Saturday, October 30, 2010

Election Week Social Media Policy

It happens every time. Election Week brings out the "haters" on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and other social media venues.

My policy is that I un-follow people who cross the line from political commentary and opinion into "HATE". This has nothing to do with political ideology. There are an equal number of hate-filled people on the right and the left side of the spectrum.... and during election cycles they come out in droves.

Passions run strong when elections are on the line.... and some people cannot help themselves. Their dislike for the positions of someone on the other side of ideology gets the best of them and they make it personal. They say horrible things. Some do it in the name of comedy, others just spew their vomit as a way to claim their superior status.

I figure if they cannot control their hate from spilling into the Twitter stream, then I should not be wasting my time following them. A simple click and they disappear.

I do this to liberals and conservatives. I see many people who get angry with hateful comments about the candidates they support, but laugh at awful things said about the candidates they disagree with when it comes to political beliefs.

I think hate is hate (politics aside) and when it comes to social media, I delete those who cloud the internet with "yuckiness". I simply do not think we need rude, disrespectful and snarky comments. Yep, some friends vanish from my social media lists during elections. If they notice (and ask "why?") I tell them. Most never even notice I am gone.

If everyone had a similar policy then the internet might be a more civil place.

What do you think?

Have A Great Day (and go vote!)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Six Reasons Why I Write A Blog

Why do I write this blog?

This question was asked the other day by someone who is considering taking on the commitment of a blog (yes, there is a commitment involved). His concerns were many, and he pointed out that there are too many blogs already in existence. He thought he would just be part of the noise. He was wondering about how many readers he would get initially. He feared writing his blog and nobody would show up to read it. He wanted my advice how to gain traffic fast.

There was no answer provided, as I do not write this blog for statistics. I write this blog as a conduit to share ideas, focus thoughts, improve my skills, to promote my speaking career, and to create a body of work. My own reader statistics are all over the map. Some posts are barely noticed, others are widely read and shared.

Do not get me wrong, I like having people read my blog (thank you, by the way), but I did not create or continue the blog for numbers. I am not "famous", so people do not flock to my every word. That is okay.

I write for several reasons. Below are six reasons (in no order):

1. Blogging makes me be a better writer. Writing is a skill that needs to be practiced. In the end, a writer is not real unless he or she writes. If one just thinks about writing they are a thinker, not a writer. By committing to this blog, it forces me to fine tune my abilities.

2. Writing helps me focus. I customize every speech I give to an audience. The presentations I give are constantly morphing from week to week based on what is happening in the world, the experiences I have, and the people I meet. Thus, many of my blog posts are directly related to crafting a presentation for an upcoming speech. It also makes me think about what is important to the audience, and not only about the things important to me.

3. The words might help someone. I get a lot of emails and other feedback from people who have read my blog and said that they needed to hear the message I wrote that particular day. If in some way something I put on here helps another person, then the time it takes to write is worth the effort.

4. Search Engine Optimization. I started the blog before the release of the first book. There was a lot of "buzz" about blogs 5 1/2 years ago, and I wanted to make sure I was getting all the online love that was available in cyberspace. It worked. People have discovered my books by finding my blog via search. A client recently contracted my services as a sales meeting facilitator after having found me via a "Google Search" that lead them to my blog.

5. Creating a library of rough drafts. My blog serves as a farm for other products. Speeches, articles, books, videos, etc... have all had their birth on the pages of my blog. When I am asked to work on any type of information product I can go into the archives of this blog and find nuggets of an idea that I can then develop further.

6. Keeps me reading and learning. If you want to write you must be exposed to new ideas, thoughts, points of view and perspectives. Because I write this blog I must force myself to observe the world around me more. It is easy to get myopic and not seek inspirations. Wanting to write makes me read other blogs, books, and follow the news in the areas that I cover.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Create A Foundation For Your Future

"How can someone launch out on their own and become an author, consultant, and professional speaker?" (or follow another dream?)

I was asked this question after a keynote presentation at a luncheon meeting of business professionals. My answer of; "get laid off", brought a roar of laughter from the audience. But for me it was the truth.

I was working toward leaving my job as director of marketing for a consulting firm a year later, but the international economic downturn had other plans and my position was eliminated on April 1, 2009. That day I declared I was a full-time professional speaker.

