Do You Really Want It?

JP Moery

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I’m so encouraged by people who show desire and enthusiasm for success.  Images of material wealth are all around us, seemingly accessible (especially in the Washington, DC area) and almost easy to obtain.  Beautiful homes, fast cars, lots of nice gear.  These images are a mirage for many.

Those who seek these proxies of material wealth and success may have the perception that because they can see it….it must be easy or certainly obtainable due to proximity.  That’s BS.  Let’s be honest, do you really want it?   Are you willing to work or sacrifice enough to be in the top 5% of your field?  For most, it’s an emphatic “no.”

People like Mark Cuban, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins and others, work so hard and put in so much effort – you’d feel like a car hit you if you spent a day in their shoes.  In some cases, they may be more talented.  But quite possibly their success skills were developed in the mid-morning hours while you were reading The Washington Post or sitting on the couch binge watching Netflix.   While you were doing that, the top 5% just finalized a new deal or moved it forward.

When The Moery Company launched pre-2010, I was consulting and working after hours.  It was difficult, I was tired and it frankly affected the quality of my work.  However, this effort began to test my thesis and challenge myself for the right stuff.  Sometimes, I question whether that kind of edge might be gone.  Maybe I’m not willing to give everything necessary to build the greatest association consulting firm in the world.

So I want you to be absolutely true to yourself today.  What do I want to be – the greatest salesperson in the world, my country, my town, my block, my company or my house?  Reflect on whether you want to be the best in your company, but giving the effort to be the best in your own home – of two.

You’re not fooling people when you say – you want to be the best association executive in the world, but are unwilling to make the sacrifices needed to achieve that.  It just doesn’t work that way.

If you want to be among the top 5%, then you must outhustle, outthink and outwork 95% of everyone else.  Or, you can just get lucky.

PS – And, it’s absolutely OK if you don’t want to be in the “Top 5.”  Just don’t claim to be disaffected, a member of the shrinking middle class or whatever excuse that’s out there.  Because most often we know where the buck stops. The image is in the mirror.

Fired-Up Friday & Your Quest for Success

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Three things to remember regarding your quest for success:

  1. Fear robs your potential.  It keeps you from asking for the deal, getting the information needed to deliver, meeting the person who can make a difference in life or you just don’t even try.  Kick fear in the teeth!

Whenever you feel fear…do exactly what you are afraid of.  You will reap the benefits!

  1. The street of results is paved with ridiculous amounts of action.  Every time I have reached an unprecedented success, it is because of breaking previous records of activity.

Every Friday your competition is late to the office, reading the paper or knocking off early.  Buck the conventional, make today your most productive.

  1. Ask this question right now.  “What is the most important thing I can do right now to accelerate success in my life?” Do it… Now.

Heck, now I’m even fired up!

Life Hacks for Success in Business

by JP Moery

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When are my best days in the office? Those are the days I get out of bed and WORK OUT. I hit CrossFit 3 times a week because it’s something that gets my blood going. By the time I walk into the office, I’m ready to go, instead of trying to do it with a cup of coffee. And, by the way, coffee is my fall back on days I don’t work out. Now, CrossFit isn’t for everyone. But, I encourage you to find something that gets you moving in the morning.

Leaders of today are really “corporate athletes.”  Over the years, I’ve learned productivity and effectiveness increases the better physical condition of the executive.  I  have to be in pretty good physical shape to run a business. The day of the ‘fat cat’ is done, because frankly, people can’t maintain success with a lethargic approach or without great energy.

I remember talking with a corporate attorney who, back in the day, would wake up; go to the office; open the mail; and, dictate to an assistant his responses to the mail. He’d then go have a big lunch, throw back a few drinks, and go home – because his day was done. And, then he’d do it again the next day – mainly because the flow of work was so predicated on the rhythm of snail mail. What an incredibly passive approach to work, which obviously can’t keep pace in today’s business.

My second strategy is a powerful exercise I’ve read about and successfully incorporated into my mornings: the personal journal. I write about anything and everything – like, “Man, my baseball team really sucks,” to “Isn’t the world wonderful?” The topics run the gamut, but pushes me to be more reflective.  To start the day thinking.   I believe this exercise starts to work the emotional intelligence muscle a bit. When I’ve mistakes in business, it’s often the result of emotion. Keeping a personal journal keeps life in perspective and a place to pour my emotions out.  Journaling has become a safety valve – so my business thinking is more balanced.

The third part of my overall approach is effectively scheduling my time. My docket is essentially full each day and I work as hard as I can motivate myself. Meaningful scheduling keep things moving for me. If you wake up with an empty calendar, you become a victim of other’s agendas and priorities – they take over your life, because you have allowed it.

