How to Make Your Brain Work for You

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 06:29 PM

HOW YOUR MIND WORKS
Your brain is a complex and powerful tool. To best explore the potential of your brain, let’s first study its evolution, properties and characteristics.

YOUR BRAIN
As far as evolutionary scientists know, the human brain evolved in three main stages. First, the Reptilian brain, at the innermost core, is the most ancient and primitive. It is located at the brainstem, near the top of your neck. It controls many of your body’s instinctive functions, such as breath- ing. Next evolved the Mammalian brain with new functions and ways to control the body. It also controls your emotions, your sexuality and is a key component to memory. Then evolved the neocortex, the gray matter, as the third part of the brain. You use this portion for talking, seeing, hearing, thinking and creating. This “human” brain is the bulk of the whole and has two symmetrical hemispheres which communicate. These three brains interconnect and determine human behavior.

The left and right hemispheres are often talked about, though not always understood. The detail-oriented, verbal and sorting side of the brain is on the left. The intuitive, spatial, non-verbal side of the brain is the right. To best remember this, learn that left is logical and right is creative. Both sides are connected by the corpus callosum and this is the actual pathway or switching system for information exchange between the two hemispheres. When these different aspects of the brain integrate, learning is much more profound.

Within the brain there are six intelligence centers, each having different functions and interrelating in thousands of ways on a constant basis.
1. The Prefrontal Cortex: thinking
2. The Motor Cortex: activity
3. The Temporal Cortex: speech center
4. The Parietal Lobe: spatial ability
5. The Occipital Lobe: visual center
6. The Cerebellum: “little brain,” balance and posture (handy when learning a skill like riding a bicycle or playing a musical instrument)

Finally, there are three key relay points that are often referred to as the three gatekeepers.

  1. The Amygdala: relays the instinctual fight-or-flight reaction to various parts and organs in the body.
  2. The Hippocampus: relays information to other parts of the brain
  3. The Caudate Nucleus: also a relay of information to parts of the brain

THE ELECTRICAL INFORMATION NETWORK BETWEEN YOUR EARS

At birth we are born with between 100 and 120 billion glial (the Greek word for glue) cells or active neurons in the brain. In fact, you could put thirty thousand neurons on the head of a pin, and they would not touch. Around the turn of the twentieth century, William James discovered that we lose the use of roughly 90 percent of our active neurons. This natural process, called pruning, actually strengthens the neuronal connections by reducing the interference and leaves us with 10 billion neurons, a number more than sufficient. This fact is responsible for the general consensus that humans only use 10 percent of the brain.

Nature’s way of improving the efficiency of the brain is to refine thought processes. This is the reason for the profound importance of childhood experiences. A majority of the pathways and connections are sculpted in the early years. It is understood that by the age of six much of the way we think and will learn is firmly established.
Each active neuron in the brain has up to twenty thousand different connections (dendrites) with other cells. In his book, The Amazing Brain, Stanford University professor Robert Ornstein says that the number of connections is probably more than the number of atoms in the universe. I repeat, more than the number of atoms in the universe. Sound incredible?

Think of it this way (as described in the book The Learning Revolution, by Gordon Dryden and Dr. Jeannette Vos):

Consider what happens if you took only ten everyday items—like the first ten things you did this morning—and combined them in every pos- sible sequence. The result would be 3,628,800 different combinations. Take eleven items, connect them, and the number combinations is (ten- fold) 39,916,800! So now try combining 10 billion cells in every possible way—when each one can make up to 20,000 different connections—and you get some idea of the creative capacity of your own brain.

THE ANT AND THE ELEPHANT

Elephant Power Image.jpgYou have one mind, but it is separated into two distinct functions—the objective and the subjective mind. In other words, the conscious and the subconscious act as the waking and the sleeping mind, the voluntary and the involuntary mind, respectively.

The primary use of the conscious mind is what you currently, logically embrace as your thinking mind. The subconscious is actually the engine, drive train and central computer system running the whole thing. Moreover, the conscious mind knows what is real and what is not. The sub- conscious mind, on the other hand, takes in information as fact. It does not know the difference between real and surreal.

Research by Dr. Lee Pulos from Vancouver, Canada, has uncovered that in one second the subconscious mind uses 4 billion neurons all at once. In that same second the conscious mind uses a paltry two thousand neurons. That is a massive difference.