Eighteen months later I am still here.

The key for me was that I was not starting from square one. I was already clear about my desire to speak at conferences, trade shows, company meetings, sales kick-offs and other events. I had written several books, launched a website, wrote a daily blog, and created the Networking Quotient Quiz. Additionally I had already been asked to speak nearly 200 times for companies, law firms, associations, and other groups over the previous decade.

I had a strong network of personal and professional contacts with whom I had created long-term and mutually beneficial relationships. I was not a stranger to people who could hire speakers, or were influencers in the business community. Having a network of people who will give you business, talk up your new venture and refer you to potential clients is paramount to success.

I had created a foundation for the future, even though I was not sure when the future would arrive.

There will be naysayers who try to undermine your path. Many well meaning friends (and some not so well meaning) will question your direction. I suggest you smile and go on about your business. Every successful entrepreneur has had people who were convinced they would fail. If your foundation is strong, it will support your efforts.

If you do fail, pick yourself up and keep going. I have learned more about business in the past eighteen months than I ever learned in my 20-year career. If I choose to work for a company again in the future, my boss will have a much better employee because of my entrepreneurial journey. Thus the adventure of pursuing my dream is both my passion and my education.

My family and my business partner at New Year Publishing have encouraged me and kept me going on those days when the stress and pressure to succeed overwhelmed my focus. If you want to start a business you need a support mechanism and network of people who will keep you on on track. You cannot do it alone. People matter --- never forget that!

A positive attitude, continuous learning, and dedication to the your industry will also be instrumental in your path to success. In my case I have become a advocate of the professional speaking BUSINESS. I am an active member of the National Speaker's Association (locally and nationally), and I coach and encourage others who desire to enter the industry. It is a commitment to your craft (no matter what your industry) that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Getting laid off gave me a push, but it has been working with amazing people and following my heart that has made this a career.

If you are one of those people who have helped me along the way -- THANK YOU!!!

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

New Year Publishing "Thought Leadership Award" Presented to Author Steve Woods

The first annual New Year Publishing "Thought Leadership Award" was presented to author Steve Woods.

Mr. Woods is a co-founder of Eloqua and serves as the company's Chief Technology Officer. His insights into the application of technology to the marketing profession have been key to Eloqua's consistent record of client satisfaction.

His book, Digital Body Language, is a wonderful exploration of how technology is impacting the world of marketing. The book is both educational and insightful.

Congratulations to Steve Woods for this award!

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Monday, October 25, 2010

Plan For Success In 2011 - Goals, Dreams, New Contacts, More Victories

Sign Up NOW for "Re-Ignite Your Dream Machine".

Monday, November 1, 2010

Austin, Texas

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM (followed by a networking reception)

St Edward's University (Mabee Ballroom)

We all have dreams and goals for the future, but sometimes we get off track and caught in a rut.

Perhaps your dreams were stolen by negative relationships in your life or maybe by a tough year in your business.

You can turn around your life and your career by taking ownership of your dreams, goals, relationships and planning for victory. You can be successful in whatever it is that you want to do!

This seminar will inspire you to look toward achieving more for the rest of the year and into 2011. Come network with other professionals (someone in attendance might be the person you need to meet), get a free book, learn from exciting speakers, and most of all, come “Reignite Your Dream Machine”!

$10 in advance ($20 at door).

CLICK HERE to register NOW!!!

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Help A Friend Out (#HAFO) and Thank Those Who Help You

I advise people that a great way to become relevant in your business community is to be a person who helps others find their success. Seeking ways to assist people to get closer to their dreams makes them pay more attention to your existence. Also, when people return the favor, and help you... you MUST show your appreciation. Being a "giver" and a "thanker" are key ways to raising your own visibility.

Sounds simple, right?

Seems like "fluff advice", right?

Appears too elementary, right?

Ummmm, yes, but so many people fail to make helping others part of their routine that those who do it stand out from the crowd. Everyone is so busy trying to expand their horizons that they are not seeing the easy ways that they can impact others. Because of this, when you step up... people are blown away by your generosity.

