Stay Motivated By Focusing On Your Customer

Stay Motivated By Focusing On Your Customer

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured

motivatedRoutines have good and bad results. The good is that they provide consistency. The bad is that they can sap your motivation. Doing the same thing over and over can be mind numbing. How can you stay motivated?

One way is to focus on your customer. We all want to know that what we do matters. Remembering that what you do affects and helps people can boost your motivation. Creating a concrete picture of your impact can be self-affirming as well as motivational. Studies have shown that cooks feel more motivated and work harder when they see people eating their food, for example. Even if the results of your work aren’t tangible, thinking about specific names and stories of those who benefit from your efforts can offer a window into the good that you are doing.

Go beyond what you do and look at what effects your work has. Look at what your customer is ultimately getting. Your work allows them to improve their work. That allows them to make a better living and improve their life. Your product keeps your customer safe. Your work alleviates a problem that held your customer back. Whatever it is, the key is to make a direct connection from your work to those who benefit.

To learn how a Modern Observer coach can help you, use the contact form here

Pursue Your Passions

Pursue Your Passions

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

passionWhen I was watching a documentary about burlesque, I was struck by a comment one of the dancers made. She said, “It’s not a hobby, it’s something I’m really passionate about.” My first thought was that a hobby is something you for pleasure, so given that she didn’t make money as a burlesque dancer it was indeed a hobby. My second thought was, “Why would you have a hobby you weren’t passionate about?”

Whether we are talking about an occupation or a hobby, passion is important. In a hobby, passion is why you do it. It’s what keeps you coming back. In your occupation, it can be the difference between a job and a career. A job offers you a paycheck. A career is something you love doing that offers a paycheck. When you’re in a job, you may find it difficult to engage. Here are some things you can do be passionate about what you do:

♦ Find your why: Why do you do what you do? Is it to help a particular group of people. Who are they? Are you trying to improve your customers lives? If it’s just for a paycheck, focus on how that paycheck is improving your life or your families lives.

♦ Think of yourself as an entrepreneur: Think of your employer as your client. Give them the best service you can, but keep an eye out for other clients. A side gig can keep the passion flowing when your day job isn’t fulfilling. Thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur also keeps you from thinking your job is your whole life.

♦ Find a hobby: Knowing that your day job is funding a hobby that you are passionate about is a great way to transfer that passion to work. A hobby also gives you something to look forward to when your job feels overwhelming.

Human Behavior Is Not Data Driven

Human Behavior Is Not Data Driven

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured

In the world of big data, everyone’s information is being collected, analyzed, and acted upon. So if all of this data is being used, why don’t things happen the way they are predicted? The answer comes down to one fact: human behavior is not data driven.

People act and react emotionally. Buying patterns are emotionally driven. People will research and use data to choose what to buy or, more often, to justify their purchases, but the decision of what and when to buy are emotional at their core. To build rapport with your customers, you must connect with them on an emotional level.

Research shows that the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken emotional needs. That means appealing to any of dozens of “emotional motivators” such as a desire to feel a sense of belonging, to succeed in life, or to feel secure.

Decide how you can best connect on an emotional level and put that at the core of every interaction you have with your customer.

You Are In The People Business

You Are In The People Business

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Focus

No matter what your job is, no matter what industry you work in, you must remember one thing: you are in the people business. It is people who will buy from you. It is people that will talk about you. It is people that work with you. It is all about people.

It is easy to get caught up in your product or service. Unless you focus on people, it won’t matter. The best example of this is Google. Google is a tech company. They almost never have contact with their customers (have you ever tried to contact a person at Google?). However, their biggest successes are tools that make things easier for people. Think of the Google home page. You go there for search. All that is there is a search box and a logo. Simple. Now think of their failures. Google Wave, Google+, Google Glasses. They were all unappealing to people. The technology behind each of them was impressive, but they didn’t connect with people. Wave and Google+ were clearly designed by engineers for techies and did not have interfaces to appeal to the general public. Google Glasses users were actively made fun of. These products did not connect with people.

To be truly successful, you have to build relationships and interact with people. Focus on people and the rest will take care of itself.

Why Your Request For Referrals Isn’t Working

Why Your Request For Referrals Isn’t Working

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

Periodically I get a request for referrals from one particular businessperson. The business owner in question emails once in a while and calls every few months or so. While I legitimately have never had a referral to pass on to them, even if one comes up I probably would not give them one. To the best of my knowledge they are very good at what they do. They have sent me several case studies showing how they have helped their customers. Even so, I probably would not refer them. Why I would not refer them is simple. The only time I have heard from them is when they are asking for referrals.

When I give a referral, I am putting my stamp of approval on a business. To do this I need to feel that the person I am referring will be taken care of. I don’t just want to know that the company provides good service, but that they are a good fit. When the only relationship I have with the company is them asking me for referrals I can’t judge if they are a fit.

