches is Atlantic Canada Matters (Inspirational). It’s a bit more geographically and comes from one of his projects called Conversations With. They put out 5 books in a series where they profiled high achievers in different regions of Atlantic Canada. It’s about how you don’t have to move away to be successful. These interviews prove that that’s not the case. They demonstrate that you don’t have to move away from this little place to actually make an impact.

It can be customized to any region or any company or any place, because really at the center of the talk itself is the idea that no matter where you are at in today’s global world you can be highly successful and you don’t have to leave the place that you love to do it.

“No matter where you are at in today’s global world you can be highly successful and you don’t have to leave the place that you love to do it.”

One of Corey’s most popular sessions these days is what he calls, Signs of Super Achievement. He’s interviewed over 2,500 people at a high achievement level. So he’s been able to do a sort of research project. He’s deciphered the things that they’re doing differently that allows them to stand out. The talk is revealing those strategies. One of those things is that they are willing to expand their comfort zone, so they can continue to step outside and grow their comfort zone over and over so they can become the best version of themselves.

Some of the other things that super achievers do is that they are lifelong learners, they realize the importance of and know how to be absolutely all in, and the number one trait is that they are living their purpose and living with passion.

“We’re in an information heavy wisdom light world, so it means ciphering through the information so you can get to the knowledge that matters.”

“Super achievers realize the importance of and know how to be absolutely all in.”

“These high achievers are living their purpose and living with passion.”

“They don’t necessarily love everything they do, but everything that they do is for a bigger purpose, and they are doing it passionately because they are passionate people and where that started is because they found their passion and that is how they are living their life.”

Corey says, for these three traits the person doesn’t have to be born in any certain area in the world, doesn’t have to come from any unique background, there’s no stigmas or anything associated with achieving these three. Anybody from any point in their life can start today and bring these three things in their life.

Corey shares a story that he likes to think of when he’s having a bad day. There was a girl who had seen him on tv when she was younger and she remembered him. Years later when she found out Corey would be speaking nearby she made sure to attend. A while afterwards she contacted him and told him that the talk he gave was the kick in the butt she needed. She decided to go back to school, from there she got a job and at the time she talked to him she was the manager of a few car rental locations. She told him that she never really thought a future like that was possible for her, but that kick in the butt was just what she needed to get her life going.

Corey has learned a lot from his failures, which make them worthwhile. One failure that really affected his life was from his very first stand up show. He was told that he would be performing on stage that night and he was not prepared. He decided to face fear head on so out of a few comics he stood up and went first. The first thing he did was tell the best joke he had ever told, it was met with dead silence. He told his second best joke and got the same response. The organizer of the show motioned him to the corner of stage and said, “You idiot, you have to wait until I turn the mic on.”

Corey took lessons away from that on so many levels. Including that sometimes in business we’re ready to share a message, but we haven’t turned our mic on yet.

Right now he is very excited about a compilation book project he’s working on. It’s called share your message with the world. It is Corey and 26 other authors, they are each sharing a story or message that in some ways changed their life. Corey’s chapter is about living YOUR bucket list. Rather than live society’s bucket list, do all the things that society wants you to do. Rip that bucket list apart and make sure you do all the things that you want to do. Dont try to live someone else’s bucket list. Corey is excited about the project and all the passionate people involved.

The most funny interview Corey had was with Robin Sharma, author of 11 books including The Leader Who Had No Title and the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. When the interview was scheduled he got a horrible toothache, but they had already rescheduled. In the interview he was trying to ask short questions and was sipping lots of water to soothe his toothache. Then he had to go to the bathroom pretty much the whole time. At the end it came out alright, but there was a lot of obstacles for him, looking back on it now he remembers how funny it was.

When he first started interviewing people he made a list of 100 people that he would want to interview. His friends who saw his list told him he’d be lucky to interview 10 of the people on the list. Now he’s interviewed 93 of those people. Including his interview with Jack Canfield. The day before his interview Jack was on Larry King Live and the day after he was on the Oprah Network. By sharing the benefits of his show he was able to get more interviews.

