Monday, January 16, 2017

Are Sneakers the Next Alternative Asset Class?

Heat, deadstock, NIB’s and beaters. If your teenage sons or grandsons are throwing around this slang and avoiding eye contact with you, don’t be alarmed. They’re not referring to drugs, cults or punk rock groups. Most likely, they’re checking out your shoes.

Your shoe game (or lack thereof) confers the same kind of social status with younger Millennials and Gen Z that a Corvette, Camaro or Mustang did a generation ago. Sound ridiculous? Well, pairs of limited edition sneaks are going for upwards of $20,000 this week. More on that in a minute.

*** Don’t forget to take our latest InstaPoll about podcasting. See how you stack up to your peers.

As Saturday’s New York Times explained in detail, resellers of limited edition collectible sneakers generate $1.5 billion worth of sales in the U.S. alone. Much of that total is driven by a legal underground army of re-sellers called “sneakerheads” who camp out overnight or who create fast-bidding software programs (“bots”) to snag new releases of rare models from big sneaker brands. Since many of those high end “kicks” are sold in limited quantities, many sneakerheads quickly resell those shoes on eBay or reseller sites for a substantial profit. Rather than fighting the re-sellers, the major shoe brands have learned to use sneakerheads to create a buzz around their pre-release marketing strategies.

There’s even a stock exchange for sneakers called StockX co-founded by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Josh Luber, where shoe prices rise and fall like shares of publicly traded companies.
In fact, if you visit Stock X, you’ll see a scrolling ticker with abbreviated shoe model acronyms followed by dollar signs…sound familiar? We’ll get to the Cleveland connection in just a minute, but note that Bloomberg devoted an entire podcast last month to the subject--What Sneakers Can Tell You About How Financial Markets Work.


What’s more, sites like Kicksworth.com and SHOEFAX.com let you check prices or get appraisals and verify that a pair of vintage sneaks you’re interested in are actually legit. It’s just a matter of time before the government creates a FINRA or SEC to regulate the sneaker reseller market.

Still think sneaker re-selling is the purview of nerdy adolescents and under-employed 20-somethings still living with their parents. Consider this: Friday, Nike released a total of 23 pairs of Lebron (James) 14s along with another 23 pairs of the Lebron signature shoes from the NBA superstar’s rookie season. Who cares? Turns on plenty of folks do.

When the bidding war for these coveted limited edition kicks ends on Thursday, it will cost you an estimated $3,000 to $25,000 PER PAIR to get a piece of the sneaker world’s latest “initial public offering.”

I have two teenage sons who play sports video games and fantasy football leagues with as much gusto as they play on the real-life field and court. My 13 year-old Michael is especially into the sneaker reselling game. MB.Soles as he’s known in the Instagram world is on the younger side of teen/young adult male target demographic that athletic shoe companies covet. Is he obsessed? Perhaps, but he’s gaining shrewd negotiation skills, doing complex math on the fly, sweating out his receivables and learning to incorporate the latest tidbits of information into his pricing methodology. MB's also built a larger Instagram following than many companies have and he’s learned some hard lessons about overpaying, under-bidding and doing business with strangers from all corners of the map (i.e. his footwear counterparties). If nothing else, my son is learning the real value of money by calculating how many hours of yard work it will take him to earn enough to bid on a $175 pair of Air Jordan 1 high tops.

As long as he’s not getting ripped off—or ripping people off—and keeping his grades up, then the entrepreneurial lessons that he’s learning from his hobby should last him a lifetime.


Conclusion


Next time you see a teenage boy staring at your feet, don’t be insulted by his lack of eye contact. He’s probably sizing you up for a sales pitch or offering you a chance to get in on the next sneaker-IPO. You might want to pay attention.

Our blog has more as does the FREE Resources page of our website.

Tags: Sneakerheads, StockX, sneakers as investment, young entrepreneurs, Lebron James, Josh Luber, Kicksworth, Shoefax, Michael Berkowitz

VCRGD6XDXT3T
*** Don’t forget to take our latest InstaPoll about podcasting. Just one question. See how you stack up to your peers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Why I Jumped Out of a Plane (and other Calculated Risks)

Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook once observed: “In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” Risk taking seems to have worked out pretty well for Zuck….and for many of you.
 
