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What We have been up To

I have hinted at it more than a couple times over the past months as I wrote about the journey that xiaoyi and I have been on and today I am going to explain what it is and how it has changed our lives. I am speaking about the business venture that catapulted us into our own self-development and growth as we strive to reach the goals that we set out for ourselves. That business a great travel club and we are both representatives for the business. In short, Network Marketing and our travel club was the catalyst that drove both of us to improve ourselves and to dream for a bigger and better future than we have ever thought we could have.
The club is a mix between a Costco like program for travel and a piggy back for saving for that travel. Essentially we pay a monthly deposit to the company and in exchange, we get access to hundreds of discounted travel options, from a couple day stay in another state to a couple weeks overseas. The packaged vacations are nothing short of amazing with so much to offer that it is staggering that they are being offered at the low price they are. That is step one, discounted travel programs.

Then the deposits, is that the monthly dues, we pay become points at a 1:1 ratio. We can use those points on those vacation packages at a 1 point to $1.00 discount on the package. In essence, we have this membership for free as every dollar we spend on our monthly dues translates into a dollar less we pay on our vacations. This has been an incredible boon in our ability to save for the vacations that we want to take and every since the two of us toured China 6 years ago, travel has been an integral love in our lives. It is an all-around win for us.

There are two ways that one can participate in this with us. The first is as a customer and is just what I described above. The second is as a representative.  For little extra a month on our membership, we have the ability to sign up other customers and representatives, every one of which earns us real life income. And we get all the perks of being members as well. This opportunity has done more for us than I can relate, but I will give it a try.

First of all, it gave us a dream that we could strive for together. It gave us something that we could see ourselves doing and doing well and doing as a team. That has brought us closer together than we have been since we exchanged our vows on that trip to China I mentioned. It has given us a shared goal to strive for, something that has enhanced our lives in profound ways.

Second, it gave us training. Not just training in how to expand the business and make it a success, but rather training in self-growth and self-improvement as well. This training has seen us step outside the old, comfortable habits that had locked us into the life we were leading and opened the door to the life that we wanted to lead. It gave us the tools to become the people that we always wanted to be, and traveling that road is an amazing and intoxicating feeling.

Third, it has set us on the path to have time and financial freedom. It has laid out a road for us that lead to never having to wake up at 6am again to get to an 8-5 job again. It has opened our eyes to a life that isn’t predicated on the next paycheck and if the bills are paid. Instead, it has given us the freedom to earn what we want and on the time frame we choose. That is something that had eluded us up to this point in our lives.

Finally, it let us travel. Since we joined up, we have gone on multiple vacations that we had not been going on previously. It has allowed us to indulge in the love that we have to visit new places and learn new things about the world around us. This has enriched our lives to no end and shows no sign of stopping. We get to live the life that we wanted to live all those years ago and never have the opportunity to do so because we were locked into a culture and ideal that prevented it.

Our lives have changed so much in the past year that I can’t even recognize the person I was even that short time ago. The problems and frustrations of that life have changed and even vanished in the face of the life and dreams that this venture has given us. It has set us on our path to growth and freedom!

If travel is something that you love as well then shoot us an email at xioayi@WiththeDrakes.com and we can chat about our club some. It has been a stepping stone in our journey to our goals and our own self-growth and it could be just the thing you need to push you along that path as well!

-Dominic

Three ways to Help Make Sales:

In all our lives, we make sales. Not only of items and of services we represent for income but also for relationships and enjoyment.  Here are suggestions on how to increase your skills at making sales and getting the enjoyment you want out of life.

Lay It Out:

            Many of us speak with people every day regarding our business and the product or service that we are represent. Many people go into these discussion haphazardly and end up either not getting everything they need done on that conversation or fail to make a connection with the person that they are talking to. Here are 3 ways to help improve the conversation from start to finish.

            First :pre-planning.

Before we get to the meeting or pick up the phone, we need to do a little research and planning. We need to sit down and review where we are with the person that we will be working with and any notes from previous times that we have worked or spoken with them. Additionally, we need to set down a plan on how we are going to speak with them and what goals we have for the meeting. This prevents us from getting to the end of the interaction and realizing that we didn’t get the information we need to progress, that we failed in the purpose of the meeting.

