What Do You Mean…Urgent?

ur·gent 

Function: adjective 

1 a : calling for immediate attention : PRESSING <urgent appeals> b : conveying a sense of urgency

2 : urging insistently : IMPORTUNATE

– ur·gent·ly adverb

     

Well, here is the definition from Webster’s.  I think I like the first one, but the second one isn’t too bad either.

     

I guess it really doesn’t really matter which one you prefer as long as you have one of these definitions that you can embrace as your own. 

     

Now when I say embrace I mean EMBRACE!  Really latch on to it and live the meaning of urgent, live it through your words and actions every single day.  I remember attending a Dale Carnegie™ Sales Conference about 25 years ago when one of the presenters was asked about his opinion on the most serious threat facing professional salespeople at the time.  I think his answer applies as much today as it did at the time: a lack of urgency. 

     

He believed, and I agree, that salespeople who go about their business as though a deal could wait another day are doomed to a career filled with limited successes and missed opportunities. 

     

Salespeople who lack a sense of urgency, whether it’s urgency regarding following up on a request for information, urgency to return a phone call, urgency to make that one additional sales call a day and urgency to do the things they know would make a difference, are what I call woulda, coulda, shoulda salespeople.  These are the salespeople who lament the poor business climate and challenging customers that the salespeople with a sense of urgency pursue, maximizing the market and reaping the rewards.

     

Which one are you?  Do you have that sense of urgency?  Or, do you “leave a little business for tomorrow?”  If you’re a woulda, coulda, shoulda salesperson, you had better hope your competition is too!  As of the date of this post there are only 27 or 28 selling days (depends on if you work December 26th) left in 2017. Will you press on with urgency or will you coast into 2018?

     

That’s not a question about your ability, that’s a question about your attitude. Successful people know that a fast start is important but the most successful people know that how well you finish what you started is the real key to continual success. 

Don’t Slow Down

The New Year will soon be upon us. For some people 2015 can’t end soon enough, nothing seemed to go as planned and they are hoping for a fresh start in 2016.

Others wish this year would never end; they are basking in the glow of a very successful year and they are wishing it could last forever. Whichever group you find yourself in I have a message for you…. don’t slow down. Don’t slow jam your way to the end of the year. 

This is not the time of the year to take your foot off the gas. No matter what kind of year you’ve had so far remember, it’s only “so far.” You have another whole month to build yourself a foundation for a successful New Year. 

If you’ve had a great 2015 and decide to rest the remainder of the year it likely will take you a good while to get back up to speed as the New Year begins. Don’t waste the powerful momentum you’ve built for yourself by finishing your successful year on auto-pilot. Whatever you did to succeed in 2015 continue to execute in the same way throughout the month of December. While the prospect of some well deserved extra rest is enticing you’ll be glad you didn’t take the bait. You’ll begin the year with the kind of momentum that builds true success, the repeatable kind of success.

If 2015 wasn’t exactly the year you had in mind 11 months ago then stop only long enough to determine what went wrong. Take a long look at your plan…by the way if you don’t have a 2015 plan to look at I’d HIGHLY recommend you invest some time in December making sure that you have a realistic, executable plan for 2016 before January rolls around.

Assuming you had a plan examine it closely to see where it went off track. Did you remember to include a backup plan for when the inevitable unexpected and uncontrollable circumstances made your original plan unworkable? Stuff happens and you should plan on it happening to you. 

If 2015 didn’t go according to your plan did you remember to ask for help? Successful people are not afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. They identify well in advance the source of their help just in case it’s needed. Literally list the names of the people you’ll ask for help with your plan should it be required. 

One purpose of a good plan is to eliminate the “wonder” from your year. Successful people don’t “wonder” what they should do, who they should ask or where they should look for help. They “know” because they have prepared for the unexpected. If you found yourself hesitating when things went off course in 2015 it’s possibly because you were missing that key element of your plan. 

Don’t hope for a better 2016, plan on it! 

Successful people treat December as the last month of the year. The most successful people treat December as the first month of the New Year. Which would you like to be? 

Make the choice to finish 2015 strong and it may be the last great choice you make in 2015 …. or it just might be your first great choice for the New Year ahead. 

Don’t See the End Too Soon

I make a lot of mistakes when I play golf. So many in fact that there are days I wonder why I play the game at all. People who play with me would tell you that the biggest mistake I make is that at some point during a round my swing gets too fast and I lose all control over what I’m doing. That’s not entirely true, sometimes my swing is too fast right from the start and never slows down.

That is indeed a big mistake, but it’s not my biggest one. When my swing gets fast my score goes up, the round is pretty much over and there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it. At least it seems like I can’t.

I think my biggest mistake on the golf course is seeing the end too soon. Here’s what I mean by that. There are days when I play well, at least by my standards. Everything seems to work and I even seem to catch a few breaks. Then I look at the scorecard and start to think….Geez, if I can par the last two holes, or even just bogey them this will be an awesome score.

I instantly stop doing whatever I was doing and boom, the last two holes are double or triple bogeys… or worse. I saw the end too soon and just stopped doing the things I needed to do to successfully complete my round.

One of my mentors once told me that as important as it is to start well, it’s even more important to finish well. I’ve come to learn that’s true, not only in golf, but in most parts of life.

As I publish this post we have about 10 days left in 2014. 10 days left to finish well. These are the days when most people take their foot off the gas and kind of cruise to the end. They are seeing the end of 2014 just a bit too soon.

When I was a high school student, a former Vice-President of the United States came to my school to speak. He had recently lost the presidential election to Richard Nixon. He gave us some advice that I have never forgotten. He said to be careful what you say in your concession speech because it’s really not the last speech of your campaign, it is actually the first speech of your next one.

These final days of 2014 can either be the end of this year or you can choose to use them as a springboard to a successful 2015. You can slow down or you can hit next year running. If your goal is to lose 15 pounds in 2015 you could lose 1 by the end of 2014 and have only 14 left to lose in 2015. You could be 1/15 of the way to your goal before the year even begins.

Here’s the point, you can make all of 2015 better, easier, more productive, and more prosperous by finishing 2014 strong.

As the great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.” Don’t let your 2014 be over even one day too soon!