Most of you reading this post are entrepreneurs, so by nature you’re calculated risk takers. The majority of you advise people about investing large sums of money, so they trust your calculated risk-taking instincts. I also know that many of you spent the Holidays skiing. That’s definitely calculated risk-taking. More than a few of you like to race cars. That’s calculated risk-taking.

But, so is driving down the highway, eating at a restaurant, even walking down the street or falling in love. With all due respect to those of you in the insurance business, you can’t protect yourself from every single bump on the road of life. Sometimes you just have to go for it and occasionally take your lumps. If you obsess about EVERYTHING in life that could go wrong or hurt you or embarrass you, then you might never get out of bed. You certainly won’t grow.
 
I’m not suggesting that you light yourself on fire, bet the mortgage at the casino or streak naked across the field of a sold out-football game. But, if you don’t force yourself to get out of your comfort zone once in a while—and start tackling that “bucket list” well before you’ve retired--then you’re just going through the motions and not living life. That might be the safer route, but it’s about as satisfying as taking a shower with your raincoat on.

Is sky diving safe?

I scratched a big one off my bucket list last week in Puerto Rico—skydiving with my son, Jake 10,500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Jake had just turned 18 and been admitted early decision to his first-choice college. His mom and I wanted to reward him for working so hard in the classroom, on the field and at the volunteer fire department where he trains. So skydiving was what he chose. Turns out even teenagers are making bucket lists these days. At the airfield, there’s a large poster of a bucket that you can sign, right before you pass through the last metal gate to get to the runway.

The 6-page release we signed included statistics about sky diving accidents. Out of roughly 3.4 million jumps in the U.S. every year, we learned there are typically a few hundred injuries and on average 19 fatalities. Statistically, those are pretty good odds, unless you’re among the unfortunate 19.
 
“Courage is the willingness to take the risk once you know the odds,” said renowned psychologist and author Daniel Kahneman. “Optimistic overconfidence means you are taking the risk because you don't know the odds. It's a big difference.”
 
I kept Kahneman’s philosophy in mind as our dinky crop duster of a plane huffed and puffed its way to the pre-advertised altitude two vertical miles above the tiny airstrip. I tried to ignore my doubts about the laid-back training session we had in a dusty hangar area where roosters, chickens and a limping bulldog outnumbered the instructors. I tried to ignore the memory of our pilot and instructors kicking the tires of the landing gear. After whacking it a few times with a wrench, they simply shrugged their shoulders and walked away.

Again, this “extreme” skydiving outfit was the only one on the island that had all the certifications and seemed to have the best online reviews. They had already charged our credit card, they had our signature in about 100 places on the release forms and I wasn’t going to wimp out in front of my son—especially after 2-1/2 hours of waiting.

Who needs extensive training?
 
In a mix of Spanish and Spanglish, instructors told us to check that our “toys were in the toybox” as they cinched the straps of our parachutes around our upper thighs. We practiced our “feet up” landing technique a few times, the cross-arm free fall position and then tried a few “Superman’s”--lying on our stomachs while mule-kicking our feet behind our backs so we could maximize our glide. So off we went. Straight up. Glad we opted to skip lunch.

At about 7,000 feet, we were above the clouds and told to squat execution-style to avoid hitting our heads on the low-slung roof of the plane. At about 8,000 feet, over the deafening roar of the wind and rattling engine, they did a final check of our chutes and harnesses. At about 9,000 feet, they told us to prepare to exit the plane’s tiny door left leg first, right leg second. At about 10,000 feet, they said to admire the view (“Admira la vista”). Then WHOOSH!
 
