These are Great Sales Hacks, but Know This First

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Have you ever searched for “sales tips and hacks” on Google or TikTok? If not, you should—it’s a treasure trove of valuable insights into what’s working, what’s trending, and what’s not working in the world of sales. For example:

  • A powerful tip to guide people in choosing the right product is using these four magical words: “Most people chose this…” People naturally desire what others want.
  • Another effective strategy is to focus on helping rather than selling. Stop pushing products and start building trust; sales will follow.
  • Another sales hack is before revealing the price, prepare your potential customer by saying, “It’s really expensive.” This approach either aligns their expectations with the cost or makes the actual price seem more reasonable.
  • Or how about this one? Bake cookies resembling feet, leave them with your business card, and say, “I don’t want to bug you; I just want to get my foot in the door.” It’s a memorable touch that ensures they won’t forget you.
While these examples offer creative and sometimes corny approaches to sales, they may only be effective during specific phases of the selling process.

Knowing which product is popular won’t matter if customers haven’t heard of your company, and discussing pricing is irrelevant if they don’t understand how your product solves their problem.

So, let’s define the 3 different phases of the customer’s purchasing process.

Phase 1 – Awareness: This is the initial stage where the customer becomes aware of your product or service. At this stage, your goal is to attract attention and generate interest.

Phase 2 – Consideration: In this phase, the potential customer has shown interest and is considering your product or service. Your goal is to nurture leads and provide more detailed information to help them make an informed decision.

Phase 3 – Decision: This is the stage where the potential customer is ready to make a decision and convert into a customer. Your focus here is to provide the final push.

These three phases represent a general framework, and the specifics may vary depending on the nature of the business and the industry. This is a helpful concept for businesses to understand the customer journey and tailor their sales efforts accordingly.

So, here are some more specific tips and hacks depending on which phase your potential customer is in. In fact, let’s even get more specific. Let’s set an example of what you can do if you are running a dental practice:

Phase 1 – Awareness:

  • Content Creation: The dental practice creates blog posts, social media content, and videos on general oral health, common dental issues, and tips for maintaining a healthy smile. This content is designed to reach a broad audience and attract people who may not be actively seeking dental services but are interested in oral health.
  • Social Media Presence: The dental practice maintains an active presence on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, sharing engaging content such as infographics on oral hygiene, fun facts about dental care, and encouraging followers to ask questions about their oral health.
Phase 2 – Consideration:

  • Email Campaigns: The dental practice collects email addresses through a newsletter signup on their website. They send out newsletters with more in-depth content, such as articles on the benefits of preventive dental care, the importance of regular check-ups, and information about different dental treatments.
  • Webinars: The practice hosts webinars on specific dental topics, like “Understanding the Importance of Dental Cleanings” or “Options for Teeth Whitening.” These webinars provide valuable information to those considering various dental procedures.
  • Lead Scoring: The practice uses online forms or surveys to gauge the level of interest of potential patients. For example, someone who downloads an in-depth guide on dental implants might score higher as they are likely in the consideration stage for a specific procedure.
Phase 3 – Decision:

  • Personalized Consultations: Once a potential patient has expressed interest, the dental practice offers free consultations. During these consultations, the dentist addresses the individual’s specific dental concerns, discusses treatment options, and provides personalized recommendations.
  • Patient Testimonials: The practice showcases video testimonials or written reviews from satisfied patients who have undergone successful treatments. This helps build trust and confidence in the decision-making process for potential patients.
  • Limited-Time Offers: To encourage decision-making, the dental practice might offer limited-time promotions, such as discounts on certain procedures or special packages for comprehensive dental care.
By strategically addressing each stage of the sales funnel, the dental practice can attract new patients, nurture their interest, and ultimately guide them toward making informed decisions about their oral health.

I’m curious about your strategies—what’s working for you, and what have you tried that isn’t working? Let’s learn together in our “Sales” series. I hope you find this information valuable in your entrepreneurial journey.

