I Am Not Good At That

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Upset 3d puppet, keeping for a head

Sometimes I wish I knew things. I look at people with skills like coding a mobile app and I wish I could do it. I meet someone and they speak 6 languages and I think “wow, they must be smarter than me”.

“I’m not good at that” is something that should be hard to say in today’s environment. Most of the excuses are gone. It’s too easy to go from not good to something better. Often, we don’t even have to pay (or get dressed) to be better at that.

Many of us came from two “schools of thought” on weakness.
– practice and get better at your weakness.
– surround yourself with others that complement your weaknesses.

This has been debated countless times. It depends on our individual context at any given time. Should we try to master the guitar? Or just listen to the music we enjoy? It may be a different answer if we are 14 and healthy than if we are 92 and have crippling arthritis.

In the modern world, everyone is expected to evolve with the times.

Yet, often, we are expected to comply with one school until it is time to rapidly shift to the other school. This is harder as we age but that is because of prior context. This may be easier for a younger generation but we may miss the ‘why’.

The ‘old people’ say things like:
I’m not good at that.
That’s not my thing.
I don’t need to know that.
This is the way we have always done it.

The ‘new people’ say things like:
I’m not good at that.
I don’t know how.
I’ll try but…
I’ve never done this before.
It’s just not possible.

Both groups don’t want to admit their anxiety. They want an excuse in case it doesn’t work out. Both groups wonder why they weren’t hired.

There are 2 ways to address this. Maybe there are more but I’m not good at finding all of them.

Listen
– Listen to those that have been there, done that. There is a lot to learn from history.  Whether a war of blood or business, the lessons from the past might keep us from repeating the same mistakes. It can also help understand why. We can say “here’s how this works” or we can say “this works like this because…”

– Listen to the newcomers. New ideas, new ways, new paths are how we improve. Allow them to challenge conventional wisdom. Let them challenge your “best practices” Have the courage to let them cut the cord. Allow them to experiment and make new mistakes.

Learn
Sure, we all  think we are learning every day. But if we are trying to learn on a passive level, we are behind.

– Networking is a great way to do this. Talk to industry leaders, read their books, blogs, and (scary thought) talk to them. Meet someone interesting and ask for 5 minutes or ask them out to lunch.

– Use the interwebs. There is Lynda.com, Khan academy, Alison.com, andYouTube. Every time I forget how to do a vlookup or a pivot table…boom, YouTube to the rescue.

—–

Have the courage to listen and embrace it. Have the courage to learn it. Avoiding something because we are anxious doesn’t mean we won’t be good at it.

I enjoy listening and learning from those that know more than I know. I don’t even have to be good at finding them. They are everywhere!

Comments, likes, shares are appreciated. Please click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior posts here.


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Image 2: The Spirit Science
Image 3: FEMA.gov

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#howiwrite On Linkedin (And Why)

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This is how and why I choose to write on LinkedIn. If you write a similar post, please use the hashtag #howiwrite

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.
-Maya Angelou

WHY do it at all? We live in a sharing economy. Writing and sharing of ideas, along with the dialog around them helps us grow. It helps us build our personal brand. There are 1 million writers on LinkedIn but over 350 million members. Tell us your secret formula. Tell us how to make that magic. Let us taste your awesome sauce. (Does that sound creepy?)

This is how I started:
1. Courage – I think fear is what keeps most people from sharing ideas.  I am afraid someone will think my ideas are stupid. Maybe they will think I am stupid. There is anxiety that I will fell my tree in the forest and no one will hear it. It really sucks when my masterpiece…isn’t one.

I wrote my first post about courage. At the end of each post, I write a couple of wrap up lines on courage. It takes a lot of courage to hit publish, knowing my whole professional network may see my post as crap.

My fear of writing is real. As real as jumping off of a high diving board. Maybe I will belly flop. Maybe I’ll barely make a splash. Maybe the sharks (internet trolls) will attack me.

2. Ideas – One key mentor to my writing is Larry Beck @ SDSU. I am also inspired by a few of my favorite authors. Seth GodinSimon SinekJames AltucherMalcolm GladwellJim CollinsPaul Marciano.

I don’t have 70 ideas a week like James Altucher recommends . Usually my posts are inspired by something that I observe. Sometimes by something I read, including other publishers. Most of the time, I write ideas late at night when I can’t sleep.  Sometimes I take mental notes in the middle of a bike ride.

3. Challenge – I love comedians. Especially the ones that make me laugh based on observations of our human behavior. I laugh because I am uncomfortable. I laugh because of the truth behind the jokes.