The door opens. You feel yourself getting literally sucked out of the plane into the open sky and watch your first-born son disappear like a speck into the stratosphere. You tell yourself to keep your wits about you, keep your arms crossed and your back arched during the initial free fall—6,000 vertical feet at about 125 miles per hour—with a few gut churning somersaults thrown in. Then shift to spread Eagle after the chute (hopefully) opens, enjoy the view and give a thumbs-up to the instructor who had cameras on his wrist and helmet.
It might have been helpful to know that our bored instructors would throw in some violent corkscrew dives and turns as we punctured the clouds during an otherwise gentle float back to Earth. But, where’s the fun (or personal growth) in that?

Despite the headaches and dizziness we felt over the next three hours, neither of us injured ourselves or lost our lunch or limbs during the landing. Better yet, we got the last jump of the day, just beating a fast approaching thunderstorm. While the word “AWESOME” is beyond cliché in today’s selfie-obsessed society, our skydiving adventure really was an awesome experience and provided some good father-son bonding time. Those of you with young kids will appreciate this someday.

Will Jake and I skydive again? Heck yea! Hooah!

Back at the hangar, I jokingly told one of the instructors that we didn’t get all that much instruction considering we were complete newbies to the sport of skydiving. “Dude,” he replied with a yawn. “We told you all you needed to know in the plane. People tend to black out during the free fall. If we told you anything else, you'd just forget it anyway.”

Conclusion
So, there you have it. It’s 2017. Let’s set some BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) this year and show the world what we can do. And if we fall flat on our faces once in a while, let’s take it a step further and show the world how quickly we can bounce back and get back on our feet….even if you feel like you just fell out of the sky.
 
Our blog has more as does the FREE Resources page of our website.
 
Tags: sky diving, calculated risks, bucket lists, Marc Zuckerberg, Daniel Kahneman
VCRGD6XDXT3T

Monday, December 26, 2016

HB Publishing’s Top 6 Posts of 2016


*** Will you be podcasting in 2017? Take our InstaPoll and see you stack up to your peers.

From Trump’s surprise election victory to the Chicago Cubs’ World Series victory (ending a 108 year drought), 2016 was anything but a boring, predictable year. One thing we learned from your reaction to our weekly blog Online Marketing B2Beat, is that your desire to keep abreast with the constantly changing landscape in your working lives never strayed far from your subconscious. Your reading patterns revealed strong interest in content marketing strategies, such as incorporating video clips into your articles and posts and using Slideshare to expand the audience for your presentations. From a strategic standpoint, you expressed concern about disruptive factors in the marketplace, building trust within your team, having more work/life balance and turning worry from a negative to a positive. If you missed a popular post, here they are again with a quick summary:

1. Incorporating Video into Articles and Posts (and vice versa).
As far back as 2014, we explained how adding video to your written content can substantially improve engagement and recall. On the flip side, a concise text-based summary that accompanies your video will greatly increase viewership. Our client, Coyle Financial Counsel found that viewership of its twice weekly video blogs increased substantially when it started offering a text-based summary right below its video player. The text summary always includes snappy “Key Takeaways.”

2. Does Your Trust Battery Need a Charge? Tobi Lutke, CEO of the e-commerce software provider, Shopify, described how every new employee starts at Shopify with their “trust battery” charged at the 50 percent level. As time goes on, the charge level goes up (or down) based on interactions with managers and whether the employee becomes more or less trustworthy and whether or not he or she delivers on what they promise.


3. Successful Professionals Use SlideShare If you’re not familiar with Slideshare (now owned by LinkedIn/Microsoft), think of it as a YouTube for professional presentations.
The sharing site gets an estimated 70 million unique visitors per month and an estimated 400,000 new presentations are uploaded daily. Unlike YouTube, SlideShare gives you quality eyeballs, rather than quantity. SlideShare is a favorite hunting ground for journalists, speaker bureaus and conference organizers. Learn why.

4. Not Worried? Maybe You Should Be. 
As a former boxer and wrestler, I’d rather have my guard up all the time than take a haymaker to the chin from seemingly out of nowhere. That’s not negativity or pessimism—that’s good old fashioned pragmatism and one of the most important ingredients for business survival. Some worry is actually good for you,” according to Simon Rego, a cognitive behavioral psychologist. Learn more.