Why You Should Care About the Difference Between Sales and Marketing…

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If you are like me, you lived most of your life NOT thinking about correcting someone who lumps marketing and sales into the same sentence. Mostly because you are not 100% sure what the differences are. I mean…ultimately, they seem to serve the same purpose, right? Sales and marketing both aim to increase revenue and customer acquisition for your business. Sure. So then, it would make total sense for a small business to combine it all together into one job, right? I understand that big corporations can afford to have it separated, with one manager overseeing sales and another managing marketing. But for us little guys, we can just combine it all. Right?

Nope! Well, why not? Great question, I think the best way to answer is to first clearly define each role and purpose. So, here we go.

  • Role: Marketing is responsible for creating awareness and demand for a company’s products or services. It involves generating interest and inquiries from potential customers.
  • Purpose: The primary purpose of marketing is to build and maintain the brand, attract and nurture leads, and provide the sales team with a pool of potential customers. Marketing focuses on creating a positive image of the company and its offerings in the marketplace.
  • Role: Sales is responsible for directly engaging with potential customers to convert them into paying customers. Salespeople work on closing deals and managing the transactional aspects of the sale.
  • Purpose: The primary purpose of sales is to turn interested prospects into actual customers. Sales focuses on understanding the specific needs and preferences of individual customers and guiding them through the purchase process. It involves building relationships, addressing objections, and finalizing the sale.
In summary, marketing is about creating awareness, generating interest, and attracting potential customers to the business, while sales are about direct interaction with customers to close deals and facilitate the purchase process. Marketing lays the groundwork by creating opportunities and leads, and sales capitalizes on those opportunities to convert prospects into customers. Both functions are essential and, when properly aligned and coordinated, contribute to the overall success of a business.

So, to summarize the summary, Marketing is about creating awareness and interest in a product or service, while sales are about turning that interest into actual purchases through direct customer interactions.
So, to summarize the summary of the summary. Marketing creates leads, and Sales turns leads into customers.

So, why can’t we still just combine the two departments together? Usually, it’s because it takes two completely different skill sets.

Marketing Skill Sets:
  • Creativity: Marketers often need to come up with creative and engaging campaigns, designs, and content to capture the audience’s attention.
  • Content Creation: Writing, design, and multimedia skills are essential for creating compelling content, such as blog posts, videos, social media posts, and advertisements.
  • Data Analysis: Analytical skills are crucial for understanding customer behavior, tracking the performance of marketing campaigns, and making data-driven decisions.
  • Market Research: Conducting research to understand the target audience, market trends, and competitors is essential for effective marketing.
  • Digital Marketing: Proficiency in various digital marketing channels, including SEO, social media, email marketing, and pay-per-click advertising, is often required.
  • Branding: Developing and maintaining a consistent and appealing brand image is a fundamental marketing skill.
  • Communication: Effective communication, both written and verbal, is necessary for conveying marketing messages and collaborating with the team.
Sales Skill Sets:
  • Interpersonal Skills: Salespeople need to build rapport, establish trust, and effectively communicate with potential customers.
  • Negotiation: Negotiation skills are vital for reaching mutually beneficial agreements and closing deals.
  • Product Knowledge: A deep understanding of the product or service being sold is necessary to answer questions and address customer concerns.
  • Objection Handling: The ability to handle customer objections and concerns in a persuasive and reassuring manner is critical.
  • Closing Skills: Sales professionals must know how to ask for the sale and guide customers through the purchasing process.
  • Time Management: Effective time management is crucial to prioritize leads and focus on high-value opportunities.
  • Resilience: Sales can be challenging, so resilience and the ability to handle rejection are important qualities.
  • Relationship Building: Building and maintaining long-term relationships with customers is key to repeat business and referrals.
While there is some overlap in skills, these skill sets reflect the distinct demands of marketing and sales roles. 

Marketing relies more on creativity, content creation, and data analysis, while sales emphasizes interpersonal skills, negotiation, and the ability to guide customers through the buying process. Successful marketing and sales teams often complement each other, working together to achieve a common goal.