            Second:  Starting the conversation

This is the most important part, when we first start the conversation. This is the time that we need to give a statement of intent. We need to tell the person what the purpose of the meeting is, what we are trying to achieve in that interaction. This does a couple things for us. It puts both us and the person on the same page, creating the same template to work from during the interaction. It also shows respect for the person we are speaking with by involving them in reaching the goals that are set out. This is also the time to link this interaction to any of the other interactions that we have done with the person. This is when we say what we did last time and what we want to to in this conversation.

It also gains permission from the person to continue. This allows them to have a say in the process and invites them into the discussion as a participant rather than just an observed.

            Third:  follow through

Finally, we need to take some post interaction work. This is where we need to sit down and take complete notes on the interaction so that when we speak with the person again, we know where we are and what we will be doing for the next interaction. There is nothing worse than having an interaction with someone and finding that you already answered all the questions with them on a previous meeting that you had listed out in your pre-planning. This step is vital to keep the flow of your interactions moving forward and showing that respect to the other person.

           

These three things will make any prolonged series of interaction with someone far easier and more connected then it would have been otherwise. By keeping things organized, streamlined and personalized to each person you talk to, you increase your chances of making the sale.  Most people will say no the first time they are offered something so feel free to ask them again and again over time as they build a relationship with you and learn to trust you.   How are these strategies going to assist you in your future interactions? If you would like to learn more techniques like this one we recommend joining HERE to learn from many of the greats we learn from.  

 

~Dominic

Life’s too Short to Have Bad Days! What are YOU doing to Make Today Fantastic?

 

The Power of The Silent Sell

image courtesy of: http://mom.girlstalkinsmack.com/

image courtesy of: http://mom.girlstalkinsmack.com/

 

One mistake of many salespeople is to think that they need to do the majority of the talking since they are the person “in the driver’s seat” and knowledgeable about the products. While it is true the sales person knows the product, even car salesfolk know, you have to let the customer drive the vehicle if you want to make the sale. If the sales person does all the talking. It makes the customer feel like they are talking to a sleazy salesperson who only cares about commission rather than someone that they can trust, and trust is the cornerstone of making the sale. There are two keys things that we should remember as we go through our selling processes.

First: the sales process is more effective and better for both us and our customer if we treat it like a conversation. After all the customer is a person too! Be truly and honestly interested in that person and why they are coming to us in the first place. What aspects of their lives are they trying to change by looking into our product? This is vital throughout the sales process. It creates a connection between us and the customer that can blossom into a trust. It also allows us to listen and to understand what the customer is looking for so that we can help them pick which product will fit them best rather than just spewing features of the product at them. This is a vital portion of a customer based sales method rather than a product-focused sales method and works far better in the long run.

The second part of this comes at the end of the conversation when we ask for the sale. Many times we, as the sales person, get nervous and flustered after we ask the customer to commit to the sale and start rambling on and on about the product or inventing problems to solve, problems that the customer probably wasn’t thinking of. This is where some self-control comes in and we use our silence as a lever to our advantage. If we stay silent after we ask for the sale, we create a few benefits to us and to our customer. First off, it allows the customer to formulate their thoughts and decide if there is anything additional that they need to address before they are comfortable making the purchase. Second, it create an impression of confidence in ourselves that goes a long way to reinforcing our posture and removing the feelings of being desperate to make the sale, feelings that the customer will pick up on and that will be detrimental to us getting the sale. Finally, it is a tactic to let the customer sell themselves on the product. If we stay silent, the customer will be forced into breaching that silence and they will do it in one of three ways. One: they will formulate real concerns that they want to address, in which case we can assist with address those. Two: they will start to solve their own smokescreen issues and sell themselves on the product for us, applying benefits of the product to their own concerns. Three: they will ask how they can make the purchase. If you notice, all of these outcomes is a good thing for us and for the customer.

So how are you going to use the power of staying silent to really get at the meat of your customer’s concerns?

