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Joe's Knows: Your dose of motivation for winners!


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These articles by Joe Bonura offer tips and suggestions for boosting your personal success.


7 Ways To Fail - Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine, told one of my favorite stories on his daily blog, the story of two wolves. The two wolves live inside each of us, a good wolf and a bad wolf, and they are constantly at war with each other. When a young boy asks his grandfather which wolf will win the war, his grandfather replies...

A New Start - Several years ago, when times were great and sales were rolling in for my client companies, I opened my presentations with, "I have some good news, and I have some bad news. The good news is that the economy is rocking and sales are really great. The bad news is that...

Act As If - I want to share a story that I received from a friend and regular reader of my monthly Action Power Memo. Ed Watson, known as "The Ad Doctor," works at KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We can learn from the masters who have been in sales a long time, and Ed is one of those masters...

Afraid To Lose - Are you afraid to lose, or are you determined to win? I heard this recently, and it really made me think. Fear is a motivating factor, and so is...

Are You Ready? - 365 days are ready for you. Are you ready to meet them head-on with a new resolve and deliberate direction? Each day is fruitful and...

Are You Headed for a Crash Landing? - After watching the news recently about USAir Flight 1549 that went down in New York's Hudson Bay, and seeing the brave and courageous efforts of the pilot and crew, I was reminded of an incident that happened to my daughter and me...

Ask For The Business - We are all born sales people. Somewhere between the time we are born and the time that we get our business cards printed, we forget how to ask for the business. Have you seen how babies get what they want? They only want two things...

Bad Day - The other day, I was having a bad day. Yes, I have them too. I just did not feel like making my sales calls. The few calls that I made, were not successful. In fact, one person was...

Be A Quitter - And Win - Huh, Oh! I think Joe has lost it. How can you be a quitter and win? Well, it depends on what you quit. If you can quit...

Be Prepared - What we do before the sales call determines how we handle ourselves during a sales call. Preparation is not a one time event—it is a lifetime...

Be Your Own Sales Manager - I watched Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts lose in overtime play in the 2009 National Football League wild card playoff game. The loss came a few days after Peyton was declared...

Change Your Focus - Change Your Life - I have to confess that most days, in fact every day, my focus is 80 to 90% on me. If you are honest, you would probably say the same thing. We go through life uttering the words...

Chicken Little - The sky is not falling. One of my favorite stories as a child was the story of Chicken Little who was walking down the street when an...

Chicken Little Revisited - The stock market is up, the stock market is down, the stock market is up, the stock market is... enough already! Stop watching the stock market news in order to determine your financial future. If you jump off a roller coaster while it is in motion...

Come Out of Your Comfort Zone - You will succeed in life in direct proportion to your willingness to come out of your comfort zone and escape from your self-imposed prison of mediocrity. You hold the key to mental freedom...

Definite Purpose - A few weeks ago, I watched Peyton Manning tie and break Brett Favre's record for the most touchdown passes in the National Football League. Three years ago, it was doubtful that Manning would ever play again. It was only through courage, tenacity, and definite purpose that Peyton was able to accomplish such an awesome feat.

Dialing for Dollars - A.G.B.'s Contribution Save time, save steps, increase your effectiveness, and make more money by using the telephone to make appointments. It is sad that many sales people do not like to...

Discipline Yourself to Sales Success - Recently, when I opened one of my training sessions, I asked the question, "Can you give me a word that will enable you to out-think, out-perform, out-sell, and out-service your competition?" There were fifty people in the group...

Do It Anyway - Sometimes I do not want to write this e-zine article, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I do not feel like making sales calls, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I do not feel like getting on a plane and flying across the country, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I do not feel like...

Do Not Worship A False Profit - In today's fickle economy, too many companies are worshipping a false profit when they worship the "bottom-line." I have owned and operated two successful companies in my lifetime, and I earnestly believe that I have learned...

Don't Get Caught Holding The Bag - An Empty Bag! - The secret of success in selling is not to give up because at times, we may lose more than we win. We feel like the farmer whose crop was...