When I select a topic, it is often something that I find uncomfortable. Maybe it is a frustration with a long held belief (like goals or surveys or best practices).  I am looking for the “why“.

Sometimes I include a personal reference for context but I don’t like to say, “you should do this because I did”.  Maybe it worked but it’s a stupid idea. I try to provide some food for thought.

4. Drafts
– I write everything in Evernote and usually on my cell phone. I am not endorsing a specific program. It’s just what I do. Some people email themselves, use Google docs, or a notepad.

I publish once per week but I am not the type of person that can sit down write. My A.D.D. is terrible (future post) and I would have terrible writer’s block. The anxiety would make me produce some book report sounding article. I had 30 ideas and posts before I published my first one. I have about 60 drafts right now. Some will end up in the trash. Some will be great posts. I may get it wrong.

I constantly re-read, re-write, and re-organize my posts. Sometimes I write 2 in a week, or sometimes I edit 10 in a week. Like my thoughts, it’s random. My ideas and blogs are far from perfect but I like to finish the argument in my head before I hit publish.

I copy and paste my articles in analysis software like hemingwayapp.com to simplify it.  On a boring technical level, I like my posts to be about 500 words and 5th grade level or below. Then, I usually have my wife or a trusted colleague help proof it and provide feedback. Side note: This post is 3rd grade level and about 850 words.

5. Engage – Why post an article and ignore it? I love to engage with the audience. Maybe it is the hospitality in me. I love the raw emotion and feedback that comes from a comment. The dialogue helps me reflect on what I publish.

I also like to support the authors that support my posts. It builds my network. I often learn something from their writing. It’s networking!

Have the courage to find your voice and publish a post on LinkedIn. Have the courage not to care if it only gets 5 views. Have the courage to engage.

My name is Trent. I am a LinkedIn UNfluencer
_____________________________________________________
There are hundreds of articles on how to publish on LinkedIn. There are thousands more about blogging. There are countless articles on how to get more readers, the best time to post, and how to get featured. They all seem to have different theories. I don’t know what is right. I just try to write content with an authentic voice. I hope this post on how I write is a little different but with those numbers, who knows? Maybe it is almost exactly the same as another one.

My best post has around 3000 views, and my worst has less than 125 so what do I know? I am still amazed that 125 people read my writing!

Comments, likes, shares are appreciated. Please click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior posts here.

 Click for more information about the author:

(Thanks Gary Sharpe, John White and Jeffrey Strickland for the tip on the card)

Belly flop image: Joe Raedle, Getty images
Ideas image: Faisal, Broken and Rusty Ideas – Flikr
Drafts Image: Eduardo Sanchez – Ideas Desechadas – Flikr

It’s A Brand You World

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brandyou

People have yelled at me online. It sucks. It’s embarrassing. I can’t control others; just me.

Your brand is what other people say about you when you leave the room.
– Jeff Bezos Amazon.com

We are often reminded that we represent our company/family/organization. Perhaps it is more important that we represent ourselves.

We are different. We are individuals with our own identities. But people’s perception of us is who we are in that moment. It works the other way too. They are who we think they are.

Prospective employers, clients, or investors might research us. They might see what we are up to. Marking our profile ‘private’ guarantees nothing.

Look at that picture of us enjoying a libation or passed out on the floor. One might think we have a problem.

Our devil tattoo may be awesome and meaningful to us. Not everyone feels the same way. Side question: Do people in Japan get tattoos in English sayings and have to explain them to their friends? “Peace means 平和 in English”.

A Facebook account might be riddled with a Candy Crush high score or actions on their virtual farm. Maybe someone will think that is all we do (instead of work).

Our brand matters. What others see of us may not matter, or it might. We should always be conscious of our (perceived) personal brand.

We may not be hiding anything in our personal brand. We are also not advertising anything that has a chance that it is misinterpreted.

This is not a post against drinking, tattoos, or anything else that we do in our personal time.

One might argue “I don’t care what others think. I am me and I am awesome. If they don’t like the picture of me and my bong, screw them. It’s OK because I have a prescription. I don’t want to know them anyway.”

This is a narrow view of the world. When we decide to exclude someone because we don’t share the same beliefs, we shrink our network. Maybe we will never need them. What if we do?

Be genuine. Be You. But have the courage to know your brand.

Comments, likes, shares are appreciated. Click for more information about the author: Trent Selbrede or simply click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior posts here.