So these are things that keep me fired up and moving forward: physically, emotionally, and structurally.

How do your best days start? I challenge you map out your best days – and try to replicate those activities that make it so.

5 Things I Wish I’d Done Differently in My Career

by JP Moery

IStock/Credit: Francescoch

Looking back at my career path, I find myself reflecting on the decisions I made or actions I didn’t take along the way. This blog has been an excellent exercise in self-reflection as every experience I’ve had has led me to where I am at this moment – both professionally and in my personal life. Perhaps, you can relate.

#1) I wish I’d started my own business sooner. There is nothing like the challenge of it – the energy, the motivation of building up your own organization.  Hiring people and giving them an opportunity to prosper.  I also thrive on controlling a bit of my own destiny. If the notion of starting your own business is strong and you’ve got that fire in your belly – let me tell you: go for it. Do it. Because you may be looking over your shoulder regretting you didn’t take the leap.

#2) I wish I’d learned more about money. For a big part of my career, my sole money strategy was this: to make more of it. But, that was it. I knew zero about investing, cash flow, asset allocation – really, how the money systems work. And, it took me way too long to start digging in on it. This is a problem for many people, probably because we think money is too complicated.  And, there are those folks who want us to think that the complexity is too daunting because they gain from our confusion, fear and lack of knowledge. So, yes. I wish I’d learned more about money sooner.

#3) I was also late recognizing that organizations are limited by leaders.  Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to work for great leaders and poor ones.  Yes, it’s totally possible to learn just as much from the poor leader.  Through these experiences, I learned organizations are most often limited by its leadership.  It’s the root of success or failure.  I recognize that leadership can actually be “the” problem if a business is failing. But, here’s the good part – leadership is also part of the solution. I wish I’d recognized that sooner: recognized that leaders of organizations are the driving force for success. As a business owner, I wish I’d studied facets of leadership earlier.

#4) I regret not recognizing sooner the importance of giving and receiving candid feedback. Regretting the notion I should have spoken up earlier or listened more. How many times in your life have you walked out of a meeting or an interaction and said, “Man, I wish I would have said …” It happens to all of us, right? I wish I would have been more candid earlier in my career – even today. I’d like to be more open to candid feedback than I am now. Less defensiveness on my part. I recognize how constructive it can be. The bottom line is: if someone is willing to go out on a limb and offer you his thoughts; there’s probably an issue.

#5) And, finally – I wish I’d had the self-awareness earlier on that I can’t compartmentalize work and my personal life. They are intertwined. They always have been. Believe me, the way you behave when no one is looking in your personal life affects the way you are going to lead your company or organization. And if you don’t believe that, then you are fooling yourself. It would have benefited me greatly to have learned earlier that compartmentalizing your work and personal isn’t possible. So, bring everything you have at work and at home.  Friends, family and colleagues will all know whether you are or not.

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The Four Best Pieces of Advice I’ve Ever Received

by JP Moery

A good deal of advice has come my way over the years – but, there are four bits that have stuck with me and really became a part of who I am today. And, oh by the way, I apologize ahead of time for some of the language to come; but, I think it’s essential to delivering the message today.

First piece of advice came from my Dad, Johnny Moery. About 30 years ago, when I first moved to Washington, DC, I was complaining to him about the people, my job, the traffic – everything. He said to me, “If you’ve met more than one asshole today, maybe it’s you.” Food for thought. If you think everyone around you is wrong, maybe you’re the one who needs to reevaluate where you’re at.

The second piece of advice was about sales, which I received from the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue. I’ll never forget this. When I was to lead a sales meeting, he told me, “First, you give your pitch and then you look them in the baby blues and you shut your mouth. The next person who speaks, loses.” Great advice from the greatest association sales person, ever.

The third piece of advice came from my high school football secondary coach – Coach Jones. Right before a game we weren’t expected to win, Coach Jones said, “Guys, you’ve got to go out and play like a bunch of mad, rabid, angry dogs. I actually think that applies to a lot in life. Whatever you are seeking for yourself in life, your career, your personal life – you have to pursue it with that kind of energy and focus. I loved Coach Jones. I would have run through a brick wall for that guy because he got me so motivated.

The fourth and final piece of advice came from a gentleman, who’s name I cannot remember, but he was the General Manager of the TV station in Abilene, TX. I was a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma and showed up with my broadcast tapes trying to get my first radio/TV/film job. What he told me changed my life. He said, “Son, tapes look good, but to be honest with you, your voice is so bad, you will need to get thousands of dollars of vocal coaching to work anywhere outside of Ada, Oklahoma. And, that’s nothing against the good people of Ada, Oklahoma – it’s a great place to live, but it wasn’t what I had in mind.

