Stop Hiding. Wisdom from Carl Richards.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I hold Carl Richards in high esteem. His simple messages supported by drawings are always worth a look and a thought. This one is especially good. I seem to attract procrastinators (or perhaps they attract me), Carl’s words on the subject are most appropriate and I am happy to share.

You can find out more about Carl and sign up to his newsletter HERE

“There’s something you want to do. Maybe even something you need to do. And you’re not doing it.

The reason you’re not doing it is because you’re hiding.

The reason you’re hiding is because there is work to be done, and that work is either scary, or hard, or boring, or all of the above.

So instead, you’re reading your eighteenth book of the year on time management, tweeting about the economy, and Instagramming motivational pictures.

(Actually, you’re reading your emails. Don’t ask me how I know.)

Might I make a suggestion?

Just stop.

All of those are places to hide.

I repeat: There’s something you want to do. Maybe even something you need to do. And you’re not doing it.

Stop procrastinating. Stop looking for a new trick, a new #hack.

Take all that time and put it into just getting the work done.

It’s that simple.”

-Carl

 

First. Know your potential customers/clients

If I was to employ someone to assist me with my marketing I would like them to know and understand what I do. Not in depth, of course, that would come after an initial call but I would like to think that they would bother to find out a little bit more about me.

The person who does help me did and continues to reflect what I do, the services I provide and so on – they are a professional and apply their knowledge, experience and skills for the benefit of their clients.

It seems that many Linkedin users who sell marketing services put the words, “dentist or dentistry” into a search and then send an invitation to connect so that they can sell me their services.

A recent typical message was, “Hey Alun, we’d like to send you 15-30 new clients in and around your area who are looking for a dental practice, do you have capacity for more clients right now?” My answer was, “Those individuals would be patients were I looking and I’m not. I wish you well.”

And somebody please save me from the host of individuals who want to help me find more Invisalign leads, especially in the “Greater New York” area…

As a client said to me recently, “SOME marketing people are the 21st century equivalent of Yellow Pages salespeople” – and I suppose in some ways they are.

 

…and I thought self control was always a good thing.

Sometimes you have to admit that everything you thought was wrong was (possibly) right. Could it be that all those good habits, all that resisting temptation and weeks of denial were for nothing?

Is it possible that beating myself up after the third chocolate digestive and saying “no” to things that would have been fun but would have distracted me from my goals may well have done me more good than harm?

I now find out that there is a “Dark Side” to self control. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Kokoris and Stavrova point out the downsides of resisting temptation.

It is true that people with strong self control have better health, relationships, finances and careers and fewer problems with overeating, overspending, procrastination and unethical behaviour.

However there is a downside:

Self control:

  • Can restrict emotional experiences.

  • May lead to long term regret.

  • Can lead to increased workload.

  • Can be used for ill.

  • Isn’t for everyone.

  • Can lead to long term bias.

Before being full on about “self control” perhaps we should practice some “self compassion”, learn to know and like ourselves, perhaps cut ourselves a little slack and be more realistic.

Read the full paper HERE

I’ll have another marshmallow now please.

The Monday Morning Quote #589

“Any idiot can face a crisis — it’s day to day living that wears you out”

Anton Chekov

via John Naughton

 

In Praise of….Toastmasters

“It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.”

I joined the fledgling West Cork Toastmasters in September 2014. I was determined to take my speaking more seriously. I was fed up of being an enthusiastic but ultimately unproductive presenter.

“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”

Toastmasters is an organisation that was founded in 1924 by Ralph Smedley, the first club being formed in Santa Ana, California. The concept has proved successful, there are currently 16,400 clubs with more than 352,000 members in 141 countries. Clubs meet regularly, my own club meets every Saturday morning, with structured meetings where members present prepared speeches, have an opportunity to speak off the cuff with impromptu “Table Topics”and finally evaluate fellow members’ speeches.

“Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.

There is an organised structure of progress through both speeches and leadership roles. Competitions between clubs present the opportunity to compete at national and international level and also give an opportunity to observe some excellent speakers.