Additionally, too many people forget to say "thank you" to those who do bring them opportunities, and that undermines the whole process. When you forget to show gratitude, it sends a message that you expect them to serve YOU....and nobody likes that type of response. Thus they think twice before helping you the next time.

You are always being observed, and those who see you as one who gives and thanks will want to be in your circle of influence. If they see you as a "taker" they will run like heck in a different direction.

Tim Tyrell-Smith blogged this week on his "Tim's Strategy Blog" about helping others. He mentioned that if you want to be awesome in your everyday life you should find ways to think less about yourself and more about others around you. He also created a Twitter Hashtag and encourages people to use it daily when "tweeting" info that "helps a friend out" (#HAFO).

Two best-authors, Tim Sanders (Love Is The Killer Ap) and Gary Vaynerchuk (Crush It!) are both releasing books in 2011 on the topic of gratitude and saying "thank you". This topic is HUGE, and will get bigger once their books are released (both are predicted to be best-sellers). Chris Brogan writes about this consistently on his blog. Fast Company Magazine (this month) has an article by "Do Something" CEO Nancy Lublin called "Two Little Words",... yep, she is talking about "Thank You"!

Why so much ink being given to this? BECAUSE IT MATTERS and people do not seem to do these simple things that lead to more success in the long run.

Will people listen to Tim, Tim, Gary, Chris, Nancy and me?

Or will things remain the same? (my guess is they will remain the same)

Many people claim they want to "help" others, but never get around to it. They profess they understand the power of saying "thanks", but once they get busy with their own stuff, they fail on the necessary steps to appreciate.

This means if you help others, and show gratitude to those who help you, you will stand out from the crowd. In today's crazy world you need to find ways to shine. And is there a better way to win than being one who assists and praises others along the way.

Try it this week. Help and Thank. Help and Thank. Repeat.

Have A Great Day.



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Trying new things is a great way to grow, learn, and expand your horizons. Plus it can be a lot of fun.

I am a professional speaker who has presented to over 50 audiences in 2010, however all of those speeches were planned, prepared, and practiced. I have never done "Improv", and do not consider myself a comedian. While I use humor in my keynote presentations and training programs, I do not take the stage with the intent of being "funny".

Last night I was asked to participate in a "Battle Decks" competition at the Ignite Austin event. Battle Decks is becoming a popular entertainment component at conferences and other events (especially in the technology arena) where 3 or 4 participants present PowerPoint presentations they have never seen before. The speaker does not know what will come up on the slides, and is given the topic just as the self-advancing PowerPoint deck begins to roll. Some people call it "Power Point Karaoke." It is similar to "Table Topics" at a Toastmasters Club, but with slides and an audiences of hundreds of people.

While I am comfortable speaking to an audience, the unknown of what was going to happen with the visuals aspects of the slides did make me uncomfortable.

Turns out it was a lot of fun. There were three competitors. Two had to leave the room so they could not see the slides before their turn, and then one by one we each presented to the same slide deck (thus the term "Battle Decks"), trying to weave a cohesive presentation while making the audience laugh.

I won the competition (against a guy who is a professional Improv instructor!), giving me bragging rights as the "Ignite Austin 2 Battle Decks Champion" (there was no actual prize). I am not sure if I have to defend the crown at Ignite Austin 3, but I would welcome the chance do do this again.

Three years ago I would never have agreed to do a competition like this in front of hundreds of people and several video cameras (the video will eventually hit YouTube). I would have over thought the possible negative effects of making a blunder and worried about what people might think of my attempts at humor. However with experience comes confidence and having given 150 speeches over the last three years meant it was time to branch out and try something new..

Additionally, I discovered that I can step out of my comfort zone and have fun doing it. Next I think I will take and improv class or do an open mic night at a comedy club!

Have A Great Day.


*Photo from Twitter via Scott Hanson (aka @dellservergeek).

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today is my dad's 96th birthday.

Here is his video birthday card from my family. While he does not use the internet or have a smart phone .... My brothers will make sure he sees this! I wish I lived closer so I could see him more often.

He has seen a lot of amazing things happen in the world over the last century!

Happy Birthday, Dad. You are a great dad and role model.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thom Singer's Strategic Partnership with Starbucks (Unofficially!)

