Do It Now!

When is the right time to do a great thing? You must create your time.

People become satisfied doing the same thing over and over. The time is now to get out of your comfort zone.

StepsToWinning is about helping you find out about you. It’s about you overcoming the obstacles that are keeping you from moving forward.


#winning #stepstowinning #obstacles #fear #loneliness #overcomers #motivation

Posted in Inspirational, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What to do when your prospect doesn’t call you back

You’ve just had an amazing and potentially very profitable meeting with a prospect.

They have asked for a proposal and if you close this deal it will make your quarter, if not your entire year.

You spend hours refining the proposal. Finally it’s perfect and you send it off. Hopes are high… 

And then you never hear from that prospect again. Help!

1. Schedule a time to continue the conversation

At the end of any meeting or in-depth conversation with a prospect, especially one where your prospect asks for a proposal, set up the next step. If your prospect is serious about wanting the proposal then they should be serious enough to set up a time to talk about it.

2. Leave a message

Call your prospect, but rather than the ubiquitous “I’m just calling to follow up” message, remind your prospect why they were interested in the first place. Your message should focus on the problems or challenges you can solve.

Ask your prospect to call you. Make sure to say your phone number slowly, twice. Make it easy for your prospect to call you back.

3. Send an email along with your voice mail

Your email can reiterate the same message that you left in the voice mail message. Sometimes busy prospects find it easier to respond via email. Ask your prospect to call you or to respond to your message with a good time for you to call them.

4. Block your phone number

Depending on the state in which you live and, of course, your work situation, your phone company may be able to block your phone number from showing up on a prospect’s caller ID.

If not, dial *67 to block your line for any individual call. This way you can call your prospect more frequently and they will be unable to screen your calls out. Try this if your prospect is not responding to the messages you’ve left or the emails you’ve sent.

5. Apply a little pressure

If you were referred by someone (especially a boss), if you’re not hearing back from your prospect, then cc the referrer on one of your last emails. You don’t want to do this too early, but a little pressure can sometimes help motivate a prospect to respond. If you have sent several emails with no response you can try this.

6. Did I do something wrong?

If you do not hear back from your prospect after having left several messages and sending several emails, leave another voice mail and send an email along with it asking if you’ve done something wrong:

“You’d asked me to follow up… I’ve tried to reach you several times, but haven’t heard back from you. Did I do something that offended or upset you?”

This, “Did I do something wrong?” message will sometimes make a very busy prospect respond and tell you what is actually going on.

7. Move on

A prospect that will not respond to you is not a good prospect. Although you do not want to let go too quickly, at some point if the prospect is not responding the best bet is to let go.

Before you let go, however, tell your prospect that you will not be contacting them again for a while:

“I’ve tried to reach you a number of times to continue our conversation about… I haven’t heard back from you so I’m assuming this is not a good time to continue our conversation so I will not be contacting you again (name time frame).”

Some prospects will respond to this message and give you valuable information about their situation. If you do not hear from the prospect you can then choose to contact them again at a future date.

Posted in Failure | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Believe in Yourself!

Believe in Yourself

Trying to succeed in life is difficult.  There’s no sugar coating it.  And as if it isn’t hard enough, it always seems as if the whole world tries to convince you that you’re incapable.

The human mind, as powerful of a machine as it is, is susceptible to negativity.  When you hear it enough, you’ll start to believe it yourself.  Though negative comments and lack of support from others may slow you down, no one will hold you back more than your own insecurities.

As the human mind is easily affected by negativity, it is also affected by positivity.  That’s why self-confidence is so important.  Believing in yourself will keep you going strong despite the negativity in your life.  Believe you can and you’re halfway there!

Posted in Determination | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hey Losers! Kiss Off!

Let me be immediately clear. While I am talking about all losers, I am mostly and primarily talking about the loser within you.  Me too.   There is a loser, within all of us.

I saw this great scene in a movie recently.  An otherwise great person, just always whining and complaining about almost everything. How ‘everything is crap.’ And then, the killer follow-on line just nails it —

“People need to give this destructive voice in their head ‘a name,’ and then tell it — to go kiss off.”  