Image: http://www.levellesalter.com

I Accepted You On LinkedIn And Then…

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I looked at my feed.

UGH
– you immediately spammed me thinking I needed your product/service (I don’t).  The form letter was ful uf tpyos. The ALL CAPS told me it was an important message. I better check it out!
– you immediately asked me to hire you, do your Visa paperwork, and fly you in to start working. OK, can you start tomorrow?
– you hit on me. Really? Through LinkedIn from another country? I know that you are safe because your photo is a ‘car seat belt’ – selfie.  Stay classy.

You were disconnected and possibly reported.

Meh
– I realized that you ‘like’ every. single. thing.  Oooh, a joke about hiding a dead body on the second page of Google. Priceless (in 2004)! And now my feed is cluttered and I cant find the good stuff.
– you hit the like button on inspirational quotes (and ads) and do nothing with the information. You answer math problems and word searches. Useless.
– you aren’t a professional photographer but you upload and like pretty pictures of private islands that are 10,000 miles from you. Dreamy!
-When someone posts a job and tells everyone how to apply; you ask “how do I apply?” or post something like “want job”. Hired for great listening skills!

I only “muted” you. We can stay connected but I am not sure why.

YESSS!
– you post great content.
– you post a inspirational quote but you tell us what it means to you. You reflect and encourage others to do the same.
– you comment, like, and share other great/useful content.
– you have genuine conversations (thanks for adding this Deb).

These are just my feelings. We all like different things but be aware that a ‘like’ shares it with our network. Having connections means it’s not just about us.

If you are not sure what has value, observe some valued LinkedIn members. A few that I think continually deliver on the yessss: Dustin McKisson, Jeffrey Strickland, Deb Helfrich. Follow them or find a LinkedIn mentor in your network.

Sure there have been a few creeps and jerks, but far more really good people with interesting backgrounds and great insights.  I’ll take the UGHs and the MEHs to get to the YESSS but I wish I didn’t have to.

Yes LinkedIn, we know…only accept invites from people we know. I know a lot of hotel people but I like a diverse network. I am not looking for quantity of connections, but I am always looking for quality.

I accepted your invite…your move.

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This was a follow up post to 8 things NOT to like on LinkedIn

If you find this rant too snarky, please read this article from Business Insiderfrom a couple of days ago.

Comments, likes, shares are appreciated. Click for more information about the author: Trent Selbrede or simply click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior posts here.

Finding The Right Fit

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findingTheRightFit

Recruiting team members is one of the greatest challenges in business. We start with the basics but most of us miss a key opportunity.

Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit. – George Carlin

Requirements:
Many of the requirements listed on job descriptions are not requirements. They were often created by bureaucracies in an attempt to attract “the perfect candidate”.  They are often based on skill set, experience, and “(emotional) intelligence”. There might even be an assessment based around these factors.

– Must have X years experience. This is great if you just want to stay in your X world. Sometimes fresh eyes are better.
Proven ability to influence cross-functional teams without formal authority. Can you play nice in the sandbox?
Outgoing, Energetic, Highly Motivated. Not easy to measure in a rehearsed interview.

Have you ever worked with someone with a great resume but they were a nightmare?

The interview:
The behavioral interview has been popular. One could argue about its effectiveness. Most of these canned questions can be rehearsed.

The unstructured interview is popular but ineffective.

There is a lot of legend around Google interviews but they aren’t always true [1].

Have you ever hired someone after a great resume and interview only to find out that they just didn’t gel with the group?

The better approach:
Can someone without a teaching credential be a great teacher? (my wife is a credentialed teacher, nothing against teachers)
Can someone without a hospitality experience be a great restaurant manager?
Skills can’t totally be ignored but wouldn’t we rather work with someone that fits our culture? Zappos is one company that looks at culture before even looking at skill [2]. They won’t compromise core values just to catch a skilled engineer. No culture fit = no further discussions.

Having the courage to wait to find the right candidate is not easy. Finding someone to fit our company culture ups the ante in the process.  It forces us to identify who we are. It forces us to identify who fits in.

Having the courage to move past resumes and interviews takes time. Having the courage to not to hire someone with an amazing skill set is tough. Most things worth doing are not easy.

[1] Wired interview Lazslo Bock.
[2] Zappos Insights blog

Comments, likes, shares are appreciated. Click for more information about the author: Trent Selbrede or simply click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior posts here.

Waiver goodbye to your customer #signhere #initialhere

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screaming customers

The contract included 6 places to initial and 2 places for signature ON ONE PAGE.