Don't Lose the Wonder - I was waiting at the gate to catch my fifth airline flight of the week when a man walked up to the window with his six-year-old son. He pointed to the big Boeing 747 waiting at the gate and said...

Door To Abundance - You live in a world filled with unlimited opportunity and abundance. The world is waiting for you to shake off your lethargy, get out of your "Lazy Boy" and...

Expect The Unexpected - I was at the corner of Central Park and Sixth Avenue in New York City when I was supposed to be sitting at a sidewalk cafe in...

Extra Ordinary You - You are extraordinary! I have said it about you, and others have said it about you at some time in your life. The question is: do you believe it? You should! When you look at the complexity that is you, you should be amazed every day. The reality is that all that you are came free at birth. If you had to make a monthly payment on your individual value, you could not afford the payment.

Failure Takes Work - Just using the word failure, in this month's E-Zine, makes me uncomfortable. But after a lifetime of watching people fail, I have learned that...

Finishing Strong - My friend and client Amy Jo Condo ran track in college, the 100 and 200 meters and the 4X100 and 800 meter relays. Her University of Louisville track coaches George Berry and Karen Watson could have called them the 110, 210 and 4X110 and 810 races because...

Fly Me To The Moon - I recall as a boy that I saw the movie “Thief of Baghdad” in which the hero used a magic carpet to fly through the air. Later that day, after I painted magical designs on a bed sheet, I sat for hours on my painted sheet and imagined myself sailing through the air on my very own magic carpet. Unfortunately...

From Salesperson to Serveperson - Imagine what it would be like at your organization if every service representative knew more about selling and every salesperson knew more about service...

Game Changers - I am a football fan of both the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts. When I watch both teams play against each other, it hurts, and that was especially true in the 2009 Super Bowl when the Saints beat Indianapolis. However, being from New Orleans, I always go with the Saints. This weekend, I am going to New Orleans to watch my Saints beat the New York Giants. Sorry Giants fans. (Saints won - 52 to 49!)

Get Your Career Shipshape - Part I - When I visited with a friend, I noticed a picture on his wall, entitled, Salesmanship. It was a drawing of an old sailing ship with each sail labeled with the traits of a great sales person. I was so impressed that I noted...

Get Your Career Shipshape - Part II - Resilience: What Is Your Bounce-back Quotient? In the profession of selling, you sometimes lose more than you win. The secret to success is to keep on keeping on. No one likes to lose or to be rejected; however, the way to move forward in selling is to make calls. Every time you make a call...

Get Your Career Shipshape - Part III - Persistence: I am always amazed at how life often mimics selling, and the same skills that I apply every day of my life in selling, I applied to save the lives...

Go for the Goal - I received an e-mail from my son Joe who was excited about his wife Karen's accomplishments at the recent Mary Kay Convention. Karen placed 7th out of 140,000 for the Queen's Court of Personal Sales...

Gold Mining - I did a sales training session for a group of media sales reps in New Mexico. They blitzed the market for four days and brought in...

Gone Fishing - Last week, I took my eight-year-old grandson fishing in the lake behind our house. After his second cast, he caught a...

Good Tired - Get up and get going. Stop waiting for someone else to make life happen for you. This morning, I read something that I would like to share with you...

Hidden Treasures - My wife was cleaning our basement seventeen years ago, preparing for a move to our new home. For some unexplained reason, I decided to go through a box we were about to...

High Tech Or High Touch? - I typed this article with my thumbs on a hand held portable phone, the same device...

How Big Are Your Dreams? - I'm flying at 35,000 feet on my way to Seattle, Washington, all because of two brothers named Orville and Wilbur, two ordinary guys with an extraordinary dream. On December 17, 1903, they made history...

I Did It And You Can Too - On July 25th I scratched another accomplishment off of my bucket list: I drove an Indy car at the Mario Andretti School of Racing. I got up at 4:00 AM so that I could be one of the first in line to hit the asphalt at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. It is a lifetime memory that I will never forget.

In A Rut - The dictionary defines a rut as: A state of being that has become so routine that it is no longer...