Well, they didn’t say ‘kiss off,’ but you get the point. This is the LinkedIn-friendly version.

The reality is, we all have these destructive voices going off almost constantly in our heads, in one way or another.  And so….

If I don’t like me, it is hard for me to like you.

If I don’t respect me, it is hard for me to respect you.

If I don’t feel good about me, it is hard for me to feel good about you.

If I don’t love me, I don’t have a clue how to love you.

And here is the big one — if I don’t have a purpose in your life, I’m going to make your life a living hell.

As my friend and Global Dignity co-founder Professor Pekka Himanen once said during a conversation on my book “Love Leadership;” Who are we most afraid of? Answer: we are most afraid of ourselves.

Into this conversation, enter other people.  And this is precisely where, ‘hurt people, begin to hurt people.’

Someone who is already emotionally fragile, is joined (…jumped on) by someone else drawn sadly to the weakness they see.  And then the pile on, of all things negative and harmful to the soul, begins.

These inner voices become really destructive when this new identity actually finds a way to enter our hearts, and then into our soul. This starts what I call the beginning of the death of hope. The beginning of inner cynicism.

Then it actually becomes toxic, because it begins to eat away at our hopes, our dreams, our desires. The positive core of you that you were literally born with and born into.

And when life enters along with other toxic people, it all begins to beat the hope and optimism out of you.  And we end of both cynical, and self-defeating.  The self-hate sets in.  The utter lack, of self-appreciation.

Here is something deep to ponder.  Out of love, we pass down bad habits from generation to generation. We often save our worse behavior, for those we care the most about.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

I walk through my life, consciously oblivious to most things around me. I do this so that I have the energy remaining to focus on what’s real and important in my life. Or to quote my friend and mentor Quincy Jones, “the only thing worse than being alone, is wishing that you were.”  You can do bad, all by yourself.  You don’t need any help doing bad.

A ‘friend’ that dumps on you, is everything but a friend.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

A ‘friend’ that stirs up controversy and drama in your life with others and those that you love, to no positive end, is everything but a friend.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

When someone is standing on your head to elevate themselves, that is everything but love.  Love is the nurturing of one’s own, or another’s spiritual growth.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

Parents are suppose to give love and discipline, in the same breath.  It is not an easy balance, but If even your parents cannot give you the discipline and accountability, without suggesting you are a totally worthless bum (there is a difference between making a mistake, and being one), then they have likewise flunked their parental matriculation exam.

Love without discipline, and discipline without love, are equally worthless.

And yes this applies to bum-bosses on the job.  Those that lead with fear and intimidation, always dumping on everyone around them, may win the battle, but they will lose the war of aspirational growth.  They will only go but so far, and but for so long.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

In this new era, flat organizations that inspire greatness and the aspirational growth of everyone within them, will almost do better than top down organizations that dump on people.

Find the light in your life, starting this week.  It is the place where everything else of value in and for your life lives — too.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

Posted in Greatness, Inspirational | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What did you say ?

Here are some of the ways poor listening skills can put you at a disadvantage in today’s business world.
Here are some of the ways poor listening skills can put you at a disadvantage in today’s business world.

These days, we wear our “busyness” as a badge of honor. We rush through emails, meetings and business lunches — and lose something valuable in the process: the ability to stop and listen. Ironically this ability is the one thing we need for success in the 21st century.

“It used to be that the smartest guy in the room was the one who was constantly talking,” says Professor Ed Hess, author of Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization. “Not anymore. Now, the smartest guy or gal in the room is the one who asks the right questions and then truly listens to what others have to say.”

According to Hess, listening is the most important skill for job success in today’s market. But in an attempt to keep up our frenetic pace, many of us have developed poor listening habits. Here are some of the worst and what you can do about them:

Planning a response while others are still talking

Many of us focus on information that confirms what we already believe. In conversation, we may tend to engage in the three Ds (deny, defend, deflect) in order to protect our egos. We are so busy thinking about ourselves that we can’t really listen to others. “Good listeners are people who actively listen with the goal of truly trying to understand what the other person is saying. Only after understanding and reflecting does a good listener thoughtfully respond.”