So…what do we do now? I think knowledge is key. Once you know the important aspects of each role, the skillsets required for success for each role, and the main purpose of each role, you are way ahead of the rest. Just knowing will help you make the right decisions on how your department is run and who gets to run it.

Also, if you are a solopreneur and you are doing it all yourself, I believe it can still help guide you to compartmentalize your efforts and processes into 2 separate entities that operate independently but also can work together to grow your business.

I hope you can find this distinction helpful and next time someone tries to lump the two together, you can tell them…”nope, not today”, and share these thoughts with them. If they seemed shocked and confused and ask where you found out all this information, tell them you got it from Hanju at BOS Media Group. Hahaha!! Have a great week everyone!

How to Sell Outside of the Box

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My car-buying experience has never been a good one. Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced it with my dad most of my life. He loves to bargain and he’s a tough cookie. I mean, to an extreme… almost illegally tough. By the time we sign the contract to purchase, the salesperson is usually exhausted and borderline ready to quit his job altogether. My dad puts them through the wringer and spits them out. His secret of getting the best deals? Be okay to walk away. Never get emotionally attached to anything. He doesn’t care what color interior it has, or that it’s the last one in stock, or the new leather smells just so so good. It doesn’t phase him one bit.

Me? I am all heart when I purchase anything. If I find something I love, I am like…”here, please…take my money” Want more? Sure! How much more? That’s it? Here, take more!” I am my dad’s worst nightmare.

Do you know who else is a tough cookie negotiator? Yup, you guessed it. I am married to one. How do you think she got me to marry her? Hahahah! That’s why, when I need to go car shopping, I take my her along with me. And I mentally prepare myself for a long battle. I try not to emotionally fall in love with the perfectly and seamlessly designed and engineered 20″ wheels…or the smell of the new leather. I just try to disconnect myself emotionally and just watch my negotiator do all the work to get the best deal for the best value. So exhausting for me.

But why is car buying so stressful? Why are car salespeople not trustworthy? Why and who created this system the way it is and why can’t we do something better? The answer? Yes, we can do something better, and Yes we have something better.

The new normal of car purchase is becoming the way many dealers are embracing the shift to online and in-house showroom type of seamless buying experience. No more haggling, no more confusion, no more untrustworthy sales team but something that puts high value on customer service and unique one-on-one experience. Here’s a real-life example.

We walked into a beautifully designed showroom where they had 2 models being displayed. A young, cool, hip, and friendly team member came over with a smile and asked if we had an appointment. I said no. “No worries she said, I have a slot open for you in 5 minutes with one of our best sales staff, grab a seat and he’ll be with you in a minute”. Quickly, their dedicated sales staff came over and asks us a few questions and see if we wanted to test drive. We said yes and the car pulled up to the front, he sat with us to go over all the controls and features of the car. He gave us the key and asked us to bring the car back in about 20 minutes or so and he went back inside.

After a nice 20-minute, private test drive with just me and my negotiator, we got back to the dealership where he welcomed us back. We sat in front of the computer with him, clicked over different options, and printed out the specs and the cost. He told us how many they had in stock and when we could have it if we wanted it. We said we’ll think about it and he said thanks for coming in and to reach out if we have any questions. Wait, what? He didn’t beg us to stay or make us wait so he could talk to his manager or ask us “Would you make this purchase today if we can lower our price down to (fill in the blank)?

They have single-handedly revolutionized the new way of purchasing a car.

I wanted to share this experience with you as we are in our “Sales” series to prove that thinking out of the box can not only solve a problem but propel your business into a whole new atmosphere of greatness. How are you selling your products? How is the customer’s experience? What are some of the ways that can help you revolutionize your own industry in selling?

Whatever it is, big or small, I would love to hear from you what your current challenges are and what your ideas are to change it. This is how we can stand out. This is how we can refocus our energy back on our customers, this is how we can usher our customers into their amazing buying experience. Sales can be everything for your business, so let’s start thinking out of the box.