5. Working Out the Changing Nature of Our Work.  Sally Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest outlined five keys for success in the new world of work. She said businesses are changing, pivoting and being disrupted at lightning speed, thanks to “the forces of technology and globalization.” What that means she said is that “what worked for decades won’t be a given any longer.” She believes successful leaders will ditch corner offices, encourage more collaboration, give people time to think things through, embrace intellectual discomfort and a willingness to fail.” What do you think?

6. Is Free Time Overrated? A
Stanford University professor argues that time is a “network good.” In other words, free time is only valuable if others in your schedule also have that time free as well. As Young observed, “We face a problem, of coordination. Work-life balance is not something that you can solve on your own.” Same goes for telecommuting, flex-time, job-sharing, etc. We’re freer than ever to work where we want to work, how we want to work and when we want to work. But if you can’t enjoy that time with others, how much is it really worth? Do you fall into that trap of “bowling alone” or in my case skiing alone?

From all of us here at HB Publishing, have a great 2017. You can work smarter without having to work harder.

Our blog has more as does the FREE Resources page of our website.

VCRGD6XDXT3T


Tags: Top posts of 2016, time management, workplace trust, Slideshare, Video with articles, Sally Krawcheck

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Can You Afford NOT to Be Podcasting?

Podcasts. “Sure, I know what they are….I think.” Sound familiar?

Podcasts have been around for over a dozen years, and while adoption is growing by double digits, they’re often overshadowed by social media, videos, infographics and search engine optimization. That said, podcasts are quietly and steadily gaining traction and businesses and financial professionals like you. "The popularity of podcasting for business makes perfect sense,” according to Daryl Plotke, of the Gainesville, Florida-based creative agency DDP. “Not only do podcasts allow the brand to have complete control over its content, but they offer an intimacy that few other media channels provide.”


***
See how we’re turning our own blog posts into podcasts.
It’s surprisingly simple and effective and so can you.
More than one in five Americans over age 12 (21%) have listened to a podcast in the past month and that “ear-share” has increased by about 25 percent in the past year alone. That’s about 57 million people listening to podcasts regularly--about the same number of folks who are tweeting.

Mobile devices are one of the key drivers of podcast growth as 64 percent of podcasts are now listened to on a smartphone or tablet, according to
Edison Research.
Americans spend about 2 percent of their daily share of audio consumption listening to podcasts. That might not seem like much, but that 2 percent accounts for about 15 minutes each day, or one hour and 45 minutes a week. With global smartphone use surpassing the 2 billion mark this year, listening patterns are expected to change as more and more people subscribe to podcasts.

While some media companies are frustrated by the paltry share of the U.S. advertising pie that podcasts attract ($34 million according to Pew Research), that’s part of the appeal—minimal commercial interruption compared to often-annoying commercial radio.

Business professionals and entrepreneurs rank high among podcast aficionados
Time-pressed, information-hungry people who are anxious to get a variety of perspectives and ideas from experts in different business fields are an ideal audience for podcasts. But, they’ll only do so if it’s easy and convenient. You can listen to podcasts as you sit in traffic, exercise, walk your dog or cook dinner. As podcast guru Jay Baer explained, “Increasingly, business people (especially marketers) are using podcasts to stay on top of trends because it’s the most time-efficient way to get educated. You can multi-task your podcast listening in ways you simply cannot with other forms of content.”

Podcasts are easily consumable because they don’t require the listener’s undivided attention like video, TV or books do. For podcasters, the ability to speak to your audience directly, in your own voice, at a time when it’s most convenient for them to listen to you, podcasts help you connect with your audience on a deeper and more personal level.   


Also, podcasts aren’t just for one-way communication with your audience. You can invite an expert or thought leader to be a guest on your “show.” You can interview experts, and even consumers. Podcasting is a great way to put forth the views of people your audience is most likely to trust -- experts, and their peers.


You can distribute podcasts through multiple channels.
While the most common thing to do is to broadcast your podcasts on your website or blog, you can spread their reach across the global audience through services like iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud. You can also use social channels to share your podcasts with your audience.
 
Ease of creation.

