Being able to think strategically is an important competency for professionals in any field. By using your strategic thinking skills, you can think critically to solve complex problems and plan for what lies ahead.
According to Doug Randall, who has lectured at Wharton School and Stanford University on strategy, leaders who think strategically see around corners and spot possibilities and choices where others see problems and constraints. Fortunately, you can cultivate a strategic mindset by following some simple steps and practicing often.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Randall’s thoughts on how to adopt a strategic mindset.
Look to the future. It’s helpful to learn from the past, but don’t get stuck there. To cultivate a strategic mindset, you should take the long view. According to Randall, this opens up choice and possibility because it is unimpeded by current limitations. Think about how you make decisions with your sales team. Do you look ahead and see abundant potential in the future, or do you begin with a more confined set of options? Strive to take a long-term, future view to plan effectively.
Start from the context. Randall notes that outside-in thinkers typically look for opportunities and threats in their contextual environment. Before considering what they can control, they look at social, political and technological forces. Remember to control what you can control—and don’t let the other things impact your decision-making.
Challenge traditional wisdom. To develop a strategic mindset, you should not limit yourself with the long-established and familiar ideas and routines in your life. According to Randall, conventional wisdom breeds predictability and certainty, and often extreme rigidity. You can break loose by choosing to embrace innovation and disruption.
Learn to synthesize information from various sources. Chances are, you get an influx of emails and information from multiple people and sources every day. You probably get more insight and data than you could feasibly interpret or act on in week. That’s why it’s important to systematically scan, synthesize and process information from a broad array of inputs, says Randall. This will help you make sense of all that is happening within your team, company and larger community.
Be intentionally optimistic. Do you tend to focus more on risks, concerns and the threat of loss—or do you look for opportunities, upsides and potential wins? To be a strategic thinker, you must be purposeful in looking on the bright side. According to Randall, positivity and an optimistic outlook create a foundation for a solution orientation, offering a wide spectrum of choices.
Cultivating a strategic mindset is an ongoing process. Learning how to think strategically is perhaps one of the most important soft skills you can master because it enables you think differently, propose new ideas, and see opportunities that others miss.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Doug Randall is a partner at The Trium Group. He has lectured at the Wharton School, Stanford University and National Defense University on strategy, narratives, leadership and negotiations.
Used with permission from PPAI
Life as a sales professional looks different now than it did last year. With the pandemic disrupting traditional ways of doing business, sales reps need the right blend of soft and hard skills to succeed. Have you helped your sales reps adapt their skills to meet the moment? Tess Townsend, a writer for the Salesforce blog, says that now is a great time to refine some important skills.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss Townsend’s thoughts on the five skills sales reps should develop now.
1. Empathy. This skill will take your reps far today and in the future. Train them to see things from the customer’s perspective and to be sensitive to each person’s unique situation. Instead of ending a sales call with an ask, consider closing with an open-ended question. Townsend suggests asking something like, “How is your business adjusting?” or “How has it been working from home for you and your team?” By sharing a little of your experience, you can help build a connection. For example, perhaps both you and your client are working while homeschooling kids. Look for ways to empathize to help authentically connect with the other person.
2. Data fluency. How often do you and your sales team look at important data, such as industry trends and territory data? While you do not need to be an expert in manipulating data, you should know how to analyze it for your sales team. For example, if you see that your reps are booking meetings in certain industries such as real estate or professional services, you can lean into these fields.
3. Customer research. According to Townsend, being able to build knowledge about your sales prospects is another key sales skill worth honing right now. She notes that reps in high-performing organizations are more than twice as likely to monitor customer purchase history and customer staffing changes than their underperforming counterparts.
4. A knack for communicating virtually. In a time when most sales meetings occur over the phone or via a video call, your sales reps should work on developing their virtual presence. Make sure their computer is set up to run video calls, ensure they have proper internet connect, and test the picture to make sure it isn’t blurry. You can look at getting your reps an external mic or webcam, when necessary. Train your reps to keep a light source in front of their face and to keep their camera positioned at eye level, adds Townsend. And to be considerate of your clients’ needs, always ask if they prefer a video call or phone call.