You are Just Not Interesting…

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If you are in sales, or if you ever tried to sell anything, have you ever had the prospect say…”I am not interested.”? So, how do you overcome this objection? Well, you don’t. Because “I am not interested” is not an objection. It’s the truth. You are just not interesting. Sorry.

Someone came up to me the other day and wanted me to sign a petition. I said, no thank you and he seemed very confused. He had this look like why wouldn’t you take 5 seconds to sign my obvious “this will change the world for good” petition? Well, I don’t know anything about this petition. I haven’t done the research yet. I haven’t studied the opposing side and even had any time to ponder and think about it. I don’t even know you. Maybe you have another agenda…how do I know? And therefore, why would I sign? So…no….I am NOT interested. And yes, you definitely are NOT interesting and you gave me no reason to sign.

So, how do you make yourself interesting to someone who could potentially buy from you?

You need to shine a light on a meaningfully different idea related to a problem your prospect might not know about. What does that mean? It means, first identifying their problem, then solving it in a way that they’ve never heard of. Surprise them. Educate them. They will become interested. Here’s a perfect, real-life example…

Okay, pretend that you own a small coffee shop chain. You have 5 stores in the area and you want every cup of coffee from each store to taste exactly the same since that’s your signature roast and brew. You also understand that 98% of coffee is water so you must have an amazing water filtration system. So, you’ve been shopping for one and you finally run into an expert filtration salesperson…me.

Let’s pretend that I am a Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Salesperson. I would start the pitch by saying something like, “Did you know that the reverse osmosis water filtering system takes all the impurities out of the water?  Sounds great, right? Well, not really because when all the impurities are taken out of the water, the water is simply too pure to brew coffee with, all the flavors are in the minerals, and the RO system purified it, so…your coffee is going to taste terrible. This expensive RO system I am trying to sell you is basically useless.”

Are you sold yet? Hahaha.

Then I would say, “But guess what? Our system analyses your raw water impurities at each store location and we are able to mix the ratio of the raw water vs the purified water to make a perfect cup of coffee. And because we are able to control the ratio, each store will have the exact same tasting water regardless of what city or what type of water the store is getting.”

Now, are you sold yet?

I just solved your problem by shining a light on a meaningfully different idea related to a problem you didn’t know about. Before you met me, RO filtration was out of the question, but I came up with a different idea to solve the inconsistent-tasting coffee you were having at each of your store locations. Did I identify your problem? Yes! Did I solve it in a way you’ve never heard of before? Yes! Did I surprise you? Yes! Did I educate you? Yes!

So, am I interesting? Oh my yes!

When people say “I am NOT a salesperson”, I think what they are really saying is “I am NOT comfortable selling.” The ability to sell is not something you’re born with. In fact, what selling really is: exposing a problem to a prospect and swapping it out with a new possibility. Selling is easy. Selling is fun. Selling is life. It’s helping bring a change to someone else’s life, and getting paid doing it. What’s not fun about that? What’s not interesting about that?

Omg, You are so Good at Sales!

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My friend looked down at my feet. I guess something caught her eye. My shoelace was loose. With a concerned look on her face and with her soft, caring voice she said, “Hey, your shoelace is untied.” To which I replied, “Yeah, I know, I understand your worry and I appreciate it but did you know that the whole tripping over your shoelace thing is a myth?” She looked confused, so I continued. “The chances of your loose shoelace getting caught underneath your moving feet and causing it to break your walking/running rhythm to force a fall is minuscule. Less than .000001%. It’s not even worth worrying about. Let me show you.” I began to run around crazy with my shoelace untied.

I finally came to a stop, and trying to catch my breath, I looked over at her and said, “see, I didn’t trip”. She laughed. And jokingly said to me, “Hmm, you should be in sales.” And I thought to myself…”Yeah, maybe I should”.

Isn’t it interesting that the most misunderstood idea of selling is that it’s primarily about convincing people to buy something they don’t want or need? The more convincing you are, and more pushy you are, the better you are at sales. Right? WRONG!