Imagine a tiny fire ant on the back of an African elephant. The ant would be the conscious mind. The elephant would be the subconscious mind. As you read this book, you are reading these words with your conscious mind. You are processing the meaning and storing it with your conscious mind directing this informational traffic. Yet your unconscious mind in the very same second is guiding all bodily functions, keeping your balance, monitoring your body temperature, processing things that happened in your life, repairing a bruise, fighting a virus, thinking about tomorrow and the list goes on. If at any given time you think that you are in control, think again.

Let’s say you look in the bathroom mirror and decide (with your conscious mind) to go on a diet. Meanwhile the subconscious mind might be programmed very differently. In fact, you may have a myriad of subconscious reasons why going on a diet is a bad idea.

Think of the ant walking on the back of the elephant. The ant is walking north saying “I am going this way, in the direction of a diet.”

Meanwhile, the subconscious mind (the elephant) is walking south saying, “I don’t think so. I like that food. I’ll start another time. I don’t deserve to feel good about myself. I need to eat to feel better. I can’t control my urges, etc., etc.”

Which way is the ant really going? South!

Here is another example. A sales person decides to make more money. A year later, she looks at her commissions and sees the same production as the last two years. She wonders why. 

Ant = conscious mind

Elephant = subconscious mind

It is likely that she made a conscious decision to make more money. The ant, still on the back of the elephant, walks in the direction of “more money.” Meanwhile the elephant thinks, “Hey, I got into sales because I wanted more free time. By making more money I would have less time with my family. Plus, more money would certainly bring more taxes, problems and decisions. Then there are the negative perceptions around money to contend with. Moreover, I grew up knowing that money is the ‘root of all evil’ and people that have money are ‘filthy rich.’ Oh, and by the way, I’m not worthy of success. So I’ll just stay right where I am and not go the direction the ant is going.”

When you can get the ant and the elephant to go in the same direction, the result is success—success that is often beyond your expectations. In some cases, the subconscious mind knows exactly how to set things right.

There, now you know about that noodle between your ears. What you do with it has everything to do with the choices you make and how you align your subconscious agenda. 

Look to ELEPHantPOWER micro-learning in the column on the right for the way to align your ant and your elephant. 

TEXT 469.557.2727 AND TYPE IN #FREE

YOU WILL GET THE FIRST FEW MODULES FOR FREE.

Tags: Self Development, Sales, Business Leadership

Good + Bad = Sticky Speeches

Posted by Vince Poscente on Thu, Sep 06, 2018 @ 12:25 PM

MDRT POSCENTE blog picCommunication skills (for a motivational keynote speaker or anyone else with a platform to present) stick with your audience when you integrate both the "good cop" AND the "bad cop." This isn't about the threatening our captive audience. Nor is it about coddling them. "Good Cop, Bad Cop Presentation Skills" happen when you're message makes them comfortable AND uncomfortable. People learn best when they're at ease or uneasy.

Obviously, our most profound life-lessons occur when hardship hits. But don't discard the lessons in blissful, joyful, loving and peaceful moments. We're on this planet to learn and grow. If you can optimize learning, whether it is as a corporate speaker, leader, parent or a true friend, then lets make the most of your "sticky" messaging.

The presentation technique involves both discomfort and comfort.

For example, I will regularly challenge my audiences to look in the self-honesty mirror.

"Do you want to know what the competition is not willing to do? Typically, those are the things you're not willing to do either." (discomfort)

Then I follow that with, "I'm not here for you to like me. I said that once and a guy at the back said, We don't." (audience laughs followed by a comedic build...)

"It was Enterprise Fleet Services."

"May."

"2000"

"Huh... easy to let go of stuff." (more laughter)

"Seriously, be honest with yourself. Find ways to do what the competition is not willing to do. Own it."

Another example?

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 12.11.04 PM

Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence, did a legendary 'bad cop, good cop' poke at the Canadian Postal Service. As the story goes, Peters was called to the stage by his introducer. The curtain did not part. There was instantaneous discomfort. The audience squirmed. The introducer had no back-up plan. The AV team dove for filler music. After an agonizing few minutes, Peters walked out to center stage. The music went down and he opened with, "Based on your standards, I'm on time."