From that General Manager, I learned that if you don’t have the desire to go out and get the extra coaching, extra skill, and sacrifice, you will never be very good at anything. So, I decided during my long trip back from Abilene that broadcasting wasn’t for me.

Eventually, I did discover career passions I was willing to invest the extra time and got the professional development I needed to take that next step. I’m sure you’ve received pieces of advice throughout your life, and frankly I’d love to hear about them. Give me a shout at jp@moerycompany.com. Look forward to hearing from you.

 If you’d like to receive more content focused on leadership, association growth, sales and more – JPMOERY-Select.

Three Leadership Truths

by JP Moery

Istock/Credit:donskarpo

I’ve learned successful leadership often comes down to some simple truths. Whether you are an association CEO, company president, or head of a department: here are 3 things I hope can help you run your show just a little bit better.

First: Don’t expect people who work for you to hit it harder than you do. If you aren’t getting the results you need from your team, you should take a look at yourself. Are you bringing it to the table every single day? Your employees are simply taking their cue from you. There should be no one more invested in your organization’s success than you – so make yourself the example and bring 110% engagement to everything. You should be working so hard, your people are paddling fast to keep up. Make sure your example is a damn good one.

Second: You are the #1 sales person in the company. You are the evangelist. No one is going to carry the message like you can.  This is most important to the small business owner. If you think someone else is going to sell it for you, get that resume together, because you will be out of business real quick. Get out there – you’re the one who came up with the idea. You are the person with the most passion about your company. Even if you have sales people – you need to be out there with them engaging prospective clients; and, oh by the way, communicating with existing clients on how you can do it better. Spread the message about your product, your people, you company culture and how awesome it is. You’re the #1 sales person.

And, third: Do you have someone on your team who just isn’t cutting it? If the answer is – “Yes,” that’s your fault. Either you didn’t train him well enough, clear goals weren’t established, or you didn’t give him the candid feedback required when he went off track. If you took all those measures and you’re still not satisfied with the results – that’s on you.

Take some time to reflect on your leadership truths and consider changes to improve the overall. Again, 1) don’t expect your people to work harder than you do; 2) embrace the notion that you are #1 sales person, and 3) take the responsibility for those who aren’t a fit for your organization. After all, you hired them.

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Lessons Learned from 7th Grade Football

by JP Moery

I want to tell a story about what I learned from 7th-grade football. I was 12 years old and had never played before, while most of the guys on my team had been playing for a couple of years. I really didn’t know a lot about the game and for that first year I stood on the sidelines. It just about killed me. It was frustrating and pathetic. If you grew up in small-town Oklahoma, sitting the bench during a football game was NOT the place you wanted to be.

Following that experience, I studied everything about the game. I actually went to the Hennessey, Oklahoma public library and read about football techniques and strategies: gosh, I think there was even a coaching book by Vince Lombardi.

But, I literally decided at that time I wasn’t about to sit the bench again. I was going to hurtle my body and my soul and everything I had into the game – unfortunately, to the detriment of my small frame; but, I didn’t care. I was fully “all in.”

And, this mentality was coming from the smallest person on the team – it was clear I really didn’t have the size or the talent. I just decided that I was going to go crazy and play the game that way. I put myself “all in.”

Lessons learned from this experience have been reconfirmed and reinforced throughout my entire life. If you throw yourself into something more than anyone else – your likelihood of success goes up exponentially.

It’s the only way to go. If you don’t, you will likely stand on the sidelines and watch others who have made that commitment to themselves – play the game.

You’ve got to go “all in” in life – and, forget about the downside of what might happen (I got crushed a lot back then, by the way.  And, still do – just in a different way). The most important thing is you know you gave it everything you had.

If this content was meaningful to you, check out Hit the Reset Button or Life Hacks for Success in Business.

Are You Lazy or Afraid?

by JP Moery

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All business leaders deal with fear – how and if, you address the issue is likely a major part of a successful, personal journey. I struggle (almost) daily to some extent with the notion of fear in my own job. For instance, I wanted to address some work issues on a holiday Monday last month, but I didn’t because I was afraid I’d offend someone who was taking the day off – and, that was just weak and stupid. I also have several projects I haven’t moved forward on because these include some actions and decisions that are uncomfortable for me to make.

I’m not lazy, just afraid.  But the consequences are the same…nothing is moving forward.