What’s Your Story?

image courtesy of: blogs.nature.com

image courtesy of: blogs.nature.com

The Stories of Our Lives:

Every day of our lives we are creating a story, a tale that we tell at parties or other social events; a tale that we tell in our posture, our mannerisms and our speech even. Yet even though we think about our stories often, very rarely do we sit down and craft how we tell those stories so that we portray the message that we want to with them. Most of the time our stories are off our cuff, or merely a retelling of how we remember the events. Only with time and effort can we turn those stories into something compelling, something that works to move the people that we tell them to. Today I wanted to look at the three stories that a person needs when they are speaking with a prospect. These three stories, when properly crafted, can be the difference between getting a rejection and having someone join you on your journey.

The first story is the one that set us off on this venture, whatever it may be for us. By this time, we should have sat down and thought long and hard about the Why of our journey, the reason that we are walking such a strange and difficult path. Yet we have not taken the time to craft this reason into a story that we can convey to the people that we talk to. When we take that time, we turn this story from something to works to motivate us and propel us forward during the hard times, into an emotional catalyst for the person that we are talking to. It creates emotional responses and dredges up those feelings of camaraderie and connection that all humans crave. With a finely crafted Why story, we build the emotional connection with the person that we are talking to that allows them to trust and move with their emotion instead of actively working to negate their emotions as we are commonly taught to do.  This is an amazing experience, when you are actually being authentic and real with someone instead of either of you hiding behind the ideas of logic that we use to shield ourselves from those connections to other people.

The second vital story in our process is the Results Story. This is the story of how your life has changed since you started on this journey. This story gives the person we are talking to a measuring stick on how their life might change if they join us on our journey. This is the story that needs the most crafting usually and the reason for that is that most people in our world downplay the changes in their life. Change is scary to people and having dramatic change in our lives is a source of fear for those around us. It is the reason that many people will try to tear you down as you embark on this journey, a simple fear of things changing. So what we need to do with the Results story is find those things in our lives that have changed and then take the time to really see how much change has occurred and to frame that change in an exciting and enticing way.

Finally, we need the Big Event Story. This story is one about some major event that we attended in connection to our new path that changed us, or forces us outside our comfort zone in one way or another. This story can take many forms, from the joy and excitement the event created in you, or the struggle and hardship you overcame to get to that event. The simple truth is that there are very few people in this world that can succeed without the support and comfort of those on the same path and the events are the single most inspiring connection that we can make to others already on the path. Telling the person you are talking to about how these event move and change you will be an inspiration for them to attend them as well. This gives them two valuable things. The excitement of creating their own story, and the emotional drive and boost that they will need to attend the events and to keep pushing forward along the path instead of becoming another person stuck at the side of the road.

The stories that we tell can either work to our advantage in life, or they can work to blend us into the background. It is only a matter of taking the time to craft those stories to turn them into tools for us and our growth in our journey. Crafting our stories also allows us to have an impact on other people’s lives, to infuse them with wonder, joy, and excitement rather than the normal fear that change often creates. These stories are our bridges to other people, the structures that allow us to create something amazing with those around us.

What is your story and how are you going to craft it so that it moves people rather than being a momentary, meaningless passage of time in their lives?

 

need or product

image courtesy of : http://www.dreamstime.com/

image courtesy of : http://www.dreamstime.com/

The Need or the Product?

The end goal of a sales position is to get people to buy the product that we are selling. The training and methods that we develop are based around that end, but many times that training actually gets in the way of achieving that end. In many cases, the salesperson is trained in how to sell the product that they have. In our culture today, we have been taught that salespeople are not be trusted, that they are snake oil salesman or used car dealers and are only there until the money transfers hands and then the sales person disappear into the void. The unfortunate truth is that in a lot of situations that is exactly what will happen and the customer has every right to fear that outcome. There is a way to surmount this problem for your clients and it revolves around the actual selling process.

Instead of focusing our product when we are at a sales meeting, the real trick to getting around cultural bias is to listen. We need to sit down and develop our sales system so that it focuses on listening to the customer and learning about them. This is in an effort to really learn and understand the needs and wants that they have that they are looking to have solved. We need to be engaged in the conversation so that we can uncover the actual conditions that need to be met for someone to purchase our product instead of the smoke screens that are going to be tossed up. Once we have uncovers those conditions and really understood them, at that point we can demonstrate our product to the customer in a way that actually solves their problem, meets their conditions. If our product can do that, the customer will feel confident in purchasing the product.