Of course, Peters went on to wow the audience with his direct style and corporate content. But, he wasn't there just for the audience to like him. He was there to deliver a return on investment. In this case, the fee paid to Peters by the Canadian Postal Service.

Double the impact with your messaging with feel good stuff... PLUS, add in some uncomfortable stuff, and your message will truly be sticky.

Author: Vince Poscente. His motivational keynotes help audiences overcome obstacles and maintain resilience, while having fun along the way. He draws from his background as an Olympic Competitor, New York Times Bestselling Author, Hall of Fame Speaker and second chair clarinet player in his high school band.

Tags: Team Building, Motivational, Business Leadership

10 Tips to Procrastinate Later

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 @ 11:46 AM

Challenge your own self-motivation. Take yourself to task on what you could do to raise your own drive to succeed.

With one toe on the side of sarcasm and the other foot planted firmly in You-Best-Pay-Attention; noodle on this saying: "Go Now. Procrastinate Later."

Let's take a deeper look.

Take the iconic Nike slogan “Just Do It” and combine it with the Masaaki Imai's famous corporate rally cry for continuous improvement, 'Kaizen.'

Mr. Imai offers ten basic tips for kaizen activities. Let's combine these with a way to procrastinate later, and you have a way to amp-up your self motivation starting immediately. Think of a project that is weighing on you right now.

Follow these 10 Tips for Self-Motivation

Tip #1: Discard conventional fixed ideas. Move forward to definable goals. Do not focus as much on the path to get there. New opportunities and new directions may occur to you along the way. Raise your gaze.

Tip #2: Think of how to do it, not why it cannot be done. “Realistic” is a dangerous word. Instead, by knowing that the outcome would be desirable, hypothesize methods to accomplish this goal.

Tip #3: Do not make excuses. Start by questioning current practices. Again, focus on the outcome. Excuses will not take you there, but acting on the means to the end will. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. You will learn more by failing.

Tip #4: Do not seek perfection. Do it right away even if for only 50 percent of the target. For example, four months after having the idea to write my first book, it was done. I did not wait to start. I did not wait at each stage. Of course, I wanted the book to be perfect, but that would never be. Along the way, implement tip #5.

Tip #5: If you make a mistake, correct it right away. I saw a bib that says “Spit Happens.” Mistakes happen. High-performing people correct their mistakes immediately, especially when those mistakes involve other people. “Hey, I made a mistake. I have an idea of what we can do about it.”

Tip #6: Do not spend money for kaizen; use your wisdom. How much do you know about the way your car is repaired when you take it to a mechanic? Chances are, nothing! When you seek to personify proactivity for your own pursuits, then you must be proactive. Remember, however, some of the best solutions happen when you pause, stand back and think. “Just Do It” is not about blindly charging ahead. Plan. Take ownership and move yourself through the process.

Tip #7: Wisdom is often born out of people faced with hardship. Welcome problems as opportunities to learn. Think of a hardship that you have experienced in the past. Now ask yourself, would you change anything about that experience? Most often, the answer is “No, otherwise, I wouldn’t have learned what I know now.”

Tip #8: Ask “Why?” five times and seek root causes. Each time you ask why, come up with a new answer. Go deeper with each answer. You will surprise yourself.

Tip #9: Seek the wisdom of ten people rather than the knowledge of one. Remember a person’s perspective is their truth. You will learn ten truths versus just one.

Tip #10: Kaizen ideas are infinite. You never “arrive.” You are in a process of learning and growing. Always seek higher ground.

If you scanned this article and didn't truly reflect on a project you are struggling with... STOP. Take a breath and ruminate on each of the ten tips. Pay special attention to Tip #8.

Stop procrastination at its fear-based source. Go now!

PS Even motivational keynote speakers need self-motivation. I wrote this blog for me as much as you. I wrote it now, because later is too late. :-)

Tags: Goals, Self Development, Motivational, Business Leadership

How the Millennial Bottleneck Can Cost You Business

Posted by Vince Poscente on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 @ 04:31 PM

In the motivational keynote speaker world we often wonder why our quality keynote speaker videos are not getting so-much-as-a first-look. Our well-thought-out speaker submission is not getting through. They "chose a different keynote speaker" or "went a different direction." Does this sound familiar in your business?

What are we missing? It's a recent phenomenon we call the Millennial Bottleneck.