5. The ability to build relationships. Sales is still all about relationships, even though you may not see your customers face to face. That’s why being able to build relationships, even under changing circumstances, is one of the most critical sales skills today. Seek out ways to connect with your clients, whether that’s hosting a webinar or inviting them to a livestreamed class.
While selling during a pandemic poses many challenges, the basic objective of meeting buyers’ needs and solving customers’ problems remains unchanged. By training your sales reps to step up with the skills above, you can demonstrate that they are trusted advisors and build meaningful relationships with your clients, even in a difficult market.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Tess Townsend is a freelance journalist who contributes to the Salesforce blog.
Used with permission from PPAI
The pandemic has accelerated growth in ecommerce as more people are shopping from home, and that tremendous growth has boosted ad spend in the channel as well. Digital research and forecasting agency eMarketer, part of Insider Intelligence, expects marketers to spend $17.37 billion on advertising on ecommerce sites and apps this year, up 38.8 percent from 2019. By the end of 2020, ecommerce channel advertising will represent 12.2 percent of U.S. digital ad spending.
“Ecommerce channel ads are gaining popularity as brands realize the value of targeting prospects exhibiting purchase intent within the large ecommerce marketplaces,” says Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “The trend has only accelerated during the pandemic as ecommerce accounts for a higher percentage of most brands’ and retailers’ sales. While Amazon has already proven itself as an ad platform, the next wave of ecommerce power players is now making more aggressive moves in the space.”
Ecommerce channel advertising, sometimes known as retail media advertising, is digital advertising that appears on websites or apps that are primarily engaged in retail ecommerce.
“This type of advertising has benefited massively from the pandemic-accelerated shift of retail sales to ecommerce, but other disruptive forces in the digital media world are also driving more dollars to Amazon, Walmart and their competitors in the space,” says eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence Nicole Perrin. “As advertisers look to a future where it’s harder to identify and track users, ecommerce properties have the advantages of shopping and intent data on the targeting side, plus closed-loop attribution for measurement and optimization.”
Amazon is by far the largest platform, reports eMarketer. This year, the company will net $13.18 billion in ecommerce channel ad revenues, up 39.1 percent from 2019. This represents 75.7 percent of overall ecommerce channel ad spending and 90.6 percent of Amazon’s net U.S. digital ad revenues. Amazon is expected to continue to dominate the ecommerce advertising space, reaching nearly 77 percent of the market by 2022.
eMarketer also expects Walmart to grow its share of the market. In its first-ever forecast of Walmart’s net digital ad revenues, it predicts that Walmart’s ecommerce channel ad revenues will reach $849.4 million this year, thanks to the highest year-over-year growth among any company eMarketer breaks out, at 73.4 percent. Walmart will represent 4.9 percent of total U.S. ecommerce channel ad spending. By 2022, its share will reach nearly seven percent.
The forecaster also expect two other market leaders to maintain their share over the next few years as the overall market grows rapidly: eBay’s ecommerce channel ad revenues will reach $328.3 million this year, up 30.3 percent year over year, and Etsy’s ecommerce channel ad spending is on track to bring in $133.2 million, up 69.8 percent year over year.
What have I been doing chasing goals, accomplishments, and recognition?
10/13/2020 | Sam Kabert, Success with Swag(ger)
I was on a call with one of my coaches, Kyle Dow, through his program “Soul Path” and he said something that struck me to my core…
This is me. This is what I’ve been stuck in for the past year and a half. After realizing all the goals I had been chasing weren't making me any happier, I started down a soul-seeking rabbit hole.
Through a process of healing ceremonies, I woke up and thought, “What the hell have I been doing with my life?”
Who is it for?
Is it for validation?
Where is this yearning to be seen from?