From a technical and cost perspective, podcasts are much easier to create than video and webinars. You don’t need to worry about hair, lighting, makeup, tele-prompters, slides or “freezing up” when the red light goes on. Just get a decent microphone and recording device and read your script calmly (or bring in a narrator to do it for you). OK, there’s a bit more to it, but podcasting should not be one of your 10 biggest tech challenges of 2017. As with writing, blogging, tweeting and video, Plotke said producing
podcasts on a regular and consistent basis do far more for you than just posting sporadic episodes. That takes a little discipline, and there are reasonably-priced professionals who can help you sound great without “dragging your feet into the weeds on every detail.”

Our own blog has more as does the FREE Resources page of our website.

Conclusion

To that end, HB Publishing & Marketing Company now has podcasting expertise on call. Just let us know when you’re ready to stick your toe into this burgeoning thought leadership content platform and we’ll help you connect with a larger audience than you ever thought possible.

VCRGD6XDXT3T

Podcasting, Edison Research, Daryl Plotke, Stitcher, SoundCloud

Sunday, December 11, 2016

It’s Great You’re Blogging—Are You Blogging Efficiently?

Many of you are now publishing blogs. That’s great because blogging—if done well—is one of the most impactful thought leadership tools that professionals and businesses can use. According to the 2016 Blogger Research Study from Orbit Media Studios, the typical blogger publishes several posts per week with a typical post averaging 800 words in length. Bloggers write both in the office and at home after work. According to researchers, a typical blog post takes about 2.5 hours to create, with 46 percent of bloggers spending more than two hours per post and only one in six (17.4%) getting their posts done in one hour or less.  

Our Take? 150 minutes is WAY too long to be spending on a short-form post and if you’re running 800 to 1,000 words, you might be spending too much time “clearing your throat” and struggling to get to the point. If you’re not getting your posts done in roughly 60 minutes and getting your thoughts together in 500-600 words, then maybe you should review your thought processes or your internal bench strength.

Three in five bloggers (61%) are writing posts averaging 500 to 1000 words, which according to researchers makes 800 words “seem like an unstated, but agreed-upon standard length for blog posts.” Again, we’ve found you are better off writing on the briefer end of that 500-1,000 word scale.


Length Of A Typical Blog Post
Length of Post
% of Respondents
Less than 500 words
20.8
500-1,000 words
61.3
1,000-1,500
13
1,500-2,000
3.5
2,000+ words
1.4
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

How long it takes to write a typical blog post?

  Time to Write
% of Respondents
Less than 1 hour
17.4%
1-2 hours
36.7
2-3
19.7
3-4
13.2
4-6
7.4
6+ hours
5.5
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

Part of the reason that blogs are taking many so long to write is that three in four bloggers (73%) act as their own editors, according to the Orbitmedia survey. Only 15 percent of bloggers use a formal editorial process. Nine in ten (90.6%) survey respondents said they either edit their own work or use an informal process. What’s more, researchers found that most blog posts have never been seen by anyone but the author before they go live. Ouch!

Bloggers Use Of Editors
Use Of Editor
% of Respondents
Edit own work
72.9%
“Show it to a person or two”
29.8
Formal editor
11.8
More than one editor
2.8
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

Researchers also found that social media is by far the most common promotion tactic, typically used by 94 percent of bloggers since it’s fast and easy for most bloggers. The Orbit folks also note that best practices for SEO are so well known that most bloggers now produce search optimized content, adding that only 5 percent of bloggers are paying to drive traffic to their posts.

How Bloggers Are Driving Traffic To Their Posts
Traffic Acquisition
% of Respondents
Social media marketing
94%
Search engine optimization
50.8
Email marketing
34.5
Influencer outreach
15.1
Paid services
4.5
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016


Our own blog has more as does the FREE Resources page of our website.