A few factors are at play. In particular, it's human nature to follow the crowd. 70% of buyers seek other's opinions before buying. BUT, get this... the percentage jumps to 82% with Millennials seeking social proof.

Like you, we're not new to our industry, yet a bottleneck that USED to be focused strictly on quality is now turning it's eyeballs to social evidence first. And those "eyeballs" (at the 'gate-keeper' phase), we're finding, are predominantly owned by Millennials.

To get a 30,000 foot view, here is what the our speaker bureau agents' booking sequence generally looks like today:

Millennial bottleneck.jpg

What can you do to get more business?

#1: Beef Up Your Social Media Image (especially LinkedIn and whatever appears on the first page when they search you). When you Google your name and company are you looking at the first page from the eyes of a Millennial?

#2: A Killer 1st Impression. Be sure your product or service (in our case, a business keynote) you suggested has equally good social proof. Click here for and example of what we do. 

#3: Send Your Client Social Proof. Give Millennials what they want to get past the bottleneck and into the hands of the committee. (By the way, the committee wants both social proof AND quality motivational keynote speaker suggestions.)

45 sec video eg. Popular with our clients.

Video Banner for Testimonial .jpg
Look through the Millennial lens and reduce the amount of business you lose.

Tags: Sales, Business Leadership

5 Qualities of a Heroic Leader

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 @ 03:12 AM

Have you noticed people are increasingly uncertain about the future? This visceral doubt sparks fear. Here's the antidote to this pervasive type of fear:

The Heroic Leader

Hero.jpgIf you are in a leadership position, simply stating your vision of the future is not enough. (psst... if your lips are moving, you're in a position of leadership ;-)

There are five, essential character traits that will make your words resonate and generate much-needed optimism.

These same traits are abundant in everyday heroes.

Heroic Leaders are:

  1. Compassionate - They have a level of empathy that supersedes ego. Leaders without ego can see past themselves to the people they serve. Not convinced? Imagine a leader without compassion. Imagine a leader with attributes of hate, meanness, callousness or ruthlessness. Be compassionate!
  2. FearlessIt is impossible for us mere mortals to have zero fear. But, a hero finds a way to fear less. Leaders who understand fear is not a long term motivator can engage sustained loyalty. How? Better than comments that instill fear, point out the dysfunction followed by a loving solution (see compassion). Fear less!
  3. Humble - There is a magnetism to humility. Heroes in our world never self-identify as heroes. They simply acted our of an ego-less, natural instinct. "It was the right thing to do." True, magnetic leaders don't DO humble. They ARE humble. Their innate mantra is, "It's not about me. It's about the people I serve." Be humble!
  4. Selfless - Heroes who fear less, are compassionate and humble are naturally selfless. Leaders who are self indulgent or selfish can find themselves alone on the front line. Think more about others. In turn, they will join you. Be selfless!
  5. Persistent - Heroes never give up. Persistent leaders will gather an army of believers. Persist, persist, persist!

Each of us embody some of these heroic character traits, but we can always improve in all of them. Challenge yourself to be more compassionate, fearless, humble, selfless and persistent.

Do this and fear will dissipate while a clear, bright future will unfold.

*************************************

 

About the Author:

Vince Poscente helps audiences overcome obstacles and sustain resiliency.

In 2017 he's among the 10 Highest Rated Inspirational Speakers for Business. 

www.Goals-Fast.com

Tags: Goals, Team Building, Business Leadership, Changing Times

Top 5 Most Stressful Jobs? Event Planners Make the List

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Mar 09, 2016 @ 03:00 AM

 For a motivational keynote speaker of 20 years, there is very little stress associated with that one hour on stage. But for event coordinators, the mismanaged stress can be all consuming. Persistent, on-the-job stress can manifest into a cadre physical and mental issues. Event planners, you earned every gray hair on your stress-for-success head.

Kelly_and_Patricia.jpg

"What stress? They hired pros." Madison Advisors 2016 CCM Roundtable Event Organizers - Kelly Dittrich & Patricia Kilgore

Each of us can readily empathize how serving in the military, police force, fighting fires or flying a plane can be stressful, but you don't truly know how stressful planning an event can be until you've walked a mile of convention center corridors in their shoes.