Do any of these goals I’m chasing mean anything to me? Or is there a deeper yearning from my higher self that is begging to come through.
I’m starting to figure it out and piece the puzzle together; slowly but surely.
Deep Inner Calling
“Cycling Trivialities” a song by Jose Gonzales says it best…
“All this time you were chasing dreams
Without knowing what you wanted them to mean”
You see I was doing all the things I thought I needed to achieve to make me happy…
From having a business that runs itself so I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want it, to building my personal brand (ironically through blogs like this, podcasting and writing books), to awards and recognition like making it to the 40 Under 40 list in Silicon Valley, to having a "trophy" girlfriend.
None of it brought me happiness, but through the deep inner work I’ve been doing I’m finally starting to realize my mission in this current human incarnation...
I’m a Bridge Builder
I’m not trying to be something I’m not. In fact, I’m not trying to be anything but me and without getting too existential how could I be anything but me?
The point is I’m starting to realize what being authentic truly means and how to embody it.
I want to be the person that bridges the gap between those feeling the call that there’s something more than just “living in the Matrix” and centering their lives around defining who they are by the business they are in.
My Grandfather said to my Dad and my Father in turn passed it down to me…
“We work to live, we don’t live to work”.
I was living to work and now as I sit in this goal postpartum, I’m awakening to my higher calling and letting my soul come out to play.
So, I’ll leave you with this… if you’re feeling the call that you may be putting too much of an emphasis on work, please reach out (email@example.com). I have an abundance of resources that I can offer.
Let's all find a way to play a bit more and not be so serious in a world consumed by fear.
Customer testimonials are a powerful way to drive conversions and land more sales. They are often so effective because they showcase real people who have worked with you or benefitted from your products. Rather than coming off as a strong sales pitch, a testimonial allows you to spotlight your value from an unbiased voice: your client.
Video testimonials are especially effective because they enable prospects to hear directly from others who have worked with you. So, how do you get your video testimonials right? According to Clint Fontanella, manager of the HubSpot Service Blog, you can follow some important best practices to make the most of your testimonials.
Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today for Fontanella’s five tips for getting your great customer testimonials seen.
1. Clearly indicate your testimonials are from your real clients. Many people are skeptical of testimonials—and for good reason. Companies sometimes pay actors to give glowing reviews. That’s why Fontanella says it is critical that you mention upfront that your video is from your real clients—and that you have not paid them to say positive things. He recommends that instead of praising your product or service, you should encourage your clients to share their success stories. What did they achieve with your help? This will help potential clients envision what you could do for them, as well.
2. Share your videos across various platforms. When you get a fantastic customer testimonial video, make sure your prospects can easily see it. That means sharing it across multiple communication platforms. According to Fontanella, you can substantially broaden your reach and make your content more accessible when you employ a combined media strategy.
3. Feature a link to your website. A primary goal of customer testimonial videos is to land new business. When prospects see your previous and current clients talking about their experience working with you, you should make it easy for them to contact you by including a link in the video. Alternately, you could include a link in the copy shared with the testimonial.
4. Leverage all available data. Remember that data is important when sharing your testimonials because it tells you how many people are watching your content. Consider metrics such as average play length to see if viewers watch the whole testimonial or leave before it’s over, says Fontanella. You can also track video metrics such as total plays and total subscribers through your social media platforms or CMS tools.
5. Consider your buyer persona. To get the most out of your customer testimonial videos, Fontanella recommends focusing on the channels that appeal to your buyer persona. When you want to reach a B2B audience, for example, you may want to prioritize sharing your videos on your website over social media channels such as Instagram. Fontanella says that the more you can anticipate your customers’ viewing habits, the easier it will be to put content in front of them.
When you have a collection of strong customer testimonial videos, you have several valuable marketing tools at your disposal. To maximize these testimonials, be sure to share them strategically and watch the data to see how viewers respond to them. When you succeed at sharing at your customer testimonial videos, you set the stage to build connections and drive conversions.
Source: Clint Fontanella manages the HubSpot Service Blog.