The demonstration is not the only bonus we get out of this need-based selling method. When we really listen to someone, it creates a bond between the two people and that bond breeds trust. We can’t sell anything to somebody who doesn’t trust us, so finding ways to build that trust is vital to the end result. Additionally, this sort of selling method helps us in an emotional capacity. When all is said and done and the customer walks away after purchasing, this needs based selling has made it so that we can honestly look at the situation and be proud of ourselves that we helped someone out with their problems. We don’t have to wonder if we omitted information that would have ruined the sale or somehow tricked the customer into purchasing because we took the effort to understand and address the reasons that they were looking for a product in the first place. These are wonderful benefits to a system that is already more effective at achieving the end goal of making a sale.

So how can you modify your product based sales to be a more need-based sales method?

-Dominic

Life’s too Short to have Bad Days!  What are YOU doing to make today FANTASTIC?

A Change in Values

 

http://www.gordontraining.com/

http://www.gordontraining.com/

Several times we have looked at values and how they can affect our lives and how we interact with the world and the challenges that we face in this life. We have come to the determination that living aligned with our values is the greatest source of happiness and contentment and have taken the time to understand how we can behave in accordance with our values. We have even developed ways to find and understand our values through introspection and self-analysis. I recently went on a road trip that showed me that the process of finding and understanding our values is never truly done, it is something that we need to do time and time again as we grow, learn and live.

I have lived my entire life within 20 minutes of a major city. I have grown up in that city and worked in that city and since it wasn’t one of the massive ones we hear about all the time, I assumed it was a good slice of normal life around our country. As such I have been accepting as the price of living has increased dramatically over the past few years, assuming it was a common trend. So now, making more than I ever have in my life, I am at a point where my quality of living is less than it was 10 years ago because of where I am living. This road trip showed me something very different and got me thinking about what I really want or need to live a happy life.

I visited a friend halfway across the country and we got to talking about the house they lived in and the costs of living in that area of the world. It was a nice, quiet community with a lot of green and growing things and far too much water in the air for this Colorado native, but it was peaceful and pleasant. Then I found out that the cost of the home was half of what a similar home would cost in my neck of the woods and that the cost of living in the other aspects of life were similarly reduced. I found out that a home actually in the nearby city, a city that was once thriving and is now working to rebound back to being thriving, is literally 10 times less expensive than the same home in Denver where I live. That was a real shock to my outlook on life and got me thinking about what I really need to call somewhere home.

The drive back gave me plenty of time to watch out the window at the passing towns and examine what a life in those areas would mean to me and the results astounded me. To have a home and the quality of life I wanted, I would be willing to sacrifice quite a lot. First off, I would be willing to increase my commute each day as I still have one. This is something that I thought I had reached a maximum on as I spend an hour in traffic both ways currently. Yet for the right home and the right quality of living, I would happily increase that cost. Additionally, I would be willing to take a pay cut and work a less desirable job to have a home that made me happy as long as the quality of living didn’t decrease. This was a real shock to me as I equate the amount of money I earn with the quality of life I lead. Yet the trip showed me that I can earn less and still increase the quality of my living.

The trip made me take a close look at my values and what I wanted and needed from life and the results were not what I had expected or even had considered previously. I am now looking towards my future with a different heart and different hopes. I encourage you all to take a trip, be it physical or mental and really explore those areas of life that have not been available to you before and see if there are any deeply held values there that might change as your views of the world around you change. It can be a shocking and uplifting feeling.

-Dominic

Life’s too short to have bad days! What are YOU doing to make today fantastic?

Sealing the Deal

Seal-The-Deal

Image courtesy of http://biz-tutorial.com/

For most of us, we understand that the end of a sales conversation comes down to the closing. This is one of the major points of the conversation for both parties. Without a closing, the work and effort that we have put in and the time that our customer has put in has just been a conversation. Without a closing, we are not solving any problems for our customer; we are not satisfying any of their needs. We have built trust and companionship, but have not achieved our goal to improve both parties’ lives. Yet, even knowing this, most salespeople don’t ask for a closing commitment. That needs to stop for us. We need to be there to ask for that closing. What we are doing now is running most of a marathon and then walking away without crossing the finish line even though it is in sight. We may not win, but we should at least cross that line.