“I made my business fit into my life rather than the other way around. To me success is being able to know everyday that I made a difference, but at the same time, I made a difference doing what I love.”

“I believe that I’ve impacted a lot of lives and I believe what I am doing is worthy. And I actually really like me.”

“I’m trying to be awesome everyday.”

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Episode 94: Don’t Dwell on the Past | James Maioho, Author of Winners Give Up!

James Maioho Tells Us Successful People Don't Dwell on the PastJames Maioho is the author of Winners Give Up! which is a little play on words there. I think most people would stay that winners don’t give up, but in this case it’s giving up the baggage or things that you are holding on to that are holding you back from achieving the things you really want in life.

James Maioho is the author of Winners Give Up! Inspirational insights into the habits of accomplishing your personal goals. The book was a labor of hope and commitment to doing the things necessary to climb back from the abyss. It is the fulfillment of an inner need to inspire others who also want to be “the best possible version of themselves.”

Zeb’s Take – Don’t Dwell on the Past

It was great talking with James about his book and some of the philosophies that he has on life. Actually he and I share a similar path in that we both experienced this kind of traumatic period in our lives where we were in a really interesting place. I kinda described it as I was kind of lost I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I’m not sure if he described it in the same way but it was similar circumstances. So I can definitely relate to what he was going through and how he worked to overcome that. The way he worked to overcome that was by providing value and helping other people. That’s exactly what I try to do as well.

One of the things that he talked about in the interview and what he wrote his book on, Winners Give Up. Which is a little bit counterintuitive but I do understand exactly what he’s trying to get across there. Which is that the most successful people learn to let go of the past. They learn to let go of that baggage and look forward and take action in the present so they can go on to achieve things in the future. They don’t look forward to the future. They don’t spend time dwelling on the past. They live in the present, planning for the future, and taking action on things in the present so that it impacts the future. So that it can be the future they want.

Sports is a great analogy for anything in life. One of the things I’ve noticed in the sports world, is that failure is constant in sports. In baseball for example, even from one at bat to the next. You can hit a homerun in one at bat and strike out at the next one. But if you dwell on the strikeouts you’re not doing yourself any favors. You’re not planning for the future, you’re not getting better you’re just dwelling on what happened in the past and that’s a strategy designed for failure.

I would like to encourage all of you to take a moment to think of those things that are holding you back. Those things that you are dwelling on that aren’t serving you for your current and they’re not serving you for your future and let those things go. It really does no good for anyone.

I can remember specifically during that dark time in my life, literally, I would just sit there and I would kind of obsess over the fact of how I was wronged and things were going against me. Once I realized that that wasn’t doing me any good and I took steps towards something that was going to make a positive impact and have a difference my life opened up and became so much better. I’d encourage all of you if you are struggling, or it’s a tough time in your life, or you’re not sure where to go take some steps to do something that’s going to impact your future for the better by helping other people. I think that’s a great step to take and you can just start going from there.

Thanks for listening! Sign up for our newsletter! A monthly email that shares about our guests our interviews and also little tid bits or information about that stuff that I’m up to, and maybe even some things that you can take action on. Now I want to encourage all of you to go out there and find your success.

Find Out more about James Maioho and the book Winners Give Up

Visit WinnersGiveUp.com or to bouce business ideas or things off James go to MadkoGroup.com. He says he’ll answer any questions for the people that care to contact him. If he has time he’s happy to do it.