How hard could it be? Fourteen years ago, the echoes of the stress organizing a surprise birthday party still linger in the dark shadows of my psyche.

The surprise? A fake funeral as my wife's 40th birthday party. The idea (admittedly, not a great one) involved:

  • Invitations sent out as a replica of an obituary in the newspaper.
  • The guest of honor, Michelle, enters and is immediately ushered down the aisle atop a chaise lounge; carried by 6 pallbearers.
  • The event would be hosted by a Professional MC.
  • The eulogies would be given by friends and relatives based on a specific agenda.
  • Between each eulogy, video messages would play from people who couldn't make the Dallas event.
  • A mixer would conclude the event with food and drink.

After just one event, I swore I would:

  1. Appreciate every single event planner I ever met in my keynote speaking career.
  2. Never, ever plan another event unless I hired professionals.
  3. Did I mention, never plan an event without professionals?

The professional MC, Dale Irvin, did a masterful job. He was funny, on point, did a hysterical opening, moved the eulogists along and rolled with any issue that came up. Outside of that, there were PLENTY of issues. The eight guest presenters did a fine job, but organizing them, covering for those who didn't show up as promised, shifting the schedule around for others who wanted to speak at a different time, nudging the amateur-hour-going-long, adding last minute audio/visual handed to me minutes before they were to speak.... Then there was the technology! Making sure the videos played with the right sound and timing. NEVER AGAIN... without professionals.

Event Planners - you have chosen a profession where perfection seems to be your client's minimum expectation. Anything that goes wrong, gets noticed. And in today's world where someone has to take the fall. Tag, you're it. 

If you know, or work with an event coordinator - be kind to them. Give them hugs. Buy them each a massage following the meeting. 

If you are an event planner - be kind to yourself, go get hugs from your adoring fans, get that massage after your event. You picked a rewarding profession with the prospect of a thorny path. 

Oh, and as for organizing a funeral for your wife (in place of a real birthday party...), let's just say, Michelle has a sense of humor but I'll never do that again either.  

Tags: Business Leadership

Is Technology Messing with Your Integrity?

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Nov 04, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

Are you having to endure an increase in canceled phone calls, lunch meetings and appointments? Is society's level of integrity (keeping one's word) devolving into a quagmire of "Something came up and it's more important than you," or is there a mechanism triggering an unsettling trend of cancellations and rescheduling?

It is happening multiple times a week. Clients, suppliers, prospects, friends and colleagues are canceling our set 'appointment' at a disturbing rate. Regarding appointments, there is distinct shift from, "My word is my bond" to "My word is a approximation of a bond I may or may not honor due to unforeseen circumstances."

Excuses are on the uptick as well. These excuses have no set pattern. Our morning meeting ran long. My client called with an emergency and we had to address that first. There was a last minute trip to Chicago to meet a prospect. I didn't expect the vehicle inspection to take two hours.

To understand Cancelmageddon, let's start at the end and work backwards.

4th - When a person cancels or asks to reschedule he basically sends the clear, yet unspoken, message, "Something more important than you came up."

3rd - That person was forced to choose between his appointment and something unexpected.

2nd - The unexpected is often precipitated by either:

  • An overly optimistic sequence of appointments
  • A lack of contingency
  • Unfettered access to each of us through mobile technology

1st - That person plugged appointments in a calendar turning a blind-eye' to the fallout from 2nd, 3rd or 4th above.

How is this happening more today, than ever before? Technology has allowed us to fit more into a day. Efficacy has run amok.

To spell this out in the simplest yet broadest terms, let's use the following Before & After Surge in Technological Innovation scenario as an example:

Get more done in a day, at a cost.

What took an hour to do in the past, now takes minutes. Instead of enjoying all the discretionary time, we fit more in. Why, because we each LOVE to get more done. Instead of one thing accomplished in an hour, let's say we have six things we can now accomplish. In days gone by, one task had a chance of unexpected consequences. Now, we have six tasks with unforeseen results. The shift from 1x to 6x raises the odds of an unpredicted choice by 600%. We are only human. Plans change. Odds are, with technology doing what it is supposed to do, each of us is facing an unfortunate message we are receiving and sending, 

"Something came up and it is more important than you."

Is technology messing with your integrity? Yes... but... don't blame technology, use it.