Most of the initials are things they want to add on but we have to sign to waive them. We have to adapt to their insanity.
Initial:
___Insurance.
___Another insurance.
___Another insurance (really?).
___Roadside assistance (do we have to tow your car back to you of it breaks down?).
___Fuel (yes, we understand that you will gouge us if we don’t fill it up, or we can let you rip us off now).
___Car is in xxx condition and any other scratches will lead to more fees.
Sign:
_____________I understand the charges
_____________I understand the 6 things I initialed and the other thing I signed.

That is 8 places to put pen to the same piece of paper. Some “hi-tec” agencies let us go through screens of the same boxes on a tablet.  I used to have a frequent customer card that allowed me to bypass some of this garbage but they still gave me a folder of 42 reasons to “hold me accountable” to whatever rule they decided to add.

Either way, the font is 4 pt. in size and impossible to read. If everyone took the time to read it, the company would go out of business because it would take 4 hours for each customer.  They might blame it on the lawyers but the reality is that there is no trust and the solution is red tape.

Hotels used to (some still do) require a registration card. It ended up inundated with a similar set of rules and policies.
Initial:
___You don’t have a pet with you.
___You won’t smoke in the room.
___You won’t party in the room.
___Provide your license plate #.
___You understand the fee (and other fees if you break the above rules).
Sign:
_____________You agree to pay us.

Isn’t trust a two-way street?

Try reading any EULA (End User Licence Agreement) from virtually any software. If their software blows up our computer, not their problem. Just don’t make software that blows up our computer, then no agreement needed.

There is a sign on the lawnmower, “don’t put your hand under the mower while it’s running”. Yes, they were sued and that was the solution. Was it the only solution? Was the solution to protect the consumer or the company?  Did no one ever do it again?

Even with these waivers, contracts, and warnings, things still go wrong. There are still lawsuits. There are still negligent people and businesses.

Are we all lacking so much common sense that we have to have our hands held to use a product or service? Isn’t trust a two-way street? Do we have any personal responsibility for our actions? Are we in a business that is so greedy, that our customers have to opt out of our costs/policies?

I will concede that these are first world problems but I think it is indicative of a larger problem. Is faith and trust lost for good? Are we all guilty until proven innocent?

Have the courage to make it easy to do business. Have the courage not to criminalize the customer before we let them buy. Have the courage to just say no to red tape.

I had to rent a car today. #signhere #initialhere

Comments, likes, shares are appreciated. Click for more information about the author:Trent Selbrede or simply click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior postshere.

Thanks to Reid Crickmore for helping me with ideas and some editing again this week.

If you like this, check out my previously written posts about the misguided approach of infrequent occurrences creating policies and procedures.

#ThankYourMentor Or 20

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mentor yoda

With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see. – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about Lessons From My Dad. I can’t say enough about what an influence he was (still is).  Over the years, I have had many mentors. I have studied them from many angles. I probably haven’t listened enough, but I am working on it.

Jason Lee first hired me at a hotel. I was awkward, maybe a bit creepy. I was an introvert, trying to get an extrovert’s job. He took a chance with me. It was a small hotel in La Jolla so maybe he figured that I couldn’t do that much damage.  The supervisor assigned to train me didn’t like the hotel, the people, maybe anything. She didn’t teach me much. The next day, I was on my own.

Stalk the boss.
After a week or so of getting my feet wet, I started to stalk Jason (my boss).  I was hungry to learn and would shuffle through the stacks or paper on his desk offering to help with tasks. He was hesitant at first as many managers are with new team members. After some time, he taught me a few things and then let me help. As I proved that I could accomplish things, he gave me more.

Stay until the work gets done.

Each night, when we had to reset the computer. There was so much dust in the power supply that it conducted electricity. It gave the person doing the reset a little shock.  I had been around computers most of my life and had just taken some classes. I set out to change the power supply (I even brought my own). The computer died and never came back. It was my fault. I felt sick to my stomach.

I stayed until we figured out how to run the hotel without a computer. Not too challenging for a small hotel…unless you don’t understand what is supposed to happen. I went home 36 hours later, still feeling terrible. Jason didn’t yell at me or judge me for trying. In fact, he thanked me for seeing it through.

Work hard, play hard, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Jason taught me so many basics. He taught me to train, coach, delegate and have fun. We would work hard and then go to lunch or a quick round of golf. And then return and work hard again. While working, we would trade jokes from our favorite comedians or try to write our own.

A few weeks later, Jason asked me if I would accept a resident manager promotion at 2 hotels. I accepted and just a few months later, I took my first General Manager job.