What, then, makes a good salesperson? In reality, an effective salesperson is someone who takes the time to understand the customer’s needs, exercises patience in building a trustworthy relationship, and possesses the intuition to provide solutions that genuinely benefit them. It’s more about helping than convincing.

But most of all, the most significant characteristic of a great salesperson is empathy. Empathy enables us to comprehend, relate to, and genuinely care about the customers’ needs and concerns.

So, is empathy something you can develop and learn? Yes, empathy can be learned and developed. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It involves recognizing and being sensitive to the emotions, thoughts, and perspectives of others. How? One way is to actively listen, and pay close attention to what people are saying. Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings. Avoid interrupting or immediately offering solutions.

In order to help guide the development phase of empathy, I came up with some questions you can ask your potential client that can help you better understand their needs and guide them toward a purchase.

  • What challenges or goals are you currently facing in your [industry/area]?
  • How do you envision our product/service helping you with these challenges/goals?
  • Have you used similar products/services before? What did you like or dislike about them?
  • Who will be involved in the decision-making process for this purchase?
  • What is your budget or price range for this solution?
  • Are there any specific features or benefits that are most important to you?
  • What is your timeline for implementing a solution like this?
  • Can you share any concerns or objections you might have about moving forward with this purchase?
  • How do you measure success in your [industry/area]?
  • Are there any other stakeholders or departments we should involve in this discussion?
  • What would be the ideal outcome or result for you after implementing our product/service?
And while they are answering some of these questions, keep these points in mind.

  • Active Listening: Pay close attention to what people are saying. Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings. Avoid interrupting or immediately offering solutions.
  • Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Try to imagine how the other person might be feeling and what they might be thinking in a given situation. This can help you better understand their perspective.
  • Practice Perspective-Taking: Actively work on understanding different viewpoints, even if you don’t agree with them. This can help you become more open-minded and empathetic.
  • Observe and Learn from Others: Pay attention to people who are naturally empathetic. What do they do differently? You can learn from their behaviors and attitudes.
  • Practice Compassion: Engage in acts of kindness and support for others. Volunteer or help friends and family when they are in need. This can enhance your ability to empathize.
  • Self-Reflection: Take time to reflect on your own emotions and experiences. The more you understand yourself, the better you can relate to the experiences of others.

It’s important to note that empathy is a skill that can be improved over time, but it may not come naturally to everyone. The key is to be open to learning and practicing empathy in your interactions with others.

I truly believe customizing your questions and approach to each client is key to successful sales…and I also believe that being a good salesperson means being a good human. We can all use more empathy…in business and in life.

Looking forward to digging deeper into our “Sales” series. Stay tuned for more next week.

Oh, one more thing, I started running around again without tying my shoe. And I tripped. True story.


How The Fearless Faces Fear

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Have you watched the National Geographic Documentary called Free Solo yet? If not, you should. It’s about this dude named Alex Honnold who did the unthinkable.
He climbed a 3000-foot rock wall in Yosemite called El Capitan at 31 years of age. Not only that, he did it without any ropes, harnesses, or a net. What does that mean? It means that if he made a simple error or slipped on his footing during the climb, he would most likely fall to his death. It’s one of the most extremely insane, audacious feats in human history. In fact, some people call it “one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever.” And on a side note, it took him 3 hours, 56 minutes and to this day he is the ONLY climber to free solo El Capitan.

So, if I had a chance to interview Alex, my first question would be: How did you overcome fear in the face of such danger? How did you accomplish this without trembling and how did you keep pushing forward?

I want to know if he’s some kind of superhuman who is not affected by fear…or if there’s some type of secret that unlocks the human brain to do the impossible.

Watch this video – he actually does reveal his secret…

If you didn’t watch the video yet, I’ll summarize how he overcame the fear of this climb.

