Tuesday, 31 July 2012

YouTube Channels

YouTube is becoming the unsung hero of the social media world.  If you are trying to develop a following, it is becoming more important to have a YouTube channel.  The videos I’ve included in my blog are all on my YouTube Channel.  When put together they tell a story, and they can be a great part of your social media identity.

Videos can include slide-shows that are saved in one of the popular video formats, videos you’ve filmed yourself, or ones which you have viewed on YouTube and want your followers to enjoy.  If you seek to use videos on your Facebook Fan Page, Twitter feed or blog, make sure you upload each to your YouTube Channel.  Once you have enough to make a good presentation of it, then you can begin adding the address of your YouTube channel to your website, business cards and other promotions.

If you have two minutes to kill, check-out this slide-show that I did for my personal Facebook page chronicling my birthday.  It literally took me about 20 minutes to do with iPhoto software that came with my computer.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Gold Medal Motivation

I have a cork-board in my office.  It’s behind the filing cabinet, but I still take a peak at it every once in a while.  It has a picture of a nice big remote cabin, a couple of nice cars, a World Vision sponsor child.  Jana and I were encouraged to create this “wall of fame” to symbolize what we would do if we made a ton of money through real estate investing.

Many people who’ve achieved highly have had some vision or symbol of what drives them.    For an Olympic athlete, it might be the picture of a gold medal.  Every time they get weary of the endless hours of practice they might look at the gold medal to remind them of what they’re suffering for.

Kohei Uchimura, the world’s number one ranked gymnast has a picture of a silver medal as his cel phone backdrop.  He has gold medals, but they are individual.  He expresses no pride in individual achievement, and counts a mistake during the team competition in the world gymnastics competition that cost his team the gold medal as “the low-point of his life.” 

I’m pretty sure he’s not pleased with the results today, nor how they came about.  As it turns out the item he’s been staring at is what his team achieved.  It’s pretty hard to see the road ahead if you’re looking in the mirror.  I’m not speculating that Japan’s failure to achieve gold was because of Uchimura’s fixation; the Chinese gymnasts earned that gold by a healthy margin.

I would suggest that when you determine what you’d like to achieve, you put a symbol of that on your cel-phone or computer desk-top.  Spend your time imagining the joy of a successful outcome.  Then go out and earn it!

Kickin' it Old School

I get it.  We live in a digital age.  I’m well immersed in it.  I sometimes use it too much.  I was thankful that when my Mom’s birthday snuck-up on me I was able to send a World Vision gift in her name along with a digital birthday card.

Today is my birthday.  I have friends and family who love me.  I’ve received many Facebook birthday greetings, but I only received one birthday greeting in the mail.  I actually got it last week, and I’ve had it in my pocket and it’s added anticipation to this day.  The birthday card was from Starbucks, and I can redeem it for any drink I want; even the froo-froo drinks with whipped cream, sprinkles, extra shots and whatever I want!  Woo Hoo!

In this digital age when everything is so instant and easy, don’t underestimate the impact of “kicking it old-school.”  Birthday cards and thank you cards via snail mail still are more highly read, more prized than anything you can do digitally.  And don’t underestimate the impact of a simple gift worth as little as $5.

Have a great day.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Olympic Training

Okay, you get a break from my NHL analogies … for now.  As we enjoy watching a few events of these Olympic games, you get glimpses of the background of some of these phenomenal athletes.  I haven’t seen a story that says, “she started playing soccer just last year, and seemed to be somewhat of a soccer savant.  Without any muscular or cardiovascular training, she’s managed to dominate the world of soccer…”  That doesn’t happen on this planet. 

What does happen is that someone who really, really enjoys a sport goes the extra mile to learn, train and participate at a high level in their sport.  It takes sweat, perseverance, sweat, sacrifice, sweat, failure, sweat, victory, luck and some more sweat.

I don’t believe there are “naturally born salespeople.”  It helps to be extroverted.  It is beneficial to be a confident person.  Attractiveness never hurts.  I know some amazing salespeople who are unassuming, common looking and reserved.  It takes work.  Many of us spent years of “on the job” training before we figured a few things out.  At some point, we attended some sales training seminars or read a few books.  None of those Olympic soccer players got there by playing game after game of soccer.  Physical training, cross-training, sports psychology and team-building events are all part of it.

How many of us have exhausted ourselves with research, training and reading?  How many of us can point to coaches and mentors who got us where we are?  How many of us believe that once we’ve acquired sales skills, we can stop training because we know it all?

Those of you who are reading this are in the minority.  You’re reaching out to learn more and stretch your minds.  Like Olympic athletes, we need to continue exercising our minds, stretching our imagination and seeking-out the best coaching available.  Our competitors are electronics salesmen, auto dealers, travel agents and renovation contractors. 

Get out there and kick some @$$!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Wine Auction

At the Western Canadian Jewellery Expo, Digem will be hosting the fifth annual Evening of Digem Decadence.  Over the years the event has grown from a backyard barbeque to a very enjoyable formal dinner and fundraiser for Cancer charities.  All are welcome to join in on the fun.  Seriously, you don’t have to be a Digem member to come and enjoy the festivities.  There are a couple of Digem specific awards, but the rest of the night including a dance this year will be an amazing experience!

Part of the fun is a silent wine auction, so this year I raided my meager wine cellar and picked four of my most prized bottles.  So if you’re going to Edmonton, go to the Digem dinner.  If you’re going to the dinner, make sure you bid generously on the Toddwaz Wine Collection!

Included will be one of three remaining bottles of the best Shiraz we’ve ever made, our world famous Cowichan Lake Blackberry Port, along with a 2008 vintage of Skimmerhorn Winery’s Autumn Tryst white blend, and a rare Mission Hills 2004 vintage Reserve Cabernet that I had been saving for a very special occasion.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The "IT" Factor

My daughter Gabrielle is entering culinary arts training at Vancouver Island University in about a month.  It’s not uncommon to see the food channel on in our house.  The Next Food Network Star is a reality program which puts aspiring television chefs against each other.  Their success had as much to do with their personality assertion as it did with their cooking skills.

If there was a “The Next Great Jewellery Star”, I would suggest the assertion of your personality would be a HUGE factor.  Have you heard about people who are described as “personality plus?”  On this show, as soon as the camera is on the contestant, they have to be able to “turn it on.”  What is “it?”

“It” is different for everybody, but I’ll tell you what it’s not.  It’s not equanimity – you need to care.  It’s not just caring, you need to demonstrate that you care.  It’s not enough to demonstrate that you care, you must also delight and entertain.  It’s not just caring, delighting and entertaining, you’ve got to inspire people to a higher level of jewellery appreciation.  If you don’t do all of that without giving your clients genuinely good product at fair value, then it’s worthless.

One of the ways you develop your very own “it” is by paying attention and talking about what goes right whenever you thrill a customer.  Dissect every victory and celebrate it.  Then do more of that next time with energy and polish.