Thursday, April 7, 2016

How do you cut an apple?

I recently had the opportunity to provide sales training at a regional meeting. For those of you that fall into the camp of “I’m more scared of public speaking than I am of DYING”, get ready for something that will blow your mind.  I have a disorder that some may deem masochistic….. (Ready for it?) I really enjoy getting up in front of people and presenting. I am sure this stems from my narcissistic alter ego as a musician, but none the less I love presenting and more so educating on topics that I feel strongly about.

Being that paying mortgage revolves around my ability to close a deal, I am extremely passionate about becoming better at what I do. I have read countless books and listened to hundreds of hours of sales training, so when the prospect came along to present I jumped at the opportunity. Just as it is important to justify the F word through finding fulfillment outside of work, it is equally as important to find that same fulfillment inside your chosen profession. I have had several friends ask me if I would share what I discussed in my training, so for those friends, and for those of you interested in sales, business, or negotiating, I will break down different concepts and share them over the next couple months. For those of you who couldn’t give two hairs off a dogs butt about Sales, these concepts will not only be beneficial for your work, but if properly applied the concepts presented will aid in all aspects of one’s life.

So, I propose the question…….. How do you cut an apple?
Simple question, right? Like the picture above, it is possible to cut an apple with a hammer and it is possible to cut that same apple with a scalpel. The difference in the two methods if easily noted in the amount of fruit retained in the end.  If you cut an apple with a hammer you end of with a smashed piece of fruit with very little left over to enjoy (pretty sure Gallagher has cornered that market, but then again we are talking apples and not watermelons).  Cut an apple with a scalpel and the amount of fruit you can share will be comparably on par with a biblical miracle.

Everything we engage in can be refined. Why I feel that the “apple” concept is so important is because as human beings, we have the tendency to learn how to complete a task by taking the easiest road possible. Once we basically know how to get down the road our growth and development for that task stops, thus we complete the task over and over by “cutting an apple” with a hammer. Why do we do this? The answer is-it’s easy, or, possibly because this is how everyone else around me does it. By using the “hammer” we are accomplishing the assigned task in a menial rudimentary manner.  To better describe this action ask yourself, “have you every fixed something with the wrong tool?” I have (on more occasions then I would like to admit) fixed things around the house by using the wrong tool for the wrong application. Have I accomplished the task I set out to complete? Yes, but by using the wrong tool the task took much longer than it should have, I end up reaching into the dark recesses of my vocabulary, scaring my kids, and typically break or damage something.  

The “apple” concept truly begins to become difficult when you realize there is a better way to cut the fruit that Jonny Appleseed planted. There is a cost involved in obtaining finer implements of precision, and the only person who can pay that cost is you. The question posed is, “are you willing to pay the price to find a scalpel?” Think about how many things in each of our lives, careers, health, and families we could refine. Ask yourself; “How many things in my life, career, health, and family am I cutting with a hammer?” If you are honest the length of that list may surprise you.  As you change the way you go about cutting the “apple” seek out those already who have a scalpel in hand. This can be done finding mentors or as simple as reading a book on the subject you are looking to refine. By surrounding yourself with red delicious or granny smith surgeons, your desire to go back to the hammer will border on the absurd.  There will be those along the way who will question what you are doing, or even mock you for your pursuits. Remember at the end of the day you choose to be better, and those choices have an immediate effect on you and your direct sphere of influence.

This concept to me is more important than ever. I am turning the “F” word in a little over a month, and have spent the last year trying to reach for the “scalpel” in every aspect of my life (with the exception of loose skin, not there yet).  The pursuit of changing how I “cut an apple” has had an effect on everything I do.  The result is, I am slowly becoming better at everything from the acceleration into my ski turns, closing rates at work, as well as challenging and refining my Dad skills.

Boiled down, I am gleaning more “fruit” and it’s delicious. There are mornings when my alarm goes off way too early and I reach for the hammer. I am in no means perfect or trying to claim that this easy. In fact it’s really hard, but doing things wrong or inefficiently will not make life any easier. In fact, it will really only just delay the pain.  The quest to become better at whom I am and what I do has yielded a sense of soul-busting contentment that was absent for a chunk of my 30’s. I am striving to avoid having another midlife crisis by filling my mind, soul, and life rather than trying to figure out what is missing. 

So there it is “F” word nation! Let’s spend our days creating glory years as opposed to trying to relive them. My challenge to you all is to spend this next week looking at how you cut an apple. Start with one area of your life and then move onto to the next.  F’ers I am looking forward to a grandioso manzana feast. 

Happy cutting…………

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