Alex said this…”3000 feet of climbing represents thousands of distinct hand and foot movements, many of the moves I knew through sheer repetition. I climbed El Cap 50 times over the previous decade with a rope. But also I would spend the day from the summit with 1000 feet of rope, finding the sequence secure and repeatable and I had to memorize them. I had to make sure that they were so deeply ingrained within me that there was no possibility of error.”

He did it so many times, it became like taking a walk in the park. And just to confirm, the last time I took a walk in the park, it was pretty chill.

On the flip side, I just listened to an interview of Alex on Adam Grant’s podcast and the most surprising thing I heard Alex say was how incredibly terrified he was of public speaking. In fact, Adam recalls seeing Alex backstage getting ready to speak at the TED Talk sitting there, shaking and sweating…so afraid to go up on the TED stage. He said “it’s not surprising that when you have to do something at a very high level that you’re not good at, it’s truly terrifying. That’s how I essentially felt going into TED. Here’s a collection of several thousand of the most important people in the world, all sitting there watching me do something that I’m not good at.”

It reminds me of the Jerry Seinfeld joke about how people fear public speaking even more than death – at a funeral, most people would rather be in the coffin than the one making the speech.

But think about it: what made the free solo climb different from the TED Talk?


All that time and effort to ingrain the sequence… over and over again, until there was no possibility of error. The most dangerous feat became EASY, while the unpracticed speech felt impossible.

So the question is, is there a fear you need to overcome? I know there’s part of us that would rather not think about it, procrastinate, and then shake and sweat when the time comes where we finally get the experience over with. But there is an alternative: do the reps. Stop avoiding it, start small, and practice practice practice practice practice.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

And I promise, whatever it is, it’ll be a lot less scary the 1000th time you do it.


The Ordinary Life

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“God must love ordinary people because He made so many of us.” –Coach Jim Valvano

I always thought about writing a book. I guess what prompted me was reading so many self-help books about time management, transformation, diet, money, entrepreneurship, real estate, fitness, etc. The common theme in all the books I’ve read has been…be the best, work the hardest, conquer the impossible, be extremely self-disciplined, set audacious goals, achieve them, and for heaven’s sake, don’t be ordinary, be extraordinary. Be above the rest…always. You are built for more. You deserve more. Go get it!!

Are you exhausted or are you inspired?

Me? I became exhausted. And all these books made me a skeptic. So, I wanted to write a book that contradicts every self-help book I’ve ever read. It would be called The Ordinary.

Do you remember when you were little, you would bring a textbook home from school and you had to wrap it in brown paper from a leftover grocery bag? My book would look like that, and it would have the title in a simple typewriter font as artwork. Very simple and ordinary looking. And on the back, it would have a picture of me as the author and a teaser for the book. This is what it would say:

“I am not rich. I am not famous. I don’t speak in front of thousands, I don’t have a vacation house in the Alps, and no one recognizes me in public. I live in a small house in the suburbs of Southern California surrounded by middle-working-class professionals with families and I pay the mortgage and utilities like everyone else. I struggle to wake up every morning and go through my routine and sit in front of a computer answering emails, creating tasks, and even some of the creative work that I sort of like to do and am somewhat passionate about.

But when I lay down at night, I feel the joy and full satisfaction of my life. I feel good about who I am and there’s a rich, deep sense of contentment and happiness.

I am an ordinary guy that somehow stumbled into the realization and the mystery of happiness and I am currently in it.”

Would you want to flip the book back over and start reading chapter 1 to find the secret? Do you want me to just tell you the secret now? I don’t want to give it all away before the book comes out, but I’ll give you a clue:

It has nothing to do with what you do for a living.

It has nothing to do with your income.

It has nothing to do with your status.

But it has everything to do with what comes from building lasting relationships. It has everything to do with enjoying the little things that life has to offer with gratitude. It has everything to do with the beauty of simplicity. It has everything to do with not being filled with anxiety and discontent because you don’t measure up to the success that is expected of you.

Be free. Be content. Be ordinary.