Start at the end and work your way backwards. Use technology and your intention to:

  1. Send a Clear Message - "You are the most important person" (Especially at 2 pm on Wednesday.)
  2. Eliminate the Chance of Choice - Communicate early and often about the commitments you have made. You always have a choice. People will respect you more when you keep your word.
  3. Always Build-In Contingencies - As a guideline, put a half an hour buffer between calls. One hour on either side of meetings and at least two hours surrounding uncertain activities. Put non-appointment activities (emails, tasks, flexible activities) in the buffer zones.
  4. Direct Your Attention to Possible Fall-Out. For each appointment, quickly imagine three scenarios which could mess with your plans. In turn, plan accordingly for fall-out.

Use technology to your advantage. Turn the tides of (perceived) disintegrating integrity.

Your word is your reputation. 

Tags: Self Development, Motivational, Business Leadership

What if Uber and Walmart had a Baby?

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

"What if Uber and Walmart had a baby?"

Now that's a subject line that would entice you to read an email (see below for the answer).

But what if your subject line reads like this:

"Follow up to our conversation"

eeechhh, blahhh, grrrrgh, bleeeesch.

What does it take to write a good subject line? Simple. Your noggin.

By putting some of your creative brain-power into your subject lines, you will have more impact and influence. Here are 5 Must Do's for Email Subject Lines:

1st. STOP putting Features before Benefits. If you send a regular/weekly email - stop making the first few words the feature "Weekly Report," for example. Start with the benefit:

  • ie. 3 Mistakes New Moms Make (then insert the feature): Weekly Report.
  • If you are sending a 'one-off' email. The same rule applies. Put a benefit into the subject line.
  • Instead of "Next meeting," consider putting, "You're going to love our next meeting." 

2nd. START with a Domino. You want the subject line to domino into the next domino (being the body of the email).

  • The first line of the body should 'domino' into the next line. And so on. 

3rd SUMMARIZE your Message (when possible). If you're emailing to set up a meeting, then put the summary in the subject line.

  • "Leaders meet 10.01.16 @ 3 pm Boardroom" is more efficient and effective than...
  • "meeting conversation"
  • Be a hero and save your recipients time.

4th CHANGE the Forwarded Subject Lines. You can be the light in the dark abyss of the emails. Use discretion for work flow purposes, of course. BUT, the fearless subject-line-changer is to be revered.  

  • "Meeting is 01.25.16 @ 9 am Starbucks on Alpha" = good.
  • "Fwd. Fwd. idea" = bad.

5th HAVE FUN with your Subject Line. Inspiration can come from:

  • A play on words. eg. Announcement in our Bored Room.  
  • A counter intuitive statement. eg. If at first you don't fail...
  • A exaggerated benefit eg. Even Martians like our product launch

What does the subject line of this 70 Second eBrief mean in this email?

What if Uber and Walmart had a baby? Put it this way:

Uber is, "We're there when your friends aren't"  

+

Walmart is, "People-Watch while you Save money. Live better."

For you, this is what our weekly, motivational 70 second eBrief is meant to be:

  • Save money (and time).
  • Live better (feel better, have more fun, think better).
  • Be a friend to get you where you want to go. (People watching optional)

Tags: Sales, Motivational, Business Leadership

From Self Doubt to Greatness - Fast

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Oct 07, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

No matter how much we invest in ourselves, we always have some measure of self-doubt. How does one say goodbye to the negative voice sitting on our right shoulder? Well, we couldn’t think of anyone better to guide us, than Vince Poscente, the internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, founder of The Goal Acceleration Institute, and author of two of our favorite books: The Ant and the Elephant and The Age of Speed. His specialty? Helping people achieve big goals in less time.

We would like to share with you an interview between getAbstract and Vince Poscente.

gA: How would you describe the two books of yours that we’ve created summaries of for getAbstract?

VP: Well, The Ant and the Elephant is a personal development book, told in parable format; the ant being the metaphor for the conscious mind, and the elephant for the subconscious. The theory is that when you align your ant and your elephant then things get easier and more fun; in other words, it's less arduous to get to where you want to go. And then The Age of Speed is more of a concept book about the world we live in, and how we can thrive in a fast-paced world without feeling like we're overwhelmed.

gA: Thanks! OK, so tell us, how do we conquer that little voice of doubt? The naysayer that sits on our shoulder?