There are two broad ways to ask for that closing commitment and they each work for different types of people. For those people that take a time to come to a decision about something, an incremental close is usually the way to go. These are people that we will likely talk to on multiple occasions and will have follow up questions. The incremental closing is a method to set up that final closing, it is an action to moves the process along but does not result in a final answer. This is a call to action at the end of a conversation that leads us into the next conversation and keeps our guest involved in the process. Usually, it is asking them to do some research that will support what we have been saying and builds trust with the customer. That way, when all is said and done, the closing is already set up, we have already moved them along to that decision point.

With the more direct people we deal with an immediate decision closing is the way to go. These people are not the sort to go back and forth about a decision; they want to get it done and off their plate as soon as possible. We need to be able to realize and accommodate that style and actually ask for a closing commitment at the end of the conversation. If we have identified and addressed their problem or need at this point, this should be easy and natural. If it isn’t, then we need to take a look at the rest of the process and see if we are actually improving their life or if it just a matter of our own fear of rejection that keeps us from asking for that close. If it is our fear, which is something we need to get over. Either they see the value for their lives or they don’t, it does not diminish the value of our lives or of our effort to help. If is a matter of a faulty system, that needs to be looked at and resolved so that asking for a closing is natural and easy.

What steps are you going to take at this point to make sure to separate yourself from the pack and actually ask for a closing? I use a tally sheet that lists the conversations I have compared to the ones that I ask for a close on. It is a startling visual for myself and drives me to ask more than I would naturally. Come up with something that works for you and actually ask. If you don’t ask, you are assuming they are a no, and that is a bad road to let yourself wander down.

-Dominic

Life’s Too Short to Have Bad Days!  What are YOU doing to make today Fantastic?  Please leave us your comments.

Predictive Perception Filters:

image courtesy of: http://www.stetson.edu/

image courtesy of: http://www.stetson.edu/

 

As we walk through life, we develop filters or lenses that we see the world through and these determine the quality of our world more powerfully than anything else in our lives. Everyone is born into the same world and face challenges and joys and interpret their lives through those experiences, but the simple fact is that who we are and the joy and suffering in our lives comes down to simply how we perceive the events that happen in our lives. It is not the events themselves or what other people say about them, but how we look at them and internalize them. This is our perception filter and it defines how we see the world. It is also something that we can change.

Imagine that you are looking at paintings and have a choice of a piece of glass to look at the painting through. The painting in this thought is the even in our life and the glass is the filter that we perceive it through. If that piece of glass is red, all the red in the painting will be exaggerated and all the blues will be diminished. Same idea if we switch that piece of glass to blue glass, the blue will be bright and vibrant and the reds will be diminished. It is the same thing for our brains and how we perceive an event. If we look at the world through a filter that sees only the loss and pain of events, then that is all we will see, the good things will be diminished and less important in the overall scheme than the painful parts. Luckily for us, we can change our filter to see the good things from an event rather than the bad things and actually use that to exaggerate the good things in our lives and dimish the effect of bad things.

This power of ours is also predictive. I mean that if we walk around with a negative filter in place we will actually find negative things about encounters and events that have no negativity in them. We will have trained ourselves to reinforce the filter that we have in place. With a negative filter in place, we walk into a coffee shop expecting that the server will be surly and get our order wrong, so we will interpret normal interactions as negative ones, creating negativity in our lives where there wasn’t any in actuality. In this case, the normal interaction with the server becomes strained and a source of strife and frustration in us, and this is all done needlessly. The reverse is also true. If we walk into that coffee shop with a positive filter in place we do so expecting a pleasant interaction, and that is exactly what we will get, no matter the actual interaction. When all is said and done, the actual interaction with the server is probably neutral in the scheme of our lives, but the filter that we see it through defines how we come away from it, more stressed than we were or feeling better about the day and about life.