Conclusion

Credit: The New York Times
On a personal note, I wanted to mention the recent passing of John Glenn, American astronaut, U.S. senator and all-around hero who died on Thursday at the age of 95. I never met Glenn personally, flew or served in the military, but I have long since felt a special affinity for Glenn. Here is an iconic photo from the New York Times on the day after I was born, March 1, 1962. You see Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the earth 9 days earlier—basking in the glow of the first of his two Canyon of Heroes parades in New York City. I learned many years later that my parents almost gave me the first name of “John” or “Glenn” but that decision was later nixed for reasons to lengthy to discuss here. Now scroll down the page to the side by side photos of the front page of the Times on 3/2/62.

For most Americans, Glenn’s ticker tape parade overshadowed an unfolding tragedy just 16 miles away in what is now known as JFK International Airport. That same morning (March 1, 1962), American Airlines Flight 1 crashed in Jamaica Bay, killing all 87 passengers and eight crew members. It was the deadliest commercial airline crash in United States history at that point.

As so often happens in life, exhilarating highs are mixed with agonizing lows. Give The Times credit for devoting equal space to both stories in 1962—in today’s media environment by contrast, that ratio would probably have been 90 percent tragedy/10 percent celebration. I’m sure many miss those days.


VCRGD6XDXT3T

Tags: Blogging, thought leadership, John Glenn, Orbit Media Studios, blog length

Sunday, December 04, 2016

So You Think You Know LinkedIn?

Whether you’re a sole practitioner or a partner in a global firm, it’s no secret that your online presence matters more than ever today. And since most of you are experienced professionals, nowhere else does your online presence matter more than LinkedIn. It’s not just for job seekers and recruiters.

According to Sandra Long, a longtime Pitney Bowes executive and now a trainer, entrepreneur and author of the new book, LinkedIn for Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide, many professionals make the common mistakes of:

  • Taking a set-it and forget-it approach to their LinkedIn profiles.
  • Having too many endorsements for their less-than-core skills.
  • Listing their job title at the top of their profile rather their personal brand and unique value proposition.
  • Not synching their personal brand with their firm’s or company’s brand.
  • Not having a professional headshot—“If you don’t have a headshot, you’re not in the game.”
  • Listing every single job and responsibility they’ve had during their career, rather than “weaving together common themes.”
  • Repurposing their resume online rather than being a “story teller.”
I spoke with Long after her presentation last week at the Fairfield County, CT chapter of the American Marketing Association. She told me that for experienced professionals, one of the most important things you can use the platform for is establishing yourself as a thought leader. Sharing content, uploading presentations to Slideshare (now owned by LinkedIn) and publishing articles and blog posts on LinkedIn’s new publishing tool will give you “very high authority” on Google and other search engines.

“Your business is all about your career, your brand and your network,” said Long. “The No. 1 activity on LinkedIn is look at profiles. Take the time to think about what’s unique about you professionally, personally and what makes you a thought leader.”

Long's book provides a comprehensive view of personal branding using LinkedIn's profile, content sharing, and thought leadership capabilities. Additionally, Long has assembled a useful set of "How To" advice links that are available on a companion website. The website provides many resource pages and links related to each chapter.

Our blog has more as well as the FREE Resources page of our website.

Conclusion

Many of you preach the importance of regularly updating your portfolio, estate plan, business plan and IT procedures. Those are not one-and-done exercises. Same goes for your online presence, particularly your LinkedIn profile (and your organization’s).

VCRGD6XDXT3T

Tags: LinkedIn tips, Sandra Long, LinkedIn for Personal Branding, Slideshare, thought leadership

Friday, November 18, 2016

Now Is the Time for You (and Clients) to Test Out New Year’s Resolutions

I spent most of Wednesday in midtown Manhattan meeting with clients and strategic partners. It was the first time I felt like a 1 Percenter—i.e. in the small minority of people actually trying to work. It was an unseasonably warm work day in mid-November, but you would have thought it was the week before Christmas based on the frantic energy and size of the crowds perusing the display windows at Macy’s, skating at Bryant Park or clogging the rails of Rockefeller Center.