Looking around as I write this blog post I see the familiar muted earth-toned yellow and green walls. The smell of fresh coffee fills the air, and the availability of free Wi-Fi keeps me connected to the outside world. The comfortable nest of my "movable-feast" of an office location gives me comfort and peace of mind no matter where in the world I find myself.

It is my place.

I work from Starbucks. As a professional speaker, consultant / adviser and author my location is often on sight for a client, but the rest of the time I need a place to get stuff done and hold meetings. My house does not always serve me as a place to work effectively, as my wife runs her business from home, and the kids come and go all the time. I like the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop, and Starbucks has served me well as my office of choice for several years.

They do not know it, but they have become a strategic partner in my success.

I have free office space regardless of being in Austin, Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Detroit, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Sacramento, Houston, Boston, Washington DC, Denver, Laguna Beach, Tucson, Seattle, San Antonio, El Paso, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Orlando, Nassau (Bahamas), Barcelona (Spain), Ottawa (Canada), Toronto (Canada), Dublin (Ireland), Paris (France), or nearly any other city I have found myself in the last three years.

I can connect to the internet, meet with clients, write a blog post (as I am doing right now), grab a cup of coffee, eat my lunch, and ask directions and other local questions of interest from those who work there (they are always nice and have become my own personal concierge service when I am in a strange land).

From my side, I am both a loyal customer and advocate. They keep up there side of the bargain by providing predictable products and services that allow my business to prosper. Oh, and without caffeine, I am not sure I could ever take the stage and speak to hundreds of people at 8:00 AM at an industry conference, law firm meeting, or sales kick-off. They fuel my pizazz some days when sleep does not come (I have trouble sleeping in hotel rooms sometimes).

Have A Great Day.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Setting Goals For 2011

If you are a goal setter, you probably do not need to read this post.

If you are one who rolls their eyes when people talk about goal setting.... then this one might be for you (or you will just roll your eyes at this point, and move on).

Setting goals can be a good way to achieve more in your life. Knowing what you want, having a clear path to get there, and taking action is the only way to expand yourself. Well, there is waiting for luck, prayer, and the law of attraction.... and that does work for some people.... while others wait (and wait and wait) and wonder why nothing ever works for them.

Knowing what you want makes it much easier when you are faced with tough choices: "Does this action take me closer to my goal, or lead me farther away from my goal?" is a wonderful question that can keep people from making big mistakes.

Selecting the right goals, that are both attainable and realistic, is the first step. Many people do this at the new year. I do that. I think calendar events like holidays and birthdays are a good time to get that fresh start. However, you can begin a goal any time.

Starting early is key. Fourth quarter is a good time to think about how your life in 2010 is working out and begin your dreams about a kick-butt 2011. Being introspective about your success and failures will help you identify areas you want to expand or improve next year.

Missing your target is not a failure. Sometimes people set goals, and do not achieve them, and thus get depressed or tainted about the whole goal setting thing. I have found that missing a goal is not always bad, as often my pursuit of a goal brought me to higher levels of success than I would have had without that target in my sights. Other times I discover something else along the way I did not even know I wanted, and change my goal while en route. That's okay too... it is my life not a stone tablet.

If you live in Austin I recommend you attend the "Re-Ignite Your Dream Machine" seminar on Monday, November 1, 2010 (at 5:30 PM - St. Edward's University). The cost is only $10 (in advance... $20 at the door). This program will get you thinking about 2011 with plenty of time to fine tune your goals before your New Years' Day hangover arrives!

If you are rolling your eyes and still wishing you had more success in life.... then you may want to ask.... "Am I a constant eye roller?". Your goal might want to be to get over being instantly negative all the time :-)

Have A Great Day


Thom Singer is available for short "Goal Coaching" sessions by telephone. These calls are inspirational, educational and motivational. Invest in yourself to make 2011 the best year ever. For more information contact Thom Singer at thom (at)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Planning For A Successful Trade Show (for Vendors)

If your company is investing time and money to sponsor a trade show, convention or other industry event, why would you not want to educate your team on how to maximize the ROI on participating in the show?

I witness companies spend tens of thousands of dollars on the sponsorship fees, travel, booth design, handouts, logoed items, shipping, and time away from the office...... and then invest nothing on creating a platform of understanding of how to enhance their conference participation.