Jason later told me that taking things off his plate helped a lot. It was the night that I broke the computer that made the biggest impression.

The mentor army.

Ray Warren (now retired). A legend in Marriott. I can’t describe my admiration for a guy that could remember almost every associate’s name in a 1300 room hotel. He ate lunch with the associates every day in the cafeteria. He reinvented himself regularly before he needed to do so. When speaking to me (or anyone) he gave undivided attention. He listened intently. He never preached or had to give advice. The best leader I have ever met – by far.
Jeff Campbell. Not only my mentor through the SDSU Masters program, but he also has a hell of a resume. Jeff is a bit of a rule bender like me. He makes decisions for the right reasons, not because they are written down in a rule book.
Larry Beck. I have terrible A.D.D.. When I enrolled in the SDSU HTM Masters Program, I hadn’t ever written anything meaningful. I am not even a good reader.  I had a ton of anxiety about it. He didn’t judge my writing as a “professional”, but as a person. I grew as a person with his approach, insight, and feedback. Before I enrolled, I told Larry that I don’t like to read and I don’t like to write. He loves to tell the story how I have recommend books to him and publish posts.

So many peers and people that have worked with me have inspired me. I’ll miss some but here are some names that I can’t thank enough. Mike Siegel, Ray Cruikshanks, Ever Aguilar, Dan Williams, Tamara Wiley, Ricky Smith, Casey Grieme, Mike Casler.

Countless authors that virtually mentor me through their writing. James AltucherSeth GodinSimon SinekMalcolm GladwellJim CollinsPaul Marciano.

Mentor others.

I have learned from so many people in my life. While I will never be able to thank them enough, I will continue to pay it forward as a mentor. I actively mentor a few people now. From first time hoteliers to first time managers.

I always try to incorporate a little of all of my mentors into mentoring others.

Have the courage to find a mentor. Have the courage to find a mentee. Have the courage to listen to both.

I talk too much sometimes…

Click for more information about the author: Trent Selbrede or simply click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior posts here.

In this series, professionals thank those who helped them reach where they are today. Read the post here, then write your own. Use #ThankYourMentor and @mention your mentor when sharing.

The Smart Bird Gets The Worm

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Bird-worm

The saying goes that “the early bird catches the worm”. Worms are nocturnal. If the birds were early, they would hunt at night.

I don’t like waking up early. No worms for me. It has also been said that “the early worm gets eaten”. There is another saying that “the second mouse gets the cheese”.

There are articles that claim “to be successful, we need to do these 10 things”. There are others that claim getting up early is the only way to be successful.

There is no right or wrong answer. It is a matter of context. The reality is that the smart bird catches the worm.

“It probably doesn’t depend on a study.

We can get up early and dig. But we can get up at anytime and dig as well. We can put in a little more effort, dig a little deeper, and still find the worm.  Maybe they are slower but more plump down there.

Maybe our research has proven that we can find more worms in the west side of the dirt because it’s still cooler than the east. We have to know our market.

In my context of the hospitality business, we can put our best foot forward at 6 a.m. to connect with a customer. No matter how early and energetic our employees are, the customer calls the shots. They might be tired from traveling across the country/world. They might have been up late from meetings the previous day. They may not have slept well in an unfamiliar place.

On the other end of early, customers may be more willing to talk in the evening. After a long day at the office (or local attraction), people may want to unwind. Maybe it’s a beverage. Maybe it’s an adult conversation. Maybe it’s a desire to connect.

There is evidence that starting school later benefits student learning, safety, and overall health. There are probably equal studies showing the opposite. It probably depends on the individual. It probably depends on the cultural norms. It probably doesn’t depend on a study.

The customer calls the shots

Have the courage to know when to find your worm. Have the courage to know when an old saying is tired or wrong. Have the courage to know when to connect.

Comments, likes, shares are  appreciated. Click for more information about the author: Trent Selbrede or simply click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior posts here.

Are You An Arsonist?

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Do you prevent, extinguish, or cause fires?  Which one should you do? There are varying degrees of this but maybe we need to do a little of each?

The innovative leader has to be an arsonist and a firefighter.  – Paul Sloane

Prevention is important. We want to keep the fire from starting. It might ruin what we have built. It might take our precious memories. It might cause us physical and emotional harm.

We don’t want to cause our customers/employees/stakeholders pain. We want a harmonious environment. We want to prevent issues from happening. We want everyone to be harmonious.

