Monday, June 29, 2015

Where on Earth Did This Crazy Thought Come From!

     You know what I’m talking about – those seemingly random and bizarre thoughts that pop into our minds. Without warning, they appear and we suddenly find ourselves thinking thoughts that have nothing to do with what we were just thinking about. When those thoughts are funny or frivolous, we don’t pay much attention to them. But when they are truly intrusive, unfriendly, disturbing, self-deprecating, or mean, it can be a struggle to get them out of our mind. 

     We try not to linger on them because we don’t like the way they make us feel, and we certainly don’t welcome them, but there is this part of us that has a tendency to believe there must be something true within those thoughts if our brain came up with them. 

Don’t believe it. 

     Here’s the truth about the thoughts our brains generate. Brains are very much like other parts of our body. In the same way that hearts beat, lungs breathe, and eyes blink, our brains think. That’s what brains are designed to do. Their sole job—24/7—is to think, and they never stop. It does its job even when we aren’t consciously providing it with input. In fact, it’s still working even when we are asleep, except that now our physical senses are providing minimal input so our brains are free to make all kinds of wild and weird connections. Dream analysis is probably one of the reasons we believe there must be a grain of truth about ourselves, or our lives, in everything we think and dream.

Don’t believe it.

     The one thing our brains aren't capable of doing while they are generating thoughts is judging them. Thoughts are “logically” constructed (we’ll skip the details of how this happens or else this post would be closer to 10000 words) and that’s why they seem to make perfect sense. Our brain is trying to produce thoughts and ideas that fit us. They all present a potentiality—sometimes wonderful potentialities—but it stops there. If brains were capable of judging thoughts, we wouldn’t have bizarre beliefs stuck deep within our unconscious minds. As soon as we acknowledge a thought though, we are capable of judging it. We have the ability to make conscious decisions about the validity and viability of those thoughts. We have absolute power over them. We are the masters of our thoughts. 

     Here are two things you can do when unwelcome or disruptive thoughts wiggle their way into your mind.

    1.  Say to yourself, “Stop! This is just a thought. Just because my brain is creative enough to think it up doesn’t mean there’s any truth or value in it. I don’t have to think this if I don’t want to.”

   2.  Consciously change the subject to something you’d rather be thinking about, something positive. Your brain will think about anything you decide to start thinking about. And joyfully, it can only think one thought at a time. If you don’t like the thoughts that are running around the inside of your head at any given moment, just start focusing your attention on something different. If your brain wonders back, acknowledge it, and start thinking about something better again.

     It’s a very empowering truth to realize that we are each the master of our own thoughts. Once this truth is embraced, it really can change the course of your life. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rip Van Winkle Selling

As the story goes, Rip Van Winkle wanders up to the mountains to get away from both his nagging wife and his responsibilities. He meets a man struggling with a keg and helps him reach his destination where a group of men dressed in antiquated Dutch garb are playing nine-pins. After imbibing in the contents of the keg, Rip lies down to take a nap, his musket and dog both at his side. When he wakes up, it’s to find his musket rusted and rotting, and his dog gone.
He travels back to town, but doesn’t recognize anybody. He finds his house in ruins, learns that his wife has passed away, his dog has been long dead, and no one’s seen or heard from him in 20 years. When he gets into trouble for announcing his allegiance to King George III, he discovers that he slept through the entire American Revolution!
This story reminds me of some of the stories I’ve heard from sales people over the years. They start by shaking their heads and complaining that selling isn't what it used to be. As they continue, their frustration with management starts coming through. I nod my head because I know what they’re going to say. It doesn’t matter which department their complaining about, it still boils down to the same thing—management expecting superior results from antiquated tools. What can you do you?

If the Problem is that marketing is relying too heavily on brand name recognition as their go-to strategy for getting customers and prospects to say yes…

Your Solution may be two-fold. You might not be in a position to get management to change their strategies, but you can still bring great resource—like Hubspot—to their attention. If they’re slow to embrace digital opportunities, don’t let their limits become your limits. Improve your position by figuring out where your tech and web savvy millennial customers are hanging out. Connect with them where they are, and through resources like LinkedIn, and let that be your edge for bringing in new business.

Is the Problem that management is relying on an old CRM, a homegrown CRM, a CRM designed more for accounting than for sales, or worse yet—no CRM at all?

Your Solution could be to provide management with information about the value of updating old systems. Today’s CRMs are more cost effective, and do more than keep track of customers. Remind them that as a sales professional, knowing your company has a reliable CRM in place allows you to speak with more confidence about the products and services your company offers. But again, don’t let their limits become yours. Make sure you have your own CRM in place if they don’t.
Every company has built in challenges. If you’ve chosen to stay, then there must be a good reason why. If you’re comfortable with the thought of snoozing through the next 20 years, don’t do anything. 