Incremental Selling - My son and daughter gave me a workout bench for my birthday. It came unassembled, so when I opened the box and saw all of the pieces, I was ready to call the store to...

It Is Never Too Cold Or Too Hot - It is January, and I am in my sunroom watching a great blue heron perched on a log in the lake in my back yard. He has been sitting there for the past hour; I am amazed at his patience. Doesn't he know...

It Is Your Choice - After reading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill for the twentieth time, I reflected on a poem by Jesse Bell Rittenhouse…

It Is Your Job To Keep Their Jobs - As I was perusing some old files, I came across the strategy sheet for getting my first job in advertising. At the time, I was a finance collector, and during one of my collections...

It Takes More Than Brains To Succeed - Six weeks ago I was in San Angelo, Texas, where I completed a successful field day with four sales people. The sales manager drove me to the airport...

Jump In - As a small child, I remember going to the beach with my Mom and Dad. I approached the water and put my toe in, felt how cold the water was...

Keep In Touch - As Stephen Covey wrote in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, "Always begin with the end in mind." Closing the sale is the end result that most sales people have in mind when they are making sales calls; however...

Keep On Keeping On - Rejection is the wind that builds strength. The more you are rejected, the more you will learn. Just as a baby learns to walk by falling and getting up again, sales people can learn...

Know The True Value Of Time - “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination – never put off till tomorrow what...

Lagniappe - The Secret to Customer Excitement - When I was a young boy, I remember working with my father at his butcher stand in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana...

Lifelong Learner - After the graduation ceremony, my son was standing next to me with his college degree in his hand. Several young people walked by with their graduation gowns slung over their shoulders and their hats tilted back on their heads. One of them made the comment...

Lifelong Learning Equals Success - Many years ago, I wanted to learn to play the piano. The piano teacher came to the house for my lessons, but when he returned the next week, he saw no progress. I did not take the time to practice my lessons, and so, each week, the same poor results were apparent. The exasperated teacher stated...

Maw-Maw's Blanket - As I write this newsletter, I look across the room and there neatly folded across a chair is MawMaw's blanket. She was my mother-in-law, Dorothy Carroll Yokum, and to her grandchildren, she was...

Million Dollar Cup Of Water - In 1929, with a $3,000 inheritance, Ted Hustead and wife Dorothy moved to Wall, South Dakota, and opened a small drugstore. The business showed no growth by 1936, and add a depression, and the Husteads were on the verge of...

Network Your Way to Sales Success - There was a PBS documentary about a couple who lived in a remote area of Alaska where they made a living off the fish they caught in their net. In order to survive...

No Excuse - Excuses, excuses, excuses! The dog ate my homework. The electricity went out, and the alarm did not go off. I was stuck in traffic. If I had more time, I would have made my sales calls today. If it were not for this bad economy…The devil made me do it. (Add your own best excuse here)...

No Kidding - Remember when you were a child, and nothing seemed impossible? When you lived to dream and dreamed to live?...

No More New Year Resolutions - From now on, do not make any more New Year Resolutions (NYR); only make New Year Commitments (NYC). While a resolution is a firm decision to do something, a commitment is...

Nothing To Fear - Fear is a concern in our lives: fear about the future, fear about taxes, fear about the economy, fear about health issues, and on, and on, and on. Fear is the worst kind of...

Now Or Never - Now is the time to either get up or get out. Although the economy is not great, it will give you the opportunity to really practice your selling skills. When times are good, as they have been, we forget...

Now Power - As I was watching an ice climber on TV, I was amazed, impressed, and a little frightened for the climber. Climbing an ice floe...

Oh, Lucky Day - Today is my lucky day! I received an email that says that I have been chosen to receive a $5,000,000 reward. All I have to do is provide the sender with...

Oh, Say Can You See? - Because I use my glasses just for reading, I often forget to put them on before I leave the house. Last week, I forgot my glasses, and didn't notice until I was...