Completing other people’s sentences

This can occur out loud or in our heads. Because of the hectic pace of our lives, we rush to finish things as quickly as possible, including others’ thoughts. Recognize that when you do this, you have stopped listening. “We humans prefer to simply confirm what we already think and trying to complete someone’s sentences is one way of doing that. We start to think, “‘Well, I’ve heard this a thousand times before. I know what he’s going to say.’ And then we zone out,” says Hess.


When Hess was in school, he would wave his hand to be called on while the teacher was still talking. Interrupting his teachers in order to be the first to answer was Hess’s way of showing how smart he was. “Of course, we interrupt one another for a lot of reasons, but many of them can be boiled down to our need to show how smart we are. I learned that others would not think less of me if I listened, waited until they were through talking, and reflected on what they said before responding.”

“When you work hard to improve your listening skills, you’ll become a better collaborator — a necessary skill for critical and innovative thinking and being successful in the 21st century,” says Hess. Learning to listen well can give you an important edge over the competition.

Posted in Determination | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Art of Giving – and How It Benefits Your Business

We’ve previously discussed the importance of giving in the context of making referrals, and this article expands on the art of giving and how it benefits your business.

Yes, making referrals to link business owner needs with solution providers is a strong message that you are looking out for others as well as yourself and your business.

Additionally, helping others as often as possible not only serves your contacts well – it also keeps you top-of-mind for them. The key is to continually listen attentively when people talk about themselves.

Discussed are more ways to give in general: ask yourself how you can help a business owner solve problems, share advice if appropriate, and get involved with charities.

Giving more of yourself in all your daily encounters helps you to be remembered as selfless and interested in the needs of others – good traits when it comes time for your business and personal contacts to make their own referrals and share new opportunities about which they hear.

Posted in Inspirational | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Worrying about your Past can lead to Depression

Stuck in a mental rut, constantly rehashing old problems and bad events? It may be leading to depression. Learn how to break the cycle…

The boss makes an upsetting comment about your work and you stew about it constantly. Or perhaps you rehash last month’s breakup obsessively.

Ruminating – a repetitive, passive brooding – can trigger depression, says Yale psychology professor Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D., author of Women Who Think Too Much (Holt Paperbacks) and The Power of Women (Times Books).

“Your mind goes round and round over negative events in the past, problems in the present or bad things you’re worried will happen in the future,” says Nolen-Hoeksema, who pioneered the study of women’s rumination and depression and is considered the go-to expert in the field.

And this inability to release bad thoughts and memories can get you down.

“You rehash these events and analyze them, but you don’t do anything to solve the problems or feel more in control of your situation,” she says.

Women are twice as likely as men to become depressed, and they’re also more prone to rumination.

That’s no coincidence, says Nolen-Hoeksema.

In this exclusive interview, learn why women tend to overthink events, and how to recognize this trait and break free.

How does ruminating lead to depression?
Negative thoughts breed hopelessness, despair, and low motivation and self-esteem.

When you rehearse negative thoughts over and over, they grow even more powerful.

Stresses seem bigger, and you’re more likely to react in an intense, lasting way. If you’re vulnerable to depression, you could end up seriously depressed.

Often, [such] rumination is focused on the past – bad things that have happened or unfortunate situations you wish had gone differently.

Then a woman might start thinking that nothing is going right at work, her co-workers don’t like her and her marriage is falling apart.

How can you tell if you’ve crossed from brooding to depressed?
When you have major depression, you’re down almost all the time or lose interest in almost everything.

You also have other symptoms – changes in sleep or eating habits, tiredness, trouble concentrating, or feelings of worthlessness.

The symptoms are bad enough to interfere with your ability to get along in daily life.

Ruminating makes these symptoms worse.

If you’re only a little down, ruminating may tip you over the edge to more severe depression.

Then problem-solving becomes harder, and the increased depression saps your motivation to try any solution you consider.

Why do more women suffer from depression?
A long list of biological, social and psychological factors may increase women’s chances of becoming depressed.

But you may also be genetically disposed. And dramatic hormonal changes might trigger [an episode].