Winners Give Up! by James Maioho

Quotes

  • “I had to do something positive. I had to try to do one thing, take one step forward in a positive direction to make my time worthwhile instead of wallowing in a pool self pity.”
  • “If you want to be a writer you have to write in a manner that is about something, one that you have passion about, two that you have some sort of knowledge and believe that you can be of value to other people with really no expectation of any sort of fiscal return or anything. That’s the mindset I would have going into it.”
  • “My biggest mistake has occurred when I didn’t do the preparation and the work that I needed to do and had the wrong attitude in pursuing my goals.”
  • “One, find out what your heart of hearts desires, what your true passion is and whatever that is pursue that with relentless vigor regardless of what anybody else thinks about how you’re doing it and what you are doing. Do everything, every action that you take, every breath that you make, try to do it for the benefit of somebody else. Those are the two things.”
  • “My drive right now is just to try to share whatever or little experience that I have in a way that benefits somebody else, if they’re hurting, or if they want to get from point A to point B, or things aren’t working for them or whatever the case may be.”
  • “Everybody has to be brave enough to define their own success on their own terms.”
  • “You have to define success in some sort of way that incorporates the happiness of yourself and the happiness of others.”
  • “You can’t feel bad about dropping your bad baggage whether it be thought processes, guilt resentment, the way you think in business situations, putting other people first, negative people, negative family members, any of those things. All of that stuff has to go if you want to get to whatever your goal is. You really have to dig deep and be honest with yourself to define your own success.”

More from the Interview

James says his career path is not linear. He’s had several different careers or different components to my career. He first went to school in Michigan on a music scholarship he wanted to be a musician. He ended up getting his degree at a school in California. When he was sitting in a studio just about to get his degree. He had a conversation with a guy who was a pretty successful studio musician. That guy said that he didn’t make any money, so if you can do something else, you should do something else.

James took that, went back to Michigan and got his business degree. He was selling electronics, clothing, he ran a tire store while he was going through school, he sold chimney sweeps. He went to work selling only to high asset high value clients, bonds. He got all his SCC licenses and started learning the business. He says, “Except when you are 23 or 24 years old and green as can be. In that world, in that market, nobody is going to give you $100,000 because you don’t know what you are doing. Even if you know all the ratios, all the numbers, all the charts, and got those things memorized backwards and forwards, you don’t have any experience or real credibility.”

Eventually he learned local manufacture and at construction, he started working with Caterpillar and learned how to do territory management, client based selling, large asset value setting. Then he migrated out of that went into a family business, his ex wife’s family’s business. He got the opportunity to learn about fabric manufacturing, importing, direct marketing. This was a company with very large house file list management, a large call center, lots of fulfillment. He got all kinds of experience with direct marketing, a completely different type of selling than just territory management. All kinds of marketing to support it.

From there James went to work for a private consulting company out of Chicago and was a turnaround consultant. He would take troubled businesses and teach management skills, inventory skills, the business of running a business really. “You walk into a business and you have to shift the paradigm of thinking of an organization, because if it’s struggling, it’s struggling for a reason. Normally the reason that it’s struggling is because there’s bad decisions being made.”

With that job, he had young children, but for work he was on a plane 5 days a week. He said it was a fascinating job and he had a lot of success.

That brought him up to the point when he started writing, doing articles, and putting out the book and those things.

During his path there was a point in time when James’s decision making was poor in his personal life and professional life. He was unemployed. He was travelling back and forth to see his kids. For a time he says, “I could not do one thing right for a certain window of time in his life.”

His assets had evaporated, the separation from his ex-wife was unpleasant, it was a bad time personally — financially, professionally and emotionally. He moved back to his dad’s old family farm and in Michigan the job market was terrible. He couldn’t even get a job at McDonald’s. He’s convinced it was partly because of his attitude at the time. “My thinking and everything was so negative. Almost like an abysmal downward spiral. I had to do something positive. I had to try to do one thing, take one step forward in a positive direction to make my time worthwhile instead of wallowing in a pool self pity. So I started writing the book, and the first few chapters, the first little bit of it, th idea of it was just like pulling teeth. But once I started going I started to have a paradigm shift of my own. Once I started accepting some of the things that were attributable to me and getting a better healthier, more positive constructive attitude going and it just starting to come out. Things started eventually getting better little by little and then all of a sudden, some period of time later, the flood gates just opened. But it took more than just mechanical things, it took a lot of correcting in my personal thinking to get that accomplished.”
His book, Winners Give Up! is a play on words. When you think of winning generally what comes to mind is that winners do whatever it takes to win. You never give up. You never surrender. But Winners Give Up! is more about giving up the baggage and the negative thinking, the negative habits, the negative processes that you’ve burdened yourself with in order to get from point A to point B on your journey towards success.