If you’d like to be prepared for what comes after the next 20 years, let’s have a conversation.

Alan Luoma is a Sales Coach with extensive experience in industrial sales, sales management, new product development, sales and product training. He works part time with a national sustainable packaging company and their distributors to increase sales. Alan is an expert that speaks on eliminating behaviors that prevent you from being successful in sales and uncovering sales prevention departments that hinder your success. He is a member of the Hartford Springfield Speakers Network, The National Speakers Association and New England Speakers Association. You can view his profile on LinkedIn, or contact him at

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Time management

As busy as we are, it often seems the only way to get things done is to multitask. However, doing more than one thing at a time does not allow the ability to truly focus on doing each task as efficiently and effectively as it could be done. If time was allowed to truly focus on one task at a time it would help to alleviate this problem. Consider initiating a “model week”. Certain hours each day are set aside to do certain things. When necessary, the door is closed and no phone calls are taken to allow you to focus all of your attention on the task at hand. There are still of course times for multitasking, but the bulk of each day has a set plan and schedule to allow the focus time needed.

Watch for additional details on how to set this up in next month’s blog.

About Nancy D. Butler
Nancy, a national motivational speaker, business coach and award-winning author, has been quoted in many local and national publications including USA Today, Money Magazine, Playboy magazine, The Chicago Tribune, AARP and The Day and has been a speaker for major corporations such as Pfizer, General Dynamics and Dow Chemical. Nancy has also been a guest on several television and radio shows.

Contact Nancy for a free consultation at 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Shake off X-Y-Z, To Find Your Own L-M-N-O-P!

Diversity is one of the most delightful aspects of life.

So why the (seemingly) increase of the “Everyone must do x-y-z! X-y-z is the best and only way, to obtain the desired results you want.” Hmmm…is it? I doubt x-y-z is the only way - not even sure it is the best way … maybe for someone else, but not me. I have different values, target market, goals, past experiences, etc.

The more I understand my personal thoughts and my physical and emotional feelings; the more I find myself stepping back from what “everyone else” is doing. Everyone else is doing x-y-z while I am involved with l-m-n-o-p; it is sometimes lonely in l-m-n-o-p land, pretty vulnerable and scary at times too! I am thankful to have found l-m-n-o-p land and would not have it any other way.

As you know from last month, I re-started my exercise regime. With exercise back in my life, eating habits naturally change. However, eating the x-y-z healthy way does not work optimally for me. Yes, it is better than eating processed and junk foods, but I do not feel “Amazing!” My intuition said dig deeper to find my l-m-n-o-p of healthy-eating. I did!

I found it in the book Eat Right For Your Blood Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. The story is truly fascinating. In a nutshell different blood types came to be as “man” explored and moved into different regions of the Earth; changing the way “man” eats and interacts with nature and other human-kind. This is on a cellular / genetic level that started with our Cro-Magnon ancestors back in 40,000 B.C. The Cro-Magnon people were the first blood type-O individuals. They were hunters with very demanding physical activities to perform for survival. Note that Blood type-A did not show up until between 25,000 and 15,000 B.C. some 15,000 years later!

I am a blood type-O. I am to eat meat, fruit and veggies, with small amounts of dairy and carbs. My exercise is to be intense: weight training / running / martial arts / contact sports and such. These exercises allow my body to relieve stress that naturally builds in my muscles due to my hunting ancestors. Genetically I am setup to covert stress into a positive experience through intense physical exercise.

Now this stuff works wonders for me – it is my l-m-n-o-p. I would never tie it in a bow and sell it as the “Everyone must do x-y-z ! It will transform your life.” It may, if you are a blood type-O … but not if you are an A or B or AB.

It is the results and feelings that I experience that keep me following the eating and exercise guidelines, not the (x-y-z) guidelines themselves.

The same principal applies to marketing.

There are numerous marketing-ways to obtain your desired results / goals but that does not mean you should, or have to, follow a specific x-y-z model to do so.

Examples: You must be on Twitter and Facebook everyone is there. To get clients you should have a Wordpress or Squarespace website. How can you use anything but Constant Contact?  
Look a bit deeper – what drives you at the cellular level? What does your business truly need? It may differ from your own. What marketing techniques and platforms benefit the business AND truly excite you to the point where you enjoy the marketing process?

Your answer is where you will find your own l-m-n-o-p…and you will be so happy you separated yourself from the flock of x-y-z. Be careful…this potentially can dramatically increase business visibility and your happiness!

If you would like a consultation on finding what your marketing l-m-n-o-p is, I am a phone call 860-379-2794 or an email away!  

Until next time, happy marketing!