A little planning in can insure that your company benefits from being a sponsor and an active member of the convention's mini-society.

If you can't see the video... here is the link:

Hire Thom Singer, "The Conference Networking Catalyst" to work with your team to help them get the most from their time at the multi-day conference.

Have A Great Day


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Find A Speaker In Austin, Texas (and Beyond)

Many people who are planning business meetings have never before had to find, vet, negotiate with, and hire a speaker for an event. They inherited the task from a boss who expects his or her audience to be "wowed" by an experienced presenter, but has delegated the responsibility. These accidental meeting planners often have no idea where to start in finding someone for their keynote address or breakout training sessions.

Regardless of their event being in a conference room at their office, or at a big convention center (or hotel) in a foreign city, they need to find the right person to set the tone for their meeting. Finding the right speaker is important to the success of any corporate event. Conventions, Conferences, Trade Shows, Sales Meeting, Annual Forecasts, Sales Training, etc... all require people who can inspire the audience.

I speak nationally and internationally, but often get calls from companies and organizations having meetings in my hometown of Austin, Texas. I know Austin. I like Austin. And if you are planning a meeting in the Texas Capital I want to be your speaker! Give me a call at (512) 970-0398. In additional to the speech I can also help point you toward great restaurants, party venues, activities, local meeting planners, etc...

If we determine that I am not the right person to speak at your event, I will help you find someone ideal for your audience. I know hundreds of speakers in Texas and around the world. Through my connections with NYP Speakers, The National Speakers Association, or my network of professional contacts, I want to assist in helping you find a professional speaker who will "WOW" the crowd.

If your meeting is someplace else.... I still want to be your speaker!!! -- but the below video talks directly to those having meetings in Austin.

If you do not see the video... here is the link:

Have A Great Day


Friday, October 15, 2010

Make A Career Doing What You Love

There is a big difference between performing a job, and doing what you love. You feel the power in your heart when you are fully engaged in something that is a true passion. It is not work, but instead and extension of your soul.

And the people around you can tell the difference too!

Several years ago I discovered that I had a calling to be a professional speaker (and consultant / coach). Over time I had been asked to give presentations, be the MC for business events, and share ideas to help others.... but did not think that one could earn a living doing something that was so much fun.

I have spent more than a decade learning about the business of speaking and have the utmost love and respect for the industry (and for others who are dedicated to being a professional speaker and promoting the profession!)

This week I was the opening keynote speaker and the "Conference Networking Catalyst" for a major technology conference in Dallas. While the focus of the event was "Computer Networking", my message of "People Networking" was a key point echoed in the technology industry presentations. It matters regardless of your job title!

I loved being with the attendees, vendors, speakers and organizers at this event. I spent time meeting them at breaks and meals.... and enjoyed hearing their stories about how the opportunities in their lives came from people.

I spoke with a senior IT executive from a Fortune 500 company who mentioned that he had seen many presentations on networking, career development, and marketing skills,..... but had not seen a speaker find quite as much joy in sharing a message about the power of business relationships. Many in the audience mentioned they were touched by the example of how giving the correct attention to people can impact success in business and personal life.

I loved being there, and they knew it.

Where is your passion? You do not need to become a speaker to share your love with others. Allow the love you have for your profession to ooze out all over the place no matter what your job. If you do not have that feeling of connection to your chosen career, maybe it is worth exploring why not. Maybe it is there and can be re-ignited. If not, perhaps a career change is a possibility.

Live a life connected to your inner passion and you will have more fun everyday!

Have A Great Day.


Re-Ingite Your Dream Machine - November 1, 2010 - Austin, TX

Register today for "Reignite Your Dream Machine"
featuring Thom Singer &
Bill Moyer!

Monday, November 1, 2010
5:30-7:00 pm
St. Edward's University, Ragsdale Center, Mabee Ballroom
3001 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704

We all have dreams for our future, but sometimes those dreams are stolen from us. Perhaps your dreams were stolen by negative relationships in your life or maybe by a tough year in your business. You can turn around your life and your career simply by remembering your dreams and turning them into goals! You can be successful in whatever it is that you want to do!