Only Fools Rush In - My son Nick and I completed a two-week camera safari in Kenya, and we were walking in downtown Nairobi, saying our goodbyes to a dream adventure, when a neatly dressed Kikuyu gentleman approached and immediately got in step with us...

Overcoming Objections - If you approach the overall sales process correctly, the job of overcoming an objection is a simple process. I always begin a call with the intention of building rapport. When calling on a health insurance prospect, as soon as we entered the house, I noticed a collection of clown statues, clown paintings, and a photo of a gentleman in a clown costume.

Overcoming Procrastination - You will succeed in sales in direct proportion to your ability to overcome procrastination. Procrastination has caused more losers than any other sales "sin." Procrastination focuses on...

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect - As I listen to a recording of the late, great Luciano Pavarotti sing some of my favorite arias, I speculate that he was the best tenor ever. So, what does it take to be the best ever? Although he had a natural talent, he had something else...

Persistance Pays - Twice I walked by the shoeshine stand, and on both occasions, the person manning the stand enthusiastically asked me if I wanted a shine. It was on my third pass that he...

Play A New Tune - Are you a vinyl record waiting to be played?

Prospecting For Gold - My mantra for sales is to make calls, make more calls, make many more calls. However, you cannot make the calls unless you have prospects to call. The first step in any sales process should be to prospect for business.

Put On A New Face - As I walked into the room, my wife was watching Good Morning America. Diane Sawyer was interviewing Connie Culp, who had the first...

Reach For The Stars - Recently, during my customer service training program, I asked my audience to write down their goals. I told them to make a list of...

Reap What You Sow - Last week, as I drove past a twelve-acre cornfield, strangely located in the middle of a suburban area of Louisville, I noticed that...

Routine = Success - Tell me your daily routine, and I can predict your success or failure in business and in life. Your life is the sum total of the daily actions that you take, and the actions you take each day add up to your daily routine. Each action is like a...

Run for the Roses - You can have, be, or do anything that you desire in life if, and it is a big IF, you know what you want to have, be, or do. Most people are like a...

Seasoned Salesperson, Beware! - What's the next step for an apple on a tree after it ripens? If no one picks it, it falls to the ground and rots...

Seek A Star - When I decided to sell my advertising agency and become a full- time professional speaker in 1988, I attended the National Speakers Association Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. My first goal was to find out...

Sell Like A Dog - I was cutting up a celery treat for my miniature Schnauzer Muffin when I realized...

Servicing Your Customers by Phone - No matter how many people work in your organization, your customer may only come into contact with only one person -- the person who answers the phone...

Shortcuts Add Up to a Big Detour in Life - I was walking my dog Muffin this morning for thirty minutes when it occurred to me that I could cut ten minutes off of my usual 45 minute walk by cutting across a field...

Something Fishy - How badly do you want it? Whatever it is, how badly do you want it? Most of us want something, but if we really wanted it...

STICKTOITIVENESS - It is easy to succeed when life is going well because you tend to think that you are the cause for all your good luck. When the economy goes South, or times get tough, your attitude goes with it because...

Stop Driving Yourself to the Poorhouse - A while back I was making calls with a sales person in St. Louis, and we drove forty minutes to our first appointment. The second appointment was located about four blocks from our original starting points...

Success - In my one-hour walk this morning; I noticed that the rhythm of the walk increased my sense of smell. I could really smell the flowers, the new-mown grass, and breakfast cooking in a neighbor's kitchen. I could also feel...

Take Five - Amos Martin played football in the NFL from 1972 to 1977. He played for five years as a Minnesota Viking and one year as a Seattle Seahawk. Amos played in three Super Bowls during his pro football career. He left the NFL in 1977 to settle in Louisville, Kentucky, where he had spent his college football career as a star linebacker for the University of Louisville under Lee Corso.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You - Let's celebrate Thanksgiving today. Well, not just today, but every day. You need not wait for the third Thursday in November to be thankful for the good things in life. Scientifically, it has been proven that being thankful will change your life for the better.

The ABCs of Selling - Ego, more than anything, deters many people in the selling profession. Ego prevents them from admitting that they do not know where they are in relation to where they could be. They believe that they have reached the top...

