Speaking To Win!

Contrary to popular belief, not all great leaders start with great communication skills. Churchill, perhaps the greatest orator of the twentieth century, stuttered badly as a child and took speech therapy even as an adult. During one of his early performances at the podium he was so afraid that he actually passed out. Lincoln was by no means a natural speaker, yet his eloquence grew with his wisdom. The Gettysburg Address lasted just over two minutes and contained less than 300 words, yet what power those words held. They moved an entire nation then, and continue to do so.

Destiny hangs on a word

These two legendary orators illustrate beautifully the point that often in the course of history the entire fate of a nation, company or sports team can hinge on a single speech. A speech that evokes passion. A speech that rallies pride. A speech that stirs uncommon motivation to act, and instills an undying commitment to see that action through to its successful conclusion. Make no mistake about the power of the spoken word to change the fortune of any country, organization or company.

Don’t Put All Your Money in One Place

If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem. - Jean Paul Getty

One of my best friends lost $30 million to Bernie Madoff, just about every dime his family had amassed in thirty years in business. But you don’t have to be a victim of the greatest fraud in history to get in deep financial trouble at the drop of a hat. It can just as easily happen at your local bank.

When I was in the martial arts business I had my personal account, my business account, a line of credit, and a credit card with Bank of America. When I moved back to Florida from California, I obviously changed all of my addresses. I was slowly winding down one business and starting a new one when, out of the blue, $30,000 vanished from my bank account, making it impossible to make payroll.

Play The Hand You’re Dealt!

In any problem, business or personal, there will be some constraints that are real and some that are perceived. Each must be examined and explored so that perceived but unreal constraints can be removed, permitting clear thinking on the real ones that remain.

Make sure the constraints you believe are in place really are. List all such constraints that you believe are in place and carefully analyze them to make sure they are real. Often, when you take yourself through this part of the problem-solving process and look carefully at each constraint, you will expose false constraints that can be removed. This may offer quick and easy solutions on which you can act.

Become a Business Sponge

Invest three percent of your income in yourself (self-development) in order to guarantee your future. - Brian Tracy

Before you start your new venture, commit to becoming a business sponge. Soak up every bit of key information you need to rapidly increase your competence in sales, marketing, time management, and other key entrepreneurial skills that will dramatically affect the ultimate success of your business.

It’s a pretty simple yet seldom discussed fact that competence in various disciplines of business brings success, lack of competence—failure.

Don’t Burst the Prospect’s Bubble

It’s the strangest thing, but every prospect who ever walked into one of my karate studios had a bubble over his head, just like you see in comic strips when people are dreaming of something. My job was to find out what was in that bubble. Here’s the problem. When I first meet someone, I can’t see what’s on the inside of the bubble on account of the fog! I know what is in there though—it’s the alter ego of the person right under the bubble!

The big question is how does the young man who just walked into my studio see himself in that bubble. Is he Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, or Jean Claude van Damme throwing bad guys out of ten-story windows? If it’s a child, the person in the bubble might be the Karate Kid, a Ninja Turtle, or a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. The child’s parents also have bubbles above their heads filled possibly with A’s on a report card or a vision of little Erica taking out the trash and cleaning up her room.