Be Curious

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When I was in high school, I used to play at a local municipal golf course a lot. It was cheap and they didn’t require a proper dress code. I wore a printed t-shirt with jean shorts and goofy socks rolled up with tennis shoes. I had a mixed set of used clubs and an old bag. I didn’t look the type, but I knew how to hit the ball well. I also realized that my skill set was above average and I liked showing off.

Every time I went to play alone at the golf course, the starter grouped me together with people I didn’t know…mostly adults who dressed the part and had nice shiny clubs, brand-name golf bags and actual golf shoes with spikes. When I walked up to introduce myself, I saw the look in their eyes…they weren’t happy. Their assumption was that I was a beginner…just a kid that was learning how to play. They figured I would slow them down and mess up their focus due to my lack of knowledge and skills.

The most enjoyable part for me was proving them wrong and watching their frowns turn into smiles. But, it also bothered me that they judged me wrong before they even saw my swing. I always thought if they just stayed curious about me rather than making incorrect assumptions and conclusions, this world would be a better place.

Here’s a similar story from the show Ted Lasso reminding us to be curious. I love this scene so much!! “…because if they were curious, they would ask questions…like…have you played a lot of darts, Ted?”

There’s another version of curiosity that I really love. It’s called Intellectual Curiosity. Do you know who had it? I’ll let you guess based on the following quotes:

Quote #1: “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.”

Quote #2: “…through learning and exploration, one can understand seemingly very complex things in one’s environment.”

Quote #3: “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”

All three single-handedly changed their industry. They revolutionized it. And a lot of it was due to their crazy amount of intellectual curiosity.

Here are the answers:

Quote #1 = Albert Einstein
Quote #2 = Steve Jobs
Quote #3 = Walt Disney

I’ll close with another interesting fact: do you know what else these 3 have in common? They were all diagnosed with DYSLEXIA.

We often think of dyslexia as a disadvantage, based on how it affects a child’s performance on standardized tests. But the truth is, outside of school it’s actually proven to be an advantage –the dyslexic brain is wired to literally see the world differently, with creativity and lateral thinking that leads to breakthroughs and solutions others might miss.

One statistic to back this up: though only about 10-20% of the total population has dyslexia, they represent about 40% of all self-made millionaires. If they can run the gauntlet of teachers telling them they’re doing it all wrong, these curious minds go out into the world and thrive.

Ending with dyslexia may feel like a twist, but actually it just reinforces the same point we’ve been making today. Look around – what have you judged a disadvantage? What might you see if you re-examined it with fresh eyes? Have a mindset to explore and you can capitalize on curiosity.

“Be curious, not judgmental.”


How To Get Everything You Want In Life

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I did a quick search on my website through all the blogs I’ve written to see which word comes up the most. Apparently, I reference the word “success” a lot. Well, I guess in a way, we are all trying to achieve that somehow. But the bigger question is, what is it? How do you define it? And why am I referring to it so much? And not only me…why is EVERYONE so focused on chasing after it?

Well, here’s my answer. We want success because we are convinced that once we achieve it, we can get everything we want in life. 

That sounds logical. But still…what is it? What is success? Success is defined as an “accomplishment of an aim or purpose” or “the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.” Hmmmm. That sounds good, but it also leaves a lot of room for interpretation and variations among people. I bet if you ask 10 people for their definitions, you might get 10 different answers…and over time, those answers from the same people might even change..

I thought it would be helpful and interesting to see what some people have thoughtfully shared about what success means for them. Here are some real examples:

  • Success is freedom. Being able to wake up when I want to, travel where I want to, and do what I want to. (Entrepreneur)
  • Success is the inner satisfaction and peace of mind knowing you’ve done your best with what you’ve been given. (Lawyer)
  • Success is being able to tuck my kids into bed every night. (First Lady)
  • Success is how well you do what you do when no one else is looking and keep on doing it. (Self-made billionaire and philanthropist)
  • Success is having friends and just enjoying life. (75-Year-Old Man)