If you think the Holiday ads and catalogs are hitting you earlier than ever, you’re not alone. Even my subway shuttle between Grand Central and Times Square was already decked out in Christmas gift wrapping. If we’re going to keep pushing the envelope on when the Holiday season officially starts, I don’t have a problem with it as long as it’s good for the economy and help’s people people’s psyche. But if we’re going to push up the start of  the Holiday’s we should also push up the start of your New Year’s resolutions because now is an excellent time to “pilot test” your 2017 resolutions to see what you can realistically stick with and what’s just a pipe dream.

Research suggests that approximately half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions yet only one out of twelve of them (8%) actually achieve them. We all know behavior modification is hard, whether you’re trying to lose weight, get organized, get published, revamp your IT processes or make your website mobile friendly. Experts say we also tend to set the bar too high and then beat ourselves up when we don’t reach it. But there has to be more to the high rate of Resolution Failure.

Dr. Paul Marciano, author of Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work specializes in the area of behavior modification and motivation. Marciano’s book offers seven key pieces of advice.

1. Clearly define your goals. Many people in the spirit of New Year’s loudly proclaim, “This is the year I’m going to finally get in shape.” But what does that mean? Do you intend to lose a certain number of pounds? Reach a body-fat percentage goal? Run three miles without rest? Bang out 10 pull-ups? Marciano advocates SMART goals—objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. In other words “own it” and be accountable.

2. Track your progress. Countless studies show that individuals, teams and organizations are much more likely to reach a goal (and stay with it) if progress can be measured along the way. Experts such as Marciano say measurement can also help you and your team identify bottlenecks in your progress.

3. Have patience. OK. I admit this isn’t my strong suit, but experts say must set realistic goals and realize that progress is never linear. Sometimes you experience rapid gains only to hit resistance later. Other times, initial progress may be painfully slow but then they suddenly achieve rapid breakthroughs. Making lasting changes takes time.

4. Publicize your goals to friends, family and co-workers. This is about “owning it.” High performing sports teams, companies and military units understand this. You can too. Don’t be shy about announcing your specific resolution to the world, but support from colleagues, friends and family members is key.

5. Put resolutions on your schedule. That’s another flavor of “owning it.” How often do you hear people say they can’t “find the time” to do something? Experts argue that nobody finds time to do something. We all choose to spend our time the way we do—whether that’s eating junk food, binging on NetFlix shows or hitting the gym. Make your new goals a priority and actually schedule them into your calendar. If you want to declutter you office, schedule time to clean out your files, desk and online calendar in the evening or on weekends when you’re not at the beck and call of clients. Think of these “time blocks” as important appointments with yourself—and make sure you’re penalized for cancelling on short notice.

6. Stop “all or nothing” thinking; it’s better do something than nothing. I admit I’m often guilty of “all or nothing” thinking? For instance, “I didn’t get my proposal in on time, so I might as well forget about landing that client.” Or, “I might as well have a couple more beers and some fries since I blew my diet last night.” The difference between doing something rather than nothing is huge. If you don’t have a full hour to workout at the gym, just decide to make it the best 20-minutes you can. If you have a slight cold or minor injury, decide to just walk the track for a couple miles. If a client has a financial emergency and can’t save the usual 10 percent this month, just tell them to save what you can. Any effort towards your goal is better than no effort.

7. Get up, when you slip up. None of us are perfect. As the football coaching legend Vince Lombardi famously said, “It isn’t whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” Resiliency is the key. Don’t turn relapses or temporary failures into total meltdowns or excuses for giving up. Instead, just acknowledge the mistake and recommit to the path.

Our blog has more as well as the FREE Resources page of our website.

Conclusion

Dr. Marciano and other experts believe achieving our goals isn’t about willpower. It’s about developing the right skills and strategies that, with patience, will lead to success. Use this time between now and January 1, 2017 to test out your planned resolutions—both the type of resolution and the degree to which you’re hoping to change your behavior. Make adjustments and then re-commit. Read points #6 and #7 above.

You’re already in the 1-percent who were working last Wednesday.  Join the Elite 8 percent who will be celebrating their success later in the year.

Wishing you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.

Best HB

VCRGD6XDXT3T

Tags: Making New Year’s Resolutions stick, Dr. Paul Marciano