This brings me to the concept of using a  gratitude flitter  on life. As we go through our day, we can change the filter we have in place by having a gratitude mindset. If in every interaction we actively look for the things in that interaction that we are grateful for, we will start to reprogram our filter to see the positives in life and eventually that will be the majority of what we see out of any event in our lives. This changes how we walk through life, the people that we keep close and the joy that we feel.

xiaoyi has a great practice that she uses to keep her positive filter in place day after day and week after week. Before bed, she will pull out a notebook and list at least three things that she is grateful for during the day, three things that made her day better. This focuses her mind on the positive and drags it away from thinking about the negative. The filter programming is shockingly effective at changing the course of our lives. So when will you be starting a gratitude log and changing that filters that you see the world through? What tricks do you have to keep your filter positive and not let the cynicism of our culture turn it into a negative filter?

 

First Demonstrate value in Their World

image courtesy of: http://www.arborinvestmentplanner.com/

image courtesy of: http://www.arborinvestmentplanner.com/

As we sit down with a customer, we have many steps  to follow that lead to successful sales. One of the vital steps in that is the “interview process” where we learn what the customer is really looking for, the problems they are looking to solve with our product. The next step, once we learn what the customer is looking for is  demonstrating how our product meets their needs. This can be harder than it sounds, so let’s break it down into a few different steps.

Step one is to verify that we understand their problem or need. This means that we have to repeat back to the customer what we believe they were expressing concerning their problems or needs.  WE can ask open-ended questions as well.  “What are you looking for?”  This ensures that we know how to step forward with the customer and it also builds trust as we are showing that we want to really understand what they are looking for in the first place.  If the answer to “what are you looking for?”  Is “couches” and I have cars as a product, I am not going to be able to help them.  This simple process of understanding their needs can eliminate mis-matches like that.  I know if I am looking for a couch, having someone try to sell me a car is going to annoy the living daylights out of me.  

The next step is to show how our products address those problems or needs. What aspects of our product fulfill what aspects that the customer is concerned about. This should be the easiest step as it is just a matter of showing the value of the product and tailoring it to the customer. “Our three piece designer couch is very comfortable and will fit great in that size space you told me you had. “

Next up is translating the features of the product as benefits for the customer. This takes the previous step and takes it another level further to actually showing how the customer’s life can change with the product. The last step showed how the product addressed the customer’s needs or problems; this step shows the customer the beneficial change in their life when they have those things addressed. It translates the good of the product into being the good of the customer.  “If you go with the leather finish, spills wipe off quick and easy so you won’t have to worry about stains on your couch.”

Finally, we need to check in with the customer. Are they feeling relieved that they have found this answer to their problems? Do they still have problems that we can help solve? Do they want other features or have other needs that we haven’t addressed?  Only once we have addressed their needs to we move into the final step and close the sale.

These steps are vital in creating a bond between the customer and the product so that they are not only comfortable with what they are buying, but happy to make the purchase.  Remember if they are happy, it is very likely that they will refer friends to you as well as become return customers themselves.  

 

Work or Play?

http://www.dreamstime.com/

http://www.dreamstime.com/

     Work has always been a trial for me; it has always been something that I did because I had to do it to survive. I never found the joy in work that other people seem to have, the closest I ever got to joy in work was to be happy that I had a job, but apathetic, at best, to the actual process of work. Often times I hated work.  But give me a chance to play and have fun and I was there.  I never thought that maybe I could make work play.

      I have always been someone who really enjoys games of all sorts, from video games to board games and such. Today, I watched a presentation by Darren Hardy, the editor of Success Magazine,  and learned how to turn my work into a game and it’s change my entire outlook on life. Making everything a game isn’t easy.  There are several steps to go in doing this.  Here is the simple process I am following:

1: Decide on Major Goals: What are my goals at the office and with regards to this blog?  I don’t want to be overwhelmed so I decided my best bet is to choose three goals that I want to work on.  Three things that I want to achieve and the timeframe that I want to achieve them in. (In a video game this might be killing the BIG BOSS.)        