Before you ask for a referral, you need to create a relationship. Without the relationship, an ask for a referral is just a sales call.

Diversity Is Not The Point

Diversity Is Not The Point

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Innovation

Diversity is a popular topic. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of articles talking about how important it is to have diversity in your organization. Most if not all of them miss the point. The bulk of the conversation has been about the lack of racial or gender diversity in the C-suite or in the tech industry. They talk about the need to provide opportunity to all groups. They fail to talk about why this is important to your business.

The point of diversity is not to be diverse. The point is to have a wider range of ideas and skills. A diverse team brings in different viewpoints. The combination of those viewpoints is where innovation comes from. People of different backgrounds come with different experiences. The total of those experiences are far more than the sum of their parts. You don’t simply want a diverse group, you want that group to share their backgrounds, experiences, and ideas openly. Combining all of that gives the diverse team a leg up on the non-diverse team.

Diversity for diversity’s sake defeats the purpose. You still want the best of the best of any group. The point is the benefits that diversity brings, not diversity itself.

To see how a Modern Observer Group coach can help you share ideas, contact us here.

Get Out Of Your Way

Get Out Of Your Way

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

Like many others this time of year, I attended a high school graduation ceremony. The ceremony had a rocky start. The school didn’t set up enough chairs (despite knowing exactly how many tickets were distributed). As the ceremony progressed teachers kept bringing in chairs. The problem was completely avoidable. Despite weather forecasts calling for rain, the administration wanted to have the ceremony outside. They didn’t set up inside until just before the ceremony started. If they had gotten out of their own way, everything could have gone smoothly.

This is a common problem. We have a preconceived notion of how things are supposed to be. When events don’t match those notions many people fight against how things are instead of adapting to circumstances.  Whether it is business or in our daily lives, an inability to accept that things are not how we want them be holds us back from accomplishing our goals.

We hold ourselves back when we think that things should be a certain way or must be done in one way. Open yourself up to new possibilities. See how things are and how you can move forward. Trying to make the world match your preconceived notions is like banging your head against a brick wall. You’ll be beaten and exhausted before the wall comes down.

To find out how a Modern Observer Group coach can help you get out of your own way, contact us here.

Don’t Let Secondhand Stress Affect Your Mood

Don’t Let Secondhand Stress Affect Your Mood

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

Our brains are hardwired to pick up on and spread others’ emotions. Whether it’s an angry taxi driver, a harried boss, or a disturbing news report just seeing someone look stressed can make us feel anxious too. It’s important to find ways to deal with secondhand stress. Here are some things the Harvard Business Review recommends you try:

  • Change your response. Instead of being frustrated at negative people, try to feel compassion or help that person become more positive.
  • Create positive antibodies to neutralize negativity. If a stressed colleague grimaces at you, return it with a smile. Start a phone call with “It’s great to talk to you” instead of “I’m so busy.”
  • Inoculate yourself. Before going into stressful environments, think of three things you’re grateful for. Reminding yourself that things are going well can be a powerful buffer against stress.
Think Like an Owner

Think Like an Owner

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

post-itThere is a common misconception that entrepreneurship is limited to business owners. This is mainly because people tend to have a limited perspective in their jobs. This can be because we don’t have access to additional information or because we believe that broadening our perspective simply isn’t part of our job. And in some situations, a narrower point of view is appropriate.

Organizations benefit greatly when an entrepreneurial mindset is used throughout the company. Think of the McDonald’s franchisee that invented the Big Mac or the employee that came up with the Chicken McNugget. 3M, and offices around the world, benefited from the invention of Post-It notes. These were entrepreneurs working inside larger corporations.

Leaders have to have a high-level perspective. They must think through an issue from all sides and weigh the needs of various stakeholders. So if you want to become a leader in the future, start thinking like one now. If you were the boss, or even the company’s owner, what kinds of problems and opportunities would you need to consider? Who would you need to seek input from? Thinking like a leader doesn’t mean having all the answers, but it does mean always keeping the bigger picture in mind.

Make Better Decisions By Quieting Your Mind

Make Better Decisions By Quieting Your Mind

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

brainIn today’s world, people are asked to make decisions quickly. There is a difference between acting quickly and acting rashly. One way to prevent a quick decision from having negative consequences is to put some space between the event and the decision.

Putting off your reaction by even one second (though it may not sound like a lot) can save you from making an impulsive, irrational decision. That one second pause is crucial but difficult to achieve when your mind is spinning with all the various scenarios, information, and pressures that go along with daily life. To get the space you need, you need to give your mind a break. Here are some ways to achieve this:

  • Turn off notifications on your phone, tablet, and laptop.
  • Only check your email once every hour (or as often as needed for your job).
  • Stop multitasking, which keeps your mind busy and reactive. Try to maintain focus on a single task.
  • Notice when you find your mind drifting to something else — it’s a sign that your brain wants to multitask. When this happens, mentally shut down the superfluous tasks entering your thoughts and focus on what’s at hand.