Chana Monahan
Greenhouse Graphics, llc. Where Ideas Grow


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Recipe for Mediocrity

Hello Speakers, Business Owners, Future Entrepreneurs and Big Dreamers,  
 The United States has a $1.5 billion annual destruction problem. This destruction problem is caused by crazy wild pigs. These wild pigs, also known as "Wild Boar" are the culprits and they occupy 47 states in our country. They are one of the most invasive species known to mankind.
Some of these wild boar weigh between 450 to 600 pounds, and can run as fast as 35 miles an hour. They have sharp tusks that can grow up to 4 inches long and can snap a human leg like a small tree branch in seconds. They literally eat anything their path, eggs, berries, wood, small animals, waste, and possibly inexperienced hunters. They are truly wild and highly dangerous. The following story is a bit of fact and fiction.

Just ask one town in Millstone, Utah, a farming community that was  ravaged by these creatures. The town finally came together and pooled their money so they could seek out the most experienced hunters they could find to solve this wild boar overpopulation problem. They combined thousands of dollars to hire a team of the best hunters. The day came when these experienced hunters rolled into town their shiny trucks, plus a multitude of equipment and a team of hunters dressed in what looked like SWAT gear. They took the money town residents compiled and they headed into the woods to do their deed. Just about a week later they came out of the woods, but were not as enthusiastic as when they were entering the woods,  their vehicles were dented and damaged, hunters were hurt, equipment was damaged along with their egos and the results were dismal. Only a couple of wild boar were dead in the back of one of their trucks. They just kept rolling through town and never stopped and never came back. The town of Millstone was at their wits end and almost out of money. So they put an ad in the paper, labeled: "ANYONE" that can help our town eradicate "Wild Pigs!!!" PLEASE RESPOND!
About a week later, this old rickety flatbed truck comes rolling in to Millstone. Behind the wheel of the truck sat this old timer long with white hair and a dirty white beard with a stub of a cigar sticking out of the corner of his mouth. He pulled up to Town Hall and said to the authorities:
“I’m here to get the pigs.”
They came outside to see his equipment and they were flabbergasted to see he had a 40-year-old rusted flatbed truck stacked with a lot of lumber, boxes and boxes of nails, and bags of feed that probably weighed close to 3000 pounds. The authorities said to the old man "you must be kidding, you're going to kill yourself, go home now". The old man just stared at them and got in his truck and headed into the woods to get the pigs.
About a week later, this rickety old truck began to make its way out of the woods on this dirt mountain road heading into the town of Millstone. Front tires of the truck were lifting up because it had so many dead Wild Boar on the back of it.
The old geezer got out of the truck with that unlit cigar sticking on a corner of his mouth and the town residents asked him how he was able to accomplish this?
The Old Man stood there in front of everybody and said it was quite simple. The other hunters you hired thought they could meet these Wild Boar head-on with big guns and fancy equipment, maybe, in some cases it will work. These animals are born killers and every waking moment of their life is about the hunt it's about bringing food back to their sounder to feed their young. Wild Boar are just about the most ambitious motivated creature on planet Earth.
I just taught them how to become mediocre.
The first day I showed up I found a small open field and pulled my truck up in the middle of the field. I opened up about 300 pounds of feed and dumped it in the middle of the field. And I went and sat in my truck for the rest of the day. Throughout the night I could see a few of these wild boar going to the pile of feed the following night it quadrupled. On day three, I took my lumber and made two sides of the fence connecting them in an L shape fashion and I dumped about another 500 pounds of feed in the corner and headed back to my truck for the night. I estimate at least two dozen wild boar were on the scene. On day four, I built side three of the fence connecting it to side one and side two. Now I had this U-shaped corral and then filled the corral with about 1000 pounds of feed. That night, I assumed at least four dozen wild boar were on the scene. On day five, I built the final side of the fence and left it lying on the ground and I dumped the rest of the feed that night into the corral. Just as expected the boar trotted into corral to feast on the feed and when that happened I propped up side four the fence and backed my truck up against it and trapped them. As I looked into the corral some of them were so full they were sleeping. I stood on the truck and it was just like shooting fish in a barrel except this time shooting wild pigs in the corral.
The old man said mediocrity isn't something you're born with he stated “it's an environment.” It's who you hang around with and what your tuned into every day. The environment becomes a part of you and you a part of it. Once it influences you over time it grows into habit. If that habit stays with you then you have ordained your destiny.
These wild boar were not use to getting something handed to them, they are born hunters. But each night, they could run into the middle of the field and they became comfortable getting something for nothing. I created a lazy environment for them. “I’ve learned one thing in my 70 years and that's if you give something to somebody continually as a hand out you will drain their drive, their perseverance and their will. Then you have them relegated to be dependent on that environment. This environment was mediocrity. 
That is how I caught the wild boar.        

Next Blog July 25, 2015.

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