Is the cause mostly physiological?
Social factors come into play too.

Women tend to have more traumas in their past, and that contributes to a higher depression rate. They also may live with chronically stressful situations [such as job discrimination].

Psychologically, women tend to get wrapped up in relationships and are unable to pull out of unhealthy ones.

Conflict with others is a common trigger.

Why don’t men ruminate the way women do?
Men are generally less prone than women to [getting stuck] in these rumination cycles.

Men spend less time thinking about relationship problems.

When they do, they’re less likely to keep brooding over conflicts with others or how they feel about things.

Instead, they take constructive steps to solve the problem or destructive steps to avoid it.

So should women try to “man up?”
We need to cultivate our unique strengths.

We’re good at understanding people’s feelings. When we’re not mired in rumination, that [can help us] cope with distressing situations.

We can also anticipate the emotional consequences of life choices, which helps us make well-informed decisions.

With problem-solving, we tend to be mentally flexible and focus on getting things done, not just getting our way.

We also know when to ask for help and aren’t afraid to do so.

And we’re able to capitalize on the combined strengths of the people around us, instead of always trying to do everything ourselves.

All in all, a lot can be said for thinking like a woman. The trick is not to get mired in over-thinking that leads nowhere.

Does ruminating play a role in other psychological disorders?
Research has shown that people who ruminate are also at increased risk for eating disorders.

Binge eating may be ways to escape temporarily from rumination.

Let’s say you’re going over a breakup: How could I not have known he was going to leave? If I hadn’t been so blind, things might have turned out differently. Now he has ruined my life.…

Turning to wine or ice cream may briefly quiet these thoughts.

But in the end, they’re only temporary fixes.

The overthinking returns, and now you may have added the complications that accompany an eating disorder.

But isn’t analyzing problems a good thing?
Thinking about a problem to find workable solutions helps.

But people who ruminate don’t do that.

They think over and over about the causes and consequences of their problems without creating solutions.

You might not even realize you’re ruminating.

You might believe you’re trying to understand the deeper meaning of events, gain insight and solve problems.

The tipoff is that nothing gets resolved.

If you’re immobilized by your thoughts, getting more distressed and overwhelmed [with] time, you may be ruminating in an unhealthy way.

Does overthinking hurt relationships?
When people ruminate, relationships are often on their mind.

Yet, ironically, ruminating tends to push people away, because they may not understand why you can’t move on.

If you’re fixated on talking about your mother’s death, at first people may be sympathetic.

But eventually they can get impatient and annoyed if you keep talking about it without coming to terms with the grief.

Some might pull away, others may become derisive. Either way, you lose support, and that leaves you more vulnerable to stress and depression.

How can someone break the rumination cycle?
The first step is to give your brain a rest. Find positive distractions to take your mind off ceaseless brooding.

Lose yourself in a physical activity that demands all your attention, such as tennis, racquetball, mountain-biking or dance class.

Immerse yourself in a hobby, book, movie or videogame. Or play with the kids.

My research shows that distracting people for only 8 minutes can lift mood and break the repetitive thought cycle.

What else?
Next, brainstorm small steps to solve the problem you’ve been ruminating about.

For example, instead of focusing on how unfair it is that you were laid off, think of a small step toward landing a new job, such as taking a workshop to brush up on work skills.

When you’re paralyzed by overthinking, [taking action] isn’t easy. To get moving, pick a day and time to act, and write them in your datebook.

Also, tell a supportive friend of your plans.

If it’s something you can practice, such as a job interview, ask the friend to rehearse with you.

How can you help someone who’s an overthinker?
Talk about it. Say, “I want to be supportive, but I think we’re just going around in circles.”

Then nudge the person to come up with solutions. Ask, “If you could change one small thing, what would it be?”

When should you seek a therapist’s help?
If you’ve tried self-help techniques but still brood incessantly, it might be time to talk to a cognitive-behavioral therapist. He or she can help you identify and change unhealthy thinking patterns.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is also one of the best established treatments for depression. So, as you change your thinking, you may also improve your mood.


Posted in Past | Tagged , , | Leave a comment