People these days are pretty hard-working folks.  If you don’t hustle, then frankly you’re stuck in a dead-end gig.  Intense sweat equity is a minimum to even begin a breakthrough. As a business leader – you know when things are slow or going badly. It’s not related to your lack of knowledge or hustle. You know what the problems are. Hey, if sales are slow, pick up the damn phone. Do something about it. The question is will you? I’ll be honest: the biggest obstacles in my life (business or otherwise) were more fear based than anything else. Not lack of skill. Not work ethic. I was scared.

Why? Fear of rejection. Fear of the pain it might cause. Fear of failure. Fear that someone might ridicule me. We are afraid of the unknown and things that most likely have never occurred and never will. As children, fear started with the boogeyman under your bed. But, there was no boogeyman. Ever.

We do the same thing in our adult lives. We just call it something different.  It’s an apprehension or anxiety around being judged, rejected, or failing. But, it’s all in our heads. If I called on a prospect and he laughed and said, “You guys suck; I’m never going to work with you,” no else would ever know that.  The worse thing that would happen is that I’m never calling that person again.  It’s a waste of time.  And, saving time is a good thing.

For example, as the CEO, when was the last time you cold-called a prospect? When we start to become successful, we set up systems like mass email campaigns, which make us less vulnerable to those one-on-one exchanges.  Or, we blanket our fear by putting systems in place that avoid them.

Let me apply this notion to the association game – we conduct association surveys, for example. I’ve done them. People want them. We are talking to a few associations right now who want to survey their members about how the organization is performing – and, there is value in the feedback – the good and the bad. But is someone in senior leadership or the CEO following up? Calling the member who didn’t renew to ask them why? Well, you should. Don’t hide behind the technology or the system, which allows you to avoid the tough conversation.

So, what are you afraid of? What’s holding you back? What’s undermining your ability to move forward? This message is as much for me as it is for anyone else. If we’re stuck, we need address the “why.” Put your fears in writing. Read them over. Rationalize the “why.” Hit them head on without the fear because there is no boogeyman under the bed.

If you found this content helpful, check out JP’s blog, “How to Navigate the World Today.”

5 Hints For Working With an “Expert”

by JP Moery

Photo credit IStock/Ahmetov_Ruslan

We are undergoing an incredible communications revolution – the biggest since the printing press was invented. Because there are no barriers of entry, almost anyone can position themselves as an expert…and, take your money in the process.

And, I don’t think the association space is immune to the issues.  Coaches and consultants abound, but is the position based on a track-record of success or that they couldn’t hack it at an association?  So, as you think about what podcasts to listen to, webinars to register for, and even people you may want to work with, use this evaluation checklist:

  • Who was he or she before becoming an “expert?” I mean, what the hell have they done?
  • Do they have a track-record of association success?
  • Were they an innovator, a disruptor, or leader?  I’m looking for tangible results instead of a list of projects.
  • What kind of organizations have worked with them and for how long?  A list of the smallest association clients usually means one thing…they are the cheapest.
  • When was the last time the expert was really in the game? I am really interested in recent experiences.

Check to see if your leadership coach ever led a highly effective team.  Get the proof that the sales expert can sell – and if he/she doesn’t even have a business behind them, I’m damn skeptical.

I say all of this without presenting myself as an expert at all – because I’m not. But, I am trying to provide insights in a very authentic way what we learn and see in the market.  If I’m wrong, I have hundreds of blogs, videos, and podcasts out there to prove it.

Have your radar on. Beware the expert. Remember your due diligence. We live in an era of fake news and fake experts, so do your homework.

Life Hacks for the New Year

by JP Moery

As 2016 drew to a close, many bloggers, leadership gurus, and self-improvement specialists provided you guidance on “resolutions.” How about a good ‘ole Oklahoma boy giving this a shot for you?

1. Eliminate one standing meeting from your schedule. You may have a recurring meeting that is not very productive, you don’t like attending anyway, and could probably be shelved.  Fix it or strike it.

2. Develop a routine.  Personal management of time is increasingly becoming a best practice of the most effective leaders.  The more time and energy you waste on tie selection and where to have lunch can cost you hours monthly.  Streamline.

3. Add meditation as part of your daily regimen. I’ve practiced this for months, and it helps me focus, remain calm, and allows me to keep my eyes on the long game.

4. Write down your goals every day. Many of the very successful discuss how they write down life goals on a daily basis.  Doesn’t that seem over the top?  Maybe.  And, that’s why many of them are lapping us in what they achieve.

5. 7-10 pm.  Intentionally use this time to improve yourself or relationships with the ones you love.

The real world is now back.  The Christmas tree is back in the attic. Let’s get focused.

 

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