It’s more about winning through shedding yourself of all these other things. It’s really an attempt to have a paradigm shift towards the positive. Everybody is not the same. There’s lots of different areas where we are hung up with a negative paradigm where we haven’t accepted responsibility for a certain situation. Where we’re blaming someone else in our life for some negative situation.

On writing the the book he says, “It really started my path towards getting my personal thinking and my energy and my habits corrected. I had a lot of personal baggage I carried around, a lot of resentmen,. I carried around a lot of bad paradigm in my business habits, I had a lot of unhealthy eating habits, unhealthy lifestyle habits, unhealthy substance habits. All of these things were able to finally be knocked off after I was serious and made the commitment to doing this. This first book was really a cathartic experience for me. It was really just about trying to reflect on making my personal situation better. Ever since everyday has been better than yesterday for me.”

James is coming out with another book called I am (Not) a Salesman. He says that book is trying to shift the paradigm of the sales process. He has a lot of experience with different ways to go about the sales process. “Absolutely a clients-based needs-base model. Nothing is more important than uncovering what the true needs of your client are.”

“If you want to be a writer you have to write in a manner that is about something, one that you have passion about, two that you have some sort of knowledge and believe that you can be of value to other people with really no expectation of any sort of fiscal return or anything. That’s the mindset I would have going into it.”

Writing is not how James makes a livin. He works at an environmental services firm, construction services, I get to act on it in a consulting business on that. That allows him to be involved in a lot of chamber groups, minority support groups, other things in the area and that gives him freedom to do his own consulting business. The bases are there for everything, once his family focus is shifted and his children grow older then he may migrate and do this other full time.

James say the biggest mistake he’s made is being unprepared. A sub to that is being overconfident and thinking that you are entitled to the business without putting in the work. “My biggest mistake has occurred when I didn’t do the preparation and the work that I needed to do and had the wrong attitude in pursuing my goals.”

“One, find out what your heart of hearts desires, what your true passion is and whatever that is pursue that with relentless vigor regardless of what anybody else thinks about how you’re doing it and what you are doing. Do everything, every action that you take, every breath that you make, try to do it for the benefit of somebody else. Those are the two things.”

“My drive right now is just to try to share whatever or little experience that I have in a way that benefits somebody else, if they’re hurting, or if they want to get from point A to point B, or things aren’t working for them or whatever the case may be.”

“Everybody has to be brave enough to define their own success on their own terms.”

“Right now my definition of being successful is just being happy and being peaceful.”

“You have to define success in some sort of way that incorporates the happiness of yourself and the happiness of others.”

“You can’t feel bad about dropping your bad baggage whether it be thought processes, guilt resentment, the way you think in business situations, putting other people first, negative people, negative family members, any of those things. All of that stuff has to go if you want to get to whatever your goal is. You really have to dig deep and be honest with yourself to define your own success.”

He says that right now every day is better than the day before.

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Episode 93: Networking and Follow Up | Mark Sieverkropp Co-Host of Happen To Your Career Podcast and Author of Project: Success

Networking and Follow Up with Mark SieverkroppMark Sieverkropp is a good friend of mine. We’ve been interacting on Twitter and social media. We’ve had a blast getting to know each other. One of the things I really like about Mark is his ability for networking and follow up with people, and being proactive about his follow up strategies. I think a lot of people miss the mark in their networking or when they are meeting other people because they don’t do appropriate follow up. Mark is going to talk to us through some good ways that we can put networking and follow up into our procedures and make sure we are building on those connections we’ve made either through social media, the people we meet at networking events, or out and about. It’s a great interview, enjoy!

Mark Sieverkropp is a Podcaster, blogger, author, entrepreneur, connector, leader, consultant and speaker. He is the author of Project: Success, which climbed to #3 in the Self-Help category in the Amazon Kindle Store. He is also co-host of the Happen To Your Career Podcast, which was a New & Noteworthy Podcast in the Career section of iTunes. Mark is passionate about connecting with others, finding ways to add value to them and helping other people do the same.