Used with permission from PPAI Media https://pubs.ppai.org/pc-today/five-tips-for-sharing-customer-testimonial-videos/
Amid the pandemic, many conferences, trade shows, sales meetings and other large events have been transformed into virtual events—including The PPAI Expo 2021. While you exhibit at a virtual trade show from the comfort of your home or office, you should approach it with the same focus and enthusiasm as you would an in-person event.
Barbara Pavesi, the senior trade show planner for Cvent, has helped manage hundreds of virtual trade shows. Her main takeaway? Virtual trade shows are still trade shows. Even though they may look different than what you are accustomed to, they are still important and valuable.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share five tips from Pavesi on how to make the most of exhibiting at your next virtual trade show.
Invest in your virtual booth. A perk of attending a virtual trade show is that you do not have to ship and unpack any materials at the venue. Pavesi says you should use this opportunity to carefully curate content for your booth visitors. You could create tracks for different buyer personas or schedule events at your booth, such as product demos or theme-based meet-ups. Make your virtual booth a fun and engaging online experience and be sure to post your booth events on your social media channels.
Book virtual meetings in advance. Pavesi recommends identifying your most promising leads and pre-scheduling meetings with them. It’s easy to do this via meeting-scheduling tools or promoting your meeting sign-up link on social channels. By booking meetings in advance, you can capture more leads and staff the virtual trade show more efficiently, says Pavesi.
Send the right staff to the show. Just like with in-person events, you must be strategic and thoughtful on which reps you send to virtual trade shows. While it’s always important to send sales reps with product knowledge and relationship-building skills, you should also ensure your reps have a good grasp on digital communication. They should know how to use communicate well via email and text, and they should feel comfortable using video conferencing, notes Pavesi.
Equip your reps with captivating content. If you want to get noticed at virtual events, you have to be compelling with your messaging. Pavesi suggests creating incentives for attendees to respond to your reps’ messages or gamifying the interactions with prizes. Instead of sharing the usual pleasantries, you could share fun facts or zingers that are unique to your brand and company.
Capture leads consistently. When attending a virtual trade show, you should always aim to have reps capture leads in a consistent format and that all leads flow into a centralized location, says Pavesi. Fortunately, it is typically easy to accurately collect the information you need by clicking on an attendee’s profile. You can see their name, job title and email, which is a good start.
Get post-show feedback. Remember that virtual trade shows do not end when sales reps sign off. Leads still need to be input and post-show regroups still need to happen. Pavesi suggests touching base with your sales team and getting their input on what worked well and what did not. You can use this feedback as you refine your virtual trade show playbook.
Virtual trade shows allow you and your sales team to safely connect with prospects and key business partners during the pandemic. By approaching virtual events with the same thoughtfulness and creativity as you would in-person events, you can have a productive and successful online trade show experience.
Source: Barbara Pavesi is the senior trade show planner for Cvent. She has more than 10 years of trade show planning and event marketing experience from various industries.
Be an Investment, Not an Expense
Businesses are reconsidering every dollar they spend. What's that mean for you?
10/13/2020 | Roger Burnett, CAS, The Burn
I recently conducted an impromptu person-to-person poll.
The topic? How business-leaders are approaching budgeting for 2021.
We’re officially in budget-setting season, where businesses turn their attention to next year's expectations with respect to revenue, expenses, capital expenditures, profit-sharing payments, etc.
While the answers I heard were the most inconsistent I have ever accumulated, one clear theme occurred over and over again. No one is excited to devote any significant resources to growing market share, with the exception being hyper-inflated markets like real estate and mortgage-origination.
Everyone else is devoting whatever resources they have to reimagining their workflow. What used to be done by a person might now be outsourced to a virtual assistant or done by artificial intelligence. The role from which you were furloughed just might get filled by someone with a better-developed skill set, or a willingness to take less money and/or reduced benefits just for the sake of having a job. Any remaining resources are being ear-marked for talent-acquisition and paying for those newly-outsourced activities.
