IN MEMORIAM - Dr. Steven Covey, 1932-2012

What is the difference between a (wo)man who changes the world and the one who doesn't?

Belief that they can. Belief they deserve to make their contribution, and the world deserves to receive it. Belief that the world will suffer if they play small, so they choose to play BIG. Dr. Covey played BIG.

“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.”
- Dr. Stephen Covey, Author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Get your own copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People here.

Show Your Gratitude

***After you read this post, be sure to visit me at my new home here.***

Does this image look familiar to you? It's a basic thank you note, one that arrives in the mail. When was the last time you got a thank you note? I bet it was the first piece of mail you opened that day, right? Handwritten notes are special, and they have become more special in recent years, as it has become commonplace to connect via email.

Better question: When was the last time you sent a thank you note?

No matter how many times I say it, I still hear of people sending their thank you notes via email. While that's perfectly fine, the top 1% of all achievers take the time to do 1%-er activities ... among them, sending a hand-written thank you note when appropriate.

Let's talk about when it's a great idea to send a note: 

(a) someone does something nice for you or on your behalf (which may save you time, energy and/or money), 

(b) someone treats you to a meal or a cup of coffee, 
(c) someone refers you a potential client*, 
(d) when you receive a gift of any kind (even if you don't love it), 
(e) someone takes the time to meet with you, or 
(f) you feel the need to say thank you. 

Show your gratitude, and always be sure to say it in writing.

It only takes a few moments to write out a note, and I suggest making it a Notable Note: one that will leave an impression and express how appreciative you feel.

Keep a stack of notes on your desk with a roll of stamps. Make time each day to send a note to a few people who have made a difference in that day. Those few minutes may be the catalyst for something amazing happening later. Attorney John Kralik used this method, and it changed his life. You'll enjoy reading his book.

Simple Steps for Writing a Notable Note:
The Rule of Three:
  • Take 3 minutes: a notable note will take three minutes or less to write, address, stamp and send
  • 3 Sentences: The heart of your note will include three sentences:
    • Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.
    • I enjoyed learning more about the clients you serve and your philosophy on wealth management.
    • I look forward to making powerful introductions to you and for you.
  • Within 3 days. Be sure to mail your note within three days
Notable Notes:

  • are written in blue ink. It looks original and positive.
  • are simple: Use unbranded cards with a symbol or your monogram. It’s a personal note.
  • are dated: Include the date in this format: Friday, January 3, 2014
  • contain an appropriate salutation: Use a title and various parts of someone’s name to signal more or less familiarity, more or less formality, such as: Dear Alexandra {or Lexi} or Dear Bill {or William}
  • include a P.S. {post script} with a call-to-action, asking the recipient to call or email you.

Be a 1%-er and start sending notes today. You'll be glad you did!

*If you actually get the new client, be sure to do something expressing your wallet's gratitude, in addition to a note.

Triumphing Over Challenges

***After you read this post, be sure to visit me at my new home here.***

Just when you think the way has cleared for a smooth ride, challenges come up just to keep things interesting. How do you find success in the face of setbacks? You follow a simple set of strategies that make all the difference.
  1. Strategy #1: The minute you decide to stay in the game, you're in the top 10%. About 90% of people simply give up, so by re-committing to your desired outcome, you're already way ahead!
  2. Strategy #2: Surround yourself with winners. Your associates determine your success, so choose wisely who you have around you.
  3. Strategy #3: Make your self-talk superb. Create a personal mantra, like, "I can do this!" or "I am unstoppable!" and use it to keep your mind right.
  4. Strategy #4: Mistakes are invaluable, so learn from them. Super-achievers know they will either (a) do well in something they undertake or (b) learn some valuable lessons. Most successful people actually "fail their way to success."
  5. Strategy #5: Don't marinate in your failure. A quick recovery is key to upward mobility. The longer you spend feeling sorry for yourself, wallow or whine, the longer it will take for you to regain your moment. Just like in prize-fighting, you've got exactly ten seconds to get up and if you don't, you've lost the fight. Decide that no matter what knocks you down, it won't keep you down.
When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade or lemon mousse! You decide to be a winner and let the best you shine through.