Zeb’s Take, Networking and Follow up

It was a blast today talking with Mark. He’s a super cool guy and he is someone that I feel I share a lot in common with. He’s out there doing cool good things, he’s excited about helping people find their careers and doing things that they love. He’s just doing good work networking with people and getting people involved with different projects. I really like the concept of his book, Project: Success, where we’re taking on projects that lead us down this path of success. I totally agree with and foresee the future being that way as well for a lot of us, especially for those you listening to the podcast today.

One of the things that Mark brought up that I wanted to touch on is his ability to follow up and the importance of following up with people. I think a lot of people who do networking and use social media don’t properly use follow up to achieve goals that they are trying to accomplish. Networking and follow up go together and they don’t follow up in the appropriate manner.

One of the cool things, Mark and I had a conversation via Skype. We chatted for about half an hour, just a get to know you — like having coffee, but it was over Skype because we live in different parts of the country. We were networking and follow up: Mark, he got my work mailing address from my website and sent me a nice little thank you card. That touch added familiarity between him and myself.

When I started my business I did that with every single person that I encountered through the business. I sent them thank you cards and as my business grew and I reached out to more people it’s become more and more difficult to send cards to everyone I interact with. To be honest, sometimes I’ve neglected that. But, I think that’s a really cool way to follow up and connect with people; send a handwritten thank you card that talks a little bit about the conversation, says thanks for whatever it is that you should be thankful for, and that’s a nice little touch.

There’s also other things you can do for successful networking and follow up that make sense. One of the things is setting up a procedure for networking and follow up and Mark talked about that. If you don’t have one, if you don’t have a way to follow up with people regularly and consistently. It’s something that you really need to do.

When I first started my business it was very easy to follow up with people because I didn’t have that large of a network. I didn’t have to reach out to that many people. Now, as my business has grown, I have found more and more that I’m neglecting that responsibility of following up with people that I meet in different scenarios. I know that it is hurting my business. If I were to set up these systems in place, like Mark mentioned that Boomerang App that allows you to send follow up emails at a later date — that sounds like a great tool to use. Or just setting up reminders, some way for you to set up reminders to yourself, that you need to contact these people, that’s also a great idea.

Now, go out there and find your success.

Find out more about Mark Sieverkropp and his Networking and Follow Up

Visit HappenToYourCareer.com. His blog is Sieverkropp.com. One of the greatest places to get a hold of Mark is on Twitter @Skropp2. He loves interacting and connecting with people. You can also email him at Mark@Sieverkropp.com.

Mark Sieverkropp

Quotes

  • “Being in an industry where I get to help people, encourage them, and provide them with direction has really been one of the most fun things I have ever done in my life and I don’t ever see it stopping.”
  • “The name of the game is really is just meeting people and building relationships and adding value. Once you do that people are willing to reciprocate and help you out.”
  • “Sitting in your PJs all day surfing careerbuilder.com just isn’t going to cut it any more as far as getting a job and doing the work you love. We really take that approach that you have to be proactive.”
  • “We all like to hear our own names, we all like to be mentioned and recognized. When you find a way to do that with people that uplifts them, encourages them and helps them with what they’re interested in; it’s one of the biggest compliments you can give.”
  • “Everybody wants to feel like they matter. When you give people the compliment of listening to them and talking about what they want to talk about, you’ve gone a long ways to build a great relationship with someone.”
  • “If you do nothing else in networking you need to find a way to follow up.”

More From the Interview

By day Mark is a commercial underwriter, not very exciting, but the stuff he is really excited about is his career coaching. Through a friend of a friend he met Scott Barlow the co-founder of Happen To Your Career. He says, we met for lunch one day talked about the things he was doing and one thing led to another… we started Happen to your career, we started our podcast, started all the things we’re doing now.

Happen To Your Career PodcastMark found that he really enjoys helping people. There’s nothing better than getting an email that show how you helped someone make a decision about where to go with their career, how they can get out of a job they don’t like, or how they aced an interview because we helped them with something. He says, “It’s something that you just never get over, hearing those types of stories.”
“Being in an industry where I get to help people, encourage them, and provide them with direction has really been one of the most fun things I have ever done in my life and I don’t ever see it stopping.”