The negative implications for those of us tasked with sales is pretty significant given this reaction, but there may be a sliver of hope in all of this uncertainty, if you can successfully execute on a narrow but focused strategy.
Be seen as an investment, not an expense.
What do I mean by that?
If you’ve traditionally been invited to work with your customers at the tail end of whatever sales-cycle they typically use to arrive at a transaction with you, the likelihood of you being able to add value to the effort is effectively nullified. With no additional value, your participation in the deal is merely to ensure they get what they asked for. You, by association with only the financials of the transaction, are seen as an extension of the cost of the product.
You’re a part of the expense that will be recorded against the budget the project is billed against, no matter how well you deliver on those minimal expectations.
Here’s where the strategy part comes in. You have to spend time, energy, resources and attention on the people you get money from. The kind of time that makes them feel like when they give you money, they perceive themselves as making an investment in you and your company’s success.
How many customers of yours would say that today? How would you even be able to accomplish that task? It’s in those two questions that the seeds of a plan can be planted, a plan that might be the difference maker in this time of frightened spending.
If you’re not spending time creating self-serve opportunities for potential investors to evaluate you as a prospective place for their investment, you’re firmly planting yourself on the expense line. Businesses are reconsidering every dollar they spend these days, with a heavy emphasis placed on an intimate understanding of the story behind those businesses with which they’re spending money. If you can prove that dollars spent with you can confidently be defended as not being a waste of resources, if you can show how the world is made better when you’re the vendor of choice, you create opportunities to transform what was otherwise written-off as needless expenses into places people can be proud to invest.
Ask around in your own business community. Take the same temperature check of the businesses you most often work with and make a decision based on the responses. If you find yourself faced with a similar possibility as mine, these might be timely words as you consider your own 2021 goals.
Used with permission from PromoCorner Original article located at https://www.promocorner.com/promojournal/Be-an-Investment-Not-an-Expense?i=4536
The role of corporate supply chain officers is evolving, and research and advisory company Gartner has identified three trends driving it that will change how they organize and operate their organizations.
“CSCOs [chief supply chain officers] are tasked to design a supply chain organization that fits into this new era,” says Mike Burkett, distinguished vice president analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice. “While in the past, a good supply chain was efficient and powerful, it must now be agile and fast.”
Among the three macro trends that will shape the future of supply chain is what Gartner termed “the rise of digital business.” Gartner research shows that many CSCOs struggle to create a holistic digital supply chain roadmap. At the same time, they are under pressure from CEOs who want to make their business more digital. According to Gartner research, the top barrier to a digital supply chain today is culture, followed by legacy tech, usable data and legacy processes. It advises CSCOs to work with partners across the business to overcome those barriers and enable their CEO’s digital business ambitions.
“Given the critical role of supply chain in ensuring customer satisfaction and experience, much of the digitalization efforts will be on the shoulders of the CSCO,” says Burkett. “This is the greatest transformation of supply chain structures in a long time, and it will not be easy.”
Another trend Gartner has identified is new competitor and trade uncertainty. In recent years, uncertainty has been a constant in supply chain. There is uncertainty on where the next competitor will come from and what their impact will be. Almost half of CSCOs believe that their business is at risk of being disrupted in the coming years, with the greatest risk coming from nontraditional businesses such as startups.
Then there is the trade uncertainty, caused by events including the U.S.-China trade war and Brexit. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concern about future pandemics after shutting down global supply chains and trade routes.
“The ongoing uncertainty calls for a new approach to supply chain management,” Burkett adds. “CSCOs must build more flexible and resilient networks that can respond effectively to global shocks and disruptions—be it caused by nature or a competitor.”
The third trend on Gartner’s radar involves sustainability and the circular economy. A circular economy is an economic model that separates the ability to achieve economic growth from the consumption of natural resources. Supply chain plays a critical role in every part of the cycle—make, use, return, recycle, reuse. The 2019 Gartner Future of Supply Chain Survey found that 28 percent of organizations had already implemented circular design approaches in their innovation strategy—and 39 percent planned to do so within the next two years.