VP: First off, give him or her an identity – for me he's short and green – and then accept that the voice of doubt is completely natural and there must be a reason why the subconscious mind serves it to us. Simply acknowledge that the voice of doubt is there, and to talk back to it. Say “Thank you for your opinion but that's not part of my vision. My vision is [insert your elephant (i.e. emotional) buzz here] because that’s what will get me to the endpoint I desire.”

Want to help your employees move past self-doubt and on to greatness? Please let me know and I will customize the flyer below containing Vince’s titles in addition to a selection our getAbstract’s most popular motivational summaries.

(Above was value add sent by getAbstract to their individual clients. Should you wish to save time and stay current on the latest business books, check out www.getAbstract.com

 

 

 

Click to edit your new post...

Tags: Business Leadership

Stay Engaged with Raised Hands

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

Chances are, you've never heard of Amanda Palmer. But she has 7 million views of her TED talk. She may not be on your musical radar but she has hundreds of thousands anticipating every new, uniquely AFP, release. You may be following business icons while you never noticed her record setting crowd-funding initiative - where she became the first musician to raise more one million dollars on Kickstarter. Her book, The Art of Asking, leapt onto the New York Times bestselling list with a limited promotion and marketing muscle. Who is this person and what can we learn from her on the topic of customer engagement?

Amanda_Palmer

Recently, sporting a baby bump, performing to a sold-out crowd at The Granada Theater, Amanda Palmer played a couple songs then asked to bring the house lights up. "What do you want to hear? But I won't pick you if you yell it out. Please let me ask you directly for your request" Enthusiastic hands flew up in the air. The raucous crowd turned politely silent and let her choose her contributor. She wrote down "Vegemite (The Black Death), Ukulele Anthem, I Want You, But I Don't Need You." Then she sang about Vegemite, Ukeleles, relationships and insecurity. 1,000 fans in the sold out crowd sang every word. 

If you read Palmer's book, you learn she started her performing life as a statuesque figure of a white bride. On the unforgiving streets of New York, she would hold a handful of flowers. Should a passerby pull out a bill and put it in her bucket, she would break her frozen stance, make eye contact, and add to the connection with the gift of a flower. She would suffer people yelling out, "Get a job." But these echoes would vanish with the next poignant connection. Amanda learned a unique art form of asking and connecting with those she touched. 

In music she became a zealot for building an AFP community. No opportunity was missed when an email address and a Twitter fan was in her crosshairs. She will tweet an invitation for am impromptu pre-gig concert. Haters accuse her of using musicians and not paying them. The optics of her asking for others to join looked like using. But all the while she just wanted to build a community.

Her community grows with each release, whether it is The Dresden Dolls, Evelyn Evelyn or her solo work. Her community expands when her TED talk hits a viral nerve. Her book amplifies the question, "What is it about Amanda F... Palmer?"

Here's what we can learn from her lead.

1. She is Fearless. Fearlessness is a marketable, appealing, engaging, romantic, enticing and magnetic quality. Examples? Comedians like Will Ferrell or Eddie Izzard (heck most any successful comedian). How about Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Lady Gaga, MIss Piggy, Muhammad Ali, Elvis, that dude standing in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Fearlessness means you have, at least partially, tamed the raw, caustic power of ego. Being fearless means you have a passion that supersedes insecurity. You are fearless.

2. She is Empathetic. What appears to be performance or self serving forays are actually her way of reaching into another person's heart and holding on to that connection. Empathy is a well spring of connectivity. Making your talent about others. Being of service. Chasing answers for the better good of others. You are empathetic.

3. She is Vulnerable. There is a photo in her book. It is difficult to comprehend. She is naked with her fans who are signing her body. Those with limited information would call it a publicity stunt. Those who can take anecdotal information and turn it into a universal fact would call her audacious, irreverent, lacking a moral compass. Look deeper and you see someone obsessed about new frontiers of transparency.  You are vulnerable. 

Fearlessness, empathy and vulnerability - not exactly the tag line for a celebrated force of commerce in our midst but she is making it work because her community comes first. The money will follow - or not - but the community is still paramount. 

Build your community. Fearlessly, empathetically, vulnerably keep asking for what THEY want. Follow your passion. How? Stay engaged with those who raise their hands. 

Tags: Business Leadership