At Happen To Your Career our goal is to take people from where they are at and move them to work that they love. He says, something like 70 – 90% of people don’t like the job they are in, that’s a really sad statistic. We believe you can like what you are doing. That’s something people are starting to realize more and more with the way our society is.

“Our goal is to help people to find what they like to do and then make a plan to move to that.”

That’s what we’re focusing on doing and focusing on the encouragement and building a community of people that can help each other and encourage each other to move to that goal.

Project: Success came about from an IndieGoGo campaign Mark started with Scott Barlow. One of the perks offered was a book by Scott. Mark mentioned that he had always wanted to write a book and Scott suggested he make it one of the perks. So he did, they basically pre-sold the book, once people donated to the campaign and chose that perk he had to write it.

The book comes from an idea Mark got from Richie Norton and his book The Power of Starting Something Stupid. It’s the idea of projects. Rather than starting something and planning on doing it forever you do a project with a beginning date and an end date, you do something for a certain amount of time and at the end you step back and look at it and decide if you want to continue working on it or not. It gets you over a lot of challenges and those roadblocks that you set up for yourself. He says, “It really helps you to get done things that you wouldn’t get done otherwise.”

“Everyone has something they’ve always wanted to do and they’ve never done it. Why don’t they do it? They don’t have the time, they don’t have the money, or they don’t know how to get started. Well, if you start a project you can either do the whole thing or you can learn skills.”

“The name of the game is really is just meeting people and building relationships and adding value. Once you do that people are willing to reciprocate and help you out.”

The idea behind the title Happen To Your Career is that you should happen to your career, your career shouldn’t happen to you: “Sitting in your PJs all day surfing careerbuilder.com just isn’t going to cut it any more as far as getting a job and doing the work you love. We really take that approach that you have to be proactive.”

The foolproof technique to complimenting others, that Mark has found, is name dropping. He’s not talking about mentioned that you work out at the same gym at The Rock. What he means is dropping their name, recommend them in a public way. He says, “We all like to hear our own names, we all like to be mentioned and recognized. When you find a way to do that with people that uplifts them, encourages them and helps them with what they’re interested in; it’s one of the biggest compliments you can give to people.”

The ‘Secret Sauce’ to starting a conversation (on the blog, written by Nico Johannson). The most important thing you can do when talking to somebody is to listen. The secret sauce isn’t that secret at all.

“Everybody wants to feel like they matter. When you give people the compliment of listening to them and talking about what they want to talk about, you’ve gone a long ways to build a great relationship with someone.”

Mark challenges all our listeners for one day to pay attention to the conversations you have and see how many times you are interrupted when you are talking. It’s so hard to get out of the habit, and Mark admits he does it too. Many people don’t realize that they do it.

“If you do nothing else in networking you need to find a way to follow up.”

Mark says, you have to take the initiative to make sure that your name stays in front of that person and once you do that for a while you’ve built that relationship. It really does take quite a bit of effort when you first start out.

Three tips for making your follow-ups flawless
1. Build the follow up in the initial conversation, say something like, I’ll email you later this week, or let’s stay in touch. It let’s them know your intention and it holds you accountable. It makes it easier, keeps the mental roadblocks out of the way.
2. There’s a tool called Boomerang that can help you follow up when you say you will follow up. It delays your sending of the email. If you wanted to make sure you followed up with someone on Monday, but think you might forget you can write the email now and schedule when it sends.
3. Have a process in place to do it. Have 5-10 minutes every single day that you do your follow-ups, or a certain time every week, whatever works for you. Make a plan to follow up.

“Success really revolves and resonates around choices and freedom.”

Freebies:

Because he enjoyed being on the Defining Success Podcast so much, Mark Sieverkropp is offering his book, “Start a Conversation with Anyone, Anywhere: 6 Techniques to Become a Better Conversationalist,” for free.

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