Bill Moyer, an expert on leadership and goal setting, and I will share our experience about how to turn around your year and how to realize your dreams at this motivational and inspirational event. Come network with other professionals, get a free copy of Bill's book, learn from exciting speakers, and most of all, come Reignite Your Dream Machine and close out 2010 strong!

Tickets for this event are $10 in advance or $20 at the door! Register now!

Sponsors include:

Have A Great Day.


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Professional Speaker - (Key Word "Professional")

I am always working to share the message that "Speaking" is a profession. I have spent over 10+ years observing professional speakers and learning as much as I could about the industry. I have been full-time in the business for two years. While some roll their eyes at speaking as a career, I have discovered that it is honorable and challenging profession that has allowed me to expand my understanding of business and entrepreneurship.

While no special degree is required (think Lawyer or Doctor) to "wow" an audience, you do need a deep commitment to making an impact on the people you address. It also takes experience. There are many who dabble with speaking as a sideline or a hobby (usually to promote their main business), but there can be a noticeable difference between a professional speaker and someone who speaks once in a blue moon.

Many meeting planners have told me that some "free speakers" are good enough when they need to save money, but admit a preference for experienced professionals. The economic conditions of the last few years has caused many companies and professional organizations to utilize free industry speakers, but they are again looking to hire professionals, as they saw the difference in the attendee surveys.

The October 2010 edition of "Speaker Magazine" has a profile of professional speaker Roxanne Emmerich. Although I do not know Ms Emmerich, I could tell by the article that she is a true professional. She is deeply dedicated to creating real change, and works to fully understand the unique aspects of the client and their meeting. She shared that speakers cannot imitate other speaker's styles if they really want to energize an audience. It is about developing your own pizazz on stage.

She spoke about experience, saying; "it takes about 300 programs until speakers have a sense of what really works". This is often lost on wanna-be speakers and those who hire them.... there is no substitute for doing it!

I always say: "Speakers Speak!"

While 300 presentations is a big number,.... I agree (convenient, since my own experience is now about 300 presentations over the decade. More that 150 in the past three!).

Even someone who is a good talker cannot understand the nuances of their own delivery without the practice. This is similar to Malcolm Gladwell's "10,000 Hour Theory" from his best-selling book "Outliers". Nobody, regardless of natural talent, can fake this high level of experience and practice.

I am honored to be a "Professional Speaker".

Have A Great Day.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Networking Is NOT About Keeping Score

Steve Harper of "The Ripple Effect" (AKA - Mr. Ripple and @rippleon) has an important post on his Ripple Blog today: "Your Style Points Are Being Tracked". Go read it now... I will wait......

His message is about not keeping score in your networking efforts. Too many people mistakenly think that they should be tracking the good things they do to help others succeed and expecting direct reciprocation. Yet creating long-term, mutually beneficial relationships and cultivating a powerful reputation cannot be done if you are always asking "What's in it for me?"

I also get asked about this topic very often, especially when I am consulting with lawyers, CEOs, sales managers and other executives. People are focused on finding their own success, and with limited time and resources they question if helping others really has a direct ROI.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. If you think that doing one favor one time will mean that people will line up to assist you in reaching your goals, then you will be disappointed. The powerful rewards and opportunities only come after you make the efforts. This is about a lifestyle of taking joy in seeing others win for the greater good... not just your immediate gratification.

You need not keep score because "the universe" does keep score. In the end, those in your business community instinctively know who are the "givers" and the "takers". They see what is in your heart and mirror their actions to your soul.

If you want to attract the right type of people into your life who will go the extra mile to help you find your goals, dreams and aspirations... then you must first be the type of person who does that for others.

This video clip from a recent presentation sums it up:

(If you do not see the video... here is the link:

Have A Great Day.


Monday, October 04, 2010

Sales Training and Company Planning Meetings

Every October many companies, law firms, and other organizations start to look at the reality of their numbers, and resolve to do more the next year. Too often they write off the final quarter and begin making excuses to cover up the cold hard facts of the current year.

