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“Master the contents of Endless Referrals and you will practically GUARANTEE your future success.”

~ Tom Hopkins, Author, Master the Art of Selling

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Make Your Ship Unsinkable

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Make Your Ship Unsinkable - Bob Burg

A recent tweet said:

“An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down, unless you allow it inside your heart and mind.” ~ A. Nonymous

This makes a lot of sense. To believe we don’t live in a world filled with negativity would be to delude ourselves.

Of course, there’s also much positivity but there’s a difference:

When you drink a glass of clean, pure water it sustains you, but it doesn’t generally cause a feeling one way or the other. We simply accept it — often unconsciously — for what it is.

However, put just a little bit of poison in that water and the consequences are profound.

Fifteen nice, decent people might not have much of an effect on your day. After all, people are supposed to be nice and decent. We simply accept it.

However, what happens when one miserable, insulting creep crosses your path? One’s entire day can change for the (much) worse…

That is, IF we let that negativity get inside us.

Two ways to keep it from sinking our ship:

  1. Choose not to take it personally. This takes a lot of work on an ongoing, consistent basis. For an excellent guide in this regard, read Don Miguel Ruiz’, The Four Agreements.
  2. Surround yourself with positive. Read, watch, and listen to good, positive, uplifting materials on an ongoing, consistent basis. And, hang out with good, positive, uplifting people as much as you can.

A ship fortified to that degree simply cannot be sunk.

What are some of the ways you protect the ship that is your mind?


An expanded edition of The Go-Giver has been released. It includes a Discussion Guide and a Q&A section. Check out http://bit.ly/tggnew. And, if you’d like to give the book as gifts to the special people in your life…you can also get some of your Holiday shopping done early.

A Tale of Two Frames

Friday, August 14th, 2015

It was the best of frames, it was the worst of frames. We’ve often discussed frames and framing in this blog. A frame can be defined as the foundation from which everything else involves.

In Adversaries into Allies: Master The Art of Ultimate Influence I say that when you set the proper frame for any encounter, you are 80 percent of the way toward the outcome you desire. And, the outcome you desire is obtaining the results you want while helping the other person to genuinely feel good about themselves, about the situation, and about you.

In other words, a true win/win. So, while visiting with my dear friend (and mentor) Dondi Scumaci and her husband Mark, I had the opportunity to hear from Dondi an experience she had in which two companies having the exact same desire…had two different ways of communicating it. One was an excellent example of positive framing while the other was an excellent example of…well, not so much excellent framing. :-)

In this conversation with the always-wise and fantastic Dondi, we learn what happened.


Dondi Scumaci - Cultures reflect themselves


Amazing, isn’t it? More importantly, how will you take this lesson and make your future framing similar to and as effective as the positive example? Any similar stories you’d like to share with us? Please feel free to do so.


TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

“Pain Don’t Hurt” – Huh?

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Road House Patrick SwayzeThe beautiful doctor, Elizabeth “Doc” Clay offered to give Dalton a local anesthetic before stitching up the knife wound from his scuffle at the Double Deuce. He refused it.

She asked, “Do you enjoy pain?”

Pain don’t hurt.” he replied.

To which she responded, “Are you a freaking moron?!”

Oh, wait, that’s what I shout at the TV every time I watch the movie, Road House, whenever it plays on TNT.

She merely stated that most of her patients would disagree with that.

You know what bothers me about that line (admittedly, from one of my all-time favorite movies)? It’s not just that it’s corny. And, it’s not that he somehow manages to sound cool when he says it. No, what really bothers me is that it simply DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!

Of course, pain hurts. By the very definition of the word, “pain”…it hurts. As a “word guy” those things grate on me. (A First-world problem, to be sure.)

Now, had he said, “I have a really high tolerance for pain” that would make more sense. Or even, “my Zen-like-yet-sarcastic-and-macho persona” prefers the tinge of pain to an anesthetic” would be acceptable.

But…”pain don’t hurt”?

Those type of lines can cause “gag-anitis.” Of course, we all know I’m just thinking way too much.

I’m sorry.

Oh, wait…”love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Huh? {Gag}

Forget it. This is so not a big deal. Carry on; enjoy the show.

But, don’t even THINK about “putting baby in a corner.” {Gag…Groan}

They Can Be Learned

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

While tact is mainly a skill it is also an attitude.

While empathy is mainly an attitude it is also a skill.

Fortunately, both can be learned.

Bob, I Think She Just Needs To Be Listened To

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

In a recent post we looked at the importance of listening. Just listening; not problem-solving.

While there are times that proactively helping someone solve a problem is very legitimate, paradoxically, not trying to solve a problem is often the best way to have it solved. By simply listening (allowing the other person to be heard) the problem often simply dissolves. Or, just as well, the person solves the problem themselves, which empowers them and helps build another leader.

As mentioned, I’ve had to work very hard at improving myself in this area. When someone comes to me with a problem, I still have to fight my inclination to go into fixing-mode and, instead, just listen. Writing the previous post reminded me of a recent situation in that regard.

On a speaking trip there was a logistical mix-up in one city that caused some distress for the person who planned the meeting, as well as for me. It was really nothing more than a miscommunication but it caused some negative feelings for the meeting planner, and she wanted to speak with Kathy and me personally in order to bring some closure to it.

We did a three-way conference call and she began to relate the story from her point of view. Knowing that some information had been related to her by our mutual client and desiring to put her mind at ease, I began to explain what had happened. Naturally, I did this feeling that — by telling her this — she’d feel better, realizing I understood she was not at fault.

Suddenly, I noticed my Skype Instant Message pop up with a message from Kathy. It simply said:

“Bob, I think she really just needs to be listened to right now. :-)”

Point taken. Kathy was right. She simply needed to be heard. She had been frustrated by feeling that her actions had been misunderstood and simply needed us to listen. Satisfied that was now the case, all was fine.

Meanwhile, I still have a ways to go in the “listening…really just listening” department. :-)