Burkett says, “A supply chain that enables the circular economy has to have strong reverse logistics capabilities. The heavy equipment and machinery industries are already on a good path. However, this is a trend that no industry can miss out on—including consumer products.”
Used With Permission From PPAI Media; original link https://pubs.ppai.org/ppb-newslink/three-trends-are-driving-change-in-supply-chain-operations/
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are a growing number of products in the promotional products marketplace that include, or are advertised as including, pesticide or antimicrobial additives that may or are expected to kill or deter microorganisms, including viruses.
Suppliers and distributors of promotional products should be aware that products containing a pesticide, as well as the advertising and labeling of such products, are regulated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and that, with a few exceptions, those products must be registered through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
FIFRA enforcement is focused on the sale, distribution and use of pesticides. Generally, a pesticide is defined as any substance (or mixture of substances) intended for a pesticidal purpose, which includes being used for the purpose of preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any “pest.” Under FIFRA, “pest” is defined as an organism that, under circumstances, makes it “deleterious to man or the environment,” including certain viruses.
The EPA regulates and is currently scrutinizing what it believes are false or misleading advertising claims and labeling relating to products that may contain pesticide substances, and that are advertised or labeled as being effective in some manner against COVID-19. According to a recent announcement from the EPA, it ordered Amazon Services, LLC and eBay, Inc. to stop selling a wide range of pesticide products, including products that were labeled or marketed with false or misleading claims of efficacy against the cause of COVID-19. According to the EPA, the products in issue were unregistered, misbranded or restricted-use pesticides, and pesticide devices that make false or misleading claims. The EPA noted labeling or advertising statements that the EPA believed were not compliant with legal requirements, including phrases such as “Kills COVID-19,” “Coronavirus disinfectant” and “Efficient disinfection to prevent the spread of disease.”
Those who sell or distribute products in violation of FIFRA may be subject to civil fines and even criminal punishment pursuant to the authority vested in the EPA by 7 U.S.C. § 136l. In 2018, the EPA increased the maximum fine for each violation of FIFRA’s registration requirements to $19,446. A violation committed “knowingly” is subject to a fine not to exceed $50,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both. FIFRA violations involving the distribution or sale of a product may be assessed by the number of transfers or shipments, and the scope of distributions or sales may date back as much as five years from the date of the civil administrative complaint. The amount of fines depends, in part, on when the violation occurred and when penalties are assessed. When assessing penalties and punishment for violations of FIFRA, the EPA utilizes various enforcement response policies and guidance, including the EPA’s 2009 FIFRA Enforcement Response Policy. The EPA’s enforcement guidelines are available online. Industry participants are encouraged to become familiar with the EPA’s enforcement prerogatives.
PPAI has long been an advocate of product safety and compliance throughout the supply chain. The recent increase in products unique to the “pest” known as COVID-19 has apparently awakened another sleeping regulatory giant in FIFRA and the EPA. Those in the promotional products industry who are engaged in the manufacture, sale, shipment or distribution of products governed by FIFRA and regulated by the EPA are wise to carefully evaluate the registration requirements as well as any labeling or advertising associated with those products.
Cory Halliburton is an attorney with Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski & Zuber, P.C., and he serves as general counsel for PPAI. This article is for general informational purposes only; it is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Each recipient is encouraged to consult independent legal counsel before making any decisions concerning the matters in this communication.
Additional Information Resources:
The external websites or links provided here are not intended to support private or commercial organizations or businesses. They and this article are provided for general information purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. PPAI does not guarantee, approve or endorse the applicable entity, information or products available on the external sites. Each user is encouraged to seek independent legal counsel with regard to the subjects of this article.