There is a lot of rationalization that takes place:

"It is the economy"

"We had turn over"

"Our competitors cut their prices"

"They 'moved my cheese'"

"Nobody returns phone calls any more"

"Our parent company wont invest in social media"

"The team is lazy"

"Customers don't know what they want"

"People are waiting until next year to buy"

But rationalizations will not put money into the bank. Actions are the only thing that can turn things around and get the ball rolling for the rest of 2010 and move you into 2011 with momentum.

The end of the year is an ideal time to hold sales training, team building, planning, and other company-wide motivational and educational events. Waiting until January means more wasted time, and plays into the mistaken view that November and December are non-work focused months.

Countless businesses stopped doing company meetings over the last two years. They were hoping to "save money" in a down economy and thus find prosperity. But you cannot save your way to success,.... it takes commitment, hard work, and sales!

The good news is that these company meetings are coming back. Businesses are again investing in their people, hoping to inspire and motivate them, but also to equip them with the tools and skills necessary to make things happen.

Not everyone is embracing the power of training their people: I spoke to a lawyer last week whose office is below the firm's annual projections. He fears cut-backs. When I asked about training, he said they were too cheap to spend money on the attorneys business development skills (meanwhile they are staring at lousy numbers, hmmmmm?). He is personally investing in business coaching, as he wants to make sure if they close the office he will have a portable book of business and a reputation to ensure himself a future.

If your company is not committed to training and including the team in planning, then your people may see it as a sign that you are not committed to their long term success. Thus they could be looking around at other options. You can't win loyalty when you do not invest in your staff. You either lose their productivity or the people (or both) when you run from educational and motivational events.

Now is the time to plan your team meeting for the end of the year and ensure you start 2011 with the best foundation for success.

Have A Great Day.


Thom Singer is available to facilitate company meetings, sales training, keynote presentations, presentation skills training, and other live (or online) events. More information at

Sunday, October 03, 2010

When Your Back's Against The Wall

Country artist Kenny Chesney's epic chart topping hit about high school football, "Boys of Fall" has a verse that rings in my soul every time I hear the song:

"I've got your number, I've got your back, when your back's against the wall. You mess with one man, you got us all..."

When you are part of a team, everyone watches out for each other, but in the business world too many people feel they are all alone. They want that feeling of "team", but they do not sense that it exists within their network of professional contacts.

The realities of the economy over the last few years means that back's ARE pushed against the wall. Some people have amazing personal support groups, but few believe they have a real network of business connections who are looking out for their best interests.

How about you?.... Whose got your back when your back is against the wall? Is there a team of people who say "if you mess with one man (or woman), you got us all"?

The best way to cultivate a group of people willing to block and tackle for you is to be the person who does that for others. The pressures we all face make it is easy to get caught up with self focused actions. Even the most well-meaning can miss opportunities to help those in their network.

I talk to people who have great intentions to serve others. They even think they are being an active resource because they want to be a good "partner" to those in their inner circle. But "wanting" to do something and actually "doing" something are two different things. Philosophically understanding that you should be a person who finds ways to impact others is not enough.

Dr. Stephen Covey had it right in his book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" with this description of an "Emotional Bank Account". Before you can make withdrawals you must first make deposits. Too many people show up in their business community when they are in need of help and ask for favors. They expect their network to uncover opportunities (or otherwise "have their back"), but they have been playing for the other team the whole time.

I am fortunate because I do have people who are watching out for me. Most of my business comes directly from referrals. These people on my "team" refer me to their companies and professional organizations to speak at sales meetings, users conferences, conventions and other events where I can serve the keynote speaker, breakout trainer, or master of ceremonies. These same people give me constructive feedback and marketing ideas that help me grow my business.

And I do the same thing for them.

If you want a team, appoint yourself as "team captain" and bring together a group of people who are willing to put in the effort to construct a "club" with a high level of support.

And remember, as the song says: "They didn't let just anyone in that club, took every ounce of heart and sweat and blood" (That means not just anyone makes your team... they have to earn it!)

Have A Great Day


Friday, October 01, 2010

October "Some Assembly Required Newsletter - 2011 Planning Edition"

The October edition of the "Some Assembly Required Newsletter" has been sent. If you have not signed up yet, you can do so here on the blog (over on the right side!).

CLICK HERE to check out the newsletter.

Have A Great Day!