The Attitude of Gratitude - Iona Kupiec was my high school English teacher who introduced me to opera, poetry, Greek mythology, the arts, and The Reader's Digest (School Edition). The students thought she was a very strange English teacher. We were supposed to be learning grammar, sentence structure, punctuation...

The End Is The Beginning - When I was in the advertising agency business, I sought a very large and prestigious account. My agency pulled out all the stops and presented the best presentation that we had ever put together. We knew we did extremely well because...

The Fountain Of Youth - Recently, I celebrated my birthday, and what a great time to reflect on the past and to look to the future. We were in St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in America - nothing to do with...

The Long Walk Home - What is the longest walk you have ever taken? I walked from Louisville, Kentucky to New Orleans, Louisiana, a distance of 730 miles. Well, I did not...

The Magic Wand - When I was a kid, I was enamored by magicians like Mandrake and Houdini, and I always remember when my Mom and Dad gave me a Mandrake the Magician magic kit. I spent the entire day waving my new magic wand with no amazing results. You can imagine how disappointed I was when it did not...

The Pebble Effect - On my walk this morning, I felt a small pebble in my shoe. Initially, it was just a small irritation, but as I continued, the rock seemed to get bigger and bigger. I finally sat down to remove it from my shoe, and when I found the rock, I was amazed that it was...

The Possible Dream - If I called you on an air-to-ground phone while flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet with an outside temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit to tell you that I am flying from Zurich, Switzerland to Atlanta, Georgia in a little over 9 hours, would this...

The Question is the Answer - What multi-purpose tool can you add to your Business Tool Box that will help you dramatically improve sales and service? The Question is the answer. If you have read this far...

The Sum Total - You are the sum total of the people you know, the experiences you have, and the choices you make. Of the three, you have control over...

The Sun Is Shining - The weather was bleak and overcast as I was flying my Cessna 210 out of Bowman Field Airport in Louisville. I had received word the day before that my advertising agency had lost our largest account.

The Superbowl of Life - I watched Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts lose in overtime play in the 2009 National Football League wild card playoff game. The loss came a few days after Peyton was declared...

The Three Keys - Oh, no, three more keys to real success! You probably have enough keys to open every door in your state; however, when you read this article, you will realize that these three keys are the missing links...

The Time Is Now - Farmers who wait for perfect conditions never plant, and farmers who watch the clouds...

Three Gifts Of Life - Yesterday is gone, and you cannot change it. You can learn from it, for lessons learned from yesterday are the foundation of tomorrow. You had a success – build on it. You had a failure...

Three Things - In the morning when you have your first cup of coffee, have a notepad and pen handy to list three things to grow your business, and they will be your...

Time To Adjust - When recently driving on the interstate, l felt a vibration with my steering wheel. I immediately knew that my tires were out of balance. The tires required...

Time To Throw The Rabbit - I could not think of a better way to start the New Year than by writing about my first sales call. We can learn from every experience, good or bad, if we look for the clues. From experience, I find that I learn more from...

To Be Or Not To Be - In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Hamlet discovered that his uncle murdered his father and married his mother. Then he utters the immortal words, "To be or not to be? That is the question." He was contemplating...

Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life - Each morning I look in the mirror and say out loud, "Today is the first day of the rest of my life!" The good news is that each day gives you the opportunity to start over; you do not have to wait for the new year to make resolutions. You can make every day the beginning of your new year and your new life.

Turning Trash Into Treasure - Have you ever felt like junk? That you will never amount to anything? Recently, I watched a group of young musicians play Mozart on instruments made from garbage.

Using Voice Mail - Part 1 of 2- Are you suffering from technology overkill? When calling clients and business associates, do you hear recorded messages more often than live voices? Does it become more and more difficult to reach people by phone? This is Part One...

Using Voice Mail - Part 2 of 2 - The previous article encompassed principles of voice mail when calling people you know or who know of you. This article focuses on how to use voice mail to your advantage when making cold calls. Voice mail can be a disheartening obstacle for sales people cold calling...