Me? Thanks for asking. I did this exercise once and it really helped me define and confirm what success would look like in my life. First, I wrote down my own definition of what my success would be. Then, I asked myself why this is important to me. I repeated that question 7 times to force myself to keep digging. I heard this exercise can also define your life purpose too. This is how it went for me:

  • What is my idea/definition of success? I want to have deep, rich, and meaningful relationships in my life.
  • Why is this important to me? Because life is better if you share it with others.
  • Why is that important to me? Because research shows that this is also the root and source of happiness.
  • Why is that important to me? Because I want to be happy. Don’t you?
  • Why is that important to me? Because life is short, life is hard and life is painful at times.
  • Why is that important to me? Because if you really look at it, we really need each other.
  • Why is that important to me? Because when someone genuinely cares for me, life just seems better.
  • Why is that important to me? Because then maybe if I care for someone else, their life can seem better too.
  • Why is that important to me? Because I think deep down, relationships matter the most.

A wise person once said, “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”

After doing this exercise, I hope I’ve found the right wall. My life is about continuously doing meaningful work and continuously pursuing meaningful relationships. What about you? What is your pursuit? What is the definition of success for you? Do the exercise above and please share it with me. 

Here’s to clearly defining success so we actually know when we’ve achieved it.


Should I Follow My Passion Or Not?

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The legendary professional singer Tony Bennett has a famous quote:

“If you follow your passion, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

This idea is also solidified by none other than Oprah herself – here’s her advice:

“You’ve got to follow your passion. You’ve got to figure out what it is you love – who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.”

Are you with me so far?

But before we go any further, let’s define what passion really is. There are a lot of different definitions out there – it could be a “strong desire for or devotion to something.” But I like this definition the best…”a strong and barely controllable emotion.” It’s an emotion you exude about something that you can barely control.

Do you have something like that in your life? I can name a few. So, this totally makes sense – if you love something that much, you are going to love spending time doing it, and if that very thing can produce a lifestyle and a paycheck, it’s really true what Tony Bennett is proclaiming… you really don’t have to work a day in your life…

But, what if you are passionate about something that you are just not good at? Or, if you are just mediocre at it, or better yet, you are just not cut out for it?

Quick story. I was 5’7 inches tall in middle school. That’s 67 inches. According to the statistics about children between 11 to 13 (middle school), both genders are on average about 52 inches tall. I was 15 inches taller than the average kid. I played basketball, and just so you know, I dominated. I skyed over kids, got rebounds and had some great moves to score baskets, lots and lots of baskets. In fact, I was passionate about the game. I worked hard to become the fastest and the most versatile player on the team. And I knew, even at such a young age, that I was going to be the very first Korean NBA player ever to be given a multimillion dollar contract to play starting point guard for the Lakers. Long story short, I am now 5’8” – I have only grown an inch since then. I sat on the bench my freshman year and didn’t make the JV team the next. My basketball career was over.

My point? I couldn’t earn a paycheck from what I was passionate about. 

Here’s a third quote:

“Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you.”

Work is necessary. We must embrace the suck. And most people will understand this logic whether they are doing something they are passionate about or not. Some days, it will just feel like work and some days, it will just be hard. But the ones that knock it out of the park, the ones that reach the highest level of success, are the ones that figure out how to love it while doing it. Ones that know how to bring the passion with them.

I don’t think any of these 3 quotes are wrong. I think they should all co-exist and inspire us. And I believe we need to hear each one at a different point in our lives to help us keep moving forward. 

I am super excited to talk about some of these life concepts I’ve been learning and thinking about on our next series called “Life Lessons.” I would love to tee it up and share some of my findings and I would love to hear back about yours as well. 

So, what do you think? Should we follow our passion to make it our vocation? Or should we follow our effort? Or should we follow our talent? Or should we follow our opportunities? What would be your ultimate dream job that you would be most passionate about? Is that important? Is it overrated? Work is work? I have so many questions. I can’t wait to discuss next week’s topic. Stay tuned.

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