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and Federal Facilities: www.epa.gov/enforcement/federal-insecticide-fungicide-and-rodenticide-act-fifra-and-federal-facilities
Summary of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act: www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-federal-insecticide-fungicide-and-rodenticide-act
FIFRA documents: www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/fifra-erp1209.pdf
EPA’s FIFRA Questions and Answers: www.epa.gov/pesticide-labels/pesticide-labeling-questions-answers
EPA, Consumer Products Treated with Pesticides: www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/consumer-products-treated-pesticides
Memo from Marcia Mulkey, EPA, to Persons Responsible for Registration of Pesticide Products: www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-04/documents/pr2000-1.pdf
National Pesticide Information Retrieval System, Search Federal Pesticide Products:
Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule: www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-01-10/pdf/2018-00287.pdf
Used With Permission From PPAI Media
You’ve heard the expression, “a chicken with it’s head cut off”. That’s me.
9/8/2020 | Sam Kabert, Success with Swag(ger)
Recently I received a message from a trusted source about “slowing down”. It was disappointing to say the least.
Many people know me for my go-go-go energy. This energy has helped catapult my “success”... In 2019 I was named to Silicon Valley’s 40 Under 40 List and most recently I was named a “Rising Star” in the promotional products (swag) industry. None of this would be possible had I not intentionally built out my personal brand of “SwagSam”. The SwagSam brand encompasses my business, SwagWorx.com, as much as it does my various podcasts, my food show on YouTube (link here) and writing 3 books in just one year!
I’m so grateful for this natural energy of bringing ideas to life. However, what I often don’t share is the burden of channeling my inner chicken…
Believe it or not, to a certain extent I’m semi serious about this. Here’s the thing… I am not as intentional as I could be. I tend to get ideas and run with them before letting them “marinade” and strategizing. As a result, I’ve heard a message of “slowing down” for nearly all of quarantine. I haven’t listened to the message though.
I do, do, do. I get ideas and I act on them, it’s a gift. While I realize the benefits of this trait, I never fully understood how so many people don’t take actions on ideas until I received constant messages from others about how impressive it is that I can do so much. To me it’s not impressive; in fact it’s often a burden.
I have this inner drive to make things happen, but the truth is I’m doing it for validation. In the process of moving as fast as I do, I tend to not have the clearest direction. I’m basically a wizard at figuring it out as I go, but it’s time to channel my inner elephant.
Elephants to me represent wisdom, grace, and compassion. I’ve read that when elephants come across dead elephants they pause to mourn for the elephant outside of their family. If that’s not slowing down to be one with the cycle of life I don’t know what is.
Elephants represent strength and a silent reflection that cannot be compared to the rate of running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.
My time has come to slow down.
Messages & “Downloads”
I recently joined my brothers and sisters from the Fit for Service Mastermind by Aubrey Marcus for a week in South Lake Tahoe, CA. It was here that the messages to slow down came flooding in from all directions.
I have been working on slowing down since quarantine began, but I haven’t fully embraced slowing down. I'm at about 75%. Don’t get me wrong, I meditate nearly daily. I journal from time to time and I do yoga several times I week to physically help slow down my breath (and my mind). But, I’m just doing the bare minimum. I still act on ideas without thinking. I recently started doing deeper inner work (like exploring channeling).
People have recognized the difference in me since I’ve intentionally slowed down. I have recognized the difference.
I find that I have more awareness of myself, others and my surroundings. I sit on ideas and thoughts more, I'm not as quick to act on them and figure it out as I go. I’m okay with letting what seems like a good idea at the time slip through my fingers without regret.
This is the beginning of a new journey for me. If you’re like me and you feel you move fast, I would invite you to slow down.
If you’re already at a slower pace and you want to begin to move faster, I would love to support you however I can. Phone call, email, text - whatever works.
The bottom line is each and every one of us needs to have a cadence and we need to be intentional about the speed we operate. I do believe that many of us don’t even realize how the speed in our approach takes a toll on our psyche.
The time is now to be more intentional with your approach.
Breathe it in,
Used With Permission From PromoCorner
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