“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”

The fact that I have had to think more about what I am saying, about the structure of my speeches and all aspects of speechcraft and presenting means that I have become a better, more organised and focussed presenter. It also means that I have joined a worldwide community of people dedicated to self improvement through speaking.

“A wise man speaks because he has something to say, a fool speaks because he has to say something.”

People come to Toastmasters for different reasons and as a newcomer to West Cork I have had the opportunity to meet new people and have made some great friends.

If you want to become a better speaker, look out your local Toastmasters club and give it a go.

https://www.toastmasters.org

 

The Weekend Read – The Go-Giver

I was listening to Bob Burg, the co-author of this little book speaking the other day and it took me back to when I first read it. I had been persuaded that what I needed to succeed was to work hard and faster than everyone else. It went against the grain but if everyone else said that’s what I should do who was I to question them. Thankfully I was soon disabused by Bob Burg & John David Mann who wrote this parable of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success, he is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder he works, the further away his goals seem.

During the book the authors outline their five laws of “Stratospheric Success” which are:

The Law of Value

Your real worth is defined by how much more value you give than how much you get paid. Before thinking about profits, first ask yourself, does this serve others? A great business delivers unbelievable value; when you you focus on giving value as a way of life, the money will naturally follow.

The Law of Compensation

Your income is decided by the number of people you serve and how well you serve them. The bigger your impact, the more money you’ll actually earn.

The Law of Influence

Your influence is defined by how often and how much you focus on others’ interests first. The best way to build strong relationships is to focus 100% on helping the other person, without keeping track of how much others owe you or how much they gain. When you add value to others freely, people are naturally attracted to you, like you and want you to succeed, and you essentially build an army of personal ambassadors.

The Law of Authenticity

The biggest and most valuable gift you can offer is yourself. Every human being craves genuine connections and relationships. Hence, the best gift you can offer someone is your authenticity, simply by being yourself rather than pretending to be someone else. No amount of manipulation skills or techniques can be as effective or valuable as your authenticity and sincerity.

The Law of Receptivity

To give effectively, you must be open to receive. Giving and receiving are 2 sides of the same coin. There can be no act of giving without a concurrent act of receiving, just like how you cannot exhale without inhaling. Practice  receiving–the next time someone pays you a compliment, simply accept it graciously by saying “thank you” with a smile.

I am not suggesting that there is only one book that will change your ideas and improve your life but the change will come from little books of wisdom like this.

Available HERE

…on the other hand, life can be good.

A contrast from yesterday’s blog where I said that many people who work as clinicians are not suited to the job, have made decisions for the wrong reasons and are unhappy.

Dentistry is rewarding in many ways, if you get the design of your job right – and I’ll talk about that tomorrow. It pays relatively well – especially in early years, it is challenging both intellectually and physically, has social kudos, it provides ways of stimulating your interest in different areas as time progresses. There are opportunities to be your own boss, to build a business or businesses, you get to work as part of a team and above all you get the thanks and respect of your patients who you are able literally from cradle to grave.

Take a look at this recent survey from US News about highest paid and “best” jobs and see where a dental degree might take you. I am aware that most of my readers are in the UK (& Ireland) and the reason that I have used this link to help you to see what might, could and should be possible for you to achieve with your degree.

But, and its a big BUT, and at the risk of using a cliche, you must think, look and act outside the box. The climate of fear, in the UK especially, is dividing the profession, helping to keep people down and constantly looking over their shoulder for the next problem. Those who want to serve their patients, who get involved in successful clinical and therefore, business relationships will flourish. Of course there is a need for personal and business resilience to safeguard yourself. Of course you need strong and effective systems to ensure that you can serve your patients to the best of your ability.

Personal and business success is achievable in any country, any jurisdiction and any health system but it will not be delivered on a plate, it takes time, dedication and hard work – if you’re willing success will come, if you’re not then prepare to be disappointed. 

 

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