Waiting To Die - While visiting a senior living community, a resident there, 92 years old, commented, "You see these people here, they are just waiting to die." Isn’t it sad that people with so much to offer sit around and wait to die, when they could be...

Walk Your Way To Success - In my one-hour walk this morning; I noticed that the rhythm of the walk increased my sense of smell. I could really smell the flowers, the new-mown grass, and...

Weigh In And Win - Recently while shopping with my wife at Macy’s, we purchased some drinking glasses, and I volunteered to carry them to the car. When we arrived at the car, I mentioned to her how heavy the box was. I weighed the box on our scale at home, and the glasses weighed...

What Are You Waiting For - In 1820, Ludwig Van Beethoven wrote some of his most memorable music -- what many call his greatest works. They include the last five piano sonatas and the Ninth Symphony. I just listened to a 1952 recording of Arturo Toscanini conducting the Ninth Symphony with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, and I would agree that it is one of Ludwig’s finest. Do you know that he was almost totally...

What Is Your Focus? - Can you remember the first time you used a magnifying glass to burn a hole in a leaf by focusing the sun's energy through the lens? The same thing can happen in selling...

What Next? - When you have completed a task and you want to continue to sharpen your skills, ask the question, "What Next?" It is the next step that keeps you moving forward on the right track to increased success. I am currently reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and it is like reading an action thriller. Steve Jobs was not one to relax and enjoy his latest accomplishment; he was always asking...

What's On Your Bucket List? - For all of my life, I have had a bucket list. For years, my grandfather told me stories of his hometown, the little village of Contessa Entellina in Sicily. l remember telling him, "Popsy, one day, I will visit Contessa." I was the first Bonura in my family to visit my grandfather's birthplace.

What's Your Problem? - While watching the pre-game show on ESPN last night, I noticed that one of my favorite commentators, Stuart Scott, had lost a lot of weight. It concerned me so I went on line and discovered that Stuart has cancer. He won the battle the first time and his cancer was in remission, but again, his cancer had returned.

When The Saints Go Marching In - It was September 17, 1967, and I was there in Tulane Stadium when the New Orleans Saints played their first National Football League regular season game. Atlanta lost the toss, and the Saints elected to receive. On the kickoff...

Who Is Your Hero? - I had the honor of speaking at the funeral of my first business mentor and role model, Carl Edward Fessel. I knew him as Ed. He was a dynamic advertising executive and president of Fessel, Siegfreidt and Moeller Advertising Agency where I received my first...

Winners Versus Losers - A winner is someone who keeps on going no matter how hard the circumstances, like the Energizer Bunny on steroids. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" is a great mantra to live by. Remember this year's NFL playoffs for the Super Bowl, with only seconds left on the clock...

Yahoo! - There is no such thing as should'a, could'a, would'a. What you do now is significant! The only thing between you and the success that you were born to experience is YOU. As the cartoon character...

You Have a Friend on the Front Line - You can only make the sale if you get through the receptionist to get to the buyer. The response you get from a receptionist is in direct proportion to your attitude toward her. Most salespeople approach the busy executive's front line of defense as...

You Have The Power - Just for today make a personal commitment to increase your efforts by just 10%. A 10% increase in effort can yield a 100% gain in success. Who finished second in the 1973 Kentucky Derby?...

You, Inc. - As a sales person, every day you are in business for yourself. You are ultimately responsible for your own success or failure as a company within a company...

You Versus The Economy - Does the present state of the economy have you feeling like Rocky Balboa after his first match with Apollo Creed? Do you get an empty feeling in your stomach every time you...

Your Possibilities Are Unlimited - Several years ago my wife and I were on vacation in Puerto Rico at the Dorado Beach Hotel. The manager Hendrick Santos threw a Wednesday night welcoming party for the hotel guests. I asked Hendrick to tell us how he became the manager of one of the finest hotels in Puerto Rico. He seemed...

Your Secret Garden - A colleague recently related that his monthly e-mail campaign was not working, that he was getting no measureable results from sending his article to over 300 people each month.

 

 

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