2: Objective: I decided what my objectives would be or what steps I needed to take to reach these three big goals. This is the process of deciding what key behaviors in me that I need to change in order to achieve my major goals; it is MY plan to get to the goal. (Once in a video game I spent an entire week killing skeletons in a graveyard just so I could get an item that would help me win a fight against the big boss.  That was the “objective” I needed to reach my “goal” of killing that BOSS)

3: Tracking Progress: There has to be a way to track progress, be it marking off each day that I accomplish the tasks that I identified in step 2 to get to my goals or something immediate like moving marbles from one jar to another every time that I complete part of the daily task. (I needed to kill 10,000 skeletons to get my item in the video game.  Luckily the game would keep count/track my progress for me)        

4: Create Rewards: There has to be incentive to actually do the hard things that make the goals happen. This step is creating something that will give me a sense of joy and accomplishment when I succeed at the objective and even bigger rewards when I achieve a goal. (Man when I killed that boss it felt sooooo Good!!!)

5: Create Consequences: It is natural for humans to put more work into avoiding something that they don’t want, then to reach for what they do. This is capitalizing on that concept. Create consequences that you will hold yourself to if you don’t complete your objective. (The first several times I had tried to kill that boss without the item was infuriating!  It was why I was willing to spend a week killing skeletons even though killing them every day wasn’t really much fun after the first hundred or two)

6: Engage Competition: Darwin tells us that only the strong and most adept survive to propagate the species. This is competition in its most distilled form, but those instincts are still in us and we can use them. I will engage others to compete with me on my objective to increase my drive. I can even compete against myself to beat my previous record to create this incentive. (With my video game, I wanted the really cool piece of armor that big Boss dropped when you killed him. I had seen other players with it so I knew he could be beaten but I had to figure out how in order to continue to compete with the other players who did have the armor.)

     Now I have a framework to turn my work into fun, but how will this actually work?  Xiaoyi and I did this to help me at my insurance job. One of the big goals the company has for me is to solicit life insurance to our customers. There isn’t immediate incentive to do this like a bonus or anything so my motivation for doing it was low.  There was simply no reward for doing it that mattered to me. Because of this, I was terrible at doing it and the bosses were a constant thorn in my side because of it.   So my wife and I created a game for me to play.

           1: Goal: Become comfortable with soliciting life insurance and increase my referral rate and get my bosses off my back about it!

           2: Objective:  Use embracing failure and get at least 100 people to tell me no to life insurance in a month.  That means that I will have to ask at least 100 people about the referrals and what’s more, it means that if any of them say “yes” I have to ask more than 100 people.  And I had to use the company scripts and do my best to get them to say yes even though I was playing the game for No’s.  Cheating on this was against our rules.

          3: Tracking: We created a checkbox list  that I keep at my desk, right next to my phone.  This is the board for the game. Every time someone tells me “No” they go on the “Death List” for the month.  (That was my wife’s idea, “since they don’t want life, they must want death,” was her logic.  This appeals greatly to my sense of humor so we went with it.)

          4: Create Rewards: Rewards have to have meaning to the victor.  If the reward was not something I wanted, I wouldn’t play the game.  So here is how we decided on my reward for those 100 Death Referrals.  I am on a low carb diet because I am working on eating healthier. It is working and I have lost 25 pounds since I started. Well, one of my favorite foods is pizza. Pizza is not low-carb. So my reward is that I get to indulge in my favorite pizza once in the next month if I meet my requirements for the objective. Hey, you might be motivated by a new watch or necklace but for me, I am motivated by good pizza.

          5: Create Consequences:  If I fail, I don’t get to purchase a new video game or spend money on gaming in general for the next month.  (You might have noticed from above that I play video games a lot and really enjoy doing so and like all gamers, I am always ready for and looking at the new games that come out.)

          6: Competition: I have gotten other people in my office to join in trying to get as many people on their “Death List” as they can each month and we’ll pass a trophy around to the person that gets the most each month as a sign of the winner.  It might seem a little cheesy to some, and I’ll be honest the trophy really isn’t my thing, but having my co-workers at 25 Death Referrals when I only have 10 really kicks in my pizza craving and I up my game to get my pizza!

     This simple game has tripled the number of times during a day that I actually ask people if they want life insurance and has done great things to my referral rates too. Now I am finding ways to apply this idea to the work of creating my fortune and watch as my enjoyment and fulfillment in life take off for the stars!

     What games can you create to get you through those tasks that you hate? Give me some examples and tell me how they are working out for you. We would love to hear from you; post your game in the comments below!  Turn life into the game that it should be!

-Dominic

Life’s too short to have bad days!  What are you doing to make today FANTASTIC?