Setting the right foundation of expectations with proper monitoring and escape routes is wise. It doesn’t always prevent the fire from starting but it may minimize damage.

Remember: Only you can prevent fires”


Extinguishers are also critical
. If the trash can catches on fire, don’t ignore it. It spreads quickly. With a little puff of chemicals/counselling/water/listening, we might be able to prevent the spread of the fire. They only treat the symptom, but not the cause of the fire.

Maybe it’s an infectious employee or customer. Maybe it’s a bad boss. Maybe it is a culture of gossip. If we just cool it off, maybe it won’t re-ignite or explode.
If we use the wrong type of extinguisher (water on a grease or electrical fire), we can actually make things much worse. The extinguishers don’t last long (most extinguishers last less than 60 seconds). We can hope for good results in that time but it’s a pretty tight window.

If we extinguish the flames, we might be able to find the cause and prevent it from happening again.

Be an arsonist
. It might surprise us that we should occasionally be an arsonist. We should be willing to (figuratively) set fire to what we believe to be true. We should control the burn and prevent it from spreading to useful areas. We should be able to watch long held beliefs/policies/procedures go up in flames.

We should watch it to make sure it gets us toward our mission. We should be able to see the landscape clearly in the smoldering debris of what burned. It should set off new seedlings that are our future. It should make us susceptible to a landslide of ideas. We can be confident that a steady stream of ideas will establish roots for growth. Some ideas are like gas. They might stink but maybe just need a spark to get going.

Have the courage to prevent and extinguish fires. Have the courage to light a (figurative) fire to long held beliefs. Have the courage to spread the fire to others. Have the courage to spark the new ideas.

Comments, likes, shares are  appreciated.Click for more information about the author: Trent Selbrede or simply click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior posts here.

Thanks to Reid Crickmore for helping me with ideas and some editing again this week.

Disclaimer: Just to be be clear…this post is figurative/metaphorical. Do not play with fire. Thank you to our legal system for making me feel like I have to insult my readers by stating the obvious.

The First Ingredient to Success

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recipe success

Follow up to last week’s Tasting Success.

Throw out the articles that tell us “10 things you have to do to be successful” (Although those articles get a lot of traffic, maybe I should write those). They can inspire us but how many times have we changed what we do because of a list of “top 10”? Probably never.

When we read those top 10 lists and we see 2 that don’t apply, we tend to tune out and move onto the next article…but this one has 8 things. Maybe it will be the right 8 for us? Nope, this one also says we have to wake up at 4am and exercise. I don’t like waking up at 4am. I do most of my writing at night. I guess I’ll never be successful.

Next article…only 6 things and doesn’t include waking up at 4am. I found the best one ever written because it supports what I already believe.  It’s easy to find examples to support our theories. Bill Gates did x every day. Steve Jobs did y once per week. Warren Buffet wakes up at xxx every day.

How many times have we changed what we do because of a list of “top 10?

Aren’t we all unique? Why can’t we make our own list? Maybe it’s 4 things in which we are already proficient. Maybe a certain 4 are our specialty. When we do them all in synchrony, we create magic. Maybe we are awesome at something that no one else can do. It’s possible our list includes one thing that we want to challenge ourselves to improve. Maybe accomplishing these things feels like success, even if we are the only ones that know.

Maybe we define success differently than they do. Maybe the list of “10 things every successful person does before 5 am” is not really us but that doesn’t mean we can’t be the exception.

Knowing why is the first ingredient. This is what drives our true north. This is what tells us where we are headed. This is the foundation of everything we are trying to accomplish.

Maybe this will help us make our own list of the top 10. Or maybe ours is 11 or only 7.
1. Why (not how) do we do what we do?
2. Define our mission (not goals).
3. Define what has worked in the past.
4. Define why it worked in the past.
5. Define what should work in the future.
6. Define the players involved critical to the mission.
7. Define current realities.
8. Define (likely) future realities.
9. Define expectations.
10. GO GET IT!
11. Adapt and change as needed.

Nobody knows what we can do to be successful better than ourselves. Dig deep and look back to see what has worked. Make adjustments to the present situation and make it happen! Define yourself through your successes.

Have the courage to define our own keys to success. Have the courage to taste success at different levels. Have the courage to find success in whatever we decide to create. Our recipe for success may not be what they ordered, but they’ll still love it.

Special Thanks to Reid Crickmore for helping me with ideas and some editing this week.

Comments, likes, shares are  appreciated.

Click for more information about the author: Trent Selbrede or simply click the follow